If you answered “heck yes” or “darn tootin’ ”, it’s time to check your pulse and take a deep relaxing breath, because pregnancy is a condition; not a disease.
While many couples bask in the glory of their pregnancy, and some seem to project a glimmering radiance, others live in a state of constant worry and fear. For those that have had trouble with fertility or have previously lost a baby, pregnancy can be a particularly scary time. For these couples, being pregnant is measured in hours and days, instead of weeks and months. Simple daily tasks take on monumental significance. “Can I eat that food?”…”Am I resting enough?”….”Am I hurting my baby by worrying so much?”
Others become obsessed about medical technology. “Should we get an amniocentesis?”….”Can we get the doctor to order another ultrasound?”... ”What about preimplantation genetic testing?” It’s easy to fall into these “terror traps”. After all, there is always one more question to ask, one more article to read and one more friend to offer unsolicited advice.
Yet, it is important to remember that your pregnancy is likely to go well. The vast majority of babies are born healthy even under adverse conditions. Amazingly, whether born to malnourished mothers in the third world or to drug addicted women in this country, babies are typically born healthy.
If you are in this “worry-rut”, it’s time to re-shape your attitude regarding your pregnancy. It’s time to smile, laugh, and rejoice. It’s a special time to create an even stronger bond with your mate. You can do this by projecting a confident and positive attitude.After all, there is nothing as infectious as happiness.
While pregnancy is an emotional time, logic and reasoning may be the best way to reduce your concerns. For instance, if you have limited your alcohol and tobacco intake, and are taking prenatal vitamins with folic acid, there are very few other things that you can or need to do to protect your baby.
From a standpoint of technology, there is a nearly unlimited list of tests that can be undertaken. However, just three tests can eliminate most of your dire thoughts: worries about chromosomal problems can be eliminated very early with chorionic villi sampling. Concerns about neural tube defects are reduced by checking an AFP test. Reassurance in regard to malformations can
be obtained with a high resolution ultrasound.
In short, enjoy your pregnancy, it is a special time. Start today by having a special meal, walk, or massage with your partner. Soon enough you will be holding a happy and healthy baby!