Q&A month 2

Your Pregnancy - - Contents -

Q: I’m 26 years old and eight weeks preg­nant. My boyfriend and I are fight­ing con­tin­u­ously be­cause I told him he needs to tell his par­ents that I’m preg­nant. His mother never ap­proved of our re­la­tion­ship and he is scared to tell his par­ents be­cause he be­lieves he has dis­ap­pointed them some­how. I just hate the fact that my baby has to be this much of a se­cret and I’m wor­ried that my stress is af­fect­ing the baby. A: I can hear your frus­tra­tion at hav­ing to hide your preg­nancy so that your boyfriend doesn’t have to suf­fer the con­se­quences with his par­ents. It’s time he grows up and faces the con­se­quences. His par­ents will no doubt be shocked and dis­ap­pointed, but given enough time, they might come to ac­cept it and even be a source of love and sup­port to their new grand­child. There’s a lit­tle baby here that be­longs to him and his fam­ily as much as the baby be­longs to you and your fam­ily. The two of you would have to plan for how he will be able to sup­port you and the baby dur­ing preg­nancy, birth and be­yond. I’m not sure what your cul­tural norms are, but it would prob­a­bly be ap­pro­pri­ate to give him fair chance to process this re­al­ity (a week or two), and a dead­line by when you wish for him to have spo­ken to his par­ents or else you will let them know. Stress does af­fect the baby to some ex­tent, but re­mem­ber that some stress dur­ing preg­nancy is in­evitable. You must rather fo­cus your at­ten­tion on the things that are within your con­trol and know that the baby ben­e­fits from your love and con­scious ac­cep­tance of the preg­nancy. Pre­tend that the baby is al­ready a liv­ing pres­ence that can hear, feel and un­der­stand, and speak to your baby, re­as­sur­ing the baby that you will do the best you can to take care of him or her. I can’t prom­ise you that things will be okay, but I do know that you can move for­ward in your life and make this work. Please en­sure that you get the sup­port you need from fam­ily and friends.

Coun­selling psy­chol­o­gist and hyp­no­birthing prac­ti­tioner KARIN STEYN

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