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Emotional Support During Pregnancy

Pregnancy isn't just hard on the back -- it can be hard on the soul. Stress, anxiety, and ups and downs often come with the territory. Your partner, family, and friends can comfort you when you're feeling vulnerable, though each in a different way. In fact, targeting who best listens to your concerns may be the most effective way to get the help you need, say experts.

  • If you're blue, vent with family and friends. "Women who have been pregnant before often offer the most support and empathy," says Heidi Murkoff, coauthor of the What to Expect series. If your closest friends live far away and you need to find a sympathetic ear, try locating groups through your doctor, childbirth center, or prenatal classes.
  • When you're feeling anxious, "make time every day to talk to your husband about your worries, whether they're about how your relationship might change or how you'll handle the new financial demands," advises Murkoff. If your partner tunes out whenever you want to talk, he may be stressed, too. Ask him to vent. "The most important thing is to keep the lines of communication open," she says.
  • If you're having trouble getting comfort from others, examine your own feelings, suggests Regan Gurung, Ph.D., a psychology professor at the University of Wisconsin at Green Bay, who found that women who were least excited about their pregnancy were also the ones who received the least support. "If you have negative feelings about having a baby, be honest with yourself from the onset and consider counseling," Gurung says.

SOURCES OF SOLACE

When you were pregnant, from whom did you get the most support?

Husband: 55%

Family: 28%

Friends: 14%

Cyberpals: 3%

(From a ParentTime poll)

 

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