Advanced Fetal Care Center (AFCC)
Coping and preparing
Many of our patients are in different phases of their pregnancy and faced with a diverse range of medical diagnoses, decisions and concerns. It is not unusual that our patients and their family members are under significant emotional stress.
Maybe you have just heard about a potential diagnosis and are attempting to learn more? Maybe you have been counseled extensively and are making decisions about your pregnancy? Maybe you are anticipating a loss or are fearful of the prognosis? Maybe you are considering treatment options and/or awaiting a delivery?
The emotional stress related to the anxiety, fear, anger, sadness, and overall grief that your pregnancy has been irrevocably changed can be exhausting physically, mentally and emotionally.
Here are some ideas to help you get through this period of time. Please use those that may be helpful to you and disregard the others:
Gather information from reliable sources.
There is a lot of information on the Internet and elsewhere about different diagnoses, patient stories, etc. Read this information carefully, as not all situations are the same. Sometimes there may be information not relevant to your story which may be more anxiety provoking than helpful.
Write down your concerns and questions.
This will give you something constructive to do when you're feeling overwhelmed with "what ifs" and provides a concrete list to help you remember your concerns and questions during your appointments or phone calls with providers.
Talk with someone you trust.
Talking with others (such as family, friends, and health care and mental health professionals) gives you the opportunity to vent and obtain support about how you are feeling and also helps them understand what your concerns are.
Take care of yourself.
Eat regular and balanced meals. Rest and nap. Exercise to get rid of nervous energy.
Explore what's helped you through stressful and scary times in the past and see if you can apply those things now.
Does keeping your routine help? Sometimes work, caring for another child, and/or participating in a regular activity helps structure our days and provides healthy distraction when we're most stressed. Does giving yourself a time out help? Give yourself permission to take a day off, cancel an appointment that doesn't need to be kept, etc., in order to decompress or process and experience what you are feeling.
Try relaxation techniques
Try deep breathing, guided imagery, and meditation.
Journal your thoughts and emotions.
This form of venting is more private than talking to others and sometimes allows for a cathartic release and insight development unique to this form of expression.
- Accept help and support from others.