The early weeks of pregnancy are fragile—and confusing. Here, the answers to your questions.
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So many pregnant women worry about their health, their finances and their relationships. Our seven tips can help you turn around that mindset.
When you’re expecting, there’s plenty of stuff to worry about: Is that cheese pasteurized? Will my baby be healthy? What if I’m not a good mom? While fretting is normal during such an important time in your life, the best thing for you and your baby is to try to accentuate the positive.
“Excessive worrying and negative feelings take a physical, mental and emotional toll on a pregnant woman,” says Irene E. Aga, M.D., assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. “A woman with a positive attitude can focus on eating well, sleeping enough and staying active. She is also able to focus on the miraculous changes within her body and on the developing relationship with her unborn infant.”
Having a positive attitude doesn’t mean burying your head (and your negative feelings) in the sand. You experience a lot of changes during pregnancy, many of which understandably cause stress. “It’s not possible for a pregnant woman to ignore these issues,” Aga says. “She can, however, control how she handles stress. Exercise, prayer and meditation are all helpful. I also encourage women to discuss their concerns with their partners, families and doctors and to seek the support they need.”
So ditch the negative thoughts—I can’t do this, I’m afraid of that—and adopt a glass-half-full attitude. Our seven positive affirmations and expert advice will help you overcome a negative mindset and empower you to have a healthy, happy and successful pregnancy.
Ditch the negative: “I’m already pregnant, so it’s too late to change my unhealthy habits.”
Adopt the positive: “It’s not too late to give my baby the healthiest start possible.”
How to make it happen: A study conducted at Kaiser Permanente Northern California found that pregnant women who received treatment for cigarette, alcohol or drug use early in their pregnancies achieved the same outcomes, in terms of their babies’ health and their own, as women with no substance abuse problems.
“Quitting smoking and drinking alcohol at any time all benefit the pregnancy as well as your long-term health,” says Eva K. Pressman, M.D., director of obstetrics and maternal fetal medicine at the University of rochester in New york. If you need help, ask your doctor for a referral to a tobacco-, drug- or alcohol-cessation program or, if junk food is your vice, a registered dietitian.