5 common pregnancy fears and how to overcome them
Article by Cherlynn Ng
Expecting a child is something to rejoice over, but you might find anxiety and fear creeping in every now and then. While that’s absolutely normal, you should not let these ill feelings overshadow the joy of pregnancy and parenthood.
Here are five common thoughts that you are probably losing sleep over and tips to best overcome them.
1. Will my baby be healthy?
Birth defects are one of the most common fears that plague mothers-to-be. Ironically, they are unlikely to happen, especially if you do not have a higher-risk profile (e.g. smoking, drinking alcohol, obesity etc). Birth defects occur in about three to four percent of babies, and thanks to advanced technology, they are detectable around 22 weeks into the pregnancy.
Understand that there is little to nothing you can do about birth defects, many of which are minor and easily treatable with the help of modern medicine. You can, however, maintain a healthy lifestyle and eat well to lower the chances of birth defects in your newborn.
2. Will I carry the baby to term?
Miscarriages are another common worry, but they are random genetic abnormalities and out of your control. Most miscarriages occur in the first trimester, while the risk falls to only 0.5% to 1% during the second trimester. Instead of fretting about them, focus on having a healthy and fulfilling pregnancy. If you experience any bleeding or pain during pregnancy, be sure to see your doctor immediately.
3. Will it be a painful labour?
We are not going to paint a pretty picture and lie that childbirth doesn’t hurt. It does, but take comfort in the fact that there are plenty of options which can help you to ease the pain and overcome your fear of labour. Epidurals are safe and effective, while having relaxation techniques at hand can make the process less nerve-wracking.
Those traumatic scenes you’ve watched on television where a woman screams in pain while pushing her baby? Don’t let them get into your head as they will only increase your anxiety and do nothing to alleviate your fears. Instead, look up and practice breathing techniques for when the time comes for you to enter the delivery room.
4. Will I be able to breastfeed my baby?
Mothers dwell on a variety of issues when it comes to breastfeeding, such as whether they can produce sufficient breast milk or if their baby will be able to latch on properly. The truth is, over 90 percent of women can breastfeed successfully with the right amount of patience and support. According to Parents.com, “it takes two to three weeks before the mother and baby really know each other and the milk production matches the baby’s needs.”
A professional confinement can assist you with any issues that may arise along the way and dish out advice accordingly, such as preparing meals that will boost breast milk supply.
5. Will I be a good parent?
All mothers — and even fathers — have probably wondered about this at some point, so you are not alone. It’s completely all right to feel like we are not doing enough even when we are already giving it our best. After all, we are own worst critic.
It’s important to note that most of your fears are unfounded and every struggle (which you will eventually overcome) is part of the learning process. Rather than stressing about things that are beyond your control, have faith in yourself and enjoy the complicated yet fun journey of pregnancy and parenthood.
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