Counseling For Women Struggling With Infertility

Motherhood is a milestone in life that women look forward to in general. However, some women struggle with infertility. There is still so much stigma surrounding this condition. Because of this stigma, women suffer from emotional pain and trauma. 

If you are going through this difficult situation, know that you are not alone. Seeking professional counseling is one way to cope with this condition. 

Infertility Among Women

Infertility is a medical condition that affects both men and women. But women suffer from the stigma of infertility more than men. Women are more vulnerable to suffer trauma, depression, low self-esteem, and anxiety due to infertility.

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A woman is infertile when she and her partner have been unsuccessful in their attempts to conceive for a year or more. Many factors affect infertility among women, such as:

  • PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome)
  • Ovulation issues
  • Implantation issues
  • Endometriosis

Infertility can cause serious emotional damage to women who want to have children. If their efforts for the past year have been unsuccessful, it’s normal to feel disappointed and blame themselves. However, infertility is not anyone’s fault. It’s a serious reproductive condition that affects 1 out of every 6 couples.

Medical Solutions 

Since infertility is a medical condition, your physician can make some treatment suggestions. Your physician might prescribe you certain medications. They might suggest that you undergo several medical procedures. You may also be asked to follow strict health protocols. They will base this on your medical history and whether you have any current conditions. 

However, these solutions are not cheap. Fertility pills, artificial insemination, and other treatments can break the bank. Because there are other factors at play, these treatments also cannot guarantee to improve your fertility. 

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Even couples who get tested for infertility can pass a medical test and still not conceive for more than a year. Extreme stress and anxiety with the expectations to conceive can also affect fertility.

If your stress and anxiety build-up, your physician might refer you to a mental health professional to properly assess the other factors affecting fertility.

Mental Health Issues

You may need to seek a professional who has a background in infertility counseling and regularly deals with women’s reproductive issues. It can be beneficial to seek their advice to learn how to cope with the distress and trauma of infertility. Your infertility is negatively affecting your life if you have the following:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Irregular or lack of sleep
  • Loss of interest in your usual hobbies
  • Suicidal thoughts

Many problems that women face with infertility are due to the narrative of building a family. Society expects women to be homemakers and child-bearers.

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Women often carry this expectation throughout their lives. Finding out that they are infertile brings about feelings of shame and guilt. 

Infertility can also cause stress and tension in a relationship. When there are expectations for the woman to conceive, it can cause misunderstandings. The man might pin all the blame on the woman. Both might even have different opinions on how to treat infertility.

It does not help that some people place a lot of value on having children. They can be nosy about family affairs, which puts unnecessary pressure on the relationship. The inability to conceive, in turn, can feel like an invisible loss.

When To Seek Counseling For Your Infertility

There are many challenges to face when trying to overcome anxiety and depression caused by infertility. It can cause stress for both you and your partner, and it could be hard to make a compromise.

You may have discussed possible medical solutions with your doctor. When your depression takes control of your life and your relationship, it’s time to seek professional help. An infertility counselor can give you sound suggestions and advice. This way, you can address your concerns and decide when to take the next step.  

How Counseling Is Beneficial 

It is much harder to deal with grief without anyone to talk to. Having a counselor helps you feel that you are not alone. These professionals will give you a safe space to communicate your issues and concerns effectively. Letting out the feelings and thoughts that you have helps manage your stress and anxiety.

Fertility issues cause not only physical and emotional stress. This condition can also drain you financially. Your infertility counselor can help you decide where to go next. Some couples may consider adoption, or some may not. Some may opt to continue medical treatment for infertility, and some may not.

It all depends on what the couple wants. What’s important is to make a decision that you and your partner will both be happy about. 

A counselor might mention that your feelings of guilt may stem from social norms, such as expecting a woman to conceive a child. You may have grown up with this belief throughout your life and have set the ability to bear and rear children as the basis of your identity. 

Not meeting this expectation might make you feel defective and incapable. You may feel like you have lost the opportunity to nurture and care for a child. You may think that you will never measure up to your mother. These thoughts and feelings are intrusive and can consume you. Your counselor can help you understand that your medical condition does not define you. Your counselor will help you realize that your value and worth as a woman do not come from motherhood alone.

Seek A Counselor 

When you plan to achieve a milestone in life, it is important to assess your expectations. Having children is a huge commitment, and many people center their lives around that future. 

To love and care for another person more than yourself is a gift. However, sometimes things do not always go our way. We have no control over the future. We need to learn how to be content with ourselves.

Seeking advice from an infertility counselor is the best decision you can make for yourself and your partner. Coupled with medical health, your counselor can help you choose a healthy way to cope with fertility issues. This way, you can come to terms with your condition. You are a step closer to healing, forgiving yourself, and living worry-free.

Common Pregnancy Problems And How Counseling Can Help Expecting Mothers To Cope

Being pregnant is an exciting moment in a woman’s life. A mother enjoys a special bond with the baby before even seeing it. She gets to experience the delight of taking care of her child and feels it slowly growing inside her belly.

However, there are many problems that an expecting mother can face during her pregnancy. These problems can cause her emotional, physical, and mental stress, which can cause complications. These problems can affect not only her but the child inside of her. 

Here are some of the common pregnancy problems and how counseling can help expectant mothers to cope. 

