Monday, June 29, 2009

Don't stress! Top 5 things not to worry about in Pregnancy

I was talking with a friend recently, who is about to be a first-time Mum, and she is very nervous after a long road to get this far. I think it's pretty universal to feel a bit scared of the unknown and with lots of things to worry about, here's a list of the Top 5 things not to stress about during pregnancy.
  1. I don't feel (or look) pregnant! Not feeling sick enough? Don't panic, lots of women experience little or no morning sickness and for a while your baby bump might be well hidden or simply look like you've had a big meal! (greaaaat). Unless they are your Midwife or OB, ignore people if they say "oh, you aren't very big" - they mostly do not have a clue, and shouldn't be making comments like that anyway!

  2. What if there is something wrong with baby? I remember asking the same question to Heidi the week before my daughter was born. Her answer was a revelation to me, not only about pregnancy but one I have learnt to apply to lots of areas of life. When I asked her, "but what if there's something wrong?", she replied "we'll deal with that when it happens." This is such good advice. Be informed, eat well and look after yourself as best you can but don't worry about things that haven't happened yet.

  3. How will I cope after the baby is born? I don't think it matters if it's baby number one or baby number five, there will always be a pang of worry about how everything is going to go once baby is here and immediately after and a lot will depend on your birth and recovery. If you are worried, make a post birth support plan - talk to your family and friends about being on call during those early days to help you out. Organise someone to take your other children out for a few hours so you have quiet time (or even better a nap!) with baby. Just knowing that you have a good support network set up can be a great relief.

    If you are worried about breastfeeding then definitely be pro-active. If you have a friend who is breast feeding ask if you can see how they latch their baby. Find out the phone numbers of your local La Lache League leader and put it somewhere safe so that they are handy when you need them. If you need help, ASK. LC's are often available free at the hospital or birthing centreand LLL is a fantastic organisation of women who can help! See our breastfeeding tips for new Mums here

  4. I'm freaking out about the birth. It's hard not to worry when you don't know what to expect, so take time to educate yourself of the stages of labour and the birthing process. Be selective about what you read (and hear) and by that I mean focus on the postive and don't get bogged down by the horror stories. Sure they exist, but they really are in the minority. Deciding what sort of birth you would like to have is a good step because then you can plan towards that and surround yourself with like minded people. Whether you are a "bring me the drugs!", a go-with-the-flow type or determined to have a natural birth having the end goal in your head will naturally lead you there. And of course, be flexible - it might not go as you've imagined!

  5. Will I ever get my body back? No, it won't ever be the same. But that doesn't have to be a bad thing. Your body has just created life and it's likely it will go on to nuture life for some years so it won't ever be the same as what it was pre-baby. Your boobs will completely change (again, this can be a good thing!) and unless you are planning surgery you are likely to have baby tummy of some description. Lots of women lose weight whilst breastfeeding and being active and eating as well as you can is the best thing you can do. And I think it has a lot to do parenting maturing you as a person.  Lot's of mums have a better body image after they have their babies, perhaps because it's much less of a focus?
What were your big fears during pregnancy? We'd love to have your comments :)

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