Pregnancy is full of blessings and growth, alongside some unknowns and challenges. One of the biggest challenges people face when navigating fertility is miscarriages.
Although miscarriages are somewhat common, it doesn’t make them any easier to cope with. It’s not just having a miscarriage that can be difficult to deal with. The fear of having a miscarriage can fill you with stress, worry, and anxiety.
Jump ahead to these sections:
- Why Do People Feel Scared of Miscarriage?
- What You Can Tell Yourself If You’re Feeling Scared of a Miscarriage
- How You Can Comfort a Friend Who Is feeling Scared of a Miscarriage
If you’re scared of miscarriage, know that you’re not the only one. The fact of the matter is that miscarriages do happen, but that doesn’t mean you should spend your pregnancy feeling scared of it. One way to help assuage your fears is by having a list of things to tell yourself when these fears come up.
Why Do People Feel Scared of Miscarriage?
Pregnancy is one of the most life-changing things someone can go through. It’s also one of the ultimate lessons in letting go of expectations. Even if it’s not your first pregnancy, there will always be some unknowns associated with being pregnant that it is perfectly normal to have fears. Here are some reasons why people may be afraid of miscarriages.
They’re flooded with information
One reason people feel scared of miscarriage is that they’re flooded with information. As soon as you start telling people that you’re pregnant, you may get flooded with articles, books, and advice - whether or not you asked for it.
With so much information coming at you, it can be difficult to know what to believe, or how to best take care of yourself when pregnant. All this information can cause anxiety and fear - especially around miscarriage.
Fertility can be a difficult journey for some. Many people have had struggles with conception and have experienced prior miscarriages. Grieving these losses and managing expectations related to pregnancy can make anyone feel rightfully afraid that it could happen again.
Pregnancy is a new experience
Humans often fear the unknown, and it is totally normal to be afraid of the unknown. Especially with regards to pregnancy. Bodies can undergo many changes during pregnancy, which adds a layer of fear on top of a miscarriage.
If this is your first pregnancy, it’s understandable if you’re feeling scared of miscarriage. Know that you are not alone. Even those with prior experience may have some anxiety over a miscarriage, especially if the pregnancy is new.
What You Can Tell Yourself If You’re Feeling Scared of a Miscarriage
Words can be used to help comfort people, including yourself. Like mantras, you can have a few key phrases or words at the ready to tamp down any fears you may have. Repetition is helpful in these cases. If you feel scared of a miscarriage, or you’re having anxiety come up, here are some things you can tell yourself.
1. “I’m taking it one day at a time.”
Pregnancy can be a time warp. One day you wake up and your body looks and feels completely different than it did the day before. Not every day is easy, but all you can do is take it one day at a time.
If on any given day you’re feeling extra scared of miscarriage, focus on what you can do to care for yourself that day. Is there a special meal that would feel extra-nourishing? Maybe you could go for a massage or ask a loved one to rub your feet. Maybe you just take a little bit extra time to rest. One day at a time is all you can do.
2. “Worrying doesn’t change anything.”
Worrying is normal, and it’s nothing to be ashamed of. Sometimes worry can be an intuitive hint and tell you that you may want to consult your healthcare provider. Excess worry, on the other hand, only causes you unnecessary stress. It’s not always as simple as turning off the worrying, but if you’re feeling scared of miscarriage, you can gently remind yourself that “worrying doesn’t change anything.”
3. “I trust my intuition.”
Pregnancy intuition should not be discounted. No matter what is going on around you, this is your journey, your body, and your baby. Trusting your intuition can allow you to make decisions about your pregnancy care that feel right for you. It means knowing when to seek outside help, and when to tune in to yourself. Bodies are constantly undergoing change, so if you can, try to check in with yourself regularly.
While you can’t control the outcome of your pregnancy and birth, trusting your intuition means that you are taking the steps needed to feel empowered in your experience.
4. “The statistics are misleading.”
