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What are some things I can do to ease my anxiety about becoming a parent?

It is common to feel some anxiety over impending parenthood. A lot of women find that talking to other mothers can calm these nerves. Other mothers like to think about the time they will spend with their soon-to-be-here baby and take pictures to give them or journal about their feelings. These can be important memories to cherish as your baby grows up.

Deborah R. Gilboa, MD
Family Medicine

First and most important, recognize that your anxiety is normal, and don't waste time feeling guilty about it! Worrying about how you will do as a parent is a natural, even healthy way that your mind processes the changes you are making (or considering making) in your family.  Here are some practical tips for relieving your anxiety and feeling better prepared!

  • Talk to parents you admire. Ask them what was hard and what was great about having a baby, and what three things they wish they'd known when they started!
  • Keep a list of questions. You don't have to get answers to all (or even some) of them, but the act of writing them down will help you fel more in control, and give you a chance to focus any research you might do.
  • See if your hospital or local community center has a parenting or baby-care class. Learning the basics, along with your partner, of diapering, bathing and feeding your baby will go a long way towards easing your fears!
  • Read a book. Before you go buy that book, get recommendations from other parents. Some parenting and baby-care books will scare the daylights out of you, some will make you laugh and some will make you feel more calm.

Remember that everything important takes some practice. Common sense and love will get you far!

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.