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Increased Stress Levels

Pregnancy brings a significant change into any woman’s life. It also warrants a different level of stress. First-time mothers can become more stressed as they might feel unprepared for a new chapter of their life. Unwanted and unplanned pregnancies can also be stressful for expecting mothers. 

Many other factors can increase the stress that expecting mothers experience. One of these is the environment where they are. Single parenthood can be more trying for the mother because she has to tend to her baby all by herself. Relationship problems within the family can also lead to stress.

Stress can affect not only the mother but also the baby’s health and overall well-being. Here are things that expecting mothers may experience if they fail to cope well with stress:

  • Sleeping problems
  • Headaches
  • Eating problems
  • Losing or gaining weight
  • Difficulty in calming down
  • Increased irritability
  • Mood swings

It’s crucial for expecting mothers to watch out for their mental health because this also involves the child. The babies can also feel what they feel. More so, stress can increase the risk of problems that may affect the baby’s physical and mental development.

To combat the effects of stress, expecting mothers can talk to professional counselors. They can help mothers to have healthy coping skills that they can use every day throughout their pregnancy. Talking with someone about what you’re going through is an effective way of managing stress. 

Anxiety

It’s natural for pregnant women to feel some sense of worry throughout their pregnancy. You might be new to everything and may feel lost sometimes. The sudden change in hormones can also be a factor in why a pregnant woman might have anxiety.

However, if your worries already affect your daily activities, then you might have anxiety. Some symptoms of anxiety include:

  • Constant feeling of anxiousness
  • Difficulty to concentrate
  • Feeling agitated and irritated
  • Having tensed muscles
  • Sleeping problems

Sometimes, anxiety problems can lead to panic attacks. These attacks start suddenly, and the symptoms can manifest physically. This makes the experience much worse. A common symptom of a panic attack is having difficulty breathing or pacing back and forth.

Finding support is a helpful way to fight anxiety. You can reach out to your doctor or a therapist if you feel that your anxiety is getting the best out of you. These professionals can give you the proper medication you need. They might also refer you to a counselor who can help you with these problems.

Pregnancy Loss

The worst-case scenario is a miscarriage, which can happen if pregnancy stress is not monitored well. Losing a child is always a painful experience. Statistics show that miscarriages occur in 15% of known pregnancies. However, many people tend not to talk about miscarriages. In turn, parents who experience this might feel like they are alone and unsupported.

When a couple or a mother finally knows that they’re expecting a baby, they can’t help but imagine the future. Almost instantly, they’ll begin planning everything, from their baby’s crib down to their baby’s name. But when a miscarriage happens, these plans immediately come crashing down. The parents suddenly have to make room to grieve for their loss.

Couples or expecting mothers who experienced the miscarriage grieve the future will forever be a ‘what if.’ In the process of grief, couples may blame themselves or each other. They might feel that they could have prevented it but weren’t able to do so. These mixed feelings and thoughts can lead most couples to break up.

Healing from a miscarriage is possible, but it takes time. Talking with a professional can help mothers to overcome grief and move forward with their lives. People who experienced miscarriage need to feel that they’re not alone in whatever they’re going through. 

A counselor can engage couples or mothers with activities that can help them accept what happened in their lives. The goal of these sessions is to teach them healthier coping mechanisms for them to feel better. With these, the couples or the single mom can have a better, healthier mindset. This will help them get through this obstacle in their life. 

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Postpartum Depression 

Another common problem that mothers face is postpartum depression. Research shows that about 15% of first-time mothers experienced this condition. Many people tend to take this lightly, but it’s a severe problem. This condition is often referred to as “baby blues,” but they are entirely different in severity. 

Postpartum depression can cause mothers to experience severe mood swings and exhaustion. They also feel a constant sense of hopelessness. These feelings can ultimately affect the mother’s ability to take care of herself and her child. When left untreated, the condition can become worse over time. 

The symptoms of postpartum depression may differ for each person. The common symptoms of postpartum depression are the following:

  • Feeling of exhaustion but can’t sleep
  • Loss of appetite or eating too much
  • Extreme mood swings
  • Flooding of different kinds of indescribable emotions
  • You feel overwhelmed and hopeless
  • Loss of interest in previously enjoyable things
  • Can’t concentrate or make decisions
  • Intrusive thoughts about hurting yourself or your baby

These symptoms may appear within a few weeks after childbirth or sometimes even after a few months. See your doctor as soon as possible if you feel symptoms of postpartum depression.

Mental health professionals like psychologists and psychiatrists can head therapy sessions and help mothers overcome postpartum depression. In these sessions, mothers are taught different strategies for preventing harmful thoughts.

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Takeaway

Pregnancy is a crucial moment for mother and child. Throughout the nine months, extensive care and attention must be given to them. As inevitable as pregnancy problems are, there is always help available for women going through it.

In times like this, reaching out to a counselor is helpful to maintain your sanity and mental well-being. Going to counseling sessions is one of the healthiest ways for an expecting mother to cope with the changes that she’s experiencing in her life.

Frequently Asked Questions About Signs And Symptoms Of Postpartum Depression

Giving birth is a gift. It is one of the most fascinating things in life. However, there are rarely talks about the reality of pregnancy. A lot are focusing on giving pregnancy tips, how to have a healthy pregnancy, maintain physical health, etc. But it is also important to talk about the mental health of pregnant mothers.

