Pregnancy can be a time of joy, excitement and for many expectant mothers and fathers, fear. In particular with my first pregnancy, I was cautious about eating certain foods and participating in some activities. I questioned every pain, every discomfort, and even times when I felt nothing but believed that I should.
I have researched several lists of the most common fears among pregnant women. These are the things that expectant mothers worry about the most, in no particular order.
Having an unhealthy baby
Suffering a miscarriage
Fear of labor
Fear of parenting
Weight gain (and the inability to lose it)
1. Having an unhealthy baby
You can go to every appointment and have a great check up. Your measurements can be right on track. Your eating can be healthy. It is still very common to worry that something will be wrong with your child until he or she is born and you can actually see the perfect baby you have created. It is the fear of the unknown, or more like the unseen. Some women fear everything from birth defects to health problems. Some even admit they just fear having an ugly baby. But if you are a parent, you know this is not possible. For when you hold your newborn, you will believe that you have never seen anything more beautiful.
2. Suffering a miscarriage
When it comes to the thought of a pregnancy loss, this is a fear that haunts the hardest. But considering the facts may ease some of the worry. “Most miscarriages happen within the first trimester and occur within about 15-25 percent of all pregnancies; but from about twelve weeks onward, the risk is dramatically reduced. So if you’ve made it past the 14 week mark, your risk of miscarrying is actually somewhere around one percent.” (Pregnant.thebump.com)
According to Pregnancytoday.com, “the most common causes of miscarriage are genetic defects or failure of the egg to implant properly in the uterus, things which women can't help. You can improve your baby's chances by not drinking or smoking.”
An important statement -- “The most common causes are things which women can’t help.” Do not let these fears overpower your pregnancy happiness and excitement.
3. Fear of labor
Fear of pain, down there. Fear of pushing, panting and screaming like a crazy person when you are supposed to be experiencing an event of a lifetime. Fear that your child will enter the world to the sound of your screaming voice. Fear of an episiotomy or a cesarean delivery. Again, this is the fear of the unknown. You will be nervous, even if you have been through it before.
Kind of like pubic, I mean, public speaking. You will be relieved and proud of yourself when it is over.
4. Fear of parenting
Even men and women that already have children are afraid of parenting. That never goes away. But it is intimidating to be handed an infant that is only days old and knowing that you are responsible for his or her survival and wellbeing once you leave the hospital. Intimidating, and somewhat scary but also empowering.
Congratulations, you have just begun the most important job that you will ever have. And you will never stop training.
5. Weight gain (and the inability to lose it)
You will not leave the hospital at your pre-pregnancy weight. Give yourself time to enjoy being a new mom before you start evaluating diet programs or criticizing your own waistline. Of course you can work hard enough to lose the pregnancy weight. You had a baby. You can do anything.
What’s the best way to calm your fears and try to enjoy your pregnancy more? Educate yourself! Gather information and follow your practitioner's directions. Read books, take parenting and birthing classes, join parenting groups and acquire information from others. The more you know, the more prepared you will be. Best of luck and stop worrying!
Pregnancy Stress & Anxiety,Easing Pregnancy Fears: how to relax and enjoy your pregnancy. Pregnancy Today. Web. 29, Aug. 2011.
Top 10 Pregnancy Fears. The bump: the inside scoop on your pregnancy.
Web. 29, Aug. 2011.
Pregnancy fears, Are You a Member of the W.W.C? About.com, Pregnancy & Childbirth.Web. 29, Aug. 2011. http://pregnancy.about.com/cs/healthduringpreg/a/wwc.htm
Reviewed August 30, 2011
by Michele Blacksberg R.N.
Edited by Jody Smith