Women List How Men Helped Them During Their Pregnancy (27 Stories)
Going through pregnancy is an emotionally and physically challenging time. When carrying a new life inside of you causes sudden bouts of sickness, cravings and tears, it’s important to have a strong, helping hand to grip onto. And these men have stepped up to the role with everything they’ve got.
@penny4yourtweet on Twitter asked mothers to share the outstanding times that men helped them during and after their pregnancy, and Bored Panda has collected the best ones. From ensuring those specific cravings are satisfied, to going above and beyond to make women feel special about their bodies, here are the most heartwarming picks from the thread.Image credits: penny4yourtweet
Bored Panda spoke with Abigail Burd, a perinatal psychotherapist and the author of The Postpartum Depression Workbook. She works with both new mothers and their partners to help manage the transition of becoming parents. Her online course, ‘Relationships After Baby’, provides great information on how you can support your partner and keep your relationship strong during pregnancy, postpartum and whilst parenting.
Abigail told us about what she sees most in her line of work. She said, “The most common complication of childbirth is the negative effect on mental health. Before the pandemic, one in five women experienced postpartum depression and even more dealt with postpartum anxiety. These rates are even higher for women of color and LGBTQIA+ birthers, and are still elevated for all throughout the pandemic.”
The pandemic was especially challenging for new and soon-to-be mothers. Not only did they have to manage their health whilst looking after their children, but they also had the constant stress of avoiding the life-threatening COVID-19.
A study was completed by the University of Southern California on the impact of social distancing and lockdowns for expectant mothers. Taking place between April and July of 2020, this was the time that the first major wave hit the United States and the resulting restrictions started.
The study found that these women reported significantly higher levels of psychological stress, loneliness and other behavioural changes. From over 600 mothers answering a questionnaire used to help diagnose depression, 50% reported clinically significant symptoms of it. From this, 23% were considered mildly depressed, 17% were moderately, and 20% were severely depressed.
Whilst depression makes it harder to ask for help (and even realize that you need help), Abigail highlighted the fact that mothers can’t do everything on their own as it is, anyway.
“So many of us think that we are supposed to do everything,” she said. “Taking care of a baby is a full-time job. More than full-time. Think of a typical 8-hour work shift. We expect new parents to do three back-to-back shifts (because it's 24 hours per day) seven days per week. How is that sustainable?“
She shared her advice on how mothers can reassess their situation to make it more manageable with their partners or otherwise. She explained, “I recommend sitting down sometime when you are on the better side of rested and fed, and write a list of all that has to get done and all the people that you could ask to help.”
Abigail left us with her statement and advice for mothers and those supporting them: “I firmly believe a mother shouldn't do it all. But I also think there is simply too much for a couple to do alone, either. Yes, ask your partner, but look outside the relationship to who could be a part of your support village. This is the season of your life to ask for help and receive it. It is not sustainable or realistic to do it all.”