Overcoming Fear During Pregnancy
Many women are closely acquainted with fear, especially those who are experiencing an (unintended) pregnancy and are trying to ascertain the right path. Find out why anxious thoughts are so prominent in an unplanned pregnancy and how to deal with them!
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Anxiety in (Unplanned) Pregnancies
Anxiety is one of the chief emotions accompanying many women throughout their pregnancy. Oftentimes, it kicks in even before the pregnancy is confirmed.
Many women have sought out counseling through profemina, because they worry about being pregnant, or fear what pregnancy test could reveal. These concerns are caused by external conditions, the (anticipated) reaction of others, a fear of change, or of the unknown.
Every one of us is familiar with a unique nuance of this emotion — varying according to our personality, circumstances and experiences.
Fear - A Helpful Instinct
Fear is not bad in itself. It is an instinct that warns us, making us aware of danger. Its usefulness is proven by the protection it provides. The fear of getting burnt by fire or of falling while mountain climbing in the dark is truly justified and protects us from dangerous actions.
When pregnant, the fear of being overwhelmed by an additional child could be a warning sign, which should not be ignored. It may incentivize you to find additional help, such as a cleaner, or to make use of other support options in order to take some of the pressure off your shoulders.
Fear can help us to recognize dangers and find suitable solutions to avert them.
When Anxiety Becomes Overwhelming...
When fear does its job well, it remains in the background, protecting us and encouraging us to counteract imminent danger. As soon as fear becomes overpowering, sapping our joy and energy, and making us feel weak and powerless, we need to hit the brakes!
When we are overwhelmed by anxiety, it is only natural to desire to escape it by fleeing from it. Anxiety can become unbearable and affects us intensely. Any way out seems welcome.
The problem is that, as long as we avoid fear rather than confronting it, it continues to grow. It looms, larger and larger, obstructing our view from what is good and beautiful. As long as we don’t address our fears directly, but rather submit to them, they will seem unassailable — clouding our clarity of mind!
Fear loses much of its power as soon as you calmly bring it into the light and examine it.
You Are More Than Your Fears!
Fear can be a nasty player and a bad advisor — especially at the beginning of an unplanned pregnancy. It keeps you from making decisions, which are guided by a clear head and a calm heart.
The good news is that you have the power to decide how much room your fear may take. You can allow it to dominate, blocking out all beautiful emotions, confidence and hope.
Alternatively, you can accept its presence and its purpose — while banning it to the back seat, rather than keeping it as your primary focus. It can warn you from the periphery, without blocking your view and your path.
Have your fear under control or let it control you!
Four Tips for Overcoming Anxiety During Pregnancy
Here are a few suggestions on how to counteract anxiety during pregnancy:
1. Name your fear!
Try to recognize exactly what you are anxious about. Is it the fear of having to raise the child by yourself? Are you fearing a loss of freedom? Are you anxious about becoming overwhelmed as a mother?
Naming your fear disempowers it by making it attackable.
2. List your fears
Writing down your fears does not make them vanish — but they lose their terror. Suddenly, they shrink to a manageable size.
This list can be laid aside. By doing so, you give your concerns a place to adjourn while you gather new strength. When you feel ready, revisit the list by yourself or with a friend. Now you can scrutinize each point and seek solutions.
3. Take your CONCERNS seriously and seek support
Fears are justified. They serve to avoid or prevent danger. How do you heed its warning and keep it from coming true? If your concern is for your other children, consider what needs to be in place so that they are not being neglected, even with an additional child. Think about what kind of support would be helpful to give you sufficient alone time with your partner. Brainstorm about how to create room to breathe, giving you space to replenish your strength.
If you are unsure about finding and implementing solutions, take advantage of the Solutions Finder Test.
4. Remember your strength!
Every woman has unique strengths — you do, too! Think back on how you overcame difficult situations in the past. You have been given this great challenge, because you have the ability to master it.
- 💪 What are your strengths? Take the Strengths Finder Test
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