Moms get thrilled once they see the second line on their positive pregnancy test. However, once the pregnancy starts, some young moms start feeling worried about every turn and twist that their child does. This can start affecting your everyday life since you won’t be able to shake off that bad feeling you have.
Anxiety during pregnancy can be troublesome. Pregnancy should be a time of joy, but some moms just can’t cope with the stress. It can be even more complicated if you were suffering from anxiety before you got pregnant. Still, there are a few useful things you can do that might help you to deal with anxiety while pregnant.
Pregnancy and Anxiety
Postpartum anxiety is one of the most common concerns for young pregnant women. Giving birth to a child and then having anxiety episodes can be quite tiring. First-time moms, especially, have problems dealing with the problem. However, other mood conditions can eventually affect you while you’re pregnant.
Statistics show that 1 in every 10 pregnant women will suffer from anxiety at some point during pregnancy.
Feeling scared in a specific situation does not necessarily mean you have anxiety. Anxiety occurs when anxious feelings and stress just can’t go away, come on without any particular reason, or can’t be controlled easily. The stress of anxiety and excessive worry might start having a serious impact on your life.
Chances of developing anxiety while being pregnant are much higher. Also, it is one of the most common mental health problems in the whole world. However, anxiety is sometimes mistaken for hormone abnormalities and just being organized too much.
Developing more serious and dangerous conditions is more common for women who suffer from antenatal anxiety. Some of these conditions are:
- Generalized anxiety
- Social phobia
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder
- Panic disorder
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
You might be at a greater risk of developing anxiety during pregnancy if you already have an anxiety disorder. To make sure that both you and your baby receive proper care, you have to seek treatment early on in the pregnancy.
Antenatal Anxiety and Antenatal Depression
About 50% of people who suffer from antenatal anxiety also experience antenatal depression.
Like many other types of depressions, antenatal depression also involves feeling hopeless, numb, and low. Being emotional or angry, losing confidence, and not being able to eat or sleep properly are also common symptoms. Also, not being interested in people or activities and losing concentration are considered as symptoms that reoccur in almost all women who suffer from the condition.
Treating antenatal anxiety and depression can be done at the same time. There are safe ways to do it during pregnancy too.
Anxiety is different for everyone. Symptoms and treatment can vary from individual to individual. The same goes for pregnant women. Anxiety during pregnancy can be severe and medical assistance will be required. However, some moms say that they felt a decrease in their symptoms while they were pregnant with their first child. Things that make moms anxious usually can’t be controlled. This is why anxiety is a big problem for pregnant women.
The chemicals in your brain will be heavily affected by the hormonal changes during pregnancy. You might find it hard to deal with anxiety because of this. Also, you will be going through a tremendous change during your pregnancy. Some of these feelings are downright scary and uncomfortable, but some of these sensations and feelings might be welcomed. Complications will be present, so be ready to deal with everything.
Anxiety Symptoms During Pregnancy
It is natural to be worried during your pregnancy. If this is your first child the process may be entirely new for you. Miscarriage is one of the most common reasons that cause anxiety while pregnant. Especially if you had to face miscarriage in the past. However, anxiety is different from being worried, and you will know that you suffer from the condition if you notice any of these symptoms:
- Poor sleep
- Tense muscles
- Feeling agitated or irritable
- Inability to concentrate
- Excessively worrying about your’s and your baby’s health
- Uncontrollable sense of anxiousness
Anxious behavior can sometimes lead to a series of panic attacks. Panic attacks may start when you least expect them to happen with the above-mentioned symptoms. They can start getting worse over time. A panic attack is a very physical experience and you can easily mistake the symptoms for a much worse condition. These are the most common symptoms of panic attacks:
- Feeling like something awful will happen
- Being unable to breathe
- Fast heart rate
- Chest pain
- Feeling you are going crazy
Anxiety During Pregnancy – Risk Factors
Every single mom can experience anxiety while pregnant. However, some women are more likely to suffer from the condition than others. Risk factors that contribute to anxiety are:
- Excess stress in everyday life
- Using certain illegal drugs
- Previous trauma
- Personal history of anxiety, depression, or panic attacks
- Family history of anxiety and panic attacks
Specific treatment is usually not required for mild cases of anxiety. However, it is always a good idea to consult with your doctor about your feelings. Your practitioner might recommend medication after weighing the risks and benefits in some severe cases.
Your friends will probably tell you to stop worrying because that’s not good for your baby. But, you already know that on your own. Their sentiment is probably coming from a good place, but you might find it hard to stop the cycle. However, statistics and research show that getting your anxiety under control is very important while you are pregnant.
Uncontrolled anxiety during pregnancy is usually associated with some developing conditions such as low birth weight, premature birth, and preeclampsia.
