What does melancholy do to the baby?

Stressed out?

I found out yesterday that a close friend aged 35 has been given only a few weeks to live. Of course this news has thrown me for a loop and a half. I can’t sleep, I’m just in shock.

So, now I will be flying back to England. This is not good for the baby I know – according to my week by week book, you shouldn’t travel at certain altitudes for any length of time. Kind of hard to get around it in this case. And the stress? Between this trip and facing the concept of death, I have major work deadlines for the end of the month and the fetal over-35 screening (this is the standard integrated screening for Down Syndrome). So how is the stress affecting my baby?

According to Women’s Health on About.com emotional stress during pregnancy has not been proven to harm the baby. That being said, the effects it can have on mum can trickle down, such as lack of sleep and poor eating habits which sometimes happens because of stress, can cause illness. And illness can harm the baby.

Here are some suggestions to keep stress manageable:

  • Say no. If you are over booked and it’s at all possible to drop a commitment or two, do it. Give away tickets you might have, don’t dwell on any guilt, just remember why you’re doing this.
  • Stay healthy. Try to sleep as much as you can, eat when you’re hungry and drink as much water as you can. Also, try to stay away from others that are sick; you immune system is probably low and your prone to pick up any infections.
  • Talk to someone/ Ask for help.  Talk through your problems with someone you know will understand. Don’t waste your breath telling people who won’t be supportive. If you can delegate some of your tasks, do it. You can pay back favors at a later date. If you’re not comfortable talking to anyone, write it down (like in a blog!)
  • Yoga/ Meditation/ Walking. Breathing techniques are proven to relax you. You’ll get some good breathing in if you meditate (if you’re like me and don’t have this down yet, try Gwyneth Paltrow’s recommendations), do yoga or even go for a faster paced walk.
  • Don’t ignore your emotions. This just prolongs any emotions you have. If you are angry for example, admit it, talk it through and you can usually move on much faster than if you let it fester and grow inside you.

If none of these sound like reasonable solutions, my final suggestion is to run away from it all. I’d suggest The Bahamas:

Long Island in the Bahamas

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