The Emotional Impact of a Miscarriage

Becoming parents and creating a family is one of the achievements that some couples consider as their ultimate step to reach happiness or fulfillment. Any mother you ask would tell you how much she loves her children, how life has changed since they arrived in her life despite the tantrums or toys they occasionally throw.

Motherhood does not begin after the childbirth, but since the child has been conceived and starts developing in the womb. The emotional connection between the mother and the child begins from the first signals of pregnancy, from the first moment a woman finds out that someone will soon call her “mommy”.

Joy, excitement, hope, happiness, and ecstasy invade a woman’s soul and mind thinking of the journey ahead. But what happens when this dream is crashed by, what every future mom fears, a miscarriage?

Also known as the spontaneous abortion, a miscarriage is the natural death of the fetus before it is able to survive independently in the womb. However, speaking from an emotional standpoint, a miscarriage is the loss of a beloved child whom a mother will never meet. As dramatic as it may sound, this is the thought or the feeling that most women experience when their pregnancy does not develop. All the joy and happiness are instantly replaced with sadness or anxiety.

Although miscarriages are considered common early pregnancy complications, the experience of such trauma can emotionally affect a woman. Depending on the stage of the pregnancy and process of the abortion, a woman could also develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). As a matter of fact, research suggests that 40% of women who miscarried suffer from PTSD and as such, they seek professional treatment. (If interested to read a true story on the emotional impact of a miscarriage, please read Kate Evan’s article “Miscarriage: The Loneliest Grief of All“)

Doctors, nurses or family members would try to offer their best emotional support and reassure the woman that there are more opportunities to conceive or that nature sometimes can play tricks, but while words of comfort are benevolent, the suffering does not disappear within days. Doubt, worry and unanswered questions run through a woman’s mind as she tries to balance her emotions. When a miscarriage occurs, most women tend to judge themselves thinking that they must have done something to cause the abortion, such as eating the wrong food or performing difficult activities. Thus, sense of guilt is another emotion that deepens the sadness and the despair.

The causes of a miscarriage are not always clear and not necessarily a result of one’s actions. although there may be some health issues that could affect the development of the fetus:

  • Ovarian cyst
  • Uterine & hormonal abnormalities
  • Immune system responses
  • Medical conditions (i.e. diabetes, thyroid, etc)

This is why it would be worth undergoing medical investigation before conceiving in order to begin a possible treatment if necessary and as such, reduce the risk of early pregnancy miscarriage. Additionally, boost your metabolism through a detox diet and a healthier lifestyle as it will benefit your fertility and provide your body with the essential nutrients to support the pregnancy.

If you have experienced a miscarriage, do not be disheartened! There are available support and steps you could follow that will increase your fertility.


A Woman’s Body After Pregnancy

The miracle has happened and your baby is here! After 9 months of expectations, joy, anxiety, and tiredness, you have just started a new chapter with a new lovely character.

But putting aside all the happiness you are experiencing now, your body has not stopped from changing. If during the 9 months of pregnancy you have been physically challenged, there is a process ongoing: the recovery.

We often read and see celebrities, women who are somehow lucky to “snap back” within few weeks after childbirth and walk around as if they never carried a little human being for 9 months. Moreover, they seem to restart their activities with serenity. Depression? Sleepless nights? Nah, these ladies look fresh!

However, the reality is a bit darker and harder.

Recovering from a pregnancy is not as easy as it may be illustrated by the media since not all mothers benefit from great familial support or enough financial means in order to undergo a surgical operation. A misleading message on postpartum recovery affects women’s perceptions of their own body-image.

Numerous mothers claim that while they may have been emotionally prepared for the labor and the delivery of the child, the postpartum is a stage that took them by surprise. Just because the baby has arrived does not mean that your body will instantly recover and stabilize its functions.

A) Hormones

They will need some time to stabilize, which is why most women still go through a roller coaster of emotions such as sadness, irritability, anger or depression. Speaking from a physical standpoint, the instability of hormone levels will also cause insomnia and night sweats.

B) Six Weeks Recovery? It May Take Longer

Not all pregnancies are the same and a similar theory applies to the recovery process. The uterus will continuously contract as it goes back to its initial position and size, which will cause mild cramping, a sensation of swelling and sore muscles.

Healthcare professionals estimate that a body needs approximately 6 weeks of recovery after vaginal delivery and 12 weeks after a C-section. Yet, they additionally claim that it is not a rule. Based on recent studies, researchers found that mothers presented persistent high levels of physical exhaustion and physical pain throughout the following six to eight months after childbirth.

C) Depression

Perhaps the most difficult stage of motherhood is the beginning. As the body tries to regain its strength, a mother’s physical and emotional energy is highly required by the baby, often leaving her with little time to rest. As a result, the accumulation of tiredness leads to feelings of sadness, unhappiness with oneself, and depression. Not to mention that the first few months are a process of accommodation to the new lifestyle and to baby’s needs. So, in other words, there is a lot to deal with for a mother no matter how well prepared she is.

Regardless of the emotional and physical challenges a mother may experience, there are few adjustments that will significantly improve the symptoms:

A) Sleep

It may be difficult to have a good sleep throughout the night, but take advantage of the hours when the baby sleeps. Ignore the chores, visits or anything that could solicit your energy. It is essential that you allow your body enough time to recover and sleeping is the best way to do it.

B) Nutrition

Eating healthy should not be an occasional option, but rather a lifestyle. If you had cravings during your pregnancy or may have treated yourself now and again, you may still experience the need of eating “for two”. Resist that feeling and choose a diet that will keep you healthy and fit. However, do not starve yourself! You may be tempted to opt for a drastic diet that could help you lose weight, but lactation professionals strongly recommend mothers to eat when they are hungry as milk supply can vary based on the calories a mother consumes. The key is to listen to your body: do not feed it more than it requires, yet do not deprive yourself of food.

C) Relax, Relax, Relax

You may feel the impulse to go back to work or restart your regular activities, but after 9 months of continues changes and a childbirth, you need to enjoy your new status. The child is a baby only once and s/he will grow in a blink of an eye. You will soon see him/her walking, eating, talking and all these delicate, precious moments will become memories.

Physical Exercises During Pregnancy

Exercising during pregnancy is a delicate subject that still receives both criticism and recognition. While physical activities remain a great source of strength, it would be worth understanding the pros and cons with the purpose of reducing the misconceptions around the subject.

Is It Safe?

Yes and in fact remaining physically active during pregnancy is recommendable. For example, exercises such as yoga, hiking, walking or cycling remain some of the safe activities. However, it is highly necessary that you speak with the healthcare provider about your health and pregnancy conditions. Some pregnant women can easily remain active throughout the pregnancy while others may struggle to walk more than 15 minutes a day.

Seek Support

As safe as exercises may be, medical professionals advise that you should “listen” to your body. If you feel exhausted, tired, breathless or feel some contractions, it is best that you stop, reduce or change the type of activity. Furthermore, if you did not use to be an active person before getting pregnant, you should not engage in any strenuous exercise. If however you decide to join a yoga or fitness club, discuss with your instructor about your pregnancy (i.e. term, difficulties if you have any, etc).

Exercises During Pregnancy Are Not About LOSING WEIGHT !

Gaining weight during pregnancy is something that not all mothers enjoy, yet somehow it is inevitable. If you decide to continue your weekly physical routine, you must remember that the benefits you will get out of it are the following:

  • A balanced blood-pressure
  • Reduce the risk of developing gestational diabetes
  • Stretch and prepare your muscles for labor
  • Improve blood circulation
  • Strengthen your joints
  • Improves sleep

Any exercise that may put you at risk of falling (i.e scuba diving, horse riding, downhill skiing, gymnastics, etc.) should be avoided!  


