10 Common pregnancy fears and how to get over them

Many expectant mothers worry about the outcome of their pregnancy and the health of their babies on a daily basis. While normal to some extent, here are the most common fears about pregnancy women have and why you shouldn’t worry too much about them.

Mommy-to-be worries
woman worried about pregnancy
1

Having a miscarriage

One in four women is likely to have a miscarriage, and very often this can happen with the first pregnancy. Many women live in fear for the first 13 weeks of their pregnancy. When a miscarriage occurs, it is the body flushing out a fetus that might have been growing improperly. Unfortunately there is nothing anyone can do to stop it, and it can be devastating to lose a pregnancy. But there’s no reason not to remain optimistic. After all, three out of four pregnancies do not result in miscarriage.

2

Morning sickness means my baby is starving

In the first trimester — and sometimes through the later stages of pregnancy — many women suffer from morning sickness, which makes eating a challenge. In the early months, you need very little extra food for your baby to grow. You might be hungry, but your baby is feeding off your vitamin stores and has all it needs to grow and develop.

3

Listeria poisoning

While the dangers of listeria poisoning are serious and life-threatening for the fetus, there’s no need for moms-to-be to worry too much about this particular condition. For starters, listeria poisoning is very rare, affecting as few as every two to three pregnant women per million. As long as you are careful to eat well-cooked meats and preserve foods appropriately, there is little reason to fear getting listeria poisoning.

4

Umbilical cord suffocation

Many pregnant women worry about the possibility of the umbilical cord getting stuck around the baby’s neck, causing suffocation. Yes, umbilical cord complications can be serious in rare situations, but in general, when they are treated promptly by health care professionals, serious side effects can be avoided. In fact, as many as 35 per cent of babies are born with the umbilical cord wrapped around their necks, but it is almost never tight enough to cause severe damage.

5

Hurting your fetus

It’s important to remember that your growing miracle is surrounded by plenty of fluid and so it’s actually quite difficult for you to harm your child with your movements. Mother Nature has designed a fascinating system within your body that works very well at protecting your little one until he or she is ready for the world.

6

Down’s syndrome

There are many tests pregnant women can take today to check for Down’s syndrome while the baby is still in its very early stages of development. Many women also have to undergo several follow-up tests. Keep in mind that this is usually just a precaution and that most babies will be fine.

7

Premature labour

Many women worry about going into premature labour and the implications that might have for their child. But the fact is that after 24 weeks, a fetus is viable outside the womb, with plenty of help, of course. It’s not ideal, but should your baby be born earlier than expected, don’t fear the worst. Many babies are born at 32 weeks (especially multiples, which are usually born quite early) and go on to grow big and strong and lead full and healthy lives.

8

Birth defects

It might comfort you to know that nearly every mother-to-be fears or even dreams about her baby being born with some horrible birth defect. You’re not the only one, and this isn’t a sign of things to come. It’s a common fear because mothers obviously want so much for their children to be well. Just remember that Mother Nature works hard to ensure proper development and that most babies are born perfectly healthy.

9

Alcohol consumption in very early pregnancy

It’s not uncommon for women to find out they are pregnant as far as six weeks into their pregnancies — after a weekend of partying, perhaps. If you’ve consumed alcohol during the first six weeks, rest assured your baby is fine. The fetus is unaffected by toxins at this stage. To be safe, bring the subject up with your doctor, but don’t fret too much.

10

Questioning skills as a mother

If you’re a first-time mom about to give birth, don’t worry that you don’t know how to change a diaper or respond to other crying babies. Your maternal instincts will kick in once your baby is born. Your body is designed to give you all you need once the birthing process begins. It’s normal to worry, since you currently have no idea what to do. But rest assured that Mother Nature has also taken care of that, and your skills will come in as soon as you need them to.

More on pregnancy

10 Spring-inspired baby names
7 Tips for dealing with morning sickness
10 Surprising perks of being pregnant

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