It's not uncommon for women who are pregnant to worry about their unborn child, especially if it's a first pregnancy. For example, there are common concerns like being worried about the baby getting proper nutrition, being afraid of going into premature labour, or even having a miscarriage. While having the odd episode of anxiety is considered a “normal” pregnancy reaction, there can be situations where a woman has irrational or crazy thoughts.
An irrational thought is defined as thinking, talking or acting without use of reason. Pregnant or not, irrational or crazy thoughts are usually not based on any real evidence or facts. Psychologists say that for the most part, this type of anxiety is based on negative thinking. It is hard for someone who is hormonal and irrational to put things into perspective, particularly when those irrational or crazy thoughts cause panic attacks. Panic attacks are times of intense stress and can lead to real physical symptoms, such as headaches, dizziness, excessive sweating, stomach pain and chest pain. Some experts say that these attacks are worse when you are pregnant.
Not everyone who becomes pregnant experiences anxiety or irrational thoughts, but it is a good idea to understand what is irrational so as to stop the thoughts in their tracks, in case they do arise.
Lets take a look at 15 irrational or crazy thoughts of a pregnant woman:
15 Scared To Drop A Deuce
Yes, it sounds crazy, but there are women who are afraid to strain when they are pregnant because they are fearful that it will hurt the baby. Some women take it to an extreme and try to avoid, well voiding. This only makes the situation in terms of discomfort worse. Constipation is actually a common problem during pregnancy.
Up to 50 percent of women get constipated when they are expecting. This is due to an increase in the hormone progesterone, which relaxes smooth muscles throughout the body, including the digestive tract. This change in hormones means that food can pass much slower through the intestines.
No, you will not go into premature labour or have a miscarriage if you try to poo, but you may tear a little, which can be uncomfortable. During pregnancy women should drink a lot of water and consume plenty of fiber-rich foods to help them avoid being constipated. If constipation is still a problem, talking to a qualified doctor can help, but again, there is no need to be afraid to poo.
14 Worrying About Vaccinations
There are some vaccines that are recommended for women who are pregnant. For example, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests that the flu (Influenza) vaccine be given during the first or second trimester of pregnancy and that the Tdap (tetanus-diphtheria-acellular pertussis) vaccine be given when a woman is anywhere from 27 to 36 weeks. Vaccines are designed to help protect the mother and baby against serious diseases. Unfortunately, vaccines are a source of worry for some moms-to-be.
There are women who obsess over whether the shot has harmed the baby in some way. There are some pregnant women who say they can’t eat, can’t sleep, or feel dizzy and nauseated after receiving a vaccine, but it has nothing to do with the shot itself, it is because they have worked themselves into an emotional frenzy, thinking that they have hurt their baby. There are even women who try to avoid the vaccination process because they think they have heard stories about shots making unborn children ill or deformed. The CDC says these irrational thoughts are unfounded and in fact, the vaccines are early protection for the baby.
13 Not Being Able To Afford The Best
Sure there are a lot of things to think about when expecting a baby. There is naming the baby, getting the nursery ready, buying clothes and other supplies, as well as preparing for maternity leave. Obsessing over not being able to afford the very best of everything for your unborn child is not typically on the “to do list”, yet there are pregnant women who do just that – they worry that they won’t be able to provide all that their baby deserves. Of course, we all want the best for our children, but psychologists say it is “irrational” to think that any child can have the best of everything at all times, and it wouldn’t be healthy anyway. After all, there is such a thing as too much of a good thing. Mothers who lose sleep over not being able to afford the best have to think about how they were raised and they have to consider that having a spoiled baby is not easy to manage.
12 Weight Obsession
While this may not seem like an unusual pregnancy concern, given so many women talk about their weight following childbirth, the fact is there are some women who have admitted to going a bit crazy when it comes to their pregnancy diet. They practically make a career out of measuring everything they eat and drink, as well as studying the ingredients in every food item before consuming it. There are some expectant mothers who have refused to eat out for their entire pregnancy for fear that they may overeat and get gestational diabetes. The reality is, dieting to lose weight during pregnancy can be dangerous to both mother and baby. Weight loss during this time could restrict the nutrients like iron and folic acid that are really important. Anyone with dietary concerns should simply talk to their doctor as opposed to dieting or obsessing over calories.
