Pregnancy ultrasounds allow you a glimpse into your pregnancy and baby and can be a very exciting time for many expectant families. However, if you’ve experienced a previous loss in pregnancy or are at high risk, these ultrasounds can cause anxiety. It can be very difficult to see past any anxiety. While preparing for your ultrasound, your mind can replay past experiences or worry about future outcomes.
One way this anxiety can be managed by centering yourself into the present moment.
Listen to something soothing. A clinic environment can sometimes evoke anxiety or fear. To manage these very normal emotions, it may be helpful to listen to something that helps you feel calm. Whether it’s a podcast, guided meditation, a piece of music, or an audiobook, be sure to have it downloaded on your phone or iPad and bring headphones. When you are waiting, pop in your headphones, close your eyes if that feels right, and block out everything around you.
Bring an object with you. Familiar objects you can hold and touch can help you feel safe. Some of these items could be:
Center yourself in WHAT IS. Pregnancy after loss and high-risk pregnancy is a time of constant back and forth between trust and fear. You might find yourself contemplating the “what ifs.” What if my baby is not measuring where they should be? What if this ultrasound is the same as the last one and leads to difficult news? When you feel this fear, try to focus on “what is,” on what’s currently happening. Let go of what happened in the past, or what could potentially happen in the future, and lean into the present, into what is real and true. Settle yourself into that space as best as you can.
Mayfair Diagnostics employees undergo a variety of training to ensure each patient is as comfortable and cared for as possible. They are more than willing to work with you to you’re your experience a positive one.
Be clear about what you need. Before your appointment, try to think about what would help you feel supported during this significant moment. Write down everything you can think of to make this experience less stressful for you and your family. This will make it easier to discuss your needs with your sonographer.
Speak your truth. Don’t be afraid to speak up about how you are feeling. The only way other people can support you is if you are honest with them. If you are nervous about the ultrasound, tell your sonographer. As vulnerable as it is to be honest, your sonographer only wants to help you. If you don’t like silence, ask the sonographer to chat with you. Or if you prefer silence, you can request that as well. Speaking up for what you need is not only ok, it’s encouraged.
Pregnancy after loss and high-risk pregnancy is a complex journey. There will be many highs and lows. If you are struggling during your pregnancy, you are not alone. The Pregnancy & Infant Loss Support Centre, along with Mayfair Diagnostics are here to help you feel less alone.
The Pregnancy & Infant Loss Support Centre offers many free support services, including counseling, coaching, a helpline, and support groups. Please visit www.pilsc.org for more information.
Aditi Loveridge, Founder/CEO, Bereaved Parent
Pregnancy & Infant Loss Support Centre