The last thing you want is checking premature growth charts because you couldn’t control your anxiety. There area few things you can do to cope with anxiety while pregnant.
It is very important to tell someone if you are feeling very anxious during your pregnancy. A family member, close friend, or your partner will maybe be able to offer support. Keeping anxiety away from taking over your everyday life can be done by simply talking and sharing your feelings and thoughts with your loved ones. If you think your close ones can’t help you, don’t hesitate to ask your doctor to refer you to a therapist. Some facilities even have specialized therapists that are trained to help pregnant women only.
Finding a Release
One of the best options for you is to engage in activities that help to lower anxiety and stress. Endorphins are released during physical activity. These hormones are natural painkillers for our brains. Managing stress is always easier if you move your body regularly. Some of the most effective activities are:
- Low-impact exercise
If you, however, really don’t like to jog, stroll, or strike a pose, there’s a solution for you too! Just try doing something that will involve your body movements. For example, even short aerobic activities can result in positive benefits over time. Of course, you always want to consult with your doctor before you start with an exercise routine while pregnant.
Endorphins can be released with another kind of activities too. You don’t even have to sweat to help yourself with stress and anxiety. Some of the most common relaxing activities that moms recommend are:
- Reading a pregnancy book
- Deep breathing
Deep abdominal breathing for about 20-30 minutes per day is recommended by The American Institute of Stress to help with anxiety. Your nervous system gets stimulated by doing this exercise. Also, you will provide your brain with more oxygen – helping it work better.
To try this exercise you will need to get seated comfortably and close your eyes. Release the tension in your muscles and imagine yourself smiling inwardly. It is recommended to visualize holes in your feet. Imagine the air circulating through your body as you breathe in. Exhale and repeat the whole process.
Getting enough sleep is one of the most important things when dealing with anxiety during pregnancy. You have to make it a priority if you want to deal with your anxiety symptoms. However, this can be quite hard during pregnancy, but you have to do what you have to do.
Try taking a nap whenever you feel the urge, especially if you wake up often at night. Don’t let yourself be tired all the time since you won’t be able to control your anxiety.
Write About Anxiety
Maybe talking is not your thing. But, your thoughts need someplace to go. Don’t hesitate to start a journal where you will be able to let out your feelings without getting looked at unpleasantly or fearing that you will be judged.
Prioritizing and organizing your worries will be much easier once you find out that writing your thoughts help a lot. Also, by writing down what worries you, you will be able to track what is triggering you the most. You can then talk about it with your doctor to resolve the issue.
Childbirth can impose fears in some moms. This fear is also known as tokophobia. Consider signing up for a birth class if your anxiety is tied to childbirth. You will be able to learn about the different stages of labor during the class. Also, you will know how your body acts and what can you expect at every stage of pregnancy.
Dealing with pain is also one of the biggest issues for women who suffer from anxiety while pregnant. These classes usually have good suggestions to resolve these issues. Also, you will be able to talk with other moms who suffer from anxiety too. This might allow you to better understand your situation.
Normal Amounts of Anxiety
Anxiety is something that almost every human being will experience at some point. Everyone worries about something. Your pregnancy is just a reason more that can amplify those worries. Usually, women are worried about their baby’s health. Some women worry whether they will be good mothers, and what comes after giving birth. Financial aspects of having a child are also very common reasons among moms who suffer from anxiety.
However, you have to understand that all-consuming anxiety differs from worrying about things. Antenatal anxiety will probably make you unable to concentrate on your daily life and you will have to talk to a healthcare provider. Obsessive thoughts, restlessness, and fear, frequent sense of panic are some of the most common symptoms that point at anxiety. Some more serious symptoms can be physical and very unpleasant. Those are muscle tension problems and heart palpitations. This level of anxiety is not healthy and is not normal. But, you can get help if you get proper treatment.
Getting Help From a Doctor
You should, without hesitation, talk with your doctor if your anxiety is affecting your daily life. Frequent panic attacks are even a better reason to consult with your doctor. Don’t be afraid to get help from a professional. You will be better the sooner you get help. You will probably be referred to a therapist, but you may also be given medication that can help to relieve anxiety symptoms. Sharing your feelings and thoughts with a therapist should be a must-do for you if you go to a séance, especially if they concern you a lot.
Baby Planet Overview
Experiencing anxiety is common among pregnant women. Especially if a woman already had anxiety issues before getting pregnant. Dealing with anxiety can be hard, but it is not impossible. You have to focus on getting enough physical and mental exercise if you want to relieve some symptoms. Overthinking can have negative effects on your child, and that is something you want to avoid.
Don’t hesitate to consult with your doctor if you think that your anxiety is getting out of control. Proper treatment is crucial for both your’s and your baby’s health.
- Anxiety, depression, and stress in pregnancy, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov