How to Cope with your First Trimester Fears
I’m going to try my damnedest to write the post I was desperately searching for when I first found out I was pregnant. It wasn’t long after I got a positive pregnancy test that I started obsessively fearing a miscarriage. I had never been pregnant before, so it’s not like I had had a traumatic experience in my past. I was just extremely excited to become a mom and even through our baby was the size of a poppy seed, I already loved him more than I could put into words. If you’ve just found out your pregnant, your anxiety is high, and you’re a nervous wreck, here are 7 ways to calm your first trimester fears.
Know that it is Normal to Feel this Way
All of your fears, concerns, and worries are normal. You imagine that you’ll be over the moon when you see those two pink lines (and you are), but that joy and excitement quickly changes to fear and anxiety about the health and well being of the tiny ball of cells growing in your uterus (welcome to motherhood). You’re afraid to believe that it’s real. You’re afraid to talk about it being real because you don’t want to jinx yourself. You wonder if every dull cramp or slight pain is a sign that something awful is about to happen. You’re not alone… and everything you’re feeling is completely normal.
Know the Facts that Work in your Favor
One of the biggest things that helped me cope with my first trimester fears was looking up information that worked against them. I looked up statistics that were in my favor and they helped me believe that everything was going to be okay. One of my very favorite posts was from FitPregnancy.com titled “Pregnancy Anxiety? The Truth About Your Top 10 Pregnancy Worries.” I’m not going to lie, every time I felt my mind starting to wander off into worry-land, I’d look up this post and reassure myself that the odds were in my favor. Another helpful tool is the datayze miscarriage probability chart. Let me start by saying that if you’re very early in your pregnancy, these numbers can still be alarming. But, this chart lets you enter your personal information and even spits out specific statistics designed to reassure you.
Another fact is that your chance of miscarrying gets smaller and smaller each day. Try to take your pregnancy one day at a time and celebrate each week that passes by. Once you see your baby’s heartbeat on an ultrasound, your chances of miscarriage are even lower. By the end of the first trimester, your chances of having a miscarriage are less than 1%.
Know what a Miscarriage is
The first thing you need to know is that miscarriages are not the mother’s fault. Although the topic of miscarriage has become less and less taboo in our society, there are still misconceptions around the subject. The fact is, most miscarriages are the result of a chromosomal abnormality that cannot be prevented. So, in the end, whatever is going to happen is going to happen. You can try to enjoy your pregnancy, or you can spend these precious months plagued with fear (still easier said than done… I know).
Reduce the Risk
You can reduce the risk of miscarriage by making sure that you’re doing everything in your power to grow a healthy baby. Kick the smoking habit, don’t consume alcohol, take your prenatal vitamins, and cut your caffeine intake down to less than 200mg per day.
Stay off the Internet
I know I just told you to look up information that works against your fears, but outside of that, you have to stay off the internet. If you look up a symptom, you can almost always guarantee that there will be a terrifying cause associated with it. It’s like looking up a headache on WebMD and finding information that says you might have cancer. DON’T DO IT. Put Doctor Google to rest and talk to your doctor if you have serious concerns.
I have a strong belief in the power of positivity. It might sound like a lot of hocus pocus, but I truly believe that a positive mindset and outlook on life can give you a more positive outcome. Instead of being wracked with worry, try to enjoy these initial weeks of pregnancy. Imagine yourself meeting your baby for the first time. Have faith that everything will be okay, and take comfort in knowing that everything happens for a reason.
Talk to Someone
One of the best ways to deal with fear is to talk acknowledge it. I remember sitting on my husband’s lap and crying my eyes out because I was absolutely terrified that something was going to go wrong. He probably throught I was insane, but he always comforted me and reassured me that everything was going to be fine. I also voiced my fears to my friends who had been there (especially the ones who were pregnant at the same time). Knowing that I wasn’t alone made all the difference and my friends always had great advice on how they dealt with their first trimester fears.
The truth is, miscarriages happen. It’s an unfortunate truth that we have to deal with as expecting mothers. The fact that we’re concerned is only proof that we’ve already become a mom and want nothing more than to protect our babies. I sincerely hope that these tips will help you calm your first trimester fears and that you have a happy and healthy nine months!