There is no doubt about it. The thing that most pregnant women fear during their pregnancies is that M word. It’s a natural feeling to worry about a loss and it’s very hard to overcome. But it is possible. And I want to help you out with a little reflection.
We are not made out of stone and, for a pregnant woman, having an overflow of feelings is the norm. Some of us have been dreaming with becoming moms for ages. So when the time comes and we get those two wonderful lines on our home tests, the amount of joy is only comparable with the level of fear.
It is therefore not surprising that most women voted “miscarriage” as the second biggest fear in our poll (which you can find here), followed by “still born” and “missed miscarriage”.
We are scared of losing the most valuable thing we could ever have – the reason is very valid. And we are also frightened of dealing with the emotions of loss. With the pain of having to explain to the people around us what happened. Some women even feel shame, as if it was their fault or something was wrong with them.
Thing is, women have been conceiving since the beginning of human times and loss has been present throughout history too (and by the way, losses during pregnancies happen amongst animals too).
There are several reasons why a pregnancy could end. But we can classify them in two types: the ones you can prevent, and the ones you cannot.
What I mean by “the ones you can prevent” is that is that there are recommendations that doctors give to pregnant women to improve the chances of a successful pregnancy. Like avoiding raw meat or excessive work-outs.
But the majority of causes of a pregnancy loss are genetical. And those, we cannot prevent.
It is very important not to obsess with the idea of loss. For starters, because you cannot predict what is going to happen, and secondly, because stress only makes matters worse. Some women neglect some of the wise advice and still manage to carry on their pregnancies, whilst others follow all the guidelines and yet get their hearts broken.
The underlying problem
These days there is one element that aggravates the stress regarding this issue and that, my friend, is the Internet. With so many blogs and apps out there that are packed with information, we are bombarded with stories and comments that I, honestly, find very hard to read.
I don’t mean that we should avoid the topic altogether, but there is a place for that. Has this happened to you? You are reading about other women’s announcement ideas and you are scrolling down the site watching beautiful photos of happy families. And out of the blue, amongst the joyful images, appears a message that someone wrote about their loss. Or an alarming question of a scared woman who has some strange symptoms and thinks the worst has happened.
We are all vulnerable during our pregnancies. Our hormones are driving us crazy and we are alredy scared enough. When we read such stories we cannot help but project those fears into our own situations. Maybe we had a similar symptom and now we’re wondering if we’re in danger too. Or we start worrying it might happen to us too.
You might think this is too harsh, and they are just trying to get some feedback from other moms-to-be. But the reality is that if we have a worry, if we have a symptom that is dangerous, we need to get help from a doctor. Not someone over the Internet who might or not have any knowledge and could actually make us even more scared.
We need to be more empathetic about other women who are struggling with the same issues. We should not expand the panic.
The beauty of conception
We are strong, powerful women and we are growing a baby inside us. I mean, what is bigger than that? Nothing. It is the biggest thing you can imagine. And yet, each birth is a miracle. Think about it for a second:
The way our bodies rearrange inside of us to make space for the life we are creating.
Those hormonal changes, all those components building up to form the most appropriate environment for the birth to thrive.
I encourage you to check out this article on the “Beautiful and Efficient Anatomy of Pregnancy”.
The positive view
Most women have this data engraved in their minds: up to 25% of pregnancies end up in miscarriage.
Well, you need to see it this way: more than 75% of pregnancies are successful.
Doesn’t it make a big change?
Data is not reliable. We don’t know what are the real chances of everything going well because each woman and circumstances are different. However, it is true that with each week that you progress in your pregnancy, the risk is lower.
You have a big, big, probability of success and you should only focus on that. Because worrying will only make it harder and being positive will increase your chances.
How to deal with the fear
We have come to the tough part: how to deal with the worry. You know the success rate is on your side. And you are aware that remaining positive will only help you.
- First of all, try to avoid the blog threads about miscarriage or problems with pregnancy. Don’t think you need to be aware of those problems. If you have doubts, consult with your doctor and ask them questions. The women who spread fear online do not have medical knowledge and can lead to misleading information.
- Whenever I get a moment of fear (and these will happen, no matter how hard you try) I allow myself to panic for 5 seconds. After that I stop myself (really, you need to practice but you will get the hold of it) and I reassure myself of the fact that everything is going well so far and that’s how it should go. There is no reason to worry and it won’t do me any good to stress. It helps to repeat positive affirmations.
- Talk to your significant other. I find it very helpful to talk about everything with my partner. I explained my fears and I warned him there will be times when my mood will be low and I won’t be able to redirect my scary thoughts into happy ones. He knows about it so now when I have a low moment I go to him and he immediately knows what to do – he tells me everything is alright and he hugs me and after a couple of minutes I’m back on my feet. Do not be shy and ask for help. That’s what partners are for 😉
- Try relaxation techniques like meditation, yoga, going for a nice walk, taking a relaxing bath. You can find more in our Beginner’s Guide to a Stress-Free Pregnancy.
- If nothing else helps, it might be that you need professional help. You might wanto to seek a therapist or a psychologist who will help you get rid of those fears, when they are too hard to handle. It’s never too late to get help and it will be good for you and your baby.
How do you personally deal with the fear of miscarriage? I want to hear all your fantastic and empowering ideas 🙂
Remember not to spread any negative or panic-inducing messages, those will be moderated and deleted.