Posts Tagged ‘Pregnancy’

miscarriage… an often overlooked or minimized loss

February 12, 2010

I had a professor who had done his doctoral project on miscarriage—after going through a miscarriage with his wife and discovering that there was very little support or acknowledgment for an event that, for he and his wife, had proven very difficult.

A recent blog post by wholeselfcoach on her own miscarriage caught my attention in being both lyrically accepting and also raw in her honesty about the sobbing feelings of loss.

My sense is that miscarriage tends to be deeply felt by expectant mothers while being minimized by our society in general—a discordance that may make healing harder for women who lose a pregnancy.

Miscarriage is a very personal, and often a highly private loss.  While there may be a tendency to trust that things are meant to be, for a woman who terribly wants a child, the loss of a pregnancy can be devastating, sometimes bringing fears that pregnancy itself is not meant to be… and sometimes this turns out to be the case.  Thus a miscarriage (and especially multiple miscarriages) can have a profound effect on a woman’s destiny, as well as her identity as a mother.

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Men and their postpartum depressions

January 7, 2010

In an article last month in the New York Times ( Richard Friedman, M.D. wrote about male post partum depression.  While up to 80% of women experience post-baby blues, with 10% becoming clinically depressed at this developmental juncture, it turns out that this too affects men. 

Research is scant, suggesting that maybe four percent of men become clinically depressed (to a level that could even include suicidal feelings of despair), and yet most men beset by post-baby blues have never heard about them (at least for men).  Friedman speculates that there could be a biological underpinning (or is it over-pining?) to male post-partum melancholy, since testosterone levels may drop in men during their partners’ pregnancies to help them be less aggressive and bond with the baby when it arrives; yet low testosterone has also been linked with depression in middle-aged men.

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Why some women tell their birth horror stories to pregnant women

September 14, 2009

pregnant friendsFor some reason, pregnant women are often an open invitation for other women to spontaneously share their own experience around birth and delivery—particularly their horror stories about everything that went wrong and how awful it was.  In the spirit of compassion, we might ask ourselves why this is, and also what to do about it?

Firstly, I really don’t know why the women who do this don’t think through whether this is welcome input.  However, one hypothesis is that to the extent that a woman has had a traumatic experience with the birth of a child, a pregnant woman may serve as a trigger that brings back her own unworked-through trauma.

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Pregnant and exhausted

August 3, 2009

Ground Control to Major Tom

In asking my wife about advice she might give to pregnant women, one of her main points was to speak about how incredibly tiring it is to be pregnant.  This is especially true of the last trimester where she emphatically said that she had never felt so tired in her entire life.

The experience of her body changing, becoming so much bigger, changing balance, hormones, morning sickness, fears (i.e. if she and the baby would be okay, and even if they would both survive the birth process) all mingled to make for a time that was magical but also, at times, extremely difficult.

It is also important that we dads-to-be try to grasp this cornucopia of discomfort and resist our natural tendencies toward self-focus and resentful disappointment that our girlfriend/mother figure is not particularly available to meet our needs. 

My wife’s advice to pregnant moms is to give yourself a break, to not worry so much about eating exactly as the doctors tell you, and to trust that your tiredness is both normal and hard for anyone who has not been pregnant to understand.

So, let’s dedicate today to empathy and sending any extra love energy we might have lying around to pregnant moms who might benefit from compassion, accurate understanding and any random acts of kindness that might strike us.  This serves ourselves, our own kids and all our collective children.

Namaste, Bruce

Pregnant women need to know that they are beautiful

July 23, 2009

 AA Pregnant BellyPregnant women are beautiful.  In talking to my wife about things she wished she might have known when she was pregnant, she mentioned that during her pregnancy she could not believe (despite my continually, and sincerely, telling her) that she was beautiful—she just felt fat and unattractive.  So, if you’re pregnant, trust that you are beautiful and that this is a sacred and beautiful passage in life.  Re-think the notion of beauty as defined by a collapsing culture (i.e. that being thin is the quintessential paradigm of beauty), and consider Oscar Wilde’s statement that if you haven’t seen the beauty in something you haven’t really even seen that thing.

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