To have a baby is a huge decision. If you have a preemie then you might get anxiety about having another baby. There are so many things to think about. You’re likely to have a lot of questions too. To be anxious about pregnancy after a preemie is a completely understandable mental state to be in. After all your preemie pregnancy didn’t go at all to plan!
The decision for me to have another baby after my first was born 10 weeks early was huge. When it finally happened I couldn’t have been happier. I went to my first few appointments and suddenly things felt out of my control. The midwife decided I would be monitored more closely which I was grateful for but that I would also have a c-section. I hadn’t thought that far ahead and suddenly I was spinning into a panic.
Immediately after my appointment I got in touch with the therapist who had helped me through my diagnosis of PTSD and anxiety after I’d had my first son. She didn’t hesitate in putting a case forward to her boss for adding me back to her workload. I was allocated 12 sessions which we carefully spaced out throughout my pregnancy. In the sessions we talked about my anxieties, revisited tools and techniques I’d learnt previously and then I was taught a few new ones to specifically deal with my current anxieties. This support was exactly what I needed. There were a lot of similarities between my first and second pregnancies so I had an underlying fear that it could all go wrong at any moment.
Dealing with the anxiety
Anxiety can be sneaky. It starts with a few niggling thoughts that you shrug off and put to one side. Then these thoughts can unexpectedly pop into your head at any moment. Before you know it they are quite persistent and start to dominate your head space.
Different people deal with anxiety in different ways. Some like to journal, others will centre themselves and really rationalise their anxieties and breakdown the fears they are sparking. For some talking to family and friends is the key and others need a more guided and tailored approach in the form of a therapist. My biggest piece of advice is that if you know you have anxiety then address it is some way so that it doesn’t build into a beast that you struggle to battle. Think about what approach might work for you to tackle the anxieties you have.
Arm yourself with facts
According to Bliss you are only statistically 10-15% likely to have a second premature baby. This is heavily caveated that if you have a condition that is likely to cause premature birth then this percentage will increase.
Focus on your current pregnancy. Is it going well? Do you feel good about it? Are your check ups and scans showing everything to be normal? These facts will help your mindset and add rationale to any irrational thoughts that might pop into your head.
When researching specific anxieties then turn to reputable sources. It’s so easy to fall down the deep dark internet rabbit hole and get lost in a sea of overwhelming information. Stick to sites like NHS online and premature baby charities to get reliable information.
Above all be kind to yourself. Whether your pregnancy was planned or an unexpected surprise you are strong and can do this. I think most mums get anxious about pregnancy whether it’s their first or fourth. The anxiety might different each time, but I think most of us naturally worry on some level about the responsibility we hold to safely delivering this new life into the world. We then amaze ourselves by achieving just that despite the anxieties we had.
Some top tips:
- Surround yourself with the love and support of family and friends
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you feel you need it
- Keep talking – in particular with your partner
- Remind yourself regularly of the present facts
- Be kind to yourself
Did you see…
Our last blog on celebrating the wins?
Also did you see that our NICU diaries are now available on Amazon! There are 5 diaries to choose from: