We are hard on mothers (and future mothers)!

Health advice, Testimonials

To read the previous part of Charlotte’s story, go to Almost 36 Weeks Pregnant

Dear Mothers,

I am 36 weeks, 3 days pregnant. When I think about my pregnancy, I often say that we are hard on mothers (and future mothers). It’s as if we are responsible for our own ailments.

I think many of our ailments are unexplainable. In this sense, it’s easy to do psychology on the cheap…especially when someone wants to help you…but there are still no therapeutic solutions.

Whether you have contractions, constantly vomit, are overly emotional, or if you are fine, there are many ways to interpret the situation. Either they will say you are too protective or you don’t want your pregnancy. You have problems/are too stressed and are creating your own contractions (which place the baby in danger…so it’s a serious insinuation).

Photo - Femme enceinte journal intime de Charlotte

Or you are imagining everything, or you are exaggerating, or you are looking for sympathy…or the classic “well, pregnant women are always emotional…!”

Of course, it’s not the case for everyone. There are very friendly, honest people (like Marie!) who will simply tell you that they don’t know what to do.

This was the case with a psychologist I saw at the hospital. She has seen many anxious pregnant women who have had the most perfect pregnancies! And others, who are more relaxed but going through hell. 

I think these on the cheap reactions are harmful. First, they aren’t scientifically based. The only thing that seems clear is that hormones have a different effect on each woman. 

For example, hyperemesis, if I understand it correctly, has a more significant impact on women who have had severe acephalgic migraines. For contractions, the only thing that seems clear is that women who live in severe poverty or squalor are more likely to give birth prematurely. 

Then, because these comments…are very directed yet no more founded than other types of more encouraging comments. This characteristic makes them not only “unscientific”, but also “untrivial.” And very common…

Finally, because you are already making serious efforts to support everything, and it’s devastating to be blamed for it…

I often say the hardest thing about having a child…is other people. Not everyone. Thank goodness. Pregnancy is a time to start being selective in the types of comments we accept. You can develop this skill, and it will be extremely useful in the future! 

As for psychological support, should you avoid it? I don’t think so, but it has to be done in the right way. What a mother feels is the absolute need to protect her child and to make sure they grow properly. Don’t let anyone tell you differently. Even if you are fed up with your pregnancy! It changes nothing. Your feelings won’t change your actions to protect your baby. You make sacrifices for them, which means you are already a mother.  

So I think that psychological support can be beneficial, but not to find your hidden defects. Instead, it should be used to help you deal with life’s complexities. Luckily, most psychologists already understand this. 

For some, we also have to manage exacerbated emotions and/or the difficulty/inability to accept daily nuisances (for me, administrative craziness) that sudden consume all our energy. 

I am lucky that my husband trusts me. He never mocks my feelings or tries to explain something he doesn’t know, on the cheap. This is dear to me. And he also compliments me.

Men, you have a significant role to play in pregnancy – you need to trust and support. 

To my baby,

I love you, and I hope with all my heart that you will be born when you are ready, and everything goes well. This is my dearest hope.

Over the past several weeks, I have often been fed up and wanted just to give birth! Especially when I have pain and am exhausted, sleepless nights. But deep inside, I know that what counts most is that you keep warm until the right time. I am doing everything I can to ensure this.

I want you to know that if I cry, suffer, it’s not your fault. Life is like that.

You only bring me joy, and I love you. 

Here are a few ideas about how to get support during your pregnancy:

  • Hang out with those close to you who make you smile (pick and choose! Not everyone can react subtly).
  • See a friendly, smart psychologist.
  • Find a midwife or pediatric nurse to talk with, and meet with many! Someone uncomplicated, reassuring, who doesn’t make useless interprétations. 
  • Get out of your routine – swim, listen to music, take a bath, walk in nature.
  • Laugh (watch something that makes you laugh during difficult nights).
  • Read a good book about communicating.

 

To continue reading, go to I Passed 37 Weeks

Charlotte

The opinions in this article are the author’s alone.

Photo - Avatar de Charlotte, maman collaboratrice au journal d'une maman

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