As a first time mom, I had a lot of pregnancy fears. I had no experience with pregnancy and how to handle it. However, true to the quote above, pregnancy and delivery of my baby showed me that I am stronger than I thought!
Thus, I had a lot of questions and worries. Will I accidentally hurt my baby during pregnancy? What if I fall? Will the pain of labor be too much? What might happen during delivery?
Now, I tend to worry probably more than most people, but a lot of these worries are completely normal to have. However, I do want to address some common fears about pregnancy and delivery, as well as how to handle them.
According to one article, miscarriage is defined as “a pregnancy that ends on its own, within the first 20 weeks of gestation.” In this same article, the chances of miscarriage can range from 10-25% for women in their childbearing years.
While there are factors such as chromosomal abnormalities that can result in miscarriage and nothing can be done about that, there are still lots of things that can be done to help keep yourself healthy and prevent the occurrence of a miscarriage that is a result of other factors.
First of all, do whatever you can to be as healthy as you can. Exercise consistently, eat healthily and avoid drugs and alcohol. Work on reducing stress in your life. Consider reducing stress by pampering yourself with a Bump Box. They have lots of amazing products you can use to take care of yourself during pregnancy.
Also, take folic acid daily (Talk to your doctor about prenatal vitamins and what you need to do to get enough folic acid). Thus, while the possibility of miscarriage was terrifying for me, I focused on what I could control. And that was being as healthy as I possibly could.
I think this fear is normal! I wanted to try the epidural, as I wanted to reduce as much pain as I could. However, there are benefits of an unmedicated birth as well.
For example, you can push more easily, because everything isn’t numb from the waist down. Also, recovery after an unmedicated birth may be much easier!
Another possibility for dealing with pain is hypnobirthing, which is when mothers-to-be learn how to put themselves in a deeply relaxed state. The idea behind this is that when you are in this relaxed state, your body releases endorphins, which in turn, replaces the stress hormones that can constrict your body and cause pain. I honestly had no idea this existed until after I had my daughter. However, if you are interested in doing this for your delivery, you can search out classes in your area or even find a course online. One website you can use to check for classes in your area can be found here.
You can also try a hypnobirthing book:
According to the CDC, birth defects occur in about 1 in every 33 infants born in the U.S. each year. There are birth defects that will occur no matter what you do, but there are factors you can control to reduce the overall risk. Pregnant women should be taking folic acid to help prevent neural tube defects, for instance.
Drinking alcohol can also result in birth defects, such as Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (can be associated with intellectual or developmental disabilities). Smoking can also cause birth defects such as problems with the heart or intestines. Drugs are also an issue, as they can cause intellectual or developmental disabilities, as well as pregnancy loss.
Also, always check with your doctor about any medications you have been taking if you find that you are pregnant. Some medications can cause birth defects. I had to stop taking certain medications because of this.
According to the March of Dimes, a stillbirth is when a baby dies in the womb “after 20 weeks of pregnancy”. Most stillbirths happen before delivery, but there is still a small number of babies that die during delivery. Stillbirths affect about 1% of all pregnancies in the United States each year.
There are some risk factors for stillbirth that you can’t control, such as having a previous stillbirth. However, it’s important to know what your risk factors may be and to focus on the factors that you can control. For example, if you smoke, this is a risk factor, so you can work on trying to quit. Other medical conditions can be risk factors such as diabetes or being obese. Again, these are factors you can work on and reduce your risk.
This is also a normal fear. However, you can breathe a sigh of relief, as this is a relatively rare occurrence in the United States. For example, according to one article, the chances of dying in pregnancy are about 1 in 3500 in the United States.
It’s important to have good prenatal care, as well as good care during the delivery of the baby. For example, prenatal care and testing can usually detect issues such as high blood pressure. Thus, good doctors can help treat pre-eclampsia (pregnancy-related high blood pressure), but if it is not cared for, it can result in death.
Generally, it all comes back to delivering your baby in a safe, clean environment with good medical care. This is something you will more than likely have. Look at all your options in terms of who will be your doctor and delivering your baby and where you will be delivering. Visit the facility beforehand to help ease your worries.
It is absolutely normal to feel anxious and worried about your health, as well as the health of your baby. As mentioned in this post, there are factors that you can’t control. However, as they say, “Knowledge is power”. Know your risk factors and do what you can to reduce those risks. You have the power to do what you can!
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Disclaimer: This post is only meant for informational purposes and is not intended to provide any medical advice/diagnosis. These are things that I found to be helpful for me. If you have any worries or concerns about your baby and the signs of miscarriage or other problems, please see your doctor. Also, please discuss with your doctor about what you can to best take care of yourself and your baby.