Worthless worries about your unborn child
“Worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum.” –Baz Luhrman. As a parent, especially one who is starting the process over for a second time, I know that the parental worries come in the day you get the positive pregnancy test.
Immediately, your brain is flooded with concerns about everything from your unborn child’s health to whether or not you will be a good mom. I get that worrying is inevitable and almost unavoidable. However, there are certain things that are more or less out of your control and thus take up too much energy worrying about. Try to find a better use for that energy than worrying too much about the following;
For the first few weeks of pregnancy, just about every expectant mom worries herself crazy over something that is almost completely out of her hands. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, most miscarriages are caused by chromosome problems that make it impossible for the baby to develop. Though there are obviously things one can do to lower their risk of miscarriage, most miscarriages are caused by factors outside of anyone’s control, i.e. chromosome problems. So avoid caffeine and tobacco, get the recommended prenatal care, and try to relax because stress is not good for the unborn or the mother.
After the risk of miscarriage is dramatically lowered, a new fear sets in for pregnant women; pre-term labour. This fear is for good reason as the majority of infant deaths come from premature delivery. Even when babies do survive, they may have a lifetime of health problems awaiting them. With that being said, according to the Centre for Disease Control (CDC), even if a woman does everything "right" during pregnancy, she still can have a premature baby. This means that if you are following your doctor’s orders and getting all the care necessary, you are doing everything in your power to prevent this from happening. Worrying will be in vain and not help anything.
Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is a major worry for most new parents. We spend hours researching, buying the best products, and taking all the recommended precautions for lowering the risk for SIDS for our children. After all of this effort, the best we can do is possibly lower the risk because a concrete cause of the syndrome has not been discovered yet. It is a very mysterious phenomenon that strikes infants from all walks of life with no group spared the heart ache. Countless research has been done on SIDS, but we are still at square one…which is that there is no known exact cause and therefore nothing that can be done to be 100% sure you’re infant will not succumb. Again, follow all the recommended precautions but spend more time enjoying your new baby instead of panicking over something that can happen to anyone.
Autism is a complicated and confusing disorder that has been linked to a multitude of different causes. The major rumoured cause of autism for many years was immunization shots, causing much worry and guilt among parents who immunized. The doctor who researched and published this link eventually admitted his faulty study and was stripped of his credentials for the false information spread. Unfortunately, the false information continues to be believed and spread. The cause of autism has not been discovered at this time. Maybe your child will develop it and maybe not. Maybe the cause of autism is listening to classical music while pregnant or eating broccoli with ranch or having your pregnant belly rubbed too many times. Either way, worrying that your child might have autism is absolutely pointless when the cause is so unknown that there really aren't any serious precautions to take to prevent it.
Other disorders/disabilities- Besides autism, there are many other disorders or disabilities that your child could potentially develop or have. Down’s syndrome, epilepsy, spina bifida, etc. are all things that you and your child possibly will have to deal with at some point. The list goes on and on, but stressing about the “what if’s” or all the things that might happen will neither prevent nor cause the problems. These disorders/disabilities will either happen or they won’t and no amount of worrying will matter. So instead of worrying about what could be, enjoy what is. Also, please know that disorders and disabilities are not a death sentence anyway. Most parents of special needs children exclaim that their life has been drastically changed for the better by their child’s impairment. That’s just some food for thought.
I know that telling someone not to worry has the complete opposite effect on them. Also, I know that not worrying when it comes to our children is easier said than done. However, worrying about things that cannot be predicted or changed is honestly pointless. As the end of the quote that opened this article says, “The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind; the kind that blind side you at 4pm on some idle Tuesday.” –Baz Luhrman.
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