Top 10 Biggest Pregnancy Fears
Fear and worry are so common for both partners in
pregnancy. Nearly every
pregnant woman or her partner will worry about something pregnancy related at
one point or another. My guess would be multiple worries, multiple times.
The biggest fear is that the pain will be so great that youíll collapse and
break into a thousand pieces. Some are frightened that they wonít be able to
have natural childbirth, and if they succeed in natural childbirth, great; if
they need an epidural or
The skills taught by
childbirth educators are invaluable, but don't let natural-childbirth
proponents take you on a guilt trip. In many cases, the pain isnít nearly as bad
as you might have feared (some compare it to really bad menstrual cramps), but
relief is attainable if it gets intense. Anesthesia is available to help you
cope and use it if required.
Losing My Lover
Many women fear that their husbands forever will see them as chubby,
milk-stained moms, rather than exciting lovers. Some research among friends
revealed that the problem typically isnít with our matesí minds but with our
You nevertheless may not be overcome with desire the minute
your doctor gives you the six-week go-ahead to have sex . Donít rush the
recovery. The desire will come back eventually, within the first
year, as will your old body. And try to remember that your husband probably
desires you as much as ever.
Itíll Hurt the Baby
Many women worry that theyíll Ďhurtí the baby by being active or having sex. The reality is comforting, however: Itís generally safe to do most of
the activities you did before pregnancy, from tennis to
cycling (just donít
water-ski or take up windsurfing in your fourth month, and you should put off
risky sports like downhill skiing and horseback riding). You also can have sex
right up to the due date as long as you arenít experiencing any complications
(no, it wonít trigger labor).
The risk of miscarriage decreases dramatically after the
first trimester of pregnancy.
Having a CĖSection
Weíve all heard the stories: 48 hours of labor, followed by a Cesarean section
and a mother depressed because she didnít have a ďregularĒ birth. It doesnít
mean you flunked childbirth if you have to have a Cesarean section.
It really is safer when something goes wrong ó it saves a lot of
babies when you
need to get them out fast. To reduce the odds of having a C-section, stay at
home during the early part of labor and let your water break on its own so you
do not break the "infection barrier" for the baby.
Something Will Be Wrong With the
Nature is on your side here: The vast majority of babies are healthy. In fact,
only about three in 100 will be born with any sort of
And many of the babies who are born with problems can be helped with surgery,
medical therapy or simple TLC.
Moreover, problems involving a baby's anatomy or
development are often identified early, so the longer your pregnancy stays
trouble-free, the more confident you can feel. "If you're nine months pregnant,
you're feeling your baby move every day, you've had your routine tests, and
everything's gone well during your checkups, there's more than a 99 percent
chance that your baby will be fine," says Marjorie Greenfield, MD, associate
professor of obstetrics and gynecology with the University Hospitals of
Cleveland and Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine.
One of the scariest things about pregnancy is the specter of losing control ó
that in the throes of labor and delivery youíll
scream, curse or barf
all over the doctor. And you just might. When we are walking around
normally and drop something on our foot or smash our finger, that's the body's
response: If something is wrong, fix it. Our bodies will eventually give us some
endorphins to deal with that, but no other hormones to deal with an injury. When
a woman is in labor, her body provides endorphins and oxytocin. Oxytocin, a
hormone produced in women's bodies, aids in cervical dilation and reduces stress
This is a biggie.
My asthma demanded that I use inhalers during my pregnancies,
which caused me needless worry; other women blithely smoke, drink or take cold
medicine before they realize theyíre pregnant, and then they panic. Remember
that the most serious cause of birth defects is definitely not moms taking
medicines, or smoking or drinking ó the cause is unknown. Moms tend
to worry too much. But, it is advisable to, discontinue any medication you can live
without once you know youíre pregnant or once you begin trying. And, of course,
donít smoke or drink. Consult with your doctor about which medications you
should and shouldnít take while pregnant.
Being a Bad Mother
Hereís how I comforted myself when I was struck with this fear: I got out an old
picture of myself at 11 months, beaming from within my dreary, toy-free playpen,
where Iím pretty sure I was left for hours on end. Despite having had six kids
in seven years, my mother somehow gave us a happy childhood and plenty of love.
And in turn, my kids are happy and loving ó despite my failings. Donít think you
have to be perfect, babies respond to day-in, day-out
care and love.
Being 10 pounds overweight is not your destiny, as long as you take charge.
A lot of women say itís not their fault, that they canít
lose weight after
pregnancy, but usually the problem is that theyíre not making time
for themselves. Take care of yourself,
eat right. The
take care of itself. Staying in
shape during pregnancy helps, too.
A weight gain between 25 to 30 pounds is advisable for normal healthy
woman, while an overweight woman should gain 15 to 20 pounds and an underweight
woman should gain 30 to 35 pounds.
I Canít Handle Another Baby
Many women pregnant with their second (or third or fourth) child spend sleepless
nights fretting that they wonít have enough love and attention for everybody.
This idea isnít necessarily far-fetched. Thereís a clichť that there will always
be enough to go around, but thatís not true. There will be times when the needs of one child will come
before the other or before the needs of your husband. On the other hand, love
does not come in finite quantities, and you can give special love to many. Itís
a balancing act that millions of women have managed, and you will, too.
Coping With Fears
Whatever your worries might be, it's important to find ways to cope with
Discuss your fears with your partner, a friend or a family member. Many
women feel better after talking things out.
Express your worries to your healthcare provider. His or her medical
expertise and background can dispel many fears.
Educate yourself. The more you know the less you fear. Head to the library
or log onto the Internet to research your worries.
Occasionally, worrying can lead to obsession or depression. Educating yourselves is a really good way to help relieve some of your fears.
Ask questions when you see the practitioner, and make it a point to
write down the answers. Reading books is a really good way to educate
yourselves, although not every book is as accurate as it should be, so ask for
recommendations from educators, practitioners, etc.
Dated 25 April 2013