Brighter Days: 4 Top Tips for Getting Support During Pregnancy
This might be less about enlisting help than it is about accepting help. Chances are good that people want to help you right now, but it can be hard to accept help, even when it's offered. Try to let down your guard, accept help and even ask for it when you need it. Just say yes.
During your pregnancy, pregnancy symptoms such as morning sickness or fatigue might make it hard to be your usual uber-productive self.
As you near the end of your pregnancy, it's a good idea to start thinking about who could help you after your baby is born. Before you have a baby, it's hard to imagine what it's going to be like and what you might need. If you're able, try to make a list of tasks you might need help with after you get home with the baby. This way, if people ask what they can do to help, you'll have some ideas. Perhaps someone could bring over a meal, run an errand for you or watch your baby for a few hours while you nap.
Here's what our Mommy M.D.s -- doctors who are also mothers -- do to get support during their own pregnancies.
"It's hard as an independent woman to have someone help you," says Monica Lee-Griffith, M.D., a mom of one, an OB-GYN and senior staff at Henry Ford Health System in metropolitan Detroit. "I didn't require too much of my husband, except during the last four to six weeks of my pregnancy. He really had to help me do basic things, like turning on water faucets, because I had such severe carpal tunnel syndrome that I couldn't use my hands.
"But I was very grateful for my husband's emotional support," Lee-Griffith continues. "And throughout my pregnancy, he did kind things for me like bring me pillows or breakfast in bed. He's not really a cooker or a cleaner, but he tried."
"During my pregnancy, my husband and I grew so much closer," says Diane Truong, M.D., fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics, mom of one daughter and one son and pediatrician in a multispecialty group practice in Southern California. "We had just come back from our honeymoon, and we were still in the newlywed phase. My husband was so supportive, considerate and thoughtful of my needs. I didn't have to ask for help; he just gave it. One thing that helped a lot was that we went out for dinner quite a bit because we didn't have the time to prepare and cook meals. He didn't even mind driving me across town to get my must-have craving: wonton noodle soup."
"My first pregnancy wasn't an easy one," says Joanna Dolgoff, M.D., a mom of a son and a daughter, a board-certified pediatrician and child obesity expert with practices in Manhattan and Roslyn Heights, New York, and author of the book "Red Light, Green Light, Eat Right." "I was so tired. I was working 28-hour shifts twice a week and 14-hour shifts the other days. Plus, I had such severe morning sickness I had to take medication."
"But my husband was very caring, and he stepped in and took care of everything else," Dolgoff adds. "Even though he worked long hours, too, in commercial real estate, he took care of our home and made sure that I had dinner to eat each night."
"My family and my husband's family both live in Pakistan," says Sadaf Bhutta, M.D., a mom of a daughter and triplets and an assistant professor and the fellowship director of pediatric radiology at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and Arkansas Children's Hospital, both in Little Rock. "We're pretty much on our own here. But when we found out I was pregnant with triplets, my mom, who's also a physician, flew here and stayed with us for three months prior to the delivery. She took over the housework, cooking, and cleaning and caring for our older daughter."
"This gave me the much-needed opportunity to rest, which was critical because I was on bed rest after week 25," Bhutta adds. "My mom stayed with us until the babies were five weeks old."
Jennifer Bright is a mom of four sons, founding CEO of woman- and veteran-owned custom publisher Bright Communications LLC, co-founder of the Mommy MD Guides team of 150+ mommy M.D.s, and co-author of "The Mommy MD Guide to the Toddler Years" and six other books in the Mommy MD Guides series. She lives in Hellertown, Pennsylvania. To find out more about Jennifer Bright and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.Copyright 2021 Creators Syndicate Inc.