Women's  Healthcare Topics is a website about pregnancy and your newborn baby.

Social Effects of Pregnancy

Reviewed by James Brann, M.D.

New Mom has to Balance the Competing Roles

Learn about being a new mom, and new role as parent.

The social effects of pregnancy often center on the need for a new mom to balance the competing roles of parent, partner, friend and individual. No one woman will react to their new role of parent in the same manner.

In fact, you may not even be ready to become a new parent. Perhaps you feel that you are too young, or not in the right time in your life. It is possible that you are facing an unplanned pregnancy. What are your choices? You have three choices: keeping and raising the baby, abortion, and adoption.

However, keep in mind that these choices are permanent and lifelong decisions that you must live with. Before making any hasty decisions, take your time to do your research and learn about the pros and cons of each. If you decide abortion or adoption, will you be able to emotionally handle these permanent choices?

If you decide that you want to keep the baby and raise the child, one thing is certain, becoming a parent is one of the most rewarding and challenging 'jobs' a mother to be will take on. With this job comes certain social pressures and influences that may impact your role as parent and mother.

A common theme among women who become pregnant and go on to deliver their children is the need and desire to improve their life. Most women believe that having a baby will motivate them to improve their economic and their social life.

Most women also express the desire to represent a positive role model for their children. The expression of this desire is natural. It is important however that you realize that you do not have to be a 'perfect' parent in order to be a good parent. A good parent is one that cares for, loves and provides their children with the nurturing and support they need to grow into healthy and happy adults.

Becoming a Good Parent

Most new moms are concerned with being a good parent. Confidence in one's parenting ability comes with time. One of the best things you can do for yourself is recognize that your role as parent will change and evolve over time. It is important that you enjoy the process, and not stress out about it unnecessarily in the months during your pregnancy and after.

Most women are concerned with issues including breastfeeding, their sexuality and conflicts that may arise with their partners over the division of labor and responsibilities that result from pregnancy. These are natural concerns that typically resolve themselves through open communication within your relationship.

How well you cope with the social aspects of pregnancy will depend in part on how much you struggle with cultural and personal expectations of the role of mother. Remember however that ultimately you are in control of your life and that you have the power and ability to make good and safe choices, the choices that are best for you and your children.

While it is important that you recognize social and cultural factors as well as your personal expectations of the role of mother, it is equally important that you also acknowledge your limitations.

It is vital for your health and well being that you accept that each and every day you are doing the best that you can, and often that is good enough.

Your lifestyle during and after pregnancy will have long lasting and long term effects on your quality of life and the quality of life of your baby.

There are many things we are trained for in the course of our lives, but parenting may not be one of them. Becoming a parent is one of the most rewarding and also one of the most challenging roles you will take on as a result of pregnancy.

During your pregnancy you may form an image in your mind of what kind of parent you want to be when your baby is born. You'll find that you receive an overwhelming amount of advice from well meaning family and friends, some of whom are parents and some of whom are not.

You may even go as far as planning for your child's future. However the methods you will actually adopt as a parent may vary substantially from your thoughts once your baby is actually born.

The manner in which you raise your child may depend in part upon your personal preferences, upbringing, cultural and ethnic background and any social pressures you may face or recognize during your life.

Being a good parent simply is contingent upon your dedication to the role of parent. If you aspire to be the best you can be, you will undoubtedly provide your child with a safe, compassionate and nurturing environment to grow and develop in.

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