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An expectant woman with no apprehensions about her pregnancy is hard to find. At each stage of the pregnancy the worries change; perhaps at the beginning there were worries about the risk of miscarrying but as the pregnancy progresses this concern subsides and panic about the actual birth takes over. Although it’s not possible, or healthy, not have any worries how many of these apprehensions are justified?
Fear 1 – I’m scared I’ll have a miscarriage
Sadly we are all aware that miscarriages aren’t uncommon with approximately 1 in 8 pregnancies ending this way, however approximately 75% of these happen before 12 weeks of pregnancy. Although it also means that there is a greater chance of not miscarrying and, even if a woman does this doesn’t normally mean she won’t be able to have a baby in the future. This is just one of those fears that there is no control over. All a woman can do is look after themselves by eating healthily and getting all the vitamins and minerals needed for them and their baby and let nature takes is course.
Fear 2 – I’m frightened I’ll harm the baby by eating the wrong foods
Advice is changing all the time about what a pregnant woman should or shouldn’t be eating. For example, 40 years ago women were told to drink stout to improve iron levels and there was no mention of whether to include or avoid peanuts. At the booking-in appointment the midwife will give the pregnant woman a list of foods they can and can’t eat. This will be the most up-to-date and researched list, however if they do slip up by mistake the chances of it harming the baby are remote, however they can contact their midwife for further advice.
Fear 3 – I’m afraid my baby isn’t healthy
The chances of having a baby with a defect are very low, in fact only approximately 4% of babies are born with any serious health issues. Scans are very accurate nowadays and any abnormalities are normally picked up. Again, the best way of reducing the risk of birth defects is to ensure a varied healthy diet.
Fear 4 – I won’t be able to make it to the hospital in time
For first-time mothers, the average length of time of established labour is between 8 and 18 hours. There are women who have very quick labours but usually this still means a few hours or so which is ample time to get to the hospital. Women that have their babies in a supermarket or in the back of the taxi are incredibly rare.
Fear 5 – What if I can’t cope with the pain of giving birth
There isn’t any woman expecting a baby for the first time that hasn’t experienced this fear. It’s not a lie, labour is very painful but there are so many pain relief options available and, coupled with the adrenaline rushing through the woman’s body acting as a natural soother it really is something that can be managed. It is an interesting fact to be aware of that when most women say they can’t take the pain anymore is literally minutes before the baby puts in an appearance. Mother Nature only lets the mother go into as much pain as they can handle. When they look down at their beautiful baby all thoughts of the pain subside and they know it was all worth it.
About this article: This article has been written by Mary Murphy, the communications manager for Irish based website http://www.eumom.ie – Ireland’s largest online community for mothers with over 100,000 members. The website publishes regular articles and guides about pregnancy and parenting advice.