The Pregnancy Phobias – Myths vs Facts
January 1st, 2017
Pregnancy is one of the biggest life changes any woman can ever experience. The transition into motherhood can be quite overwhelming because of the changes that come along with it whether they are physical or mental. On the one hand, welcoming the little one can be exciting, while on the other hand, with pregnancy comes unnecessary phobias (sometimes real) that often occupies pregnant women and make them stressed.
Not all the fears that grip these women are valid.
Some real mothers and bloggers shared their fears.
Smashing the baby if slept on the baby bump.
“I was always afraid I was going to somehow roll onto my stomach while I was sleeping and crush the baby! It makes me laugh now – it was almost impossible for me to move, I was so big; so the idea of rolling onto my stomach while I slept is pretty hilarious.” – By Heather of TheSpohrs Are Multiplying
Reality: Though this fear may seem logical because that baby belly is home to the baby. A woman can lay on their baby bump comfortably in the early stages of their pregnancy. However, in later stages, laying on the baby bump will be uncomfortable.
Changes in facial features.
My number one fear was that my nose would spread. What I mean is, I remember an older friend that got pregnant while I was in college and her nose nearly doubled in size. It grew in width and depth. As her pregnancy progressed, her nose seemed to swell in proportion to her belly!” – Jolawn of Spellhouse Love
Reality: This one is quite true. Many women notice changes in their features during and post pregnancy. This can happen due to weight gaining and hormones. Though after delivery, these changes might abate, in some cases, they may not. However, even then, the changes are so minor that if they do not go back to their former form, it will not make you look like another person.
Eating food that will impact the baby negatively.
“I was worried I’d inadvertently eat something or do something that would harm the baby. I was constantly reading pregnancy books and checking labels to make sure I was not eating natural cheese or nitrates or consuming too much caffeine. I lived much of the pregnancy in fear, and I attribute that to over-researching everything. I googled every symptom and twitched and had my doctor’s office on speed dial.” – Shannon of Potamus Prefers
Reality: Precaution is better than cure, for sure. So the food a woman intakes in pregnancy, not only impacts her but the child too. Below is the list of foods that shouldn’t be part of a pregnant woman’s diet and why according to an Active Beat article:
“My biggest fear was a miscarriage. Moreover, it was a choking, constant fear- because there was nothing I could do past eating healthy and resting to keep my baby safe and healthy. Every moment that I stayed pregnant, I felt like getting on my knees and kissing everyone in thanks.”- Beth Anne of The Heir To Blair
Reality: This fear can sometimes take over you and not let you think beyond it. However, that should not be the case. Most cases of this sort happen within the first trimester and only happen in 15-20% of the pregnancies. After the first trimester, the risk of a miscarriage is quite low. However, the fear of miscarriage can further lead to increase in stress and depression in women, which is harmful to the baby and the mother.
The baby will be born with deformities:
“During my first pregnancy I was afraid of everything, and my biggest fear was that I would have a hermaphrodite baby. I saw this program on the Discovery Channel about kids who were born with both male and female genitalia, and for the rest of my pregnancy I was like ‘I am going to have a hermaphrodite baby.'” – Heather Armstrong of Dooce
Reality: Fortunately, only 1% babies out of all are born with a hermaphrodite. As for other deformities, the rates are quite low. On average, a minimum of 3% babies is born with deformities. Most malformations occur around a first or second week. Also avoiding the consumption of raw milk, fish and meat can lower the risk of deformities in babies. Regular checkups should be done to make sure that the baby is healthy in the womb.
Excessive weight gain:
“Should I admit this? My biggest fear with my pregnancies has been that I was going to gain 50 pounds and hang onto half of it for the rest of my life. When the second trimester hit during my first pregnancy, I was as hungry as a horse, and it seemed like everything I ate stayed right on me. It felt like if I ate a carrot, I would gain a pound. The numbers I saw on the scales scared me to no end.” – Crystal of Money Saving Mom
Reality: This one can be scary because one can definitely not go back to the same body after giving birth. And not everyone has the same body as well. The first step to shedding weight can be to stay on the weight guidelines during pregnancy. If your weight increases beyond the estimated healthy weight, melting it away can be quite difficult. Another helpful trick is breastfeeding, which is necessary for baby too. Breastfeeding can help new mothers in slimming down. After delivery, women can start work out under the guidelines of the doctors.
Water breaking in public:
“I was afraid to go anywhere for fear the dam would break. What in the world would I do if I was driving, grocery shopping, or eating at a restaurant and my water broke? How could I explain the wet seat or my wet pants? Moreover, would I be able to run fast enough out of wherever I was before anyone noticed? These concerns kept me home-bound.” – Erica ofSweet Leigh Mama
Reality: This one is a real deal for sure. The water can break anywhere, and this fear has been successful in making women take refuge in their homes. Though breaking of water is an indication that the baby is ready, not all women experience the same amount of water breaking.
“I was so afraid I was going to have my twins prematurely. At first, I thought I was paranoid, but I did end up almost losing my twins around 21 weeks. I required an emergency cerclage for a shortened cervix, and my water around Baby A was punctured. I spent five months on bed rest before delivering healthy, albeit small, twin girls at almost 37 weeks.” – Jennifer of The Foster Family
Reality: This is real too, but in most cases, the doctor already knows about it, and so the mother does too. To avoid premature labour, women should not indulge in alcohol, and proper regular checkups should be done. Prematurity level can
be high due to cervical abnormalities in mothers.
The labour will be too painful to bear:
Reality: Pregnancy and delivery can be overwhelming. It might seem as if you will not be able to make through, but that is not true. If this is creating unnecessary anxiety and stress for you, then talk to your doctor about this. There’s no need to get nervous.
Pregnancy can easily get on your nerves and make you worry about things that aren’t even there. Therefore, pregnant women should eat as healthy as they can, stay in a sound surrounding and put their thoughts on the baby rather than the fears.