Pregnancy for some moms is a time to just focus on growing a baby and preparing to meet the child. It's unencumbered by other burdens and is full of glee the entire time. We all wish every pregnancy could be this way, but many women go into pregnancy with baggage, and it affects their entire experience.
Once mom has gone through certain experiences, she is strapped with anxiety and worries about what will happen the next time around. Even women who are experiencing their first pregnancies can have problems because of issues in their pasts. Not everyone is able to enjoy pregnancy without worry, and they have to find a way to manage it so the stress doesn't derail their pregnancies.
There's always the fear that something is going to happen to our baby during the pregnancy. We worry about getting news we're not prepared for, and many women know other moms who have suffered due to pregnancy-related issues. Even knowing other people who have suffered is hard, but suffering in the past or being at high risk for issues makes mom even more aware of how bad things can go during pregnancy.
High risk doctors are available for moms who need them, and OBs and midwives can often calm moms fears by keeping a close check on the little ones. However, women do need to know that it's normal to be nervous about pregnancy, and it's okay if mom is afraid to get attached too early. Trauma or past bad experiences can make that happen.
According to research up to 25 percent of pregnancies may end in miscarriage, with that number shooting to 50 percent if the pregnancies that are lost before the first missed period are included. For women who lost their babies after finding out they were pregnant, the prospect of another pregnancy can be terrifying.
Of course there's the chance of having a rainbow baby, but there's also the possibility of having another miscarriage. If a woman or her partner has a problem that hasn't been discovered that is causing the miscarriages, then there's a chance that mom will continue to miscarry until the issue is dealt with.
For women who do become pregnant after miscarrying, the first trimester can be a horribly scary time. As opposed to shouting the good news from the roof tops, many women want to hide their swelling bellies and blame their morning sickness on a stomach virus. It's terrible to think about going through loss again, and most women are too raw to share that they are even expecting.
Women who have had abortions in the past can be plagued with mixed feelings when they become pregnant again. Some have problems enjoying this pregnancy, feeling they are undeserving it since they terminated another pregnancy. Others worry that the same reasons they terminated before, such as birth defects or high risk pregnancy issues, will strike again, leaving them to face another hard decision.
There's also the added risks that come along with a pregnancy after mom has had an abortion. Women who have abortions can be at higher risk of miscarriage or preterm delivery, and that's hard to put in the back of the mind. Women feel responsible for putting their babies in harm's way because of a decision from their pasts.
Talking to the midwife or OB and expressing concerns early is important. It's also important for mom to tell her doctor if she has had abortions in the past. It will help the doctor monitor her pregnancy properly and try to avoid any issues that could arise.
13Not One Breath
Losing a child at any stage of a pregnancy is heartbreaking. There's no rule for how long mom has to carry her child to feel the sting of losing a baby. Miscarriages are devastating at any stage, and there are moms who avoid miscarriages only to deliver a child who has already passed. The pain a mother of a stillborn experiences will not leave her, ever.
Being pregnant again after delivering a stillborn baby is difficult. There is the hope that this pregnancy will end differently and the fear that it will not. Moms who have delivered stillborn babies in the past may not want a baby shower, and they may hesitate to pick out names for the baby. They are acutely aware that something can go wrong at any minute, and pregnancy becomes a period of waiting things out instead of enjoying every moment.
12Struggling To Get Here
Women who have undergone fertility treatment know that achieving those pink lines on the pregnancy test is a monumental accomplishment. They also know that those lines can disappear, erased by an early miscarriage, by the next day.
Fertility treatment is a beautiful option for women who have trouble conceiving. The problem is the long road to conception doesn't always end with a baby, and women who seek fertility treatment have likely already experienced plenty of loss or disappointment. They are excited to be pregnant, but they are leery of their own excitement.
This is another situation where mom may be so concerned that the pregnancy will not make it to a live birth that she shields herself from others while pregnant. If mom's fertility treatment results in a pregnancy with multiples, a real possibility since most treatments increase the chances of multiples, mom will be even more concerned since pregnancies with multiples carry higher risks.
