From the day you find out you're pregnant until the day you deliver, it's normal to have moments of anxiety. It's hard to avoid—for the duration of pregnancy—images and stories of everything that can go wrong for you and your unborn baby; it's no wonder this negativity takes a toll on those who are expecting. While it's true that pregnancy is a time filled with changes and challenges, you don't have to live in fear.
"Unfortunately, fear is an emotion that is all too common among pregnant women," says Dr. Joel M. Evans, MD, assistant clinical professor of OB-GYN at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and author of The Whole Pregnancy Handbook. But as fast as you can say conception, there's a whole new world of things that concern women as soon as they become pregnant.
Some of the most common worries pregnant women describe include:
- Am I ready to be a mom?
- Will pregnancy change my body forever?
- Will my baby be OK?
- How will I handle labor?
- Will there be complications?
- Am I cut out to be a mother?
Although it's perfectly normal to have such fears and anxieties, it is a good idea to clear them from your mind as early as possible. Particularly let go of worries that you have no control over, such as whether or not there will be complications during pregnancy and childbirth.
Overcoming the Fear
Obtaining peace of mind toward your pregnancy experience can be difficult for some women, but by trying some of these ideas, you'll be well on your way to a calm and collected path toward motherhood.
- Educate yourself: If you have any concerns or worries about your pregnancy, bring them up with your doctor or midwife. Ask a close friend who is a mother. Ask your mother. "Learning facts can help dispel some of the fears that are based on inaccurate information," says Dr. Evans.
- Learn to relax: Whenever you feel waves of anxiety taking over, stop for a moment and take a deep breath. Deep breathing, focusing, and self-hypnosis are all great ways to ease tension and reduce worry. And if it's one particular moment you're concerned about, Dr. Evans suggests doing deep belly breathing. This is great for the moments leading up to an amniocentesis, says Dr. Evans.