Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Not as Easy as 1-2-3 to Be a Mummy; One Woman Puts Pen to Paper to Share with Others

Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Not as Easy as 1-2-3 to Be a Mummy; One Woman Puts Pen to Paper to Share with Others

Article excerpt

LEAH Stuckings, like so many other 30-something-year-old women, thought that when she was ready to have children she would just fall pregnant.

Even though she was aware that women over 30 (and especially over 35) were more likely to have trouble conceiving than younger women, she did not believe she would be "one of those women" who would struggle to conceive.

This unrealistic optimism is rife among Western women who are able to achieve so much in this modern era - they can study, build a career, travel, take time to find a partner, and become financially stable.

So when time comes to have a baby they think this goal is also within their control, as easily.

As Leah was on the "right side" of 35 when she began trying to get pregnant, she was shocked when after six months, and then 12 months, she had not conceived.

As a clinical psychologist, she had treated numerous women over the years who presented with what she calls disenfranchised grief as the result of difficulties falling pregnant.

She says many women find it hard to discuss this issue as it is such a private affair and can make women feel defective.

Further, such discussions can make others feel uncomfortable.

Leah realised that such isolation and a sense of failure could lead to depression and anxiety.

So when she began experiencing the same situation, she put pen to paper to try to find ways that women could navigate their way through the maze of feelings associated with what she calls being "reproductively challenged".

Associate Professor Anastasia Nyman Iliadou, of Sweden, reported in the Fertility and Sterility Journal this year, that women who suffer depression and anxiety leading up to IVF treatment are less likely to fall pregnant and have a live birth compared to women who do not suffer from these conditions.

Of 23,000 women in Sweden who underwent IVF in 2007, she found that "depression and anxiety diagnoses may be the underlying factor leading to lower pregnancy and live birth rates in these women". …

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