Today I am sharing my 8 tips to reduce fear in early pregnancy.
Oftentimes, it can be a lot easier to tell how things are going in your pregnancy when you are farther along and can feel the baby move. But those first few weeks between knowing you are pregnant and your first doctor’s appointment can be a little nervewracking.
Hopefully you will resonate with some of my suggestions below and be able to enjoy this time instead of being afraid.
As I am writing this post I am currently pregnant with our second baby! I took an extra sensitive test the absolute first day I could. That first day the pink line was extremely faint. And by faint I mean I had to take the strip out of the casing, hold it up to the light and even then I just barely saw the tiniest beginning of a line.
I continued to test every day (sometimes multiple times a day…) to make sure that the line was getting darker, and sure enough it was!
But that didn’t stop my fears.
Between reading scary stories online, and symptoms being different than my last pregnancy, I couldn’t help but be worried if everything was progressing as it should.
Throw in being pregnant during a global pandemic and the month long wait I had until my first ultrasound appointment, I was an emotional mess.
I found myself googling “how to know pregnancy is going well, before first ultrasound” “how to reduce fear in early pregnancy” and things of the like. What I found was long lists of symptoms you should be experiencing, symptoms you shouldn’t be experiencing etc. But I didn’t see much on mindset, or actionable things I could do to ease my fears. I was specifically looking for ways to look at the situation differently and to make myself feel just a little bit more calm before that first doctors appointment.
And while I am still extremely early in this pregnancy, I decided to write the type post that I wanted to read. I hope a few of these tips might be helpful for you as well! These are my 8 tips to reduce fear in early pregnancy.
8 Tips to Reduce Fear in Early Pregnancy
#1. This pregnancy may be different than your previous ones.
When I first found out I was pregnant I had thought that I would start feeling all the same things I felt when I was pregnant with my son. I quickly found out that things were a bit different. I wasn’t as exhausted right from the get go, I wasn’t nearly as sore as I was last time, and I started to worry.
But then I remembered that every pregnancy is different. Just because you felt a certain way with a previous child, doesn’t necessarily mean you will feel exactly the same with this one.
#2. Keep yourself as busy as possible.
This one has been a very big struggle for me since we are currently in the middle of a pandemic. Most places are still closed and the places that are open require masks. And trying to get my two year old to wear a mask is NOT an easy task. And so most days we have to stay home or in very large open spaces away from people.
That being said, hopefully by the time you are reading this things have went back to normal! But in any case, it is so important to keep yourself busy. Make a schedule if you can and plan lots of things to look forward to.
Whether you love meeting up with friends, going to the beach, or taking fun art classes, try and keep your schedule as full as possible during this time to keep your mind occupied.
My husband and I look forward to what we call “cheat day.” Once a week, we order food, go out to dinner, have dessert for breakfast.. basically eat anything we want that day (to an extent!). Not only has it helped us eat much healthier during the week leading up to cheat day, but it’s a fun little thing to look forward to as well.
#3. Don’t google things you are worried about.
This is a super important tip for reducing fear in early pregnancy! If you have a reason to be concerned, call your doctor. If you have any “stupid” questions, call your doctor. (There is no such things as stupid questions by the way). I have found that no matter what you are googling, you will find the answer you’re afraid of, even it isn’t true for you.
Most people take the time to write stories online when things go wrong, but not very often do I see an article titled “everything is going great and there have been no problems!” even if that is the case for the majority of people.
Searching for things online can quickly turn into hours of panic for no reason. At least at this point in time, I would recommend staying off the message boards and calling a medical professional if you are genuinely concerned about something.
#4. Don’t drive yourself crazy with testing.
Okay, I have to admit I don’t follow this AT ALL. But I’m hoping that me writing this will convince myself otherwise! I’m the kind of person that buys those 100 packs of pregnancy tests on Amazon and will take tests twice a day to see the line progression. Yes, yes I know I am crazy, but I thought it would help me see that things were going as they should.
That being said, it’s driving me nuts. There are so many things that can affect a pregnancy test. The time of day you take it, how much water you recently drank, and if you buy the huge test packs like I did, you might see that some are defective.
If I took a test and saw that the line was slightly lighter than the previous one, I immediately panicked thinking, “is something wrong or did I just drink too much water this afternoon and it was diluted?” You can drive yourself crazy with the “what ifs.”
If you do test super early like I do, I would maybe keep testing until the day of your missed period and then trust that your body will let you know if something is wrong, and it is not necessary to keep testing.
#5. Be as healthy as you can.
Now don’t get me wrong, as you read in tip #2 I am a BIG fan of cheat days. But the majority of the week I eat relatively healthy. I make sure to get in my fruits, veggies, protein, drink a lot of water and of course take my vitamins daily.
Eating healthy, exercising, and taking care of yourself will not only make you feel better physically, but I have found that doing the right things eased my anxiety, knowing that I was doing everything I could to make sure this pregnancy went well. Control what you can, and then try and let your worries go.
#6. Consider telling one trusted person about your pregnancy even if you are waiting to announce.
My husband and I decided to wait to tell our immediately family about this baby after our first ultrasound at 8-9 weeks, and then the rest of our family and friends after 12 weeks. We wanted to be sure that everything was going well before we announced to anyone.
We also wanted some time to enjoy this new pregnancy for a little while before everyone started asking how I was feeling all the time and wanting to know (and have opinions on!) what our future plans would be.
That being said, it can be hard keeping a secret. My husband was totally fine with me telling one of my good friends the great news. She just had her second child a few months before, so it was really nice having someone to talk to about how I was feeling that knew exactly what I was going through.
You always hear about the “two week wait” but this “four week wait” until your first appointment can also be SO difficult, especially when you feel like you can’t tell anyone yet.
I’d recommend picking one person who you can trust to keep a secret, and share the news with them early so you have someone other than your partner to talk to about it right from the get go.
#7. Consider holding off on preparations during this “wait”
As soon as I saw that positive pregnancy test I immediately started thinking of all the things we needed to do to prepare. We had to buy our son a new bed, figure out how to move that giant treadmill out of our spare bedroom, find where I stored our son’s old baby clothes and pick out the newborn to three month old items and the list went on and on.
I found that starting to do things very early on was making me extra anxious. As soon as I started thinking about all the things we needed to do/buy, my mind immediately went to the space of “what if things go wrong and this is all for nothing?”
Now I know this is NOT a good way to think, and chances are things WILL be just fine. However, I think that taking the first few weeks of pregnancy to just take care of yourself and not worry about your to do list will do wonders for your mindset. There is plenty of time to figure things out after this “four week wait” is over with.
#8. Trust your gut.
When it comes to reducing fear in early pregnancy, trusting your gut is definitely underrated. I know this may not seem very helpful, but trusting your intuition is a lot more important than you might think. Since I was young I have always had very bad anxiety. Because of this my intuition can sometimes get clouded by thoughts of “what if this is just my anxiety talking?” But I found that if you take a step back for a moment, you can usually distinguish fear, from your gut actually telling you something is wrong. Trust yourself. If you think everything is going well, then chances are, everything is!
What tips do you have for reducing fear in early pregnancy?