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Q&A: Can I Really Be A Mom?

Q. I've been feeling really vulnerable lately. How can I take care of a baby if I'm barely able to get through the day without having somebody help me with something?

A. Think about it: Wouldn't it be stranger if you didn't feel vulnerable right now? Your body is going through more changes in 9 months than it went through during your entire adolescence, and pregnancy hormones are sending your emotions into a tailspin. Although the 2nd trimester is usually a period of calm as your hormone levels plateau and your energy returns, your metabolism is still on overdrive, preparing to support your baby's biggest growth period yet. In addition, there's all of this anxiety on the back burner: Is your baby going to be OK? Will you be a good mom? Will your partner still love you if you can't wear a bikini? Will you ever be able to keep the house clean with a toddler and a baby in residence?

What's more, your loved ones are all trying to do things for you that they never offered before. Many women are so accustomed to caring for others that when the time comes for them to be on the receiving end of someone else's attention and nurturing, their feelings of dependency may seem overwhelming. When your friends want to cook you dinner so that you can rest, you may long to wave them off and go trotting right back to work, denying that you need any help. You're used to being independent. But this is a time when it makes sense to accept whatever help is offered -- gracefully -- because your main job is to keep your body strong and rested for your baby's sake.

Originally published in You & Your Baby: Pregnancy.

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