Q. How can I handle the emotions that come with a high-risk pregnancy?
A. How you cope depends on the nature of the risk. Here are some suggestions:
- Educate yourself. The more you know about the complication, how to reduce your risk, and what lifestyle changes you should make, the better. The March of Dimes is a great place to start. Visit its website (www.marchofdimes.com) or check your phone book for a chapter near you.
- Ask questions. This is the time to jot down your questions and get the answers from your doctor. If you are sent to a specialist (high-risk obstetrician, neonatologist, or pediatric surgeon), make the most of the visit by asking for information. There are no "silly" questions.
- Ask for help. Turn to family, friends, neighbors, your church, or whoever else can help you with rides to doctor's appointments and hospitals, household chores, caring for your other children, and stopping by with meals. People want to help, but they can't if they don't know what you need.
- Join a support group. In-person and online support groups are a great way to get information and feel less alone.
- See a social worker or therapist. It sometimes helps to talk things out with a professional if you find yourself feeling depressed or unable to cope.
Originally published in You & Your Baby: Pregnancy.
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