While pregnancy is the most beautiful time in a woman’s life, no one warns you about all the stress and anxiety that comes with it. Here are some tips to deal with the fears most women experience during pregnancy.
1. We’re Already Cash Strapped – We Can’t Afford This Baby
→Replace with: “We’re going to get organised so that we feel more in control of our finances.”
→How to do it: Draw up a financial plan with your partner. If you can afford it, seek help from a financial adviser. He or she can help you estimate and budget for medical bills (even if you’re on a medical aid, you may still end up having to pay for some procedures out of your own pocket), plus whatever funds you may need if you decide to take additional unpaid maternity leave. Babies need a lot of equipment so shop around online and in secondhand stores to find the best deals. Start thinking about the future costs of your child’s education as early as possible.
2. If I Don’t Have A Natural Birth I’ll Be Devastated
→Replace with: “Regardless of what delivery experience I have, I will do all I can to ensure it is a positive and successful one.”
→How to do it: It’s normal to feel disappointed if you need an unexpected epidural or a C-section, but rather than thinking of it as a failure, consider it as the best choice for baby and a path to a safe delivery. Keep perspective and recognise that there are pros and cons to both natural birth and C-section births and that both can be positive experiences. Tell yourself: “I’d prefer to have a natural delivery, but I’ll cope if I have to have a C-section.” That way, you might have some disappointment if things don’t go the way you plan and hope for, but it won’t be an emotional catastrophe.
3. If There’s Something Wrong With My Baby, I’ll Never Be Able To Cope
→Replace with: “I’m looking forward to a happy, healthy pregnancy, and a happy, healthy baby.”
→How to do it: It’s natural to have some anxieties around the health of your baby, but instead of letting your mind run away with you, try to stop yourself and take a “reality test” by examining the actual evidence. Pregnancy complications and birth defects are relatively rare, particularly if you eat right, exercise, take prenatal vitamins and get good prenatal care. If your doctor has assured you that your baby is developing normally and is healthy, keep this in mind and use it to challenge any negative thinking that might arise.
4. I’m So Disorganised, I’m Sure I’ll Be A Bad Mother
→Replace with: “I won’t sweat the small stuff. I’ll concentrate on doing my best to be a great mom.”
→How to do it: Showing your baby love and affection is your most important task as a new mom. Forming a strong and secure attachment with your baby by being consistent and lovingly meeting her needs will benefit her emotional development and adjustment for years to come. Speaking to other new mothers about how they manage (or don’t) may help you feel less alone. Also start preparing the physical environment of your nursery by making a place for everything and getting it ready.
5. I’ve Gained So Much Weight. Will I Ever Get My Body Back?
→Replace with: “I will focus on being healthy to provide healthy breast milk for my baby.”
→How to do it: This is every pregnant woman’s worry, along with worrying about losing herself. It’s true, once the baby is born your main priority will be to nurture that little life and that is okay. In fact that’s how it should be. Enjoy this time to bond and get to know your new baby. Commit to eating a healthy diet, cutting out sugar, drinking enough water and slowly working light exercise back into your routine. Take time out for yourself and walk around the block. Additionally, the benefits of enough sleep should not be forgotten. Studies have proven that those who get enough sleep lose more weight than those who don’t.