Postpartum Depression and Pregnant Perfectionists

Sasha Brown-Worsham
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Pregnant CafeMom
Photo by -Nico
If you're pregnant and pushing for perfection, you may want to loosen your standards a bit, scientists reported last week at the Association for Psychological Science annual convention.

All new moms want everything to go just right. We all want healthy babies and size 4 figures a week after giving birth, but we may need to ease up on ourselves a bit in order to save ourselves from depression.

According to Science News:

"Perfectionists often try to impress others by bragging or trying to promote their faultless qualities, avoid situations in which they might show imperfections, and refuse to admit failures to others, said Gordon Flett of York University in Toronto."

"Using questionnaires, Flett queried 100 women during the final month of their pregnancies and one month after giving birth about their perfectionism, personality, and mental health.

"Postpartum depression occurred substantially more often among women who had demanded perfection of themselves while pregnant than among those who had cited few or no signs of perfectionism. This association held after accounting for pregnant women’s feelings that others demanded perfection of them and for any depression symptoms that had been present during pregnancy."

So, what does that mean?

Do you obsess over the details of the nursery and every pound gained? Have you read 1,000 new baby books and taken a dozen classes and already signed Junior up for swim lessons, horseback riding, and two different preschools (in case one falls through)? Then maybe you are a perfectionist.

But I find it hard to distinguish those who are actually at-risk and those who are just like any new mommy-to-be: wanting the best for their baby.

So, tell me, what do you think defines "perfectionism"? And how is it different than every new mom?


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