Self-care during pregnancy is about much more than midnight munchies.
True
Healthy Essentials

I jolted awake, in a cold sweat and gasping for air.

I was midway through my much-wanted, much-anticipated pregnancy with our second child, and in retrospect, I can say with some certainty that I was experiencing antenatal depression (depression during pregnancy). Little did I know, depression during pregnancy is actually pretty common — up to a quarter of women may experience it. But at the time, I felt hopeless. I knew I wanted this baby, but the depression led me to fear that the pregnancy was a mistake. To wake from a dream about this baby not making it into the world, just to dream it, left me feeling certain that I didn’t deserve to be a mom.

Image via iStock.


Depression can rear its head for any number of reasons, and I don’t know that I could have prevented it, but I do know that I wasn’t taking good care of myself.

Mercifully, during the pregnancy, my hormones shifted again and the darkness passed. (Though my depression passed, it doesn't always, so contacting a health care professional can be essential.) And not long after, my little girl was born, and all those feelings of fear and hopelessness felt so distant that they didn’t seem real. I was so glad to have her. I felt so fortunate that she was mine.

Now, finding myself at the beginning of a third pregnancy, I'm excited but also a little nervous that prenatal depression could creep back in down the road.

I didn't experience depression during my first pregnancy, and I don't know what my third will hold. But during this pregnancy, I’m determined to make self-care a priority. Because my emotional health matters.

Not only to me and my husband, but also to my children and most definitely to the little one growing inside me. What I’m enduring matters.

Image via iStock.

My self-care will include more "me time," more social activities, more days vegging out (at-home spa hour with body yogurt, anyone?), and more time talking to my doctor about what I’m going through.

What everyone needs is different, and there are many places to start — from easy things like taking a walk around the block to ones that take more of a commitment, like learning how to say no (check out this list over at the HEALTHY ESSENTIALS® Program). I’m starting with daily meditation, deep breathing when I’m feeling overwhelmed, and a determination to have more girl time with my friends.

It wasn’t an easy lesson to learn, but now I know that sometimes it’s more than just "crazy pregnancy hormones." Sometimes my feelings are telling me something important. I’m finally ready to listen.

We don’t talk much about depression during pregnancy — isn’t it supposed to be a time of bonding and nesting and anticipation after all?

Image via iStock.

But according to the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, experiencing depression during that time isn’t exactly rare. Between 14% and 23% of women are reported to face some depression symptoms during pregnancy — but I have to wonder if those numbers would be higher if we weren’t so squeamish about the topic.

Your feelings are a big deal, but treating depression doesn't have to be. There are lots of approaches available for depression or anxiety that are safe for you and baby. And you shouldn't feel like you have to do it alone — doctors and therapists are there to help.

Image via iStock.

I'm a busy working mom, and we are in the middle of trying to sell our house. I know how hard it can be for us moms to find time for ourselves.

And when I leave the kids with my husband to have lunch with a friend, part of me feels guilty to even take a couple of hours for myself. But I know that by prioritizing self-care, I am investing in the well-being of my entire family. None of us likes the distracted and impatient mom I am when I’m burned out and overwhelmed, so I take some time for myself to make my time with my family so much better.

True
Back Market

Between the new normal that is working from home and e-learning for students of all ages, having functional electronic devices is extremely important. But that doesn't mean needing to run out and buy the latest and greatest model. In fact, this cycle of constantly upgrading our devices to keep up with the newest technology is an incredibly dangerous habit.

The amount of e-waste we produce each year is growing at an increasing rate, and the improper treatment and disposal of this waste is harmful to both human health and the planet.

So what's the solution? While no one expects you to stop purchasing new phones, laptops, and other devices, what you can do is consider where you're purchasing them from and how often in order to help improve the planet for future generations.

Keep Reading Show less
via Tom Ward / Instagram

Artist Tom Ward has used his incredible illustration techniques to give us some new perspective on modern life through popular Disney characters. "Disney characters are so iconic that I thought transporting them to our modern world could help us see it through new eyes," he told The Metro.

Tom says he wanted to bring to life "the times we live in and communicate topical issues in a relatable way."

In Ward's "Alt Disney" series, Prince Charming and Pinocchio have fallen victim to smart phone addiction. Ariel is living in a polluted ocean, and Simba and Baloo have been abused by humans.

Keep Reading Show less
True
Back Market

Between the new normal that is working from home and e-learning for students of all ages, having functional electronic devices is extremely important. But that doesn't mean needing to run out and buy the latest and greatest model. In fact, this cycle of constantly upgrading our devices to keep up with the newest technology is an incredibly dangerous habit.

The amount of e-waste we produce each year is growing at an increasing rate, and the improper treatment and disposal of this waste is harmful to both human health and the planet.

So what's the solution? While no one expects you to stop purchasing new phones, laptops, and other devices, what you can do is consider where you're purchasing them from and how often in order to help improve the planet for future generations.

Keep Reading Show less

With many schools going virtual, many daycare facilities being closed or limited, and millions of parents working from home during the pandemic, the balance working moms have always struggled to achieve has become even more challenging in 2020. Though there are more women in the workforce than ever, women still take on the lion's share of household and childcare duties. Moms also tend to bear the mental load of keeping track of all the little details that keep family life running smoothly, from noticing when kids are outgrowing their clothing to keeping track of doctor and dentist appointments to organizing kids' extracurricular activities.

It's a lot. And it's a lot more now that we're also dealing with the daily existential dread of a global pandemic, social unrest, political upheaval, and increasingly intense natural disasters.

That's why scientist Gretchen Goldman's refreshingly honest photo showing where and how she conducted a CNN interview is resonating with so many.

Keep Reading Show less

Schools often have to walk a fine line when it comes to parental complaints. Diverse backgrounds, beliefs, and preferences for what kids see and hear will always mean that schools can't please everyone all the time, so educators have to discern what's best for the whole, broad spectrum of kids in their care.

Sometimes, what's best is hard to discern. Sometimes it's absolutely not.

Such was the case this week when a parent at a St. Louis elementary school complained in a Facebook group about a book that was read to her 7-year-old. The parent wrote:

"Anyone else check out the read a loud book on Canvas for 2nd grade today? Ron's Big Mission was the book that was read out loud to my 7 year old. I caught this after she watched it bc I was working with my 3rd grader. I have called my daughters school. Parents, we have to preview what we are letting the kids see on there."

Keep Reading Show less