11Parenting Without Mom
Being a motherless mother is complicated in so many ways. Women whose mothers have passed before meeting their grandchildren struggle with complicated feelings and may experience an isolated sensation since they aren't sharing this experience with the woman who carried them in the womb.
Mothers are such a part of our own pregnancies, telling stories about our births and helping prepare for the baby, and women who watch other moms help their daughters but don't have that will have a shadow of sadness hanging over their pregnancy. They will still be excited about their own child, but not having a mother to share the experience with causes pain that can't be cured.
Having stand in moms, important women in life who can pitch in and do the work mom would have, is important. So is acknowledging these feelings, because they won't end when the pregnancy is over. Not being able to introduce a baby to his grandmother will always leave a hollow place in mom's heart.
10The Extra Needs
A mother's love is powerful, and mothers of children with special needs love their kids just as fiercely as any others. Finding out that mom is going to have a child with special needs doesn't dampen her love, but it does cause her pregnancy to be different from that moment on.
Mom is not only planning for a new baby, but she is planning to make sure she is able to offer her child with special needs everything he will need to thrive. That causes stress that most people can't understand unless they have been through it.
From planning a birth that accommodates the baby to making sure any necessary surgeries or therapies are in place after the birth, taking care of needs for a child with disabilities starts way before birth.
As moms, all of us fight to make sure our kids have what they need, but women who are pregnant with children who have special needs start that battle even earlier. It changes their pregnancies.
9PTSD From Delivery
Women who have had children before may find they aren't quite as excited the next time around. It's not that they aren't excited about the baby they are carrying. Many moms are just petrified about getting the baby into the world, especially if they had a bad birth experience before.
Women who experience birth trauma can suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder(PTSD), though this isn't talked about near as much as it should be. They may have flashbacks and anxiety, and the thought of going through birth again can be paralyzing. Whether it was a vaginal delivery that went wrong and put mom and the baby at risk or an unexpected C-section that took mom by surprise, women do more than physically recover after birth. They have to mentally prepare to go back into a scary experience again if they want to have more kids.
This can make pregnancy feel more like waiting for a time bomb to go off than a period of enjoyment.
8Aftershocks Of Parenting
Postpartum depression(PPD) is said to affect up to 20 percent of women, and that's if everyone who has symptoms reports it, which is unlikely. PPD can be debilitating, stealing the joy from mom's early days with her child and making her question if she is a fit parent.
PPD can be treated, and there is much less of a stigma around reporting symptoms than there used to be. However, women who recover from PPD after one pregnancy usually live in fear of having it strike again after another pregnancy. That's why having another child and waiting nine long months to see what mom's emotions will do can be torture.
There's no guarantee that a woman who had PPD will have it again with subsequent pregnancies. There are also benefits to knowing what symptoms to look for so mom doesn't suffer needlessly. She'll know to go for help as soon at it strikes again, if it does. However, even the thought of going back to that dark mental space can make pregnancy hard for mom to endure.
7When Weight Gain Scares
Eating disorders affect a woman's health, her view of her body, and her ability to enjoy food. They also make pregnancy a very complicated time since women with eating disorders usually try to balance their desire for a healthy, growing baby with their desire for a thin body unmarred by stretch marks.
It's essential that women who have eating disorders seek treatment at all times, but especially while pregnant. This is one of the best ways to ensure both mom and baby are safe and growing throughout the pregnancy, and it will give mom a way to have her fears about weight gain addressed. Doctors can make sure she stays on the right path.
No one can make mom enjoy pregnancy though, and women with eating disorders often have a really hard time with the constant weight check ins and the focus on growth. This will be a struggle throughout the pregnancy for many of them.
6What's Age Got To Do With It?