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Some women may feel anxious and stressed with the uncertainty and sensitivity of the nine-month-long pregnancy. It is common for expecting mothers to feel pressure about parenthood and assuring their child’s good health.

Apart from this, soon-to-be mothers face huge changes in their lives. The changes include their relationships and their priorities. Lifestyles need modifications, women’s role in their social relationships change. Some women stop working, while some couple’s dynamics change. These changes can be overwhelming and hard to navigate.

It is estimated that 1 in 5 women develop mental health problems during and after pregnancy. In every 100 pregnant women, there are about 10-15 of them who experience depression and anxiety. These conditions can happen to anyone, but there is an added layer of complexity in the case of pregnancy. 

Among the common diagnosed mental health issues associated with pregnancy are postpartum depression, baby blues, postpartum psychosis.  But, as a disclaimer, just because it’s unique doesn’t mean it can’t be cured.

To pave the way for appropriate management, we must first attempt to understand the various mental health problems in pregnancy.  

Postpartum means after birth and depression is when a person experiences extreme sadness in an overwhelming amount of frequency. Postpartum happens throughout the first year after giving birth. Some symptoms include immense feelings of despair, sadness, and irritability.

This is different and more extreme than baby blues, a more common condition of sudden mood swings immediately after birth. Postpartum can lead to serious consequences if not treated properly and early on.

What are some of the signs and symptoms of postpartum depression? How do you differentiate it from baby blues? Mood swings, feeling out of control, feelings of unworthiness, losing motivation, and everything that seems to be overwhelming, to name a few. It can also manifest in physical symptoms, such as frequent crying, exhaustion, and difficulty sleeping.

If you are interested to know more, check our FAQs below.

What are the causes of postpartum?

Although there are no specific causes for postpartum depression, there are a few physical and emotional reasons that can cause this issue among new mothers—first, the lack of sleep.

Sleep deprivation can cause many emotional and physical issues, and it can also impair your cognitive functions, which is why you must get enough sleep. Next are hormones; the body can drop your estrogen and progesterone levels greatly once you give birth, which can play a role in feeling postpartum depression.

Other causes can be anxiety and self-image, which are both more psychological and emotional.

What is the postpartum period, and how long does it last?

The postpartum period can be categorized into three unique stages. The first stage is the initial or acute phase, usually around six to twelve hours after giving birth to your child. The next stage is called the postpartum period, which can last anywhere around two to six weeks. Lastly, the delayed postpartum period. This stage can last up to 6 months.

How can you prevent postpartum?

The truth is, there is no proven way to prevent postpartum depression. However, there are several ways that you can reduce your risk of developing postpartum depression and protect yourself.

The first thing is to educate yourself. Ensure that you learn and understand things before it even happens to know how to handle things healthily. Make sure that you get enough sleep and that you are eating well. It is also important that you squeeze in a few minutes of exercise to help elevate your moods. Make sure you take care of yourself as well.

How bad is postpartum?

This type of depression can be stronger, and it can also last longer. Based on statistics, postpartum depression can happen after 15% of births for new moms and even moms who have given birth before. It can cause many different problems emotionally, such as severe mood swings, exhaustion, and even a feeling of hopelessness.

This can make it difficult to take care of a baby, and there are cases where it can even lead to the child’s death. So, it is important to make sure that you take care of yourself while taking care of the baby.

What should you not do after giving birth?

You can find many different things about what to do before giving birth, but not much is found about what not to do after giving birth. Since your body has just gone through an extreme experience, it is important to take care of it afterward.

Do not ignore any signs of discomfort. Go straight to your doctor. Make sure that you do not deprive yourself of care or help. Your priority is yourself, so you can take care of your baby.

How do I stay intimate after having a baby?

For many women, sex drives can return after one to three months. So unless your doctor advises you against it, you can go back to getting into it when you feel ready. Make sure that you talk to your partner, and you both know what is going on.

Communication will always be key in any relationship, so you have to talk about it no matter what it is. Sex can change after giving birth, but it is important to talk and figure out what both of you want to happen.

Why does Lochia smell so bad?

The lochia consists of many different things, such as blood, bacteria, urine, and mucus. This is the first stage after giving birth, so do not be alarmed if you feel like you have changes in your vagina. It can have a stale odor like menstrual discharge.

So you have to stay calm and make sure that you ask your doctor what is best to do to give yourself relief. Do not be ashamed to ask for help from your doctor when you need help.

How do you know when Lochia is finished?

The lochia should stop around four to six weeks after giving birth, but it can also be earlier, depending on your body and pregnancy. When it is almost over, when the discharge is mostly white blood cells, you will know which helped your uterus heal after you have given birth. This usually happens during the final stages, which is referred to as the lochia alba.

How can my tummy become flat after delivery? 

Belly fat is normal, especially after giving birth, but if you want to have a flat tummy even after delivery well, the best thing to do is exercise. Getting the exercise you need and eating healthy can help you get back to your pre-pregnancy weight and body after only a few months. Make sure that you are taking good care of your body before, during, and after the pregnancy.

What are the three different types of Lochia?

Lochia is normal for any woman who has recently given birth. The lochia goes through three different stages. There are three types of lochia with different stages happening at different times.

For type 1, we start with Rubra, then serosa, and finally alba. Type 2 is rubra followed by serosa and then alba sequenced with prolonged rubra phase and finally short serosa and rubra phases. Type 3 is rubra then serosa or alba then rubra again and serosa/alba sequence again but this time with equal duration.

