20 minutes after
As working moms, often we forget to schedule in down time after medical appointments. We squeeze our medical appointments into the beginning or end of the day to accommodate work, family and personal schedules. I don’t know about you, but I think medical appointments are hard enough to just get to; let alone planning for what happens when you receive difficult news at the doctor’s office, too. This recently happened to a friend of mine and she drove 20 minutes after receiving this difficult news directly back to work. While it seems admirable that she hurried back to her duties, taking just 20 minutes afterward for herself might have been healthier.
Our body and mind needs time to process the information we have received. I think it’s reasonable to try to build into your schedule a time for “after the doctor’s” appointment, don’t you? During these 20 minutes you could stop at a local café to have a cup of tea, read some information, or go for a long walk. This time could help you relieve stress or anxiety and help you build up an internal coping mechanism.
Pregnant women that face difficult news may face more intensified emotions, because of our body’s changing hormones during pregnancy. I suggest having a person from your support team with you during pregnancy/prenatal checkups or annual women’s medical appointments, including a spouse, partner, or friend, sibling or parent. If your support person cannot be physically present at the appointment, ask her to be available for 5 minutes after your appointment to talk on the phone, text or email etc. This will help you have a support system that is there to listen. Tell this person to remind you to take those “20 minutes after” for yourself… and then take them.