Viewing entries tagged
mental health

Pregnancy after miscarriage

Pregnancy after miscarriage

The loss of a child, regardless of age, is at the top of the list of the most painful of life experiences for most people.

We can tell it’s painful for us as a society based on how tough it is for us to discuss it. Our physicians sometimes even describe the loss as though it’s non-emotional and non-relational: chemical pregnancy, blighted ovum, etc. 

But miscarriages are far from non-emotional or non-relational. The moment a woman gets a positive pregnancy test result, she’s already envisioned her newborn baby grown through school and graduating college as an adult. It’s no wonder a miscarriage feels much more emotional and intense than simply a “chemical pregnancy." 

It’s also why previous a miscarriage (or several as is sometimes the case) make the next positive pregnancy test tough to trust or enjoy. Often women with previous losses have trouble accepting and settling into allowing themselves to be hopeful that this pregnancy will be different. As a therapist, I’ve worked with many women in just this situation. So how do we handle such a vulnerable moment? How do we make it through another pregnancy unsure of what will occur?

I believe the answer starts with a general good rule of thumb - allow yourself to authentically feel your way through your emotions.

Anxiety and fear are normal responses to pregnancy after miscarriage, but you don’t have to remain anxious and fearful throughout your pregnancy. Since anxiety and fear often come from not allowing ourselves to feel our emotions, the solution is to explore how we feel and work through the pain. Thankfully, you don’t have to do this alone.

Professional counselors are trained to provide the space and support you need in ways that help you process your pain so that you can feel relief and ultimately happiness and fulfillment. Friends and family play a large role in support, but they can’t replace the training, experience, and nature of working with a licensed counselor.

There is relief and freedom on the other side of fear and pain. Miscarriages are extremely emotional and painful. Processing this pain with a professional counselor can be very helpful in aiding this grieving process along.

If you or someone you know has experienced miscarriages and is having difficulty moving forward with hope, please have them reach out to me at www.kristencounsels.com

 

Kristen Machado, MA, LPC, NCC in New Orleans, LA

Kristen Machado is a life coach and licensed professional counselor living in New Orleans, LA. She earned a Masters in Clinical Psychology and is a Nationally Certified Counselor. Over the last 7 years, she’s worked with hundreds of clients, helping them go from ugly cry to transformation one session at a time. You can learn more about Kristen by following her on Instagram (@kristencoaches) and checking out her website (www.kristencoaches.com).

I am not the mother I wanted to be

I am not the mother I wanted to be

There is a saying that goes something like, "Everyone is a perfect parent until they actually have kids."

Man, I used to be an amazing mom. I was in peak physical condition. I was endlessly patient and never had angry outbursts. My five imaginary children were dressed in smart, quirky, dapper clothes; they were quiet, polite, and well-behaved. They picked up after themselves, never pitched fits in public, and never ate McDonald's. Our house was not perfectly immaculate, but there was a place for everything and everything was usually in its place. We were always doing fun crafts and projects. I didn't have a job; instead, I stayed home and cooked them every single meal and snack. (I was also overly judgmental of other parents, but I'll save that for another post)

In reality, my house is a mess. There are dishes in the sink consistently. My three rowdy, spunky, pizza-loving boys live mostly in hand-me-down clothing. I work a lot. I yell sometimes. I haven't lost the baby weight.

But our messy house teaches them that there are more important things to us than making sure all the dust bunnies die. The used clothing helps us to be less attached to material possessions. My work enriches our family in SO many ways. After I yell, I have an opportunity to talk to them about how my brain is easily overstimulated and that it's ok to apologize when we've messed up. My softer body is a great excuse to plant the values of body positivity.

Somewhere along the way, I realized that trying to be the mother I always imagined I would be was making me (and everyone else in our family) completely miserable. I surrendered to the deeper knowledge of my own identity and began to recognize that for me, being something else (like a business owner, doula, and childbirth educator) didn't mean that I was less of a mom. 

I adapted. I grew. Our family adjusted. And we are all better off for it.

No, I'm not the mother I wanted to be. But I'm the very best mom for our kids.

 

FAQ Series Part 4: Can Hypnobabies Help me with Anxiety?

FAQ Series Part 4: Can Hypnobabies Help me with Anxiety?

I am often asked about how to deal with anxiety during pregnancy. Sometimes, the person has already been dealing with anxiety when she becomes pregnant, and is wondering how to manage it. Other times, the person has never really had anxiety, but it presents itself for the first time as perinatal anxiety (anxiety occurring during pregnancy or the first year postpartum). Even planned pregnancy is considered a stressful life event and can trigger negative emotions, especially when paired with other stressful life events like changing jobs, moving, remodeling, and changing lifestyle habits. (Or a flood.)

Some first-time moms are anxious about the unknowns of birth. They may wonder, "Will I get gestational diabetes? Will I tear while pushing? How can I avoid an episiotomy? Will I poop while I'm pushing? Will I have to be induced? How can I avoid a Cesarean?"

Mothers who have already experienced birth may have anxiety based on their past birth experiences, especially if they were particularly challenging or didn't go as planned. They might think, "That was too hard; I can't go through labor again." Or, "I'm scared that my birth will not turn out like I planned...again." Or even, "My first birth went so well, there's no way I'll be lucky enough to have another birth exactly the way I want." Sometimes mothers experience new anxieties and fears about birth that they didn't know they needed to process through until they become pregnant again.

One of the best-kept secrets about my Hypnobabies classes in Baton Rouge is that they teach lifelong skills that are applicable even after pregnancy. In Hypnobabies, you will learn SO many helpful tools for dealing with anxiety and fear about pregnancy and birth, including:

Joyful pregnancy affirmations

This is a unique and wonderful asset to your pregnancy. You can listen to this track throughout the day, as often as you like. It keeps you in a positive frame of mind and helps you to enjoy your pregnancy. You don't even have to "consciously" listen to it; you can play it in the background while you go about your day, and just watch how your anxieties melt away!

Mindfulness

This practice is lauded by positive psychologists, neuroscientists, spiritual leaders, and yoga instructors as one of the most effective ways to change your thinking. In Hypnobabies, we learn how to apply the benefits of mindfulness to pregnancy and birthing. Mindfulness has been life-changing for many of my students!

Hypnosis practice for deep relaxation

The core of Hypnobabies is the hypnosis techniques. Practicing the hypnosis techniques is relaxing and extremely enjoyable. It helps students to fall into a restful sleep, and can help them get back to sleep after middle-of-the-night bathroom trips. It also includes many, many post-hypnotic suggestions for an easy and comfortable pregnancy and birth experience.

I'm not a mental health professional or therapist, but I have first-hand experience with anxiety, and I have taught a good number of Hypnobabies students who have anxiety, with amazing results! Of course, please speak with your doctor, midwife, or mental health care provider and seek further treatment if necessary.

FAQ Series Part 1: When Should I Take Hypnobabies?

FAQ Series Part 2: Does My Partner Need to Come to Class?

FAQ Series Part 3: Is Hypnosis Compatible with my Faith?