5 Ways to Cope with Early Pregnancy Worries

Pregnant woman using tablet computer on bed
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When most women imagine taking an early pregnancy test, what they see in their minds are hugs and kisses, congratulations and lots of happiness and joy. For many, they assume that those feelings will continue all the way up until the birth of the baby. The sad reality is that after a period of time, sometimes days, sometimes weeks, and sometimes even hours, fear can start to creep in.

It is hard to image that small things will start to worry you.

These worries can be physical. Perhaps you're worried that you have too much morning sickness, or not enough. Maybe you're worried over every twinge you feel, praying that you aren't about to miscarry. Early pregnancy is concerning for many women.

Some fears are practical. These concerns might be about how will you afford a baby. Do you need baby things? What will it cost to have the baby? Do you need a bigger space? How will your pets feel about the new baby? Will your older child(ren) be upset?

Or perhaps you are experiencing emotional concerns. Am I ready to be a parent? Have we made a mistake in getting pregnant? (Yes, this happens, even after people have gone through years of fertility treatments, it is difficult and scary.) You might even worry about your relationship with your partner.

These fears can really begin to eat away at you. Some women feel like the strain of the stress from the worrying causes more negative responses physically and emotionally to them than their pregnancy symptoms.

Are you completely exhausted because you are pregnant, or because you worry all of the time? Do you find yourself unable to get back to sleep because you are worrying or can't shut your brain off?

A few things to think about to help you gestate in peace:

 

  1. Get Informed
    Taking an early pregnancy class, getting your hands on a great pregnancy book (Not one of the scary ones.), finding a good doctor or midwife and talking to your practitioner are all great ways to help calm your fears. Facts are great combatants of fear.

     

  1. Build a Support Network
    Just as you should seek about physical advice from professionals, talking to other moms who have been there can be very helpful. Asking the questions that may seem silly is great. It can also just be good to blow of steam about life in general. Sometimes just going out with friends is balm for the soul, even if you don't specifically talk about pregnancy.

     

  2. Have a Positive Mindset
    Being pregnant can be so draining when everyone wants to share their horror stories with you. Try to figure out what your strategy will be to deal with this type of over-sharing. Seek out sources of information that offer realistic and positive information. Consider using pregnancy affirmations to help you stay positive. Be careful not to confuse positivity and realistic thoughts. You can have a complicated pregnancy and still have a positive mindset.

     

  3. Practice Relaxation and Mindfulness
    Relaxation and mindfulness are two different things that can help you reduce stress and prepare for labor, birth, and parenting. Relaxation is about the body and the mind. There are many different techniques that you can use from simple tense/release relaxation, to yoga with relaxation, and progressive relaxation. Mindfulness is slightly different and focuses on quieting the mind. This can work really well when considering how stressful pregnancy can be. All of these can be learned in classes, via apps, or even books. (See also: Apps for Mindfulness and Relaxation)

     

  1. Exercise
    Getting out and getting moving has a lot of benefits in pregnancy. Not only will it help you keep your weight at appropriate levels, but it will prepare your body for the hard work of labor, and the recovery afterwards. Physical activity will also help you reduce stress, and feel better in pregnancy by lowering the pain from pregnancy symptoms. If you haven’t been exercising before, think of this as more movement. You can take stairs when possible, park in the back of a parking lot, or simply talk a walk or go swimming a few times a week. If you are already active, you can continue to do most of your routine with very few exceptions.

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