Just like when you used to exercise before pregnancy, you need clothes that do not cause you any discomfort during the exercises. Although there may be a gap in maternity workout clothes, there are few brands that offer a wide range of fitness outfits.

Preferably you should opt for workout clothes that support your baby bump as well as your continuously growing breasts. Any tight outfit will only make the exercise harder for you.

What Could Affect Your Exercises During Pregnancy?

Concomitantly with your baby’s growth, your body will continue changing, which means that some of the exercises will become more difficult for you to execute. For example, you may find it difficult to keep your balance or may have breathing difficulties as the few extra pounds are mostly in front of your body.

Secondly, nausea, tiredness or dizziness are few of the pregnancy symptoms that could also affect how you will exercise.

As mentioned above, ideally would be to speak with your healthcare provider who will be able to guide you and also keep track of your body changes. This way, it will be easier to discuss what exercises are best for you. Most importantly, assure that your diet is rich in all the essential nutrients in order to provide your body with enough vitamins.

How To Prepare for Natural Childbirth

As much as moms-to-be are thrilled with joy at the thought of hugging their little one for the first time, there is also another thought that may overshadow their happiness: the birth. Not one single mother ever said “Oh, the birth was so easy”.. It has always been described as an incomparable painful moment that we do not experience every day. And as if the pain was not enough, labor is considered to last somewhere between 8 to 24 hours, which can terrify anyone. Yet, every mother you would ask about her birth experience will say the same thing:”It all disappeared when I held the baby in my arms”.

Although moms can also choose the C-section in order to avoid the pain of a natural delivery, the perception on contractions and birth pain can cause fear, tension and anxiety regardless, which is why moms-to-be should join birth centers that teach pain management skills.

However, if you feel confident about natural childbirth, there are few tips you need to know:

  1. Birth Centers

As previously mentioned, birth centers can offer you a great support throughout your pregnancy, teach you how to control your emotions (i.e. anxiety, negative thoughts, fear, etc) and essential techniques to keep you present and in control while in labor. The classes will also prepare you on what you should expect at every stage of the labor and delivery, which means you will be less surprised or scared when challenges appear. The more you know, the better you will be prepared and ready to work with your body.

2. Physical Activity

Without further introduction, physical activities seem to play an important role in preparing your body for natural birth. Being physically fit is an advantage since your heart rate and muscles are used to movement and beneficial pressure. Ideally would be to spend 30 minutes, three days a week in the park walking or doing some yoga exercises. They will not only enhance your flexibility, but also your respiratory rates. As you are in tune with your body, you relax more and consequently, the pain becomes more bearable.

However, if you do not feel quite confident about it, it is best to have a chat with your doctor before as s/he would be able to design a cardio plan and perhaps a diet in order to prevent your body from gaining too much weight.

3. Visualize The Birth

If you are one of the women who experience the PMS every month, then you should know that the birth pain is 10 times sharper than that. Instead of being frightened of how you will feel or cope with the pain, you need to visualize it and think of how you could handle contractions as most of the pain can also be influenced by your mental attitude towards the birth.

4. Massages

No matter how much you prepare for the big day, there will be contractions that may catch you by surprise. As the pain will intensify, you will find that back and shoulder massages could reduce tension and stress. The same goes if you have swollen feet.

So, before your delivery date ask the hospital about the maternity services and if they can provide massages, otherwise your midwife or birth center will be more than willing to offer you the support you need.

5. Create a Birth Plan

While attending birth classes, it would be useful to keep a diary with all the useful subjects that you consider beneficial to your pregnancy and delivery. Since the birth plan is a personal record, you can also discuss with your midwife the pregnancy progress, your expectations on how the delivery should happen and what steps you would like to take after your baby’s arrival:

  • Room’s ambient: is it spacious enough? Easy to adjust the lights?
  • How many persons in the room?
  • Position during pregnancy (i.e. squatting, sitting up, lying down on your back, etc.)
  • How do you wish to deliver the placenta?
  • Breastfeeding: immediate after birth?
  • Considering a C-section in case things do not work out as planned?

