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Calming Your Pregnancy Fears -- What Every Woman Can Do

来源:www.webmd.com 作者:ColetteBouchez 2006-6-27
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摘要: Along with the joy you are experiencing about becoming a mother, don‘t be surprised if you are also facing down some fears, particularly if this is your first pregnancy。 Will my baby be normal。 Will labor be unbearable。 Will I be a good mother -- and will I have a healthy delivery。...


Along with the joy you are experiencing about becoming a mother, don't be surprised if you are also facing down some fears, particularly if this is your first pregnancy.

Will my baby be normal? Will labor be unbearable? Will I be a good mother -- and will I have a healthy delivery? These are just some of the worries that are likely to cross your mind during this special time. For many of you, the closer you get to your due date, the greater your fears can seem.

The important thing to remember, however, is that in most instances, most of your worries are unfounded -- and what you fear most will likely never come to pass. And, because most of your concerns likely stem from simply not knowing what to expect, learning a bit about the problem you fear the most can go a long way in keeping stressful feelings under control.

So with the advice of childbirth experts from the University of Iowa's department of nursing and Dr. Shari Lusskin, the director of reproductive psychiatry at NYU Medical Center in New York City, what follows is information to set the record straight about eight of the most common pregnancy fears -- as well as the strategies you can use to conquer them!

The Top 8 Pregnancy Fears and How to Beat Them

1) Fear that something is wrong with your baby

What to do: First realize that the overwhelming percentage of babies born today are perfect and healthy. So the odds are overwhelmingly in your favor! If you still have concerns, talk to your doctor about whether you might benefit from an ultrasound, amniocentesis, or alpha fetal protein test -- diagnostic techniques that can help reassure you that your baby is just fine.

2) Fear of pain during childbirth

What to do: Once again, your doctor is your best source of fear-reducing information. He or she can offer you the latest information about the many safe, new, pain-relief childbirth options -- and there are plenty of them! You should also learn a little about cesarean section deliveries so, in the event that this becomes necessary, you'll feel strong and prepared, not overwhelmed and confused.

3) Fear of not being a good mother

What to do: Recognize that this is a very normal concern, though the fear can seem stronger if you have a strained relationship with your own mother. What's important to realize, however, is that much of what it takes to be a great mom will come quite naturally to you once your baby is born -- even if you think you'll be all thumbs now. To learn what to expect, read some books on child development, and talk to friends or family members with young children. This way you won't be caught off guard.

4) Fear of miscarriage

What to do: Studies published as early as 1980 cited this fear as among the most common in both first time and experienced moms. Although the reality of a miscarriage occurring is most prevalent during the first trimester, if you are healthy, your actual risk of this happening is extremely low. You can further overcome your anxiety by eating nutritiously and exercising, both of which can help you feel confident and strong -- knowing you are giving your baby the best possible opportunity to grow healthy and strong. Since guilt is often a precipitator of fear, if you make every effort to live a healthy lifestyle during your pregnancy -- no smoking, drinking, or social drug use -- you'll also alleviate some of your fears. Also remember: Once past the first trimester, the general risk of miscarriage is extremely small.

5) Fear of having your baby in the back of a taxi (on a train, in the employee cafeteria, in the ladies room, etc.)

What to do: While we've all read the headlines about babies born in unusual places, remember, what makes them headlines are that these events happen so infrequently. For most women -- particularly if you are having your first child -- labor will be a very identifiable event, and not something likely to sneak up on you in the middle of a board meeting, or at the grocery store. What can help: Talk to your doctor about the stages of labor -- what comes first and how to recognize the signs -- and then have a plan of action for what to do when the event begins. Know who you are going to call, how you will get to the hospital, how you will reach your partner, and have backups for everyone on your list. And if need be, run one or two "baby drills" ahead of time so you'll know exactly what to do when the big moment arrives.

6) Fear of embarrassing yourself during delivery

What to do: First, remember that no matter what you can possibly imagine might happen, your doctors and the labor and delivery staff have seen it all! As such, there isn't likely anything you might do, or any reaction you might have, that's going to surprise anyone. That said, you should also stop listening to those delivery day horror stories that friends, neighbors, and relatives just can't seem to stop telling you since you became pregnant. In reality, the likelihood of something really embarrassing or dramatic happening to you is very, very small.

7) Fear of loss of intimacy/sex/lifestyle with your partner

What to do: Talk to your partner and share your feelings, particularly if you are feeling insecure or unattractive with your pregnant body right now. You might be surprised to learn just how desirable you are, even as you are about to give birth!

Also important: In the days and weeks that follow childbirth, your changing hormones, along with physical problems related to the birth itself, may cause you to feel ambiguous or even turned off to any kind of sex or intimate contact. Again, the solution here is to talk to your partner so that you both recognize this is a natural part of pregnancy and only temporary. To help ease fears about resuming a satisfying sex life, remember the wonders of the Kegel exercise! If you continue the Kegels you hopefully started during pregnancy, you can keep your V zone toned, healthy, and ready for intimacy whenever you are.

8) Fear of Fat; not being attractive; losing your figure

What to do: When compared with fears about miscarriage or labor and delivery, a fear of figure flaws may seem very shallow to many women. Still, don't be surprised if this does become one of your concerns, particularly during your third trimester. As you approach your due date, you may feel somewhat overwhelmed by your size -- and you might be afraid of not being able to lose the extra weight after baby is born. This is an even greater fear for those of you who may have struggled to control your weight before pregnancy. To overcome this fear or even prevent it from developing, take good dietary control of your pregnancy right from the start. If you eat a healthy, nutritious diet and get your pregnancy calories from lots of fresh fruits and vegetables as well as lean meat and poultry (and not cookies, cake, and ice cream) then studies show your weight will be easier to lose afterward. In addition, research also shows that if you exercise during your pregnancy, you'll be less likely to gain excess weight, and you'll have an easier time losing what you do gain.

Copyright © 2004 Colette Bouchez. All rights reserved.

Reviewed by Ann Edmundson, MD, May 2006.


SOURCE: Your Perfectly Pampered Pregnancy: Beauty, Health and Lifestyle Advice for the Modern Mother-to-Be, by Colette Bouchez, Broadway Books, February 2004.


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