Being an older mom has tons of benefits, according to science. Older moms may be calmer, and their kids are often healthier and have less behavioral problems than kids born to younger moms
The problem is that being an older mom means giving birth at a later age, and that leaves mom and the baby open to risks that are unique to women of advanced maternal age. Downs syndrome, miscarriages, and stillbirths are more common in pregnancies where mom is over 35, and knowing this can make pregnancy hard for an older mom. She may worry about the what ifs regularly, and doctors will constantly be checking in, reminding her of everything that could go wrong.
Since many women are deemed high risk after mom is a certain age, it's hard for many women to relax. They worry that something is going to go wrong, and they don't enjoy the pregnancy as much as they want to.
5Being Laid Flat
Bed rest is necessary in certain situations and can happen to any woman. If mom's blood pressure is rising or she is showing signs of preterm labor, doctors will often tell her to go on bed rest for a certain amount of time.
Some forms of bed rest take place in the hospital while others can be done at home. Mom may not be able to get up unless she needs to go to the bathroom, or she may be allowed to be on modified bed rest, a form that allows her to move around certain hours of the day.
No matter what, bed rest makes pregnancy hard, and it can interfere with mom's job and her ability to interact with her kids. Women who had to go on bed rest during one pregnancy often fear having to go on it for another, and that can happen. It puts a cloud over their pregnancies as they wait to see how long they will be allowed to stay vertical.
Having multiples is a blessing, but it's a completely different pregnancy experience compared to having a singleton. Women who have had twins before may fear having them again. It's not that they don't want to have twins; they just don't want to have another high risk pregnancy that requires constant monitoring and tons of risks.
The truth is that women who have had twins once can get pregnant with them again, and that is something that scares many women. Besides the pregnancy being harder, women who have twins often need C-sections, and those are hard to recover from while taking care of more than one newborn.
Women who do become pregnant with multiples more than once may find themselves stressing about managing the pregnancy, the birth, and life after the birth. Two sets of twins or multiples means feeling like mom's attention is always split, and it's also physically taxing.
Birth trauma comes in many forms and through many experiences, but one that is seriously scarring is when a woman has a prolapsed cord. When the umbilical cord is prolapsed, that means it falls out of mom's uterus before the baby, and it can easily become kinked, causing the baby to die or experience profound brain damage.
Luckily, women who are in the hospital usually have this situation caught quickly, so doctors can do what is necessary to make sure the baby is okay. However, the fear of what could have been as well as the fact that mom will have people swarming around her panicked is scarring. Many women replay this experience in their minds as days lead to their next birth, and it consumes them throughout their pregnancy.
Just because a cord prolapsed once doesn't mean it will again, but it does mean that doctors will keep an extra close check on mom when she gets ready to birth again.
The C-section rate in the United States is way too high, coming in at over 30 percent. This concerns many doctors and researchers, and though C-sections are sometimes necessary, there are times that they are not.
Women who have one C-section, unfortunately, often feel bullied into more because so many doctors refuse to offer a vaginal birth after a C-section(VBAC). Though VBACs are the safer option in many cases, hospitals and insurance companies are making them hard to obtain.
That means women who needed C-sections the first time around are stuck having major surgeries every time they want to have a child, even if they know it's not the safest option. Unless they can find a doctor or midwife willing to help them VBAC, they will likely spend their latter pregnancies dreading more surgical births that will lead to longer recoveries and much more blood loss.
1Going It Alone
Most women imagine being pregnant while a partner dotes on them and gives them foot massages. This isn't the case for every woman, and being left while pregnant will change a woman's feelings about pregnancy. She will likely still be excited about having a baby, but there will be sadness that she and the baby won't have the support of a partner.
It's hard to watch couples prepare for a child when mom is alone, and during an already emotional time, being alone can be extra hard. If mom wasn't the one who wanted the relationship to end, it's even harder.
The reality of birthing without the partner available is also difficult. Though some women choose to let their partners attend the birth, others can't deal with how bad they feel around this person now that the relationship is over. It makes a time that should be full of joy much more complicated.
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