Pregnancy can be a really scary time. You hear all the sad stories from friends who’ve suffered miscarriages, you inadvertently read awful stories on the Internet and you can’t help but wonder if certain symptoms you’re experiencing are signs of something worse to come.
I know I went through various phases while expecting my children. So if you’re panicking about every little thing, you aren’t alone. As Lori Garcia reports for Babble, “most things that keep us up at night are perfectly normal.”
Garcia has written 14 Things Not To Panic About During Pregnancy. Here are the highlights:
Gaining Weight: Let it go! Stay off the scale. It doesn’t help. Just think of your body as baby’s for those nine months. Your body is baby’s home. As Garcia says, “there’s no sense in obsessing about your size. As long as you’re eating healthily and keeping the deliciously naughty stuff to a minimum, your pre-pregnancy body will bounce back.
Stretch Marks: You can rub in all the creams and lotions you can get your hands on, but if your body is going to get stretch marks, it’s gonna get ‘em no matter what you do. Research suggests it’s genetics. The time to lotion up is after baby is born. There are creams that can help fade stretch marks and they fade on their own after about a year or so. So don’t fight it. About half of all women get stretch marks.
Harming Your Baby: You can read anything on the Internet these days. Microwaves will hurt your baby, smoking is actually healthy for baby… I’ve read it all. As Garcia says, “Do your due diligence and read those parenting books, get freaked out and then take a giant step back; this is where common sense comes in. Fearing everything in pregnancy isn’t healthy for you or your baby, so use your good senses — unless you’re a professional stunt double, addressing any concerns with your doctor will be sufficient.
Having An Unhealthy Baby: Garcia calls this one “the mother of all pregnancy fears” and she’s right. We all worry about this, but listen, there is only so much you can control. If you are taking care of yourself the best you can (eating well, getting proper prenatal care, not drinking excessively or smoking) well, your work is done. Also, as Garcia reports, “more than 96% of babies are born without major birth defects in the U.S. Surround yourself with all that is positive and have faith that the best is yet to come — because it is.”
These are just four of Garcia’s tips. There are ten more tips containing excellent advice if you’d like to read onward. The main point to take away, though is that a lot of things many pregnant women spend months worrying over are out of their control. Worrying doesn’t do anyone any good and if you’re worrying to the point of stress you could actually cause your baby harm. Relax, mama bear! Take it easy and enjoy yourself, if you can.