It’s completely normal to feel nervous from time to time when you’re pregnant — particularly if you’re pregnant for the first time and finding yourself in unfamiliar territory. Those fears can strike especially hard in your first trimester when there are a lot of unknowns and few people even know you’re expecting.
But it’s important to remember that above all else, pregnancy is exciting and truly worth enjoying. That’s why we suggest taking a few simple steps that’ll help you curb the first-trimester fear and focus instead on how amazing this stage of life truly is. While speaking with a mental health counselor is definitely the best step if your anxiety is interfering with your day-to-day life, these simple at-home steps may work wonders in reducing some of the fear you feel in the early days of your pregnancy.
Talk about your pregnancy
One of the toughest things about the first trimester is the fact that it can feel really isolating. If you and your partner are the only people who know you’re expecting, it’s natural to feel like you have to no one to rely on when your nerves take over. Talking about it with a family member or even an anonymous online community can help you feel more at ease — because chances are, you’ll realize most women who have ever been pregnant have felt some degree of what you’re experiencing…and that so many of them went on to have perfectly healthy babies!
Stop over-analyzing your symptoms
Say it with us: Every pregnancy is different. If you’re six weeks in and still not experiencing any morning sickness, don’t worry that this means your pregnancy isn’t healthy — the notorious first trimester symptom may strike later, or you just may be one of the lucky ones who avoids it entirely (in which case, you should thank your lucky stars!). If you feel miserable one day and fantastic the next, don’t read too far into it and start thinking it means your pregnancy is slipping away — just enjoy feeling well. Remind yourself that there’s a whole spectrum of normal. Tell yourself that obsessing over every little symptom is counterproductive…because it is!
Stay away from Google
Trust us: Falling into a Google black hole is not a good idea. Instead of searching every pregnancy question you have, create a list of clear, credible resources that can help you figure out the answers to your most pressing questions. When you just need some outside information (hey, it happens to the best of us), consult those instead — but take your findings with a grain of salt. There’s always a chance you’ll find something alarming, but that doesn’t necessarily mean things won’t be just fine for you and your baby.
Ask your doctor about early monitoring
While most pregnant women wait until they’re about eight weeks along to see their doctors, sometimes exceptions can be made. If you’ve had a history of miscarriage, for example, your OB-GYN may agree to bring you in for an early ultrasound just to ease your mind. Again, this isn’t always standard protocol, so don’t expect to be accommodated — but this may be an option for women who have specific concerns during early pregnancy.
Get your zen on
Now might be the perfect time to give meditation a try — lots of people rave about the practice’s stress-relieving powers. If your doctor is fine with it, you could even try acupuncture to help manage your anxiety, and if you’ve already been practicing yoga for some time, you should give prenatal classes a try (with your doctor’s blessing, of course!). These activities could go a long way toward helping you feel more grounded and settled.
Know the rules
Pregnancy comes with a laundry list of rules (goodbye raw sushi and unpasteurized cheese!). Your doctor will likely go over them at your first prenatal appointment, but familiarizing yourself with the basics will give you a greater sense of control over your pregnancy in those first few weeks.
You know how you always worry about the small stuff more when you….have to time to worry about the small stuff? That principle applies here, and that’s why it’s important to stay busy through your first trimester. Book an impromptu weekend trip, take lots of walks, cook healthy meals, start a new Netflix series, read some good books — do whatever you have to do to avoid getting bored. But at the same time…
Listen to your body
If you need a nap, take it. If you can’t find the energy to make it to your weekly workout class, skip it. If you’re too queasy to make it out to a dinner with friends, cancel. There’s a lot going on in your body when you’re pregnant (especially in those early days) and if you feel like you need a break, take one. This is great for you both mentally and physically — because ultimately, all we can do to keep our babies safe is take care of ourselves.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed or nervous through the early days of your pregnancy, know you’re not alone. And while we hope you’ll try these simple at-home methods for dealing with common fears, we also know sometimes you just need to talk to a professional —like your OB-GYN or a therapist — to address some of your bigger worries. But if you’re feeling like you just need to calm down, these simple do-it-yourself tricks may be all you need.