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Thread: Article: IVF Mums More Anxious, Less Confident

  1. #1

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    Default Article: IVF Mums More Anxious, Less Confident

    This is interesting, and not terribly surprising either!

    The stress of infertility follows many IVF mums into parenthood, according to a snapshot revealing they have much higher rates of anxiety and baby problems than women who conceive naturally.

    The largest Australian study of mothering after assisted conception has found that these women are three times more likely to be admitted to early parenting centres in the 18 months after giving birth.

    They also are more anxious about caring for their baby, less confident in their mothering skills and more likely to stop breast feeding early.

    The University of Melbourne study tracked 150 women over the first 18 months of motherhood and compared their results with data from other mothers.

    Study leader Dr Karin Hammarberg, from the Key Centre for Women's Health in Society, said there was strong links between the amount of difficulty a woman had conceiving and her self-esteem on leaving hospital.

    "Women who take longer to conceive, go through more treatment cycles and have miscarriages and have lower levels of confidence when they go home with their new babies," Dr Hammarberg said.

    "The lengthy process of relying on technology to do what their body can't really takes a toll."

    The unpublished study found that IVF mothers were an average of five years older, more likely to be having their first child and nine times more likely to have twins.
    They also were far more likely to have a caesarean birth and report being disappointed with the actual birth experience, the researcher said.

    They tended to have very high expectations of life with a new baby, leaving them unprepared for the extraordinary demands involved in caring for a newborn.

    Dr Hammarberg said they had less trust in their bodies, with 55 per cent switching to bottle-feeding in the first three months, probably because they did not believe they could keep producing milk.

    On top of this, they often did not feel like they could complain about the problems they were having, she said.

    "Women who conceive on IVF feel incredibly lucky, and everybody tells them how lucky they are, so they really don't feel entitled to complain."

    Almost three per cent of Australian births are the result of IVF or other assisted technologies, with the number increasing as more couples delay parenthood.
    Dr Hammarberg said more effort must go into giving them extra support.

    "This is not about funding," she said.

    "It's about doing a few extra supportive things to help women who have had a few knocks."



  2. #2

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    hhhmmmm.... not sure what to think of this...

    Might it actually be that the woman wants it to be so good that she actually seeks help whereas perhaps others havent? Im not fond of this type of study for that very reason...

    plus Im curious what is you other ladies take on this comment "The lengthy process of relying on technology to do what their body can't really takes a toll"

    hhhmmmm?

  3. #3

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    Yeah I thought that particular phrase was a little insensitive, too! But thought it was just me, being me, with my LT eyes always on!

    My DH actually sent this to me, mainly because of this part:

    "Women who conceive on IVF feel incredibly lucky, and everybody tells them how lucky they are, so they really don't feel entitled to complain."
    which he thinks is particularly true of me, but I suspect is probably true of any LTTTCer.

  4. #4
    ~Jane~ Guest

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    plus Im curious what is you other ladies take on this comment "The lengthy process of relying on technology to do what their body can't really takes a toll"
    that REALLY got my blood pressure up. I also saw this as a news headline last night and I didn't think that the headline grabs they were saying were entirely sensitive either. I doubt it was just being a hormonal preggie person either as DH stopped and watched too.

    I agree about the quote you highlighted Sushee, I know I feel like I can't complain about this pregnancy even when I am laid low with a migraine or vomitting like mad, so I can't imagine what I will be like when bubs comes.

    DH and I both agreed this is one of the benefits for us having not told people about our IVF treatment, it just seems as though you are viewed differently when people know IYKWIM.

  5. #5

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    Keen, I'm with you ... I don't know what to think of this article either. Sounds like they are trying to tar us all with one brush yet again.

    All I can say from my own perspective is that I certainly didn't feel less capable of mothering my own child because I'd had to have assistance to conceive. I also didn't think I had high or unrealistic expectations of what having a baby involved. What I felt really happened with me was that a lot of unexpressed sadness and grief caught up with me long after the baby was born.

    It is true though that I don't believe in my body very much any more and I think that is natural after you feel you have been betrayed by it so many times. Sounds a bit melodramatic but there it is.

  6. #6

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    I think they should pump their study funds elsewhere, such as trying to make IVF more successful, or endometriosis and fertility PCOS... you know what I mean.. stop wasting money on ridiculous research programs....

    Just my opinion... leis x

  7. #7
    ~Jane~ Guest

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    Leis, you are right with that. It just strikes me as such an odd piece of research that I can't see much benefit from for infertile women as a whole. even my sister commented to me last night (she also saw it on the news) what a strange study it was.

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    I agree. All it does really is provide grist for the mill when people want to bang on about IVF (and we all know what sort of people those would be).

    Perhaps that wasn't their intent but once again, the way the article is written up has an impact on how people will interpret the information given.

  9. #9
    ~Jane~ Guest

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    the way the article is written up has an impact on how people will interpret the information given
    exactly, and I personally don't think a lot of people will "get" it and use it for more anti IVF purposes, let's face it such people exist. That was my concern, although I don't seem terribly articulate this week.

  10. #10

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    I'm really interested in all the comments made. I know I never doubted my mothering skills, but it didn't mean that I didn't have a hard time with being a mum to a new born. But that was no different to most mums with newborns I think.

    But, again, I wondered if my confidence in myself was because I had had three children previously, albeit a long while ago. I agree with Keen though, I think IVF mums, perhaps being more mature and wanting the best for their baby, would be more inclined to err on the side of caution and seek help earlier. I know when my 3 older kids were younger, I would have not been so quick to rush them to the Dr if they were sick. Does that make me more anxious now? I don't think so. Smarter, more clued in, definitely more cautious, but not anxious though!

    I think it's a silly study too. What does it actually achieve? They're saying we need extra support? No, all mums need support, and more of it. I think Leis was right in saying the money for the study would have been better used in research on infertility!

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