11 Fear Of Falling
For most women who are expecting a baby, the biggest sign of pregnancy is a growing belly, but there is also a shifting of the center of gravity. The majority of pregnant women get accustomed to the feeling of being off-kilter rather quickly, but some people struggle with balance. Of those who struggle with balance, there are always a few that fear falling. These women avoid exercise when they are pregnant because they worry about falling and hurting the baby. The sad part is that countless studies show that exercise when you are pregnant far outweighs the risk of falling. Medical experts say there is a strong psychological aspect to the issue of pregnancy and falling. For instance, if a pregnant woman worries too much about falling and overcompensates when she walks, that overcompensation can cause her to fall. While it is important to make adjustments for uneven flooring and pavement, obsessing about falling during pregnancy can be counterproductive according to psychologists. Anyone who has an overwhelming sense that they will fall because they are pregnant should speak to their doctor about it.
10 Baby Will Hate Me
We all know that a newborn baby needs a lot of TLC, but the reality is that mom needs love too. Think about it, who doesn’t want their baby to love them back? Well, there are some women who worry throughout their pregnancy that the baby will hate them. For some moms-to-be this irrational feeling becomes so strong that they start to verbalize it. Often it begins by admitting to their partner that they don’t think the baby will like them much then it often progresses to asking other mothers questions about how their baby responds to them. While it is true that newborns can’t fully express themselves, they do need their mother’s and do know who their mothers are through touch, smell and even the sound of voice. New moms have to understand that some babies are simply fussy. It may take time for the fussiness to subside and for mom to feel that she is appreciated. This is perfectly normal, but mom will at some point feel the love in spades.
9 Death During Childbirth
Dying in childbirth is rare, but it does happen. For some pregnant women it is a constant fear. It might sound crazy, but when some people watch movie’s or television shows where a woman has died giving birth, they then become fixated on the idea. It is important for these women to keep things in perspective and not get freaked out. Prior to the 1930’s about one woman died as a result of complications for each 100 live births; however, thanks to advances in medicine, maternal mortality has declined by close to 99 percent. This was considered one the greatest health achievements of the 20th century. Today, statistics indicate that there are about eleven deaths per 100,000 births, but many of these are associated with prenatal complications or poor medical care. Medical experts argue those who are relatively healthy and are under the supervision of a qualified doctor during their pregnancy should not worry about dying.
8 Partner Is Cheating On Me
When a woman becomes pregnant it is a joyful occasion and a time that requires an immediate shift in lifestyle. This includes doctors appointments, perhaps a change in diet, a change in social scheduling, and of course there is organizing for the arrival of the baby. Since the focus is on the unborn baby, a couple’s relationship can take second place. While most couple’s understand this and adjust accordingly, there are those who can’t handle the change and may be tempted to stray. We can’t say how many people this happens to. There are no statistics since most people are too embarrassed to talk about it. It is sad and so are situations where there is no cheating, yet the pregnant woman thinks her partner is stepping out on her. For some women who have had multiple pregnancies, the fear comes back with each pregnancy. Doctors say hormones can be at play in cases like this and thinking too much about change. For example, some women fear their bodies changing too much when they are pregnant or not being desirable to their partner anymore, while others fear that their partner will cheat because they aren’t getting enough attention.
7 Squashing The Baby
Many people have heard about mothers being very careful when lying down with their newborns. There is always a concern that mom could roll over and hurt the baby; however, fear of squashing the baby before he or she is born is irrational. Still, there are pregnant women who really do worry about this. These ladies do a lot of arranging of their bed at night. For example, they use pillows to prop themselves up and try to prevent them from rolling onto their sides or stomach. Some people who worry about squashing the baby have difficulty sleeping at night since they are so afraid of rolling over. Doctors say the concern is unfounded and that whatever makes you comfortable will likely be fine for the baby. Furthermore, those who are pregnant have to keep in mind that baby is well padded in there. Any moms-to-be who have a fear of squashing the baby and can’t sleep should discuss this with their doctor who can give them advice on how to get a good night’s sleep.
6 Being An Awful Mother
While it may sound irrational, it is probably more common than many people realize – fear of being an awful mother. This is something psychologists say can happen if a pregnant woman has a supermom and thinks she has to live up to that. It can also be a fear of women who don’t have a particularly good relationship with their own mother. Those who obsess over being an awful mother are constantly asking themselves questions like, what if I am too bossy, what if I am too lazy, what if I can’t afford her, what if I can’t get her to eat? The truth is that if a person is pregnant and asking themselves all sorts of questions about childrearing, it is likely that they will be a good parent. Parenting experts say that those who think it is going to be an easy ride are the ones who are more apt to struggle with taking care of a baby.
