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.

 

Itíll Hurt!Top 10 Biggest Pregnancy Fears

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 C-section, great. 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 own.

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

Top 10 Biggest Pregnancy FearsWeíve 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 Baby

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 birth defect. 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.


 

Losing Control

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 during labor.


 

This is a biggie.


Top 10 Biggest Pregnancy FearsMy 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.


 

Fat Forever

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, exercise and eat right. The weight will 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 them.

  • 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

 

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