Updated: Mar 29
Here are 4 of the most common pregnancy-related fears that I hear from the women I work with:
1. I won’t be a good mom.
2. Labor and delivery will be more than I can handle.
3. I won’t be able to have the perfect birth story I’ve been hoping for.
4. I’m worried about how my body will change during and after pregnancy.
Do any of those resonate with you? Maybe you’ve got a different, but related fear or concern? Whatever your particular fertility/pregnancy/motherhood fear may be, it could actually be hurting your fertility. Keep reading to learn what to do about it.
Why is fear so problematic when you’re trying to conceive?
Fear is a kind of stress. And when your body senses stress, it triggers the “fight-or-flight” mechanism that is designed to keep us safe. But as I’ve talked about in so many of my posts, recurrent or chronic stress is actually harmful to your body and keeps your peripheral organ systems (like your reproductive system) from working correctly.
Additionally, because the mind-body connection is so strong, your body “hears” all the things your mind thinks, and then it responds accordingly. In the case of pregnancy or motherhood related fears it keeps you safe by not letting you get pregnant. It might sound crazy, but I assure you that it’s legit!
You’ve got to get your body and mind working together in order to get what you want.
4 steps for dealing with fear that’s blocking your fertility
1. Name your fear.
Get out your journal and write that fear down. Then elaborate: What are all the words and emotions that you associate with it? Why is this particular issue a concern for you? How do you feel about it? Is this fear rooted in logic and fact, or are you making guesses and assumptions? Do you have any actual, concrete evidence that this fear will come true or might it be purely fortune telling?
Write down everything that comes to mind. Seeing it all on paper is a great way to organize your thoughts and figure out what other steps you need to take in order to diminish or overcome your fear.
2. Let go of any unrealistic expectations.
Perfect doesn’t exist. No one is a great mother all the time. In the end your birth story will go however it goes, but you’ll be holding a baby at the end and it won’t matter. Your body will probably never be exactly what it was pre-baby, but it will have done something utterly amazing. And the list goes on and on…
In a similar vein, let go of any competitive instincts. Your story is your own and something to be excited about; it’s not a competition with your sister or best friend or worst enemy.
3. Do a bit of self-hypnosis or meditation.
Putting yourself into a deeply relaxed state and focusing on a particular positive thought or image is a powerful way to create change. If you’re not sure how to get yourself sufficiently relaxed, check out this video I made to teach you an easy self-hypnosis exercise.
4. Look for outside help.
As my dad used to say, “You don’t have to know the answer. You just have to know how to find the answer.”
And when it comes to pregnancy, birth, and motherhood, there are so many places you can go to find your answers.
There are wonderful doctors, therapists, nurses, midwives, doulas, coaches, books, courses, online support, and in-person support. Whatever support you might need, it’s definitely out there, and you shouldn’t ever be afraid to seek it out!