I recently reviewed a great new resource for expectant mamas; the fabulous book, Finding Calm for the Expectant Mom. I soooo wish I’d had a copy of this book 9 years ago. While there are MANY books out there that will walk you through the physical changes that pregnancy brings, this one tackles the emotional side of things. In particular, stress that can crop of in many areas, and it offers solid advice for solutions. You’ll love the clear prose, quizzes that bring personal insight, and excellent communication tips!

Am I Crazy, Or Just Pregnant?

Dr. Domar sheds light on the real symptoms pregnant women may experience, and while it’s not all glowing, she wants moms to know it’s a normal aspect of pregnancy that women shouldn’t feel guilty about. I particularly loved the section in which she dissects some of the not-so-helpful thoughts that might spin around in a pregnant woman’s head, including:

“I am going to hate being a mother.”

“My partner and I will never have fun together again!”

“We can’t afford a baby!”

Dr. Domar offers four questions to apply to these worries (and any other intrusive thoughts):

  1. Does this thought contribute to my stress?
  2. Where did I learn this thought? These thoughts usually come from something someone said to you in the past (Mom, is that you?)–or is it your fear speaking?
  3. Is this a logical thought?
  4. Is this thought true?

She walks you through sample answers too!

Managing Expectations:

While everyone may be excited for you, they’ll also feel like they need to share unsolicited advice and criticism with you. Set boundaries early with parents, in-laws, and friends (and even strangers–seriously!). I love the author’s comebacks to have at the ready for when people overstep their bounds and need a “friendly” reminder to back off. For example:

“Thank you for your helpful advice.”calm-book-cover

“We’ve got this covered.”

“We’ve made it a policy to not take advice from people we don’t know.”

Work-Related Anxiety:

One common source of stress keeping you up at night is work – how to tell the boss you’re pregnant? Dr. Domar addresses the fact that you may have many questions in this area: Does my company provide insurance or maternity leave? Will I be able to get my work done before taking leave? Can I find affordable childcare for when I return? She even offers samples of what to say if your supervisor is hounding you about your plans for after the baby arrives:

“My current plan is to come back to work full-time. if anything changes in that plan, I’ll let you know.”

“I haven’t begun to think about that, but I’m pretty sure I’ll come back to work.”

“I’m not sure it’s even legal to ask that question.”

Check out this great book–it is the perfect gift to give yourself if you’re expecting, or to get for your pregnant friend to say, “congratulations.”

Disclosure: I received a complimentary review copy of this book.

Sarah MacLaughlin is author of the award-winning book, What Not to Say: Tools for Talking with Young Children and has been featured in The Huffington PostShe brings over 20 years of experience working with children and families to her coaching practice. Sarah is also mom to an eight-year-old who gives her plenty of opportunities to take her own advice. She works with families one on one, in groups, and through online offerings.