Research shows that about eighty percent of miscarriages occur in the first trimester of pregnancy. Oftentimes these miscarriages happen before someone even realizes that they’re pregnant. These kinds of miscarriages are part of these overall statistics and can be misleading, leading to unnecessary worry.
The risk of miscarriage drops significantly after the first three months of pregnancy. While this might not completely alleviate your fear, it can be helpful to keep in mind.
5. “I release control.”
A natural effect of feeling scared is wanting to control the situation. Try as you might, some things are simply out of our control. When you feel yourself clenching onto the need to control, or over-worrying, focus on what you can do.
You can focus on tuning into your body and baby. Maybe you can feel the baby moving or hiccuping. You can take care of your body by going for a walk, taking a prenatal yoga class, or doing some simple stretches. You can call a friend or a loved one. Tell yourself that you release control, and focus on what you do have control over.
6. “I will focus on love.”
One of the reasons you’re feeling scared is because you care so much about the human growing inside of you. You don’t just care for them, you love them, maybe in a way you’ve never experienced love before.
While this may be obvious, sometimes we need a little reminder. Can you turn your focus away from feeling scared and towards the love you’re feeling? The love you’re feeling for your baby, the love you’re feeling for yourself for growing a human from scratch, the love for this journey itself, the love for your partner if you have one. Love is such a powerful emotion. When you’re feeling scared or nervous, turn to that feeling of love.
7. “I deserve rest.”
Feeling scared can cause you to overdo or overthink. Remember, thinking can be exhausting!
It may seem simple, but rest is one of the most powerful things you can give yourself during pregnancy. Whether it’s resting your feet or resting your mind, you deserve it all. Rest can help lower stress levels, and give your body the much-needed break it deserves. You are working so hard, there’s no need to make yourself work even more.
Telling yourself “I deserve rest” can help you calm your mind so that you truly can rest. Now put up those feet, take a deep breath, and sigh it out!
How You Can Comfort a Friend Who Is feeling Scared of a Miscarriage
Having a supportive community while pregnant can make a world of a difference. As a friend, it can sometimes be difficult to the right thing to say when your friend expresses fear of miscarriage. Different people need to hear different things, so there’s no one right answer.
That being said, here are some helpful tips to turn to when your friend needs you.
Reassure them of your support
While you may not be able to completely assuage their fears, you can reassure them that you will be there for them no matter what happens. Pregnancy can be isolating. Knowing that someone is there with them every step of the way can help bring your friend comfort.
Even if you’ve never been pregnant personally, you can still show up for them in whatever ways you’re able to. Whether that’s offering them a shoulder to lean on, surprising them with snacks, or taking them to do something fun to distract them and lift their spirits.
Listen to them
Sometimes people just need to be heard. Fear can sound like a broken record in your head. If your friend is feeling scared, let them know that they can talk to you about whatever is on their mind, and you will listen without judgment.
They might not even need a response, just a hug and a simple “I hear you, I’m here for you.” can help soothe their worries.
Share positive pregnancy stories
There are so many people out there who have shared their pregnancy stories. Finding positive, uplifting, and inspirational stories might just be what your friend needs to hear. And there are plenty out there to see and hear.
You may want to recommend a documentary like “These Are My Hours” or “National Geographic: In The Womb”. Podcasts like “The Birth Hour,” “Birth Kweens,” and “Big Birth Junkie” are also full of beautiful pregnancy and birth stories.
Things to Tell Yourself If You’re Feeling Scared of Miscarriage
With so many emotions coming up during pregnancy, fear is bound to be one of them.
When you’re feeling scared of miscarriage you can always come back to this list of things to tell yourself.
Find one phrase that resonates with you. Put one hand on your belly, one on your heart, take some deep breaths and repeat it to yourself as many times as you need.
- Dugas, Carla, and Valori H Slane. “Miscarriage.” Stat Pearls Publishing, 29 January 2021, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK532992.