5 Driving A Car
Obstetricians say that as long as you are having a healthy pregnancy, driving a car should be fine. Some women find that in the last few months of pregnancy when their bump is growing, it can be more difficult to get in and out of a car. For some people the baby bump might get in the way of the steering wheel and mean that it is a good idea to stop driving. Tiredness and nausea may also determine how much a pregnant woman does and doesn’t drive. Having said all this, there are women who stop driving the minute they find out they are pregnant. They picture accidents that they never imagined before. A lot of this worry comes from a general fear that something bad is going to happen to their unborn child. While fear of driving may seem silly, doctors suggest that if a pregnant woman is overly concerned about it, she should avoid driving since being nervous and overly careful behind the wheel can in fact lead to accidents.
4 Giving Birth Without Doctor
Finding a good doctor to help you through a pregnancy and an obstetrician who you can trust to be there during labour is obviously important. Many women understandably get attached to their caregivers. It is not unusual though for a woman’s obstetrician to be unavailable when someone goes into labour, especially if they have a very busy practice. Some pregnant women worry throughout their entire pregnancy that they will give birth without their doctor present. They think they can’t possibly get through the process without him or her. Part of the problem is that they believe only their doctor knows their history and only their doctor will know how to handle all their needs during labour. One of the biggest fears of these women is, what if I get a doctor that isn’t good? There are even pregnant women that fear experiencing quick labour. You know, those situations you see in the movies where a woman can’t make it to the hospital and gives birth in a taxicab.
3 Baby Will Be Ugly
Our society puts a lot of emphasis on physical appearance and most people are aware of this, including people who are expecting a baby. Many people think about how their unborn baby might look or even hope that the baby looks like their partner. A baby after all is supposed to be an expression of love for your partner so it makes sense that you would want the baby to look like that person. There are those who find out they are pregnant and instantly worry about what the baby might look like. Some are fearful that the baby will be ugly. They may have no basis for their fear, but it still exists. Lets be real, there is nothing we can do to control the physical appearance of our unborn child once he or she is conceived, but looks are not everything anyway. Mothers-to-be who obsess over looks need to remember that baby’s health and happiness are what matter the most.
2 Don’t Deserve A Baby
Young people who experience unexpected pregnancies can sometimes have an irrational fear that they don’t deserve their baby. They ask themselves why they should get to have a child when so many couples are struggling to have a family. Many of these young moms-to-be feel as if they have no right to be happy. There are also some older pregnant women who have similar feelings. They wonder do I deserve a baby at my age. Social workers and psychologists say this fear often stems from a deeper, less conscious feeling that it is unacceptable to give birth over a certain age. In other words, that you are judged if you have a child later in life. Often worrying about how to care for a baby can become so overwhelming that it leads to thoughts of not deserving a baby. Experts admit that there are some situations where they can’t really pinpoint what is causing the fear and have to assume it is simply hormones gone crazy.
1 Fear Of Unknown
Fear of the unknown is best described as a phobia or irrational sensation of fear experienced about a person or situation that is foreign. We are all afraid of the unknown to a certain degree, but for some individuals such fear can be overwhelming to the point that one’s daily life and activities are hindered. There are many women who have admitted to avoiding pregnancy because they fear it; however, there are also those who become pregnant and then worry through the entire pregnancy about the unknown. Doing anything for the first time can be scary, but it can also be exciting. While this is certainly true with pregnancy, those who obsess over the unknown during this time of their lives are really missing out on a beautiful journey. When the fear overtakes them it is difficult for them to notice things like, the first time baby kicks or how their skin looks brighter. Women who fear the unknown during pregnancy often feel cheated after the baby is born because the last nine months were a blur due to their irrational thinking.
Psychologists agree that negative thinking is at the core of irrational thinking. These crazy notions can happen at any point in a person’s life, but pregnancy brings about a lot of changes in a woman’s body, including her brain so being irrational during this time can often be explained away. Still, irrational thoughts can be all consuming for some women who are expecting a baby. They just can’t seem to convince themselves to be more logical. If irrational or crazy thoughts are out of control they can have a dramatic impact on overall quality of life. Anyone who struggles with this should reach out for help for their own sake, baby’s sake and for those around them.