It is so easy to have daydreams about being pregnant; about the cute things you can only do with a child that is your own. You can even go as far as thinking of the kind of maternity fashion your wardrobe will be filled with. Of course, you will think about the diapers, the sleepless nights and feeding marathons.
However, nothing beats being in the trenches. I kid you not, when I say you will realise that your pregnancy actually dictates how it wants to be treated, from your nutrition (enter cravings, enter morning, evening or all day sickness), to tiredness, to every one of those clothes in your wardrobe becoming too tight, or too uncomfortable for your bump. The bump rules!
During all these times, the mom-to-be will also be filled with her own concerns, and those change on a daily basis. Like the time I got the scan report which could not determine my second daughter’s sex. I was worried, but by the next day, my worry had shifted to life after the baby was born.
And the day after that, I went on to worry. If the twins’ hyper activity was down to something I ate or not, and if they were not playing ‘football’, I was also worried. Let’s just say it took grace that I didn’t get permanent worry lines etched on my face, after their birth. Chronicled below are some of the worries that every pregnant mom would have, at one time or the other. Sometimes, even at the same time.
Daily stress and shock might be the death of my baby
When you are pregnant, you will probably have people shielding you away from bad/shocking news, they would say, “Don’t tell her”, “Iya beji, there is no problem.” And that is because of the proven effect of shock on a pregnant woman. There have been pregnant women who have gone into premature labour, or developed complications after receiving some traumatic news. Hence, most people would rather pass along such information through a trusted source, like the spouse of the pregnant woman.
Apart from shocking news, a pregnant woman can sometimes believe that daily stress of life would also affect her baby’s health.
However, it is nice to know that the daily stress of living; going to work, household chores, and even more, are things that our minds as women are used to, and thus, they do not have effects on the baby. However, if you know that your stress level is increasing, then you know that you need to cut yourself some slack and rest.
Severe Morning Sickness, or All-day sickness, and baby’s nutrition
Well, when you cannot keep anything down, you begin to wonder if your baby is getting the nutrients it needs to grow. This morning sickness is one of the most common pregnancy symptoms, and as you can imagine, most moms-to-be do not look forward to it. So, before it even begins to cause concern about the baby’s nutrition, the mom is already worried.
Any joys? Yes, because multiple doctors and nutritionists have noted that babies are great at getting what they need in terms of nutrients to keep them alive and help them grow strong and healthy.
Even if you are only able to keep down small amounts of your meals, you should know that whatever you do keep down is going straight to your baby. To put it bluntly, babies are very efficient when it comes to getting the nutrition they require. Be rest assured of that.
However, if yours is a case of not being able to eat anything at all, or when you eat, you throw up everything, then you need to see a doctor. That’s a real cause for concern.
Having a miscarriage
Now, this is one basic fear I think every pregnant mom has. I honestly cannot say where my own fears in that regard stemmed from, but I know that I nursed that fear for a few months, during both my pregnancies.
So, I can just imagine just how a pregnant woman who had TTC’d for a number of cycles before getting that BFP, would feel. If I were in their shoes, I would probably be on a nine-month long panty-watch. Yes, that bad.
But you cannot blame me. This fear of miscarriage is in fact quite legitimate, because there are a number of factors that can cause or increase the chances of miscarriage. However, it isn’t as bad as most pregnant moms may think.
According to the statistics I found, having a miscarriage happens in around 20% of pregnancies, and that usually occurs within the first few weeks of pregnancy, before a woman is even aware of the pregnancy at all, which might make it seem like a late period and nothing more. However, a TTC mom will likely know it as a chemical pregnancy. The study also said that after two months of pregnancy, the chances of miscarriage drop to 5%.
In any case, miscarriages are most often caused by chromosomal deficiencies or abnormalities that have absolutely nothing to do with the pregnant mom’s actions or inactions, even though she will blame herself regardless. However, it helps in the long run, if she takes care of herself, doesn’t drink alcohol or caffeine, stays away from smoking, and doesn’t get involved in a car accident (yes, I know, no pregnant mom would willingly get involved in an auto crash) or take a nasty fall, then she should be just fine. The general idea is to be careful.
Having a premature birth
Now, this was something that I did not worry about. It happened to me, and I can tell you it was not a palatable experience. I would not wish it on my worst frenemies. I think it is one fear that doctors and ante natal clinics instil in pregnant moms, because of some of the stories they tell, and the long list of complications that might arise as a result of a baby coming earlier than it should. Not forgetting the fact that they somehow make it seem as though it is the mom’s fault that her baby came early. I should know.
Premature births account for roughly 13% of all births, and this number has been steadily increasing. Even though this number has been increasing, thankfully the premature births that do happen usually occur between 34-37 weeks of pregnancy, which is only between 4 and 8 weeks early. At this gestational age, complications due to premature birth are very minimal. In fact, some babies are fit to go home immediately, especially, if they are girls. Titbit: Girls are stronger at birth than boys, even when born prematurely.
So, what can a pregnant mom do about this worry? First thing is to take prenatal vitamins and nutrients, especially folic acid. The right levels of folic acid in a pregnant woman reduce the chances of a premature birth by 50-70%, so if it’s a big concern of yours, then your vitamins are your best friend.
Having a baby with birth defects
This is a huge fear that almost every mom and dad-to-be has; it’s the fear that your baby will have a birth defect. It was a fear that I lived with for a few weeks, before finding the strength to push it to the back of my mind. The fear that my baby would be born with no defined genitals.
We have all seen those horror stories where children are born with missing, or extra, limbs, or other physical defects, it’s one of the biggest fears that a parent can ever have.
Before you let your worry take over, the thing is babies are born with birth defects less than 4% of the time, and that accounts for all birth defects, no matter how minor. The more serious birth defects such as a heart or lungs that don’t function properly, as well as mental disabilities, account for less than a small percent of that 4.
In all reality, if you get your ultrasounds, eat and exercise properly, as well as take the necessary pre-natal vitamins and nutrients, then your baby should be just fine.
Preggy mamas, please, let go of the fear and enjoy the miracle of the nine months!
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