|Ever since you learned that your baby was on its way, you started paying particular attention to a lot of aspects of your daily life and maybe you have implemented some changes: you’ve been eating healthier, you exercise most days, avoid alcohol, go to doctor’s appointments, and prepare the baby’s room. But have you been keeping tabs on your psychological well-being? Beyond avoiding excessive stress, checking on your emotions and inner life is just as important as all the other preparations you’ve been doing throughout your pregnancy.
We hear a lot that “a happy mom makes a happy baby” and, although that’s true, sometimes it can be misinterpreted as an obligation to being perpetually happy or as a motto that prohibits or condemns some of the less-bubbly feelings and thoughts you may be having. We know that being pregnant and becoming a mother are major life transitions that naturally rise many complex feelings in a woman. This can range from concerns about parenting, fears related to the identity shift, anxiety about your finances or professional trajectory, nostalgia regarding other periods of your life, etc. You should never feel ashamed for having human feelings. On the contrary, recognizing your experience and being willing to work through your emotions is a brave thing to do, and can make you grow in ways that will foster your baby’s emotional well-being in the future.
If you’re having trouble, reaching out to your family and loved ones or talking with your doctor and asking for a therapist referral can be very helpful. Psychotherapy can be a judgment-free space to talk about some feelings around motherhood that might be difficult for you to talk about because, although normal, they might still be taboo in our society.
You’re at your obstetrician’s office when you get the surprise of a lifetime: you hear not one, but two (or