Some Common Concerns In Pregnancy
It is normal to have concerns about the health of your baby and impending parenthood because nature has wired us to increase the survival rate of the expected child.
- I'm nervous about the tests I will have to have during pregnancy
Being familiar with the tests that are performed as part of your antenatal care and discussing concerns with your medical carer will help to put your mind at ease. More about monitoring and tests for you and your baby's health (external link).
- I am worried about the labour and birth
It is normal to be a bit worried about the labour and birth especially if it is your first time. It will help to read up about how to manage the labour and birth, discuss it with your GP, obstetrician or midwife and sign up for an antenatal class. An antenatal class will provide valuable advice on all aspects of the birth process as well as give you the opportunity to discuss your expectations and concerns with qualified health professionals and other expecting parents. More about labour and birth (external link).
- I don’t feel confident that I know how to breastfeed my baby
Breast-milk provides all the nutrition and other benefits that your baby needs for the first four to six months of life. However starting off can be challenging and it may take time to feel confident. It is useful to read or talk with others to develop a good understanding about breastfeeding and the professional support that is available to you. Consider forming a ‘support crew’ in advance, so that help is available when you need it, especially from other women who have breastfed their own babies.
If you are unsure if you want to breastfeed your baby it is important to ask health professionals lots of questions so you make an informed decision. Discuss your decision with your partner and other important people in your life. More about infant feeding (external link).
- I want to do exercise but am not sure what types and how much is safe
See the physical activity section for information on the benefits of physical activity during pregnancy and how to do it safely.
- I am concerned about getting listeria
Listeria is a commonly occurring bacterium in some foods, but it does not infect people often. If you follow general food safety guidelines and those recommended for pregnancy, then your chances of getting Listeria infection are very low. More about Food safety
- I think I may be depressed
In some cases the emotional impact of being pregnant and becoming a parent can be hard handle. You may experience and encounter all sorts of emotions from euphoria to anxiety, feeling overwhelmed to over excited, and these could all occur in the space of one day.
For more information about managing antenatal anxiety and depression see the anxiety and depression or fact sheet: depression during pregnancy and the postnatal period If you are feeling depressed contact a health professional to get some assistance
- I drank alcohol before I knew I was pregnant
It is not ideal to drink alcohol during early pregnancy, however you can be reassured that the majority of babies exposed to low level alcohol suffer no observable harm. The risk to the foetus from low level drinking is likely to be low, but increases with continued heavy and binge drinking.
Alcohol is best avoided at any stage of pregnancy, so stopping drinking when planning or as soon as you know you are pregnant will increase your chances of having a healthy baby. More about alcohol (external link).
- Should I plan in advance how to raise my child?
You may feel overwhelmed with all sorts of advice you receive about what to do and not to do with your baby and how to do things properly. In this case you may feel doubtful of your abilities to be a good parent or you may disagree with others. Sometimes it helps to plan for the future to help relieve concerns about the unknown when you are pregnant – this gives you a sense of control.
You may like to discuss with your partner and other family members how you would like to raise your child and the support they can provide.
It is worth discussing how you can all ensure that the environment is as healthy as possible for your baby. This may include not smoking; the kinds of behaviours you would like role modelled to your child such as helping, sharing, being respectful; or lifestyle such as healthy eating and being physically active.
Children do not just learn from being told what to do, they learn a lot from observation and copying what they see their carers do. It is never too early to start role modelling the behaviours you would like your child to adopt in the future (e.g. exercising regularly, enjoying healthy food, having fun cooking, eating meals together, caring for each other, etc.). These activities will provide a rich learning environment for your child.
For more information on looking after your emotional health during pregnancy and preparing for motherhood see Emotional health in pregnancy (external link).
Other Useful Links
Ngala Books & DVDs
Call the Ngala Helpline for early parenting support on
9368 9368 or 1800 111 546
8am to 8pm every day or
When: 30 Mar, 9:30am
Birth to 4 months: A 5-week series of workshops for parents with a newborn baby. Each workshop covers a wide range of topics about you and your new baby and provides the opportunity to meet and connect with other new parents in your local area.