5 Things To Remember When Pregnancy Fears Get The Best Of You
Being pregnant is one of the most exciting times in a mother’s life, but it can also be one of the scariest. Instead of focusing on what’s likely to happen—having a “normal” birth with a heathy child—expectant moms can become stressed and unable to push away fears that something will go wrong.
Worrying is natural when it comes to the things we care about the most, but that doesn’t mean you should allow yourself to get sucked into that type of thinking. Why? First and foremost, a lot of your fears are probably out of your span of control. Worrying about things that you cannot change (in pregnancy or in life in general) isn’t productive or helpful. If you’re doing your best to make responsible, good choices, sometimes that’s all you can do to drive a certain outcome. Beyond that, worrying is fruitless.
As a mom-to-be, you probably already know this, but conquering your fears is often easier said than done. Before your worries start to snowball and take over your rational mind, try the following tips:
1. Statistics are Your Friend
Once you hear a heartbeat in week six, your chances of miscarriage are low six percent. By week eight, it drops to a very low two percent.* The odds of bringing your baby into this world are highly in your favor. That isn’t to say miscarriages don’t happen or that they aren’t devastating. But worrying about it is both realistically and statistically pointless. You can’t prevent a miscarriage by worrying, and chances are, you’re worrying for nothing.
2. Scale Back on Other Commitments
Sometimes it can seem like one thing is stressing you out, when it’s really something else entirely. (Or more likely, a combination of many things.) Take time to reflect on how various commitments are making you feel now that you’re pregnant. You may realize that you’re too tired or overwhelmed to enjoy the same activities. If book club is starting to stress you out, take a break and don’t feel guilty about it. The less you have on your calendar, the less stressed you will likely be.
3. Stay Calm
You might have noticed how popular the “Stay Calm and ___” signs have become over the past year or two. There’s something to that! Staying calm has a wide variety of health benefits, not to mention being happier. Pregnancy can cause a spike in hormones that makes many women anxious or stressed. It’s not always possible to flip a switch and simply decide to be calm, but there are a variety of things that help reduce stress: yoga, getting more sleep, meditating, practicing deep breathing, exercising regularly, laughing with friends, etc. Work these things into your schedule.
4. Don’t Add Fuel to the Fire
For many women, fears are often the result of nonsense they read online or hear in the media. There are so many “experts” out there telling you what you should and shouldn’t be doing, it can freak anyone out. Yes, it’s good to eat healthy during your pregnancy, but a couple of Snickers bars aren’t going to affect your pregnancy. What might actually be damaging? The hours you spend scouring the internet and worrying about unfortunate circumstances that are highly unlikely to happen to you. Sometimes you just have to cut yourself off from negative, fear-based media. Chances are, there are probably 50 more enjoyable and productive things you could be doing anyway. Go take a bath. Or a nap.
As human beings, we are never in a hundred percent control of our destinies. That isn’t how life works. While this can be a scary reality, it’s also a beautiful one. Life is full of happy unplanned moments and adventures: falling in love, meeting new friends, seeing what you’re capable of, and meeting the tiny person who will be the perfect addition to your family. As challenging as it may be, try hard to think positively about your pregnancy. Before you know it, your beautiful baby will be in your arms and your fears will be behind you.
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