Telling a mother not to worry is silly. It’s in our nature. It’s what we do. That said, that’s exactly what I’m going to say this week. Quit worrying, my dears. It’s not good for you.
I’ve received so many emails lately from worried mamas with straight up valid reasons to be concerned ranging from bacterial vaginosis, to spotting, grumpy husbands, and new kittens. One is having trouble conceiving a baby and wonders if Bacterial Vaginosis is to blame. Another saw a few spots of blood in her panties, and another has a husband who’s just not into pregnancy. Last but not least, one just found out she’s pregnant, has two kittens she’s madly in love with and is terrified of toxoplasmosis in their litter box. What should they do? They should all stop worrying.
I’m not trying to dismiss their concerns. I’m right in there with the best of the worriers, but I’m learning to change my ways. When I was pregnant with my first baby I pestered the heck out of my doctor with some-valid/some not-so-valid worries. I called my doctor late on a Saturday evening when I heard my dishware was being recalled because it might be contaminated with lead. I was totally freaked that by eating off those plates my baby would be brain damaged. Turns out the plates, a blood test and my daughter were all fine. Another time, I freaked out because a woman on the news claimed she’d contracted HIV through her Rhogam shot. I’d just had my first Rhogam shot and was pretty darn worried. It was the 80s, Rhogam is a blood product and screening protocols were still new.
The list of things that freak us out when we’re carrying our babies is long and evolving and doesn’t stop even after the kids leave home. There’s a lot at stake, pregnancy is a huge responsibility and we live in stressful times. I get it. And still…quit worrying.
Here’s what worry will do for you – zilch, nada, nothing. Somebody once said, “Worrying is like a rocking chair. It gives you something to do, but it gets you nowhere.” I’d argue that it does take you someplace, but nowhere you want to go. Many scientists, physicians and health experts have proven that worry, stress, fear and pervasive negative thoughts can actually contribute to poor health outcomes. Patience, education and action on the other hand can take you to a place of health and wellbeing.