These are some key points that you could discuss with your midwife and further concerns you may have.

The key is to seek advice, keep a positive attitude and know that you can do it. Regardless of the pain, hundreds of women feel empowered by the magic of natural childbirth. In that special moment you and your baby work for the first time together.

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Do You Plan to Get Pregnant? Get Your Body Ready First

Planning on getting pregnant? I imagine there are loads of questions and ideas you may have if this is going to be your first pregnancy.

Before thinking about beautiful clothes, fluffy blankets and colorful toys, you need to think about yourself, more specifically, your health. Your body is going to experience the most wonderful change throughout the next 9 months, but also the most challenging. This is one of the reasons why you need to prepare your body at least a year before you get pregnant. It will not only benefit your health, but also the baby’s. As you may already know, the child will live with nutrients and vitamins your body absorbs.

In order to have a healthy baby and a relatively easy pregnancy, there are few aspects of your lifestyle that you may want to review:

  1 Review Your Diet

We certainly live in an age where the importance of diet has been discussed numerous times. If you tend to have an unbalanced diet, you may want to pay a closer attention to the lifestyle page in your favorite magazine and write down some tips that could improve your eating habits and choices.

  • No fast food
  • More vegetables and fruits
  • Avoid fizzy juices and refined sugar products
  • Free range meat (no processed meat)
  • Organic dairy products

  2.  Detox

Are you a smoker? Do you often drink alcoholic beverages? I guess you know what I am about to say: quit. Despite the fact that these habits can have long-term effects on your health, they will also affect your child. You may feel pretty fine now, but remember that our body stores toxins, so it is essential that you and the baby are healthy.

  • drink a cup of warm water with lemon juice in the morning=besides being rich in Vitamin C, lemon juice will stimulate liver detoxification. 
  • drink more clean water=replace juices, teas, coffees with approximately 8-10 glasses of water a day as it will keep your skin hydrated and boost your metabolism
  • exercises=what could eliminate toxins more efficiently and better than fitness exercises? Join a fitness club, yoga class or simply take a brisk walk every morning. It will help you release tension while sweating out toxins.

3. Reduce Stress

We live with stress. It is by far the most constant presence in our lives, but since you try to get pregnant, the best step is to select which stress is essential in your life. A healthy mind in a healthy body: one cannot function without the other, so whatever goes wrong in your life should either be fixed or removed.

Additionally, scientific studies suggest that stress can have an impact on your fertility as it can delay your ovulation. If you usually track your cycle, stress can mess up with your dates.

  • pray=if you are spiritual and you enjoy meditating, this is the right time to cleanse your soul and mind of all the negative energy and thoughts.
  • exercise again!= just as mentioned above, it will help you release the accumulated tension while boosting your immune system and keep in balance your weight.
  • disconnect…..from whatever or whoever brings a constant sensation of emotional exhaustion. 
  • sleep more=you may have heard of the famous 8 hours of sleep. A good night sleep reduces the risk of developing diabetes, high blood pressure and repairs brain cells. Besides, you must enjoy it now while you can, before insomnia will hit you in the third trimester.

4. Prenatal Vitamins

While diet occupies a pivotal role in your health, prenatal vitamins are highly recommended by doctors. Since some of the vitamins and minerals are not found in food, prenatal vitamins will provide the essential dose you and the baby need like Acid Folic, Vitamin B or Iron. Whether it is a year or a month before conception, you should go to your local drug store and start giving your body the strength it needs.

5. Medical Check-Up

If you have not seen your doctor or the dentist for a while, you should pay them a visit. A prenatal medical check-up will help your doctor identify if there are any health conditions or genetic disorder that may affect the pregnancy, but it will also give him a better understanding of how your body could cope with the upcoming changes.

