Even if you’re not normally a worrywart, pregnancy may be an anxious time. In general, pregnancy risks are low, so focus on calming your fears. The professionals at Desert Blossom Women’s Care have seen a lot of pregnancies. Here are some of the facts behind common fears.

Birth Defects

Ninety-seven percent of babies arrive without a birth defect, and many defects are minor or can be successfully treated. If you plan on having children, take care of yourself like you’re pregnant beforehand. Take folic acid daily, and follow your midwife’s advice about diet, activities, exercise, weight and blood sugar.

Miscarriage

Most miscarriages happen in the first trimester, so if you’ve made it to week 12 or 14, the risk goes down. Most miscarriages are the result of chromosomal abnormalities and can’t be prevented. Some infections, such as STDs or gum disease, can cause miscarriages, so get treated if you suspect you have one.

Premature Birth

Preterm labor affects approximately 10 percent of pregnancies in the U.S., about half of which don’t fall into the high-risk category. Make sure you maintain a healthy weight, keep your blood pressure and blood sugar levels normal, manage your stress, and stay in touch with your midwife if you’re high risk.

Crushing or Hurting the Baby

If you work in an environment that requires a lot of standing or lifting and are at risk for premature birth, ask your boss about temporarily switching responsibilities. As for worrying about crushing your baby by rolling on him/her in your sleep, don’t worry. You’ll automatically adjust your position, and your body is designed to cushion the baby.

Labor Pain

Labor hurts, but today, you have options for easing pain, whether that means medication or natural relaxation methods. Just make sure you’re flexible about your plans, and don’t feel guilty if you need medication after all.

Eating the Wrong Foods

In general, sticking with a healthy, well-balanced diet that avoids the big offenders — raw meat and seafood, unpasteurized milk and cheese, alcohol, and seafood known to be high in mercury — will keep you and the baby nourished.

Breastfeeding

Most women, given patience, realistic expectations and support, can successfully breastfeed. Talk to a lactation counselor or midwife for advice if you need it, but remember that it will take time. Seek help if you experience pain while nursing.

Postpartum Weight Loss

If you stick with your midwife’s guidelines for weight gain during pregnancy, you’ll have an easier time with weight loss. Stay active during and after your pregnancy as long as your midwife recommends it. Eating well and breastfeeding also may help postpartum weight-loss efforts.

Getting to the Hospital on Time

If this is your first baby, you have time. By the time your cervix is dilated 4 centimeters, you have an average of 6 hours of labor ahead of you, and then you have to push!

If you’re worried about incontinence or your water breaking in public, the bad news is that it could happen. The good news is that it won’t be as much fluid as you think. You’ll usually get warning contractions before your water breaks, and surprise dribbles usually can be handled by a panty liner.

Desert Blossom Women’s Care Helps You Face Your Fears

One fear many moms share is not being able to take care of their babies. No matter what questions you have about pregnancy, labor, birth or what comes after, the nurse-midwives at Desert Blossom Women’s Care will answer each one. To schedule an appointment, contact us today.

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