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How soon can you take a bath after having a baby?

Make sure that you do not take a bath after three days of giving birth. Also, make sure that you do not use any essential oils or bubble baths. You can always take a shower to soothe your breasts if needed, but you have to refrain from bathing for at least three days after delivery.

Is it normal for Lochia to turn red again?

Lochia can last up to six weeks or even longer. You do not have to worry, as this is also normal. If your lochia turns back into a darker red shade, then it might be a sign that you need to take a step back and slow down a bit.

However, if you still experience spotting after a few days of relaxation, you need to consult with your doctor or your midwife. You mustn’t ignore these things because this may cause you a lot of harm if you let them slide.

Why do I have white discharge after giving birth?

This white discharge can be the final stage of lochia, which is lochia alba. This usually is a yellowish-white color. This discharge can last up to 6 weeks after birth. It will contain many fewer red blood cells because these are usually the white blood cells that have helped your body heal after the delivery.

How do you pee after giving birth?

You must pee at regular times throughout the day. However, if peeing becomes difficult for you or starts to sting, what you could do is pour warm water over your perineum, or you could also try to pee while in the shower. This will hopefully help soothe the pain and make it easier to pee.

Why do you have to wait 40 days after giving birth?

After you give birth and after your placenta comes out, you have to wait at least three weeks so that you give your body enough time to heal. What happens in your body is your blood cells will naturally close up the wounds that have been left by the placenta.

They do by blood clotting, and your vessels will eventually shrink, but again, this process can take a lot of time, so be patient and let your body heal.

Conclusion

In this article, we learned that pregnancy could also be extremely complex, as beautiful as it is. It is a process where two lives are at stake, both of the baby and the mother. However, as we found out, pregnancy goes way beyond that. As a new life starts, the mother also enters a new life.

These changes can bring forth discomfort and unsettling feelings, not just physically but psychologically as well. With this, expecting mothers can also experience mental health problems, such as anxiety and depression. Although pregnancy makes it more difficult to deal with, these mental health issues are not impossible to cure or handle.

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Specifically, we talked about some of the most pressing questions about postpartum depression. We lightly discussed how postpartum progress, the signs and symptoms, risk factors,  and how to prevent it. We mentioned how women could remain active, not just physically but also in other aspects, like intimacy. Some of these aspects being the source of mental instability among mothers.

Apart from that, we just touched on a few other questions about postpartum conditions. We talked about lochia, do’s and don’ts after giving birth, like taking a bath, peeing, discharge, etc.

In the general sense, we found out that postpartum can be non-salient as the common baby blues. Postpartum depression can be feelings of unsettledness, anxiety, extreme sadness, and irritability. These symptoms are common postpartum. But it may be more serious if it occurs at intense levels on most days.

Postpartum is a progressive condition if not appropriately attended to. It can affect a woman’s normal functioning, and it can even put the baby’s life in danger.

Although there are still no identified direct causes for postpartum depression, there are ways for prevention. Many of these tips circle on maintaining good physical and mental health, like getting enough sleep, physical exercise, and a balanced diet.

After birth, we also learned that women must also continue to take care of themselves. Women should be knowledgeable and should have strong support to cope with life’s changes after birth.

Frequently Asked Questions On Anxiety Tips And Techniques

 

 

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Anxiety is defined as a mental health illness that causes feelings of tension, fear, and apprehension. For some individuals, anxiety can also lead to panic attacks and severe physical symptoms, such as chest pain.

Anxiety disorders are tremendously common. They affect approximately 40 million individuals in America. This was a confirmed report from the Anxiety and Depression Association of America.

The causes of anxiety as well as anxiety disorders can be complex. It is most probably a blend of factors, which include environmental and genetic. However, there is strong evidence that some emotions, experiences, or situations may trigger the onset of anxiety symptoms or worsen them. These are referred to as triggers.

These anxiety triggers can vary for each individual, although a number of triggers are prevalent among individuals with these conditions. Others find that they have many triggers, but for some, anxiety episodes can emerge even though the person has nothing to worry about at all.

 

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Below are frequently asked questions and their corresponding answers about tips and techniques for relieving anxiety.

  

What is the 54321 method?

Among the most popular grounding strategies is the 54321 strategy. It begins with some deep breathing, where the person breathes in for five seconds, holds that breath for another five seconds, and then breathes out for five seconds. He then repeats this pattern until he realizes that his thoughts are slowing down and he is relaxing.

 

How can I kill anxiety naturally?

Staying active through physical exercises is one of the most effective ways of reducing anxiety naturally. It would help if you stopped smoking and drinking too much alcohol and caffeine. It would also help a lot if you eat a balanced diet and get as much as eight to ten hours of sleep daily. Finally, practice some meditation and deep breathing exercises.

 

What are some good coping techniques?

Positive coping techniques for stress and anxiety include:

  • Avoiding alcohol and drugs
  • Taking care of yourself by exercising, getting sufficient sleep, and eating healthy meals
  • Taking a break from your busy routine and spending quality time with family and friends
  • Acknowledging when more help is needed
  • Talking and sharing your problems with others

 

What is the 333 rule for anxiety?