I wish you a warm good luck in the new journey ahead of you 🙂


Having a Child or a Career?

Having a child or a successful career? It is a question that thousands of women ask themselves when they are torn between their maternal instinct and the economic pressure.

Many would argue that millennials are more advantaged than the previous generations as they grow up in a propitious era with more facilities and job opportunities. While there may be some truth in these thoughts, the reality is far more difficult for the young couples who want to create a family while continuing developing their careers.

In an unstable economic climate, with mediocre wages and long working hours, one can be scared by the thought of bringing a child into the world when there is little space for personal life and a limited budget to keep up with the monthly bills.

As the house prices continue increasing and the possibilities of saving money continue decreasing, young couples are constrained to rent accommodations not so desirable and favorable to the development of a harmonious familial environment.

So, however we look at the issue, it could be assumed that our generation is not financially prepared to have children or at least not in their 20s-30s.

Regardless of the economic aspect of the matter family versus career, there are few more questions that each couple should discuss and clarify:

  • How far do you want your career to go? Is it a goal driven by ambition or do you only want to reach a career level that could assure you a secure lifestyle?
  • How much would your career be affected if you postpone it for two years?
  • How much do you want children? Do you see the status of being a parent as something that could emotionally complete you?
  • How much can you rely on your family’s emotional and practical support? Could they help you in the first two years with the rearing of the child?

It is necessary that your perspective on these points is well-established as you want to avoid regretting decisions that will not make you happy. Whether you want to make few compromises to become a parent or you wish to dedicate your life to a successful career, you should try to imagine yourself in ten years time: do you see yourself in the same situation (i.e. have a job, try to earn a promotion, travel, etc) or do you see yourself as a parent?

While the idea of becoming a parent may worry you at the moment, it is important to remember that delaying parenthood can work against you. Firstly, your career will always require your attention and the higher you go, the more you work. Secondly, the energy and dedication you have in your 20s-30s are not the same with the ones you will have in your 40s, which could have an impact on your involvement in child’s education. Children do not only grow with parents’ wealth, but also with love, affection and precious moments created through activities and quality time.

If you identify yourself as a person who is more willing to invest in self-development, then you should not feel pressured by family’s opinions or perhaps society’s perception. Becoming a parent should be a decision determined by your instinct, otherwise, you will resent it and it is more likely that there will be an emotional detachment between you and the child.

On the other hand, if you are more inclined to become a parent, but you are concerned about how you will balance finance and personal life, here are few tips that should ease your troubled heart:

  • Savings account: Yes, it is extremely hard to save when you have a low income and expensive bills, but if you wish to start a family, ideally would be to open a savings account 2 years prior to getting pregnant. The better you are prepared, the easier will be for you to manage the financial situation when you stop working.
  • Benefits: As a new mom, there are benefits that aim to support you raising the child. Make sure you find out as soon as you can about the benefits you are entitled to.
  • Reduce the debts and expenses: If you have any loans that you can pay off in advance, start doing it before you get pregnant. The less financial pressure you have, the more you can save. Additionally, reduce the costs that are not essential such as weekly dinner in town, memberships, expensive clothes, etc. Focus instead on buying essential products and .. hunt sales! It will save you loads of money!
  • Sell: thanks to eBay and Amazon, everyone can buy and sell at affordable prices. If you have objects that you no longer use or are forgotten somewhere in your house and in good condition, why not sell them? It will clear some space in your house and bring you some cash.
  • Plan the budget: Spending wisely should become part of your daily routine. Plan what you want to buy, how much and from where. There are hundreds of shops where you can buy quality products at cheap prices. Plan in advance on how much you may spend on child’s clothes, toys, and food.

As difficult as it may be to divide yourself between family and career, weigh up the pros and cons before making any decision.

Whatever you choose, I wish you good luck!