Do I Want to Be A Mom?: A Woman's Guide to the Decision of a Lifetime

Do I Want to Be A Mom?: A Woman's Guide to the Decision of a Lifetime

by Suzan Erem, Diana L. Dell


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An informative, compassionate guide to the motherhood decision

"...give(s) a sense of what's ahead for new parents." —Baltimore Sun

Many women aren't sure how to best time motherhood in their lives. Others think they may want a child but aren't sure they really want to take on the responsibility. Still others want to be child-free, but they are afraid they will regret the decision later on when it's too late. Do I Want to Be a Mom? offers expert information, insights, and tools necessary for each woman to make her own best choice.

Dr. Diana Dell, an expert who is board certified in both obstetrics/gynecology and psychiatry, draws on her expertise to cover the emotional, physical, sexual, social, and financial aspects of this decision. Along with award-winning writer Suzan Erem, she also provides powerful anecdotes from women who speak openly of the fears, joys, regrets, and triumphs of motherhood or being child-free.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780071400749
Publisher: McGraw-Hill Professional Publishing
Publication date: 09/01/2003
Pages: 256
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.58(d)

About the Author

Diana L. Dell, M.D., FACOG, is board certified in obstetrics/gynecology and psychiatry and is a women's health expert at Duke University Medical Center. She is coauthor of The PMDD Phenomenon. A Durham, North Carolina, resident, she is past president of the American Medical Women's Association.

Suzan Erem is an award-winning author and journalist with fifteen years of experience writing for magazines and newspapers. She lives in State College, Pennsylvania, and has one child.

Table of Contents

1Our Instincts, Goals, and Conflicts1
It's Basic Biology3
I Want to Carry On My Family4
We Have Such Great Traditions6
My Family Wants Me to Have Children7
I Hope to Heal from My Dysfunctional Childhood9
It's What Most People Do11
I Have the Ability to Create Life13
I May Learn Something About Myself15
I Have So Much Love to Give17
Children Are Just Fun!19
I Just Want to Feel Loved20
I Can Create a Being in My Own Image ... or Maybe Not22
It's Part of My Faith25
I'd Do It for Love27
I'd Like to Build a Better World29
2Age Matters31
Will There Be Other Moms My Age?33
Where Will I Be in My Career?35
How Well Will I Know Myself?37
Will My Parents Be Around to Help?39
How Will It Go with My Mother?41
Will I Find the Right Partner?43
Will I Have the Energy for Kids?45
What About Stability?47
3Why Am I Worried?49
Will I Lose Myself?51
Can I "Do It All"?52
Can I Handle the Responsibility?54
Will I Like My Child? Will My Child Like Me?56
Will I Become My Mother?58
What if I Really Don't Want Children?60
Am I Selfish if I Don't Have Children?62
If I Don't Have Kids, Will I Feel Lonely When I'm Old?64
4What Will Pregnancy Do to My Health?67
What if I'm Still Ambivalent After I Get Pregnant?69
Is Childbirth as Rough as It Looks?71
Is There Sex After Childbirth?73
I'm Afraid to Say I'm Afraid75
What if I'm Not Happy Right Away?77
Will I Lose My Shape Forever?79
Will I Be Happy When It's Over?81
Will I Get Depressed?83
Will I Feel Out of Control?85
Are There Special Challenges for Lesbian Moms?86
5What Will Raising Children Do to My Health?87
Should I Breastfeed?89
Will I Get Enough Sleep?91
Will I Be Able to Handle the Stress?93
Can I Do All That Lifting?95
Can Motherhood Be Good for My Mental Health?96
What if I Have a Child with Disabilities?97
6What Does Having Children Do to a Relationship?99
How Do We Talk About Kids?101
Will We Be Able to Hear Each Other?103
What if We Change Our Minds?104
What if We Can't Agree About Kids?106
What if We Can't Get Pregnant?108
How Would We Divide the Parenting?111
Could We Survive Baby Boot Camp?113
How Will We Handle "Honey, I'm Home"?115
Will There Be Time for a Reality Check?117
Will We Still Want to Make Love?119
How Much Time Do We Need for the Two of Us?121
Will The "Little" Things Get Too Big?123
Will It Get Any Easier on Us?125
What if the Marriage Breaks Up?129
Are Stepmothers Moms, Too?131
7Will the Village Be There When I Need It?133
Will My Peers Be Able to Help?135
Could My Parents Pitch In?137
When Does Child Care Kick In?138
Can I Call on Neighbors and Friends?140
How Can the Schools Help?142
Can I Trust What I Read in the Papers?143
When Can I Ask for Help?145
Who Will Help with the "Terrible Teens"?147
Where Can I Make Child-Free Friends?150
8How Will Children Affect My Career?153
What if I Don't Want to Give Up My Career?155
Could I Turn into a SAHM?158
Can I Take Time Off for a While to Have Kids?160
Where Are the Kid-Friendly Careers?162
9What Does It Cost to Have and Raise Children?165
What Do Fertility Treatments Cost?167
What Does Artificial Insemination Cost?169
What Does It Cost to Have a Baby?170
What Will It Take to Outfit the Baby's Room?172
What Does It Cost to Raise a Child?174
What Will Education Cost?177
What Price Will I Pay for Not Working?178
How Would I Cope with the Cost of a Disability?181
10What If I Change My Mind?183
Can I Have Kids After Forty?185
Can I Adopt Late in Life?187
What About International Adoption?189
Can I Terminate This Pregnancy?191
Can I Put This Baby Up for Adoption?193
11Will I Be a Good Mom?195
What if I Fail?197
Is Child-Free the Right Choice for Me?199
What if I Regret Having Children?201
What if I Regret Not Having Children?203
Motherhood Is a Personal Choice204
Words of Wisdom: Select Quotes from Our Interviews and Surveys205
Works Cited209

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