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Mom Your Way: The Fourth Trimester - Hello Anxiety
Mental Well-Being

Mom Your Way: The Fourth Trimester - Hello Anxiety

Anxiety. Just the word fills us with it. Mommy’s Bliss CEO and new author, Yasmin Kaderali knows all about it. “Mom Your Way” digs into the topic that every mom seemingly experiences at one time or another. To quote Yasmin, “It can start during pregnancy and it ends…well, I’m not sure it ever does.”. Read more from her enlightening and uplifting new book, about the importance of preparing for the “A” word, not making it a monster, and the tools you need to manage it.  Thank you, Yasmin.

“Anxiety is like a rude houseguest that doesn’t call ahead”​

(The following is an excerpt from Mom Your Way)

Ohhhhh, the mama anxiety. It can start during pregnancy, and it ends . . . well, I’m not sure it ever does. You may feel that now that you have your baby at home, there is plenty to worry about.

Some of this new-mom worry and anxiety you may expect, and some you may not. Focus on what you could categorize as predictable and take action to feel more comfortable. Most of this is about your ability to feel more at ease. For example, if you are worried about your baby’s movement at night, buy a monitor or movement device that covers everything you want to know (Did they move? What’s their heart rate? Temperature?). And once you have those things in place, try to breathe and let go of anxiety. You’ve done all you can do. Now is the beginning of surrendering the control you think you have but really don’t. That old surrender button is calling again! Anxiety is a funny thing; it can just creep up on you in the worst of times. Anxiety is like a rude houseguest that doesn’t call ahead. So it’s important to have some coping mechanisms in place that you can use if the dreaded anxiety monster comes calling.

One thing that really helped me with my anxiety when I was pregnant was to distinguish “predictable anxiety” from “unexpected anxiety” when possible. I carried this philosophy into the fourth trimester. In many ways when I began to think about what was making me anxious with a newborn, it allowed me to consider what I could do to prepare for or avoid it. This is easier said than done.

One thing that immediately made me anxious was going to visit friends to introduce our little cutie. I worried, What if he is fussy or won’t nap? What if he has a giant blowout all over their furniture? All of this was totally possible, so I created my on-the-go diaper bag. I had extra clothes for me and the baby, extra ziplock bags, extra swaddles that I could lay down to change him, gripe water, gas relief drops, Tylenol, more than enough diapers, etc. Most of the time I left this giant bag in the car, but knowing I was mostly prepared for anything made the unexpected easier to deal with. Whereas when there were those unexpected anxieties, I just had to breathe through them and remind myself to try to worry proportionately to the info I had. And let my partner know that I would need extra support if I was getting stuck in a worry cycle. 

Overall, thinking about anxiety in this way, if anything, helped me to own my anxiety and feel a sense of control while also having my tool kit ready for the unknown. One example of this is the panic attacks I had during childbirth and the difference between when I gave birth to my first child and my second. With my first, it was just before pushing that I suddenly started to panic, my heart rate began to rise, and I started to sweat profusely. The nurse got all flustered and asked if I was okay. I remember saying to her, “Well, no, I’m not okay, my entire life is about to change, and a baby is going to come roaring out of my vagina! This is crazy, and I’m scared.” The bewildered nurse then reassured me that panic and anxiety were normal during the birthing process and that what I needed to do . . . was just slow down my breathing and focus. And I did. When I was back on the table and ready to start pushing for the delivery of my second born, I told my partner and the nurse, “Okay, now I’m going to have my panic attack. I need my WTF timer: five minutes of quiet and just let me freak out.

My heart rate is going to go up and it’s fine; I will come back to earth in a few minutes.” And I did. I cried and I had the shakes, then took a few deep breaths before I told them I was ready to push. For me, I realized that some anxiety is normal. It helps me realize the weight of things and reassures me of what I can control versus when to surrender. As long as I remember I will get through it, I’m okay.

Visit MommysBliss360 often for more pearls, laughs and commiseration from Yasmin. And if you love to hold a book in your hand, “Mom Your Way” is available right here on Make room on your bookshelf and reach for it whenever you find yourself wondering if you’re doing it right – spoiler alert - you are. 

This site is intended for informational purposes only and does not provide medical advice. Please consult your physician or other health-care professional.

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