Now that you’re pregnant, you might find yourself worrying quite often. MH speaks to the doctors to find out the truth about your biggest worries and why it’s really not that scary.
WORDS CHRISTEL GERALYN GOMES
If you’re pregnant for the first time, some anxiety is to be expected. After all, it’s all harrowingly new and of course, you want to do it right. Know that you’re not alone and even if they won’t admit it, many women secretly worry about the exact same things that you do. Here’s our list of the most common pregnancy fears and what the experts have to say about them.
1. I accidentally had alcohol or had it before realising I was pregnant. Will my child have developmental issues?
If your alcohol intake was low, there’s little to worry about. According to Dr Tony Tan, specialist in Obstetrics and Gynaecology, and consultant at Raffles Women Centre, foetal alcohol syndrome – which causes developmental abnormalities in the foetus – is only caused by excessive alcohol intake over a short period of time.
2. I’m afraid of pooping on the table during labour.
If this happens, there is little need to be embarrassed. It is a very common effect of pushing during labour and according to Dr Tan, “Obstetricians and the midwives see this in their job and it does not gross them out”. If this is still a worry that plagues you, try to empty your bowel before you go into labour or ask for a fleet enema to empty the bowel in the early latent phase of labour.
3. Even though I’m having a healthy pregnancy, I’m sometimes anxious about miscarrying.
The fact is that one in four women will miscarry, and usually before their 10th week. Often, there is nothing a woman can do about this as for up to 70 per cent of cases, abnormal chromosomes in the foetus cause it, and a miscarriage is the body’s way of naturally flushing out an unhealthy foetus. After 10 weeks gestation, the risk of miscarriage decreases greatly.
4. My morning sickness is so bad I’m fearful my baby isn’t getting proper nutrition.
If you’re still in your first trimester – which is usually when morning sickness is at is worst – there’s nothing to worry about. “In the first trimester, the foetus does not require a lot of nutrition and hence will get enough nutrition regardless. Taking small frequent meals, taking vitamin B supplements, ginger and plums or avoiding smells and tastes that bring on nausea and vomiting, or taking a variety of anti-emetic drugs will help”, says Dr Tan. If you are well into your second trimester and you are still unable to keep any food down, consult your doctor.
5. I’ve been so stressed, and it makes me even more stressed to think this is probably affecting my baby!
Medically speaking, your baby is unlikely to be affected by moderate stress levels, which every woman is likely to experience during pregnancy. However, if the stress you are facing is debilitating or affecting your physical health, it is true that it can affect that of baby’s over the long term, and something needs to change.
6. I worry my baby might have some kind of birth defect.
This is highly unlikely. Fewer than 2 per cent of babies develop some major birth defect and there are routine tests available that screen for many conditions, like the common chromosomal abnormalities and major structural abnormalities.