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Moms on Stress

Get tips for managing your hectic life while you're pregnant.

Wed, 22 Aug 2012|

-Hi, I'm Dr. Georgia Witkin. -And I'm Kimberly Pauley. -And I'm Kimberly's mother. -And I'm the mother of 2 boys. -Which makes me GG for Grandma Georgia. -So, welcome to GG and Me. -We talked about everything. -Well, the reason I talked to my mother about everything is that she's a professor of Psychiatry, professor of OB/Gyn, she's written 10 books on stress, and she's a Fox News contributor. -And Kimberly is a lawyer, a columnist, a college professor, and pregnant. -So, we're gonna be talking about pregnancy. Please join us. -Let's talk about the dreaded stress that everyone is worried about when they're pregnant. When they have a new baby, is the baby gonna catch the stress? Is the stress gonna affect the pregnancy? -Oh, we love this. -Yeah, okay, first let's introduce ourselves. -Kimberly Pauley. I have 2 sons, and I'm pregnant with my third son. -Lisa Gyselen. I have a 5-year-old daughter and a 2-1/2-month-old daughter. -Susan Krauss. I have a 3-1/2-year-old son and a 2-week-old son. -Okay, so you said you were just talking about stress. -We were just talking-- -The dreaded stress. -about it. -Okay, so what we're saying-- -Well, we were-- I think we were both sort of commiserating that we are bit anxiety-prone, in general, and some-- having going through pregnancy and having a baby and all of that and that sort of escalating and trying to manage that with your-- you know, around your children so that perhaps you don't pass that along, [unk] we really we're talking about that, is that something your kids feed upon and pick upon and how- what are some ways to manage that better. -I have to say that I'm usually not stressed-- -Right, yeah. -But when I'm pregnant, one of my biggest stresses when I'm pregnant is that I worry from the minute I get pregnant to the minute the baby comes out that something could be wrong with the baby health-wise. Whether or not something is wrong with the baby, that's a completely separate issue, but the stress of worrying while you're pregnant, because it's not something you've been ever categorically know, is so stressful to me. -Uh huh. Agree. -And I hear that from a lot of women-- -Yeah. -who are typically very calm. Amazingly, I, who worried about everything, was not stressed about the health of my child. -Yeah. -Uh-huh. -But I stressed about most other things, so it's interesting-- -Yeah. -where people place their stress. -Yeah. -Here's the formula, every time your sense of control or your ability to predict what's coming next goes down, stress goes up-- -And anxiety goes up. -So whatever it is for you that you feel during pregnancy you're not in control of, and I-- my guess is you're women who used to being into control, right? -Right. -You did the education you needed and you worked when you needed and you're just used to, "If I take charge, everything will work out fine." -Yeah. -And this is the one thing-- -Yeah. -There are no guarantees-- -Right. -Yeah. -Despite all of our technology, there are no guarantees. -And all the excitement I had when I was-- This is my third, so when I was pregnant the first time, I think the excitement kind of overtook the nervousness, like giving birth and calling everyone for the first time, now I know exactly what labors, anyway. -You know what to expect. -Now, it's all stress. -Yes. -There is not that much excitement left- -Do you think it's also-- -the excitement about the baby, but not the birth. -Do you think it's also that now you've-- I mean, 'cause I know I felt a lot more anxiety about the health of my second child during my second pregnancy because you've seen a lot and you knew this-- -Yes. -You've seen friends who've had problems-- -Absolutely. -and you've seen things happened and so now you just-- I was sort of blissfully naïve, I think, the first time. -It's so true, you're right. -And now it's-- I hear all these stories, and I know people who have gone through really difficult pregnancies and births and stuff like that. -Right. And I'm not a 22-year-old- -Right. -new mom, you know, I am on my third child-- yeah, you have all the tests-- And also, I think when my first one got his first cold even, I was shocked because I never thought about the kids getting sick when they were-- -Once you gave birth, Whew-- -Yeah, the stress is over. -Sure. -And that's done. -He's in the go. -He's fine. -All these things that you're not-- -Right, now you're more aware of things that you should be worried about in a way that you weren't before, so that's my biggest stress when it comes to being pregnant. -Here's the number one cause of stresses on every survey, every poll, when you're a new mom. -Do you want us to guess? -Health? -No, it's when you're a new mom. -Oh, when you-- what is it? -When you're a new mom. -Lack of time. Lack of time. And big time. -I've been pulled in so many directions. -Before the baby, a 27-minute short every day, if you measure the time you need and the time you have after the baby, 2 hours and it's 27-minute short a day. Like, why is everything so out of control? -Because you're pulled in so many directions, I think. Just case in point, this morning, I mean, I like being a helpful wife and right now I'm home, so I'm able to try and be a little more helpful. But it's difficult when you get your 5-year-old out the door. You're trying to nurse your child before you go out of the house. Your husband is asking you to do this, there's just-- -Take a shower. -to take -- -take out -- -to bring yourself. -Right, right, right. -There's just not enough time, and I am a very punctual regimented-- -Yeah. -person and you're just always running a little bit late. -And then you add to women who work part-time. You know, most women, the majority of women, more than 15% of women who have children under 18 are working full-time or at least- -Full-time. -part-time is, you know, another 15 or 20%. So, like, how, do they have time to go to the bathroom? -You have more time to the bathroom at work than it is at home. -Nice reason-- -Right. -that's where -- -It's true. -Work is always a break, right? -You know, and that's a very interesting point too because I find now that I'm home since having my daughter, "How did I ever get everything done when I was working? But you have so much more time-- -Me too. -to devote to all those things, maybe the minutia,-- -Uh huh. -so to speak, where you delegate more because you have to-- -Yes. -because of circumstances." -You are-- You started working part-time again after you had your first-- -Yeah, I started at-- -son. -6-month, when he was 6 months old and I have to say I felt like that gave me some sanity to get tasks done 'cause I was at a desk in front of a computer and I have my little-- -Control to do list. -[unk] tonight. -So you have a sense to control that. -Absolutely. -So, here would be my prescription. My prescription would make sure that you take care of yourself as well as your baby, and this might sound strange, but carve out time even if you think you have no time to play, whether it's with girlfriends and go to a movie or something so you catch your breath. Let me hear what-- what you wanted. -I want to sort of just that is to really try to give yourself different elements in your life, something for yourself, something, things-- obviously a lot for your family, but always something for yourself-- -Uh-huh. -whether that's work or time with friends, whatever it is. -Not just the baby? -Not just caring for your children and your husband. -Did all. Absolutely, you take care of yourself and you will be a better mother, a better wife, a better woman, absolutely. -And you teach your children that you can pause-- -Uh-huh. -that mommy is not just a perpetual machine. -I think it goes back to also accepting health, something that we have talked about privately, I mean, what if you can accept health and not try to do at all, then you will have that time-- -Uh-huh. -to be able to do it with yourself and to your child, and to your husband, and to all the other things that you wanna get done. -And I'm gonna remember that too.