When I first found out I was pregnant, I remember staring at the pregnancy test with two lines and saying, “Okay, wow, two lines” in a tone of disbelief. I guess you could say I was a little more afraid than excited at that time. Fear is really one of the biggest emotions pregnant moms feel. I mean, who wouldn’t when pregnancy will bring about big changes in our bodies and a huge turn in our lives? It’s okay and it’s totally normal to be scared, but one thing you shouldn’t do is to let your fear consume you. I looked back at my own fears and talked to a couple of my mom-to-be friends and asked what their top pregnancy fears are and what they do to overcome them. So if you’re a new mom and might be feeling a little overwhelmed right now, please do read on as some of these tips might help you feel more at ease with your pregnancy.
“My OB advised me that by the time I hit 27 mahihirapan ako. True enough, I’m now 29, 11 weeks pregnant with our second baby with extreme morning sickness and everyday paranoid ako. My worries and fears include miscarriage, preterm labor, and birth defects; especially now that I’m in and out of the hospital, taking high dosage meds, and can hardly eat.” – Trixia Guarin-Concepcion, 11 weeks pregnant with her second child
According to Mayo Clinic, it’s natural to worry about your baby’s health and to feel that your body is not ready–however, this may often lead to negative thoughts. Thus, they suggest focusing on taking care of yourself more and looking to your family and friends for support. Make sure to have regular checkups with your health care provider to keep track of your growing baby.
“I don’t rely on what I read online, I don’t dwell on negative thoughts, I don’t overthink. Instead, I always focus on having a support system in my family, especially my husband na 24/7 nakatutok sa’kin, giving me assurances that everything will be okay. In addition, regular checkups are a must, but aside from that, I’m glad na nakakachat ko yung OB ko about my concerns, making me feel at ease.” – Trixia Guarin-Concepcion
I was also a little paranoid during my pregnancy, but one thing that kept me sane was my trust in my OB. I was really comfortable with her and trusted her 100%. (I didn’t even mind that we’re from the South and she practices in UST!) I think it’s very important to choose an OB you’re truly comfortable with, as it will help you feel more at ease during your pregnancy and during labor.
“One of my top pregnancy fears is not doing what’s right for my baby. I’m always asking myself: Am I eating the right food? Am I doing the right things? Am I resting enough? Or am I being active enough to make sure the baby is healthy?” – Elaine Abonal, 30 weeks pregnant with her first child
It’s easy to get overwhelmed with concerns about your baby, and with a ton of information within our reach (hello social media and people giving unsolicited pieces of advice!), it sometimes even aggravates your worries even more! I’m not saying all information is bad, but if you feel like it’s making you more worried rather than feeling more equipped and informed about this new chapter, then you should consider taking a pause.
Pregnancy is a natural thing and our bodies are so amazingly made to accommodate the formation and development of life inside us. Sometimes, all you need to do is to trust yourself and be confident that your body was made for it, and your baby will truly thank you for all the positive vibes. So embrace it, savor it, and be thankful for every single moment.
As Elaine said, “I’ve always wanted to be a mother, and this is the perfect time for me to have my dream come true. It’s happening now for a reason. I eat as healthy as I can, do what I can, but I also listen to my body (and baby!) if I feel like I need to stop and rest. I just need to trust that my body knows what it is doing to develop a healthy baby and that God will give me what is meant for me and what I can handle.”
When I was pregnant, I really appreciated how honest some of my friends were about childbirth. I was also drawn to articles that talked about the reality of it–it is going to be really painful, but it will be so worth it. Knowing this really helped me prepare my mind and body for the pain.
I remember when I was in the delivery room for almost 22 hours, (before I was brought to the operating room for an emergency C-section) I was having strong contractions but was not dilating yet, and during that time I was so scared but was also so inspired by all the moms that gave birth before me. I think about six or seven moms went in and out delivering their babies. I took strength in the fact that they did it! I thought to myself, “If they can do it, then why can’t I?” I saw them struggle with the pain and heard their cries, but when they were brought back to the area where I was staying, I saw how happy they were, and I couldn’t wait to hold mine in my arms too!
So don’t focus on the pain. Do prepare for it, but focus on why there will be pain. Focus on finally meeting your little one and getting to hold him or her in your hands, so you can kiss your childbirth worries goodbye!
Having a baby will definitely change you and your whole life. It’s not all about you anymore, you have a little human being to raise and love for the rest of your life. But, remember that it shouldn’t be just all about the baby too. Being a mother is an addition to who you are and not the only thing you are. Sure, there will be a lot of sacrifices and less time for yourself (welcome to team no sleep!), but don’t lose yourself. Let motherhood empower you to be more, to achieve more (no matter what that means to you), but don’t let it make you feel impaired in any way. Don’t think of it as loosing your freedom, but rather gaining much more meaning and purpose in life to reach for your goals or create new ones.
“When I think that my life won’t be the same, and I won’t be able to have the freedom to do the things I used to do, I remember my dream of being a mom, and though there will be sacrifices, my life will have more meaning than just the pursuit of pleasure. I’ll have a new friend with whom I can share all my passions and interests with, and hopefully someday surf and explore the world with.” – Elaine Abonal
I once read on Motherly that “Motherhood is being brave when you’re terrified,” and true enough most of the time it really is. We are mostly terrified because we feel so much love for our little ones, that we just want to make things right all the time. But in being brave, remember that it doesn’t mean you’re not allowed to embrace the fear. Bravery happens when you allow yourself to be afraid, to worry, and then choose to face your fears head on. So say a little prayer and always remember that you’re never alone. You got this, momma!