Will I be a good mother, will the baby will be healthy, will the birth go well… These are natural worries of every pregnant woman. However …
• During pregnancy, did it become difficult for you to stop worrying about something?
• You focus on something, but then notice that your thoughts have wandered off completely?
• Have your friends or family members been telling you lately that you are overly nervous, too tense and worried about little things? That you need to relax and calm down?
These signs could indicate anxiety. But, so that as a future mother you would not immediately worry about that, read in the text a little more about anxiety in pregnancy and how to (successfully) get rid of it.
First of all, what is anxiety in general? It is best defined as fear that is not related to specific situations, but free-floating. Like undefined nervousness, worry about the future. For the family matters, work, finances … Even because of the baby, your condition and the upcoming birth.
Anxiety is one of the most common psychological problems that people experience at different times in their lives. Anxiety in pregnancy is also becoming more common. And not only in women, but also with men while their partner is pregnant. Therefore, you need to learn to recognize its signs and know how to best respond to anxiety during pregnancy.
Why anxiety occurs during pregnancy?
During pregnancy, most women experience irritability and mood swings due to natural changes in hormonal status. Although expected and normal, the mentioned changes can cause something more emotionally difficult. And that is prenatal anxiety. But different things can trigger pregnancy anxiety.
Stress in pregnancy can be one of the triggers. Especially if it lasts a long time, so he slowly spends person’s psychological reserves to fight it.
Also, life circumstances change with the planned arrival of the baby, so that these great life milestones can awaken some old anxieties, fears or trauma. Or they may occur for the first time during pregnancy. In some women, anxiety is alleviated while carrying a baby.
As you can see, the reasons for the appearance of anxiety in pregnancy can be numerous. But they vary from person to person.
What does anxiety mean in our psychological world? Anxiety is a natural human reaction that serves to warn us of a situation that may unfold in a way that is unfavorable to us. So, moderate and appropriate anxiety can be helpful. But if this reaction becomes excessive, worries can start to bother us.
During pregnancy, it is especially important to recognize when you should seek help. Especially due to the fact that your condition can also affect the baby …
• Constant nervousness
• Restlessness, anxiety, constant anxiety
• Poor emotion control
• Difficult to control worries and bad thoughts
• Panic attacks in pregnancy (when it comes to chronic anxiety, sometimes even daily).
Anxiety is often accompanied by physical symptoms. Some of them occur naturally during this sensitive period of pregnancy. However, do pay attention if these symptoms become frequent:
• Tightness in the chest, feeling of suffocation
• Heart palpitations
• Tingling in the arms and legs
• Muscle tension
• Weight or tension in the body
• Shaking hands
• Various sleep problems (difficulty falling asleep, waking up early, nightmares, insomnia during pregnancy).
These are just some of the symptoms that accompany anxiety in pregnancy. Some are also associated with depression. Depression in pregnancy and postpartum depression can also be associated with anxiety in pregnancy and can accompany it.
Therefore, it is important that if you notice these symptoms and if the symptoms of anxiety in pregnancy last longer than two weeks – consult either your obstetrician, or a mental health professional such as a psychiatrist or psychotherapist. It will help you determine exactly what is happening and how to best help yourself.
Does pregnancy anxiety affect your baby?
Pregnant women are usually protected from stress hormones – if the stress is moderate. In smaller quantities, it is even good for the baby and its development. However, anxiety in pregnancy can negatively affect the baby and the course of labor.
Anxiety in pregnancy usually occurs during the first trimester. Then, if it is strong, it can affect the loss of the baby. Studies show that mothers who developed anxiety disorder during pregnancy were more likely to have premature births than pregnant women who did not suffer from anxiety.
Babies of anxious mothers were monitored as well. It was discovered that they can be more irritable, sensitive and impulsive than other children, or can have some developmental difficulties.
That is why it is important for a pregnant woman wondering if she suffers from anxiety to know how to overcome anxