Month four Q&A

Your Pregnancy - - Contents -

Q:I have two chil­dren, with a third baby on the way. I’ve also adopted my late sis­ter-in-law’s two chil­dren. I had a rough start in the busi­ness world af­ter I grad­u­ated from var­sity, but I hung in there, and soon found out I was four months preg­nant. I as­sume the stress and work­load made me over­look the signs that I was preg­nant. I’ve be­come ter­ri­bly de­pressed. My hus­band thinks I’m ex­ag­ger­at­ing and my mom wants me to pray about it. I’ve seen a pro­fes­sional, but they ad­vise I go onto an­tide­pres­sants. I don’t want to take any med­i­ca­tion – but I feel in­cred­i­bly de­pressed. I want to change for the bet­ter, for the baby’s sake.

A:Karin an­swers: I’m so proud of how coura­geous you are, de­cid­ing to love this child, and de­sir­ing to cel­e­brate your preg­nancy and your new baby, de­spite this be­ing an un­planned sur­prise. I can hear that the tim­ing of this baby has thrown you off course. You were fi­nally get­ting go­ing in your work, and now things will prob­a­bly have to change for a lit­tle while. In ad­di­tion to all the preg­nancy hor­mones flood­ing your body and your brain, your body seems to be telling you that you’re find­ing it a bit dif­fi­cult to ad­just and not sure how to move for­ward. De­pres­sion and feel­ing over­whelmed go hand in hand. Good qual­ity sup­port (def­i­nitely some­one who is clear-headed) is nec­es­sary – some­one to help you man­age the house­hold and the other chil­dren; some­one to make sure that you and your un­born baby are taken care of; some­one to love and sup­port you and re­as­sure you that you’ll be okay. There are many nat­u­ral and al­ter­na­tive treat­ments for de­pres­sion. For more se­vere de­pres­sion you may have to con­sider us­ing preg­nancy ap­proved an­tide­pres­sant med­i­ca­tion (which re­cent re­search has shown isn’t detri­men­tal to the health of the baby) in con­junc­tion with the fol­low­ing: Nat­u­ral reme­dies for de­pres­sion are St John’s Wort, flower reme­dies, 5-HTP, B6, mag­ne­sium and omega-3 fatty acids. Ex­er­cise (such as brisk walk­ing, swim­ming, cy­cling or yoga) is an ex­cel­lent way to de-stress and as­sist your body in mak­ing the feel-good neu­ro­trans­mit­ter sero­tonin. You may have to nudge your­self to ex­er­cise when at first you may not feel like you have the en­ergy to do it. You can also con­sider acupunc­ture to treat de­pres­sion. It helps to iden­tify and ex­press your thoughts and start to cre­ate more pos­i­tive and help­ful thoughts for your­self, your baby and your fu­ture. Be hon­est with your­self about what you feel you have lost now that things have changed, and mourn that loss prop­erly. Con­sider go­ing for psy­chother­apy or coun­selling, or join­ing a sup­port group (even on­line sup­port group). You could call Life­line for free emo­tional sup­port, or ap­proach FAMSA (Fam­ily Life South Africa) or SADAG (The South African De­pres­sion and Anx­i­ety Group) for as­sis­tance. Get good sleep. Your body needs to rest to re­pair it­self and gen­er­ate new life. Eat healthy and nu­tri­tious food to feed your body and mind. Even if you don’t feel like eat­ing, you have to eat small meals, good pro­teins. Avoid con­sum­ing re­fined sugar and car­bo­hy­drates or caf­feine, which can make symp­toms of de­pres­sion feel worse, as well as plac­ing ex­tra stress on the body. Please seek as­sis­tance if you con­tinue to ex­pe­ri­ence symp­toms of de­pres­sion (low mood, con­stant cry­ing, lack of en­ergy or de­sire, and sui­ci­dal thoughts or plans). It’s un­nec­es­sary for you to feel that bad for so long, and it is not ben­e­fi­cial to the de­vel­op­ing baby in your womb.

Karin Steyn Coun­selling psy­chol­o­gist and hyp­no­birthing prac­ti­tioner

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.