In today's perfectionistic culture, pregnant women are expected to be boundlessly optimistic and literally glowing with happiness. What often go unacknowledged are the physical and emotional challenges of pregnancy. This book offers strategies and solutions for confronting and relieving the stress of pregnancy.
Think about some of the words so commonly used to describe a pregnant woman: "radiant," "glowing," "serene." But even for women who are thrilled to be having a baby, pregnancy can also be a difficult time filled with ambivalence, anxiety, and moodiness. Women who are typically accustomed to having complete control over their bodies endure waves of morning sickness, discomfort with their expanding belly, exhaustion, and anxiety about the impact a baby will have on their career, relationships, and freedom. Many pregnant women feel guilty about the challenging emotions; they face enormous societal pressure to be ecstatic about impending motherhood and wonder what is wrong with them when they don't feel the happiness they think they should be experiencing.
Research shows that excessive stress during pregnancy is associated with premature birth and low birth weight. But relief does not come in the form of a pill--antidepressants have the potential to cause pregnancy complications and lifelong harm to unborn babies. The Stress-Free Pregnancy presents a seven-step program that shows women what they can do to feel happier, calmer, and less stressed in a safe and natural way. With the tools and problem-solving techniques presented here, women can adjust their expectations, restructure negative thought patterns, cultivate resiliency, and become better prepared to take on the role of motherhood.
About the Authors:
Alice D. Domar, PhD, is the founder and executive director of the Domar Center for Mind/Body Health and conducts groundbreaking research on the relationship between stress and various women's health conditions. She is an associate clinical professor of obstetrics, gynecology, and reproductive biology at Harvard Medical School and a senior staff psychologist at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.
Sheila Curry Oakes is a publishing professional who has held senior editorial positions at St. Martin's Press, Perigee, and Touchstone/Fireside. She is currently a writer and editor specializing in nonfiction.