A great way to learn how to be more ‘present’ is to use the ‘333’ rule. When you experience an anxiety attack, look around and try naming three things that you see around you, three things you hear within your surroundings, and finally, try moving three parts of your body.

 

Can drinking more water help anxiety?  

Water has been found to possess natural relaxing properties, most probably because the effects of dehydration on the brain and body have been addressed. Drinking sufficient amounts of water is a vital step in dealing with your anxiety. Even if you don’t feel anxious, drinking water does produce relaxation.

 

How do I train my brain to stop anxiety?

You can train your brain to get rid of your anxiety by first being aware of your anxiety. You have to focus because this determines reality. When you’ve done that, designate a timeframe for when you can allow yourself to worry. Postponing is one of the best methods of managing anxiety, and it is the best method of achieving it. Finally, you can try challenging your anxious and negative thoughts.

 

What to drink to calm nerves?

Some favorite drinks that help calm anxiety include green tea, kava tea, warm milk, peppermint tea, fresh fruit and vegetable tea, and valerian root tea.

 

Can you rewire your brain from anxiety?  

Current studies have found that the brain can be rewired by way of neuroplasticity. This means that you can delete the negative brain synapses to improve or get rid of anxiety.

 

Can anxiety go away for good?  

The first form of anxiety will disappear by itself. The second one may not. Most individuals diagnosed with anxiety never completely get rid of their anxiety. But they can learn to manage their feelings and tremendously decrease their anxiety level by going into therapy and taking medications if necessary.

 

How do I stop overthinking anxiety?

Simple steps you can try to help stop overthinking about anxiety include:

  • Start by being aware of the situation or the feeling.
  • Do not keep thinking about what could go wrong but instead think about what could go right.
  • Create positive distractions that make you happy.
  • Nobody’s perfect, so stop being a perfectionist.
  • Change your perception of fear.

 

Which exercise is good for anxiety?

Experts suggest that consistent engagement in aerobic exercises has been proven to reduce overall tension levels, improve sleep quality, enhance self-confidence, and stabilize mood. Examples of aerobic exercises include swimming, dancing, brisk walking, and running.

 

How do you relax your mind?  

Relaxing your mind can be achieved through these simple ways:

  • Do deep breathing exercises.
  • Listen to calming music.
  • Have a warm bath in the tub.
  • Try mindful meditation, as its goal is to concentrate on being in the present moment.
  • Express your feelings through writing.

 

Why do people get anxious?

Anxiety can result from a range of factors – genetics, stress, environmental causes, traumatic experiences, or brain chemistry. Severe anxiety may also result from a buildup of smaller stressful events like workplace issues, death of a loved one, or financial problems.

 

What is the root cause of overthinking?

Overthinking is not uncommon and may result from self-confidence issues, worries about making the same mistakes related to negative past experiences, or anxiety. Overthinking makes it difficult to achieve happiness and can affect sleep patterns and emotional regulation.

 

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Finding Help

If you are concerned that you are often too worried or suspect that you are developing an anxiety disorder, it is most likely that you need to find help. Identify the anxiety is frequently hard, as the symptoms gradually become more common as time goes by. Occasional anxiety is also typical, although chronic feelings of fear, despair, and worry aren’t. They are indications that you may require professional help.

During the consult, begin the discussion by talking with your physician. He will do a physical examination, perform a health history, and explain your symptoms. He does this to rule out any potential physical problems that might be causing the problems.

From there, the physician may opt first to treat you with medications. He may also forward you to a specialist – a psychiatrist or psychologist. These professionals can administer a combination of medication and talk therapy to help you manage your anxiety and prevent anxiety triggers.

 

 

 

Why Infertility Issues Are Causing A Mental Health Pressure

Understandably, the essence of being a woman is to give birth. But what if she does not want to bear one? Will that mean a woman will not be qualified to become a better person just because she doesn’t desire to have a child? Does her decision in life validate her actions and support the incapability of becoming a mother? Is she not allowed to become the best of herself just because society believes that her primary purpose in life is to grow a kid inside of her uterus? Well, I bet a lot of people will agree with me that these ideologies are way too stupid. That is because there are many reasons why some women can’t have babies, and one of that is infertility issues.

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It Is Not That They Don’t Want It

Some women are infertile, and that is a fact. They can’t have a baby not because they do not want to, but because they can’t. Apparently, it is not their fault that something is wrong with their baby-processing organs. There are too many aspects that can impact their ability to have one. For instance, there is stress, chronic health issues, psychological problems, physical inabilities, etc. Thus, to assume that a woman who does not have a kid automatically denies having one is entirely insulting. Other people’s assumption towards these women’s “supposed” loss is below the belt. It causes different anxiety and depression levels because it gets supported by humiliation, insults, and judgment. Thus, it is essential to understand that these infertile women’s inability to bear a child often does not connect with their desire of not wanting kids. Instead, it has something to do with their ovulation difficulty, irregular hormonal balance, and reproductive malfunction.

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It Is Never Society’s Concern

Infertility is now becoming a big deal for a lot of women because society somehow makes it look like a complete issue. People think that when a woman can’t bear a child, she does not have a sense of purpose anymore. It creates a mental and emotional pressure for a woman who only wants to enjoy life the way she wants. But since society has a lot of something to say about these women, living happily becomes impossible. It is as if these infertile women always need to explain themselves to everyone and convince people thoroughly that life is equally okay for them, even without a child on their side. To be honest, it is never society’s concern whether some women want to bear a child or not, or at least if they can or cannot. Society should not mark what women should and shouldn’t choose to do because it only results in negative assumptions. It may result in these women becoming mentally and emotionally ill, which can strain and affect their relationships with others.

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It Is Their Choice For Christ’s Sake

Yes, some women may desire to have a lot of children because they are capable of popping these babies out. So whether they want to have three, four, five, or ten, it does not matter. It is their life, and they understand the consequences of their actions. But for those physically, mentally, and emotionally fit but still consider not wanting to have a baby, people better leave them alone. It is not a serious violation not to want children. And as long as abortion is out of the picture, every woman who does not want to have kids have the right to choose what they think is best for them. We do not know what their life struggles are, and we can’t force them to embrace the idea of motherhood. That is especially if they somehow experience a traumatic life event that made them close doors towards pregnancy. Overall, it is their body’s condition that they will probably have to deal with for the rest of their lives. Thus, we need to back off.

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The Dogma

We need to remember that most infertility issues can be overcome with proper medication, treatments, and surgical operations. In fact, corrective measures can promise a lot of women with a high chance of hope of becoming a mother. It is vital to note that though others see infertility as a legal basis and social role for disability, it is not everyone’s concern. Therefore, at any cost, people should not contribute to the emotional and mental struggle of these infertile women.

Humanity has gone through many things, and technology and education played a role in their evolution. In this present era, women are considered more than just the purpose of baby-popping-individuals. They are what we all know as the voice of hope, peace, and unity. To undermine each of them just because they can’t bear a child is disrespectful and entirely immature. Let us all be mindful and wholeheartedly understand that every woman fights her own physical, emotional, and mental battles. Everyone needs more sympathy rather than criticism.

Infertility Affects My Marriage And Family

It has been six years since my husband and I got married. I can say that we are happy and contented with our lives right now. We have a wonderful house, we both have permanent jobs, and we have a lot of social connection. However, despite those positive things we are thankful for, we still lack something that every married couple wishes to have – children. When we think about it, it makes us both mentally and emotionally unstable.

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Dealing With The Struggle

The reason why my husband and I do not have children is because of my damaged fallopian tubes. I got diagnosed with pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). Unfortunately, the condition already damaged the fallopian tubes severely. It left a scared tissue that seems very complicated to remove. The doctor said while we need to stay positive, we also have to prepare ourselves to accept that we might not have kids anymore. Honestly, that statement can bring any woman into a meltdown. And just like any other woman with the same condition, it led me to anxiety and depression.

The doctor explained that the PID was caused by an infection from getting something like chlamydia and gonorrhea. However, it is not limited to sexually transmitted diseases. There are cases when normal bacteria in the vagina travel into a woman’s reproductive organs, where it eventually causes the disease. The doctor asked me questions if ever I experienced anything unusual with my physical health. Honestly, there is none. I told the medical expert that I was not able to experience any signs and symptoms of PID. Apparently, it is common for some women to be asymptomatic. Nevertheless, I am not happy with that.

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 So since I was not aware of my condition back then, I did not even consider consulting a doctor. Little did I know that the infection grew every day. And for the last couple of years, it became something that I want to get rid of today. I get that it is no one’s fault. But sadly, I can’t help but blame myself for not taking extra care of my reproductive health.

Relationship Issues

For my husband, it is pretty much not a big deal. But for both sides of our family, it seemed like it was everything. Honestly, I cannot blame them at all. After marriage, they were expecting us to deliver the news of pregnancy. But after a couple of years, we are still silent on our progress while other family members are pretty much on constant reproduction. I may sound a little bitter here. But I could not contain the emotional torture this infertility has caused me. It sucks because it felt like it has become the reason for our family’s poorly chosen treatment and relationship towards us.

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I may tell everyone that I am not affected, but that is a lie. The truth is, everything about this infertility issue is killing me inside. I feel like there is no hope for me. And every time nature tends to add years to my life, I become more depressed and obsessed about having a baby. Sometimes, with all the mental illness acting up, I somehow wished just to disappear. People keep asking me when I am going to have a kid of my own. In weird moments, they think that popping babies out of a vagina is somewhat a contest. That the more a woman can deliver, the more she is capable of becoming a mother. I mean, seriously?

I understand how both our families feel about our infertility situation. But I also recognize that not all of them are genuinely concern about us. Some of their presence only wanted us to feel sorry about ourselves because we can’t form life instantly. Some criticized our capabilities, while others believed it was a curse. Honestly, as much as I tell them, “I don’t care,” it still hurts. All the pressure these people are putting me and my husband is something we know we don’t deserve. It is not what we need right now and nor will we need ever. If they genuinely cared for us, they would not make us feel hopeless and unworthy.

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Feelings And Thoughts

I know the challenges are not easy. And with all the mental and emotional pressure that other people contribute to our health, our struggle will not always be the same. There is no guarantee as to where my husband and I can have a baby. But if ever, we hope to live peacefully together even without one. It is a sad realization, but I don’t look forward to it. Of course, I would still want to have a family of my own and raise children. But right now, all I can do is pray to God that one day He will answer.

 

 

Helpful Tips For Pregnant Women Amid COVID-19

Instead of the usual pregnancy panic, expecting mothers experience a heightened pregnancy problem – a pandemic. If pregnancy weren’t stressful enough, pregnant women are worried about the effects of COVID-19 on their pregnancy.

Their questions lie in line with whether I have a healthy pregnancy, where I can give birth if not in the hospital, and how I can ensure my baby’s health. This worry and anxiety are not helping anybody. It is taking an emotional and mental toll on our pregnant mothers in a time supposedly for celebration and joy.

We can still do our best to have a healthy pregnancy. Robyn Horsager-Boehrer, M.D. gave a powerful reassurance to the worrying expectant mothers during this time. “It’s normal to have fears and questions in uncertain times, and we are here to support you,” she says.

Eat Good Food

Junk food and comfort food may help us soothe the stresses but keep introducing healthy food to your diet. Sneak in a few sweets, but don’t forget to eat your leafy greens, proteins, vitamins, and minerals to your daily meals.

Practice Mindfulness

Since stress comes from this feeling of helplessness or restlessness, pregnant women should find recreation in mindfulness activities. Practicing yoga, meditation, or other forms of exercise helps.

A simple breathing exercise expectant mothers can perform is the 4-7-8 rule. They will inhale for four seconds. Then, hold the breath for seven seconds. Finally, exhale for eight seconds. Mindful breathing can help us get a sense of control even if it is our breathing, and later on, it will help us keep calm.

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Good Sleep

During these times, pregnant moms need to rest more than ever. Make sure to get peaceful sleep around seven to eight hours each day. To get enough sleep, try going to bed at a consistent time every day. Keep away from caffeinated beverages a couple of hours before bedtime, and stay away from social media or news. Doctors advise you to shut off your devices at least two hours before bed.

Skip The Baby Shower

We need to skip the baby shower or any social gathering, which will jeopardize social distancing. As an expecting mom, friends, and family will understand that it isn’t a priority. If you wish to push for a baby shower, creative ways to hold one is through an online party.

Telehealthcare

Obstetricians and midwives apply a similar strategy in sticking to regular check-ups. They use digital tools and technology to get in touch with patients and clients, which is the best next thing we can all do right now to avoid human contact.

A simple call or video conference can help mothers connect with their health practitioner. This simple conversation can ease a lot on a mother’s worried mind.

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Pregnancy Plan

The uncertainty of the situation is challenging to deal with already. But, creating a pregnancy plan is also one of the ways to help. It enables pregnant women to gain a sense of control over the situation. Moms and partners should prepare who to call when it’s time.

Aside from readying the hospital bag, they should already know where to have the pregnancy and who will accompany mom. By having a plan, predictability is low, but it helps lay out a path to follow.

They should assess whether they want to carry out a home birth or have the baby in the hospital. Some parents fear contracting the virus in the hospital, given the sheer number of patients, but hospital protocols ensure the safety of other patients. 

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Relationship With Your Health Professional

Partners should build a healthy relationship with a supportive midwife or obstetrician. As doctors and nurses mostly handle COVID cases, they are the ones to focus their attention on your childbirth. Find a supportive birthing specialist, and don’t be afraid to ask them questions. 

Pregnant women face extra emotional and mental stressors during this pandemic. To keep the mother and baby’s health in check, we must practice basic social distancing protocols. Among other tips that can help alleviate this stress on an expectant mom’s shoulders are taking care of their bodies. Healthy food and enough sleep can shoo away restless nights. 

Meanwhile, mindfulness and a pregnancy plan consulted with your health provider will help you get that control you need. Things may be uncertain, but what we do to cope is still within our capabilities. To all expectant moms out there, we hope these tips helped you. You’ll do great!

Managing Postpartum Depression Amid COVID-19

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According to research, 1 out of 5 in women are undergoing postpartum depression. This condition does affect not only the mother herself but also the mental health of their children and their partners.

With a global pandemic happening now, this number is expected to rise in a significant manner. The anxiety of whether mothers and newborns are exposed to COVID-19 combined with the stress of taking care of a newborn and the sadness brought about social distancing may only worsen cases of depression.

Despite these conditions, there are still several things that you can do to manage postpartum depression amid COVID-19. Here are some of it:

Get Enough Sleep

The challenges of being a new mother might be a little overwhelming at first. You wake up whenever your baby cries, you change their nappies, you soothe them before going to sleep, and you breastfeed them. Although these are time-consuming activities, you have to find enough time to rest.

Getting enough sleep is right for your mental health. Allocating time for short naps and long sleep will not only prepare yourself from the difficulties of being a mother but will also improve your happiness and sense of direction.

Utilize Online Resources

As someone with postpartum depression, you may also utilize the power of technology.

For one, there are a lot of therapists and physicians nowadays who are providing online and telephone consultancies. Since their patients cannot go to their offices to avail of their services due to COVID-19, they put it upon themselves to bring the services to their clients. What’s admirable about this is that there are even hospital emergency departments that prioritize women undergoing this condition.

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Another beautiful thing about the internet is that there are also various online forums where you can interact with the people who are also in the same situation as you. They will empathize with you since they know what you are going through. Robert Sege, MD, Ph.D., FAAP, suggests joining forums, “New mothers may find it helpful to discuss their experiences with other new mothers.” Once you have recovered, make sure to give back and show your support to them as well.

Lastly, numerous online apps support women like you. These are apps that focus on breathing techniques, time management, mental exercise, and such.

Connect With Others

It is not enough to talk to strangers who are having the same condition as you. You should also try to connect with the people you are closest to – your partner, your family, and some close friends. Yes, the concept of social distancing might hinder this, but there are ways on how to go about this.

In these kinds of situations, you can use social media or any other video chatting platform to connect with the people around you. You may seek comprehensive support from those whom you share the same struggles, fears, and situations. As for support, you can always count on BetterHelp experts as they can provide that need. This online counseling website has great ratings from their clients and also has social media accessibility like Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

Prioritize Self-Care

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One way to optimize someone’s mental health experiencing postpartum depression is through lifestyle changes. Its focus is on aspects of self-care such as nutrition, time for self, and exercise. As someone going through a lot, what you can do is to take small steps. Begin with easy tasks such as showering daily, listing down your feelings every day, and exercising every afternoon.

Once you have accomplished all of these, then you can now go to the difficult tasks. One example of this is proper nutrition. Proper nutrition is vital in new mothers because their babies depend on their health. Therefore, make sure to consume three meals a day and have some healthy snacks in between. You also have to keep yourself hydrated to be able to enhance your brain function.

Another thing that you should focus on is exercise. Yes, there are times that you might be a little lazy to get up and stretch your body. However, exercising does not only contribute to physical improvements, but it also gives you higher energy and a good mood.

Since most places are on lockdown and it might be too risky for you to go out and join the gym, the best way to go about this is to exercise at the comforts of your own home. Believe it or not, you do not need fancy equipment to get you going. All you have to do is prepare a set of exercises that fits your condition as a new mother. Before undergoing this, make sure to seek the advice of a professional.

Last Thoughts

COVID-19 limits the way you handle this situation, but you should make do with what you have right now. Just follow the tips above, and you’ll slowly be able to manage your postpartum depression.

My Own PPD And How I Overcome It

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Hello everyone!

My name is Susan, and I am a PPD survivor.

Postpartum Depression had taken my life and robbed me of taking care of my son when he was born. (Simply put, postpartum depression is the presence of a clinical depression during the postpartum period. In that way, postpartum depression is exactly like any other depression that is unrelated to childbirth. But there’s more to it than that,” says Karen Kleiman MSW, LCSW.

The father of my son left me when he learned that I was pregnant. I never heard from him since then. Taken aback of the situation especially coming from a stringent family environment, I went to a series of emotional turmoil on whether to terminate my pregnancy or go ahead with it and suffer the repercussions that my parents will impose upon me. I was grateful that I did not go through the first decision. I bravely faced my parents and told them of my state. As expected, my father was, and my mother did not even console me. I felt that I was all alone in this situation.

After I gave birth, I felt that I still experience the burden of my parent’s frustrations. I became paranoid and hesitant to hold my son. Feeling of disgust and just wanted to be away from him was my primary emotion and objective. To be honest, I never felt sad the whole time, but angry at what transpired over the past nine months of my life.

My psychiatrist diagnosed me to have PPD, and she told me to get hold of my life once more as the condition is treatable. I took some medicines to help control my irrelevant thoughts and unwanted feelings. (“Some people assume that if they are prescribed antidepressants they will need to take them for the rest of their lives. People can use medication as a tool to help them feel better,” Jessica Koblenz, PsyD was referring to taking meds when depressed.)

Still, I am not getting the kind results that I wanted to feel and see. When a friend invited me to attend a natural healing program for depressed persons, I started to see changes.

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Acceptance and renewal. These are the two words I saw when I entered a small room with nine persons attending the same session. It struck me the most because I suddenly realized that I haven’t moved on from the ugly experience and continue to live in the dark shadows of the day that I was neglected and left alone. I also realized that I became selfish towards my son and he experienced the same neglect and isolation that I felt. I just passed on to him the same negative emotions that I harbor. I wanted to change that. That very moment, I wanted to come home and hug my son and tell him that I am going to be healthy for him no matter what.

That was the beginning of my healing period. I completed the whole counseling session and found some enlightenment and inspiration along the way. “Therapy is a course where you are the subject matter. You can explore yourself, go deeper into your current thoughts and feelings, or just sit and “be” for a while. This vital practice has become a forgotten art in our world today,” says Ryan Howes PhD, ABPP.

Some of the strategies that I have included in my daily routine to help me recover from depression are the following:

  • Attending to my basic needs. Rest and sleep, nutrition, and exercise – so primary yet we seldom disregard their importance and contribution to our wellbeing. I started to engage in some outdoor activities, eat healthy meals, and get enough sleep and rest. Being mindful of my limitations like decreasing alcohol intake and eliminating smoking practices.
  • Creating awareness of feelings. I started to journal my life experience. This allowed me to examine my daily routine and reflect on the things that needed change.
  • Meet new friends and acquaintances. Never limit yourself to form new relationships. This is a form of fresh air as a new person in your life is introduced. For me, one of the people that God brought to me during this difficult period in my life was Sheena. She is a licensed online counselor from BetterHelp. We talked about many things and Sheena became my supportive friend. She also helped me understand about my situation, my condition, which was such a relief.
  • Always include your child in your dreams and aspirations. Cliché as it may seem, loving your child can heal the deepest wounds of depression. That’s the most valuable lesson I learned, and it will forever stay the same.

I’m still recovering and taking it one day at a time. But I am hopeful that anytime soon I am getting there.