Top 5 Worries Pregnant Women Have
Pregnancy anxiety is real.
11 July 2017
It could arguably be said that a pregnant woman's tank of angst is always full.
More often than not, once a woman has gotten comfortable with the fact that she is pregnant, she starts to worry about things. Typical worries include anything that could harm the baby or pregnancy, for instance, worrying that her child will be born with a birth defect or that she won't be able to endure labour pain. The fact, however, is that unless you are unhealthy, there is no need to worry.
Here are the top 5 worries that pregnant women have and how you can get past them.
1. That their baby will be born with a birth defect.
The number one worry that mommies-to-be have is that their child is going to be born with a birth defect. And yes, it cannot be denied that birth defects are a possibility, the truth is that there is only a 3% chance that your baby will be born with a birth defect.
To make this better most birth defects such as club foot, webbed toes and even some heart defects, are minor or very treatable.
Most birth defects occur within your first trimester, so your health is important from the very beginning. Take at least 400 micrograms of folic acid daily to reduce the risk of neural tube defects, such as spina bifida, eat a balanced diet (sans mercury), stop smoking and stop drinking alcohol.
2. That they will miscarry.
The truth about miscarriage is that the chances of miscarrying increase as you get older. For women below the age of 35, there is only a 10% chance of miscarrying, for women aged 35-39 - there is an 18 percent chance of miscarrying and for women aged 40-44, there is a 34 percent chance of miscarrying.
Check the bracket you fall in before you start worrying and even then know that many pregnancies end in miscarriage in such early stages that a woman doesn't even know that she has conceived yet.
3. That their baby will be born premature.
The thought of a premature baby in an incubator is enough to cause a full-blown panic attack for expecting women. Of the 12% of babies that are born premature, 70% are born between 34-37 weeks which is considered as "late-term" babies and while they do have increased risks, they are less vulnerable than the ones born before the 34-week mark.
Obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes are risk factors for prematurity, so be as healthy as you can. Avoid smoking, alcohol, recreational drugs, and stress. If you are on anti-depressants/anti-anxiety medications, it may be best to review your options with your doctor.
4. That they won't be able to handle labour pain.
Thanks to all the childbirth scenes in movies and on TV, the fear or labour pain is real. The average woman rates labour pain to be a 7/8 on 10 with 10 being the most painful on the sale. But we are here to tell you that thanks to modern day epidurals, you do not have to worry about labour pain as much,
Epidurals are safe and do not prolong labour, as it is wrongly mythicized. If you want to opt out of taking pain meds, there are other pain management options like laboring in a tub of water, changing positions often during labour and practising relaxation techniques like guided imagery.
5. That they will have trouble losing pregnancy weight.
You can thank the media for this one. Just because Victoria Beckham bounced back into shape within 3 months of delivery, doesn't mean you have to too. Everyone is different.
To manage your weight, make sure you eat right and stay active during your pregnancy. Another thing you can do? Breastfeed. Studies show that as long as you remain within the recommended weight gain guidelines during pregnancy, you will lose the excess weight after 6 months of delivery given that you breastfeed.
And remember... all of your worries and concerns are legitimate, but do not let them take away from one of the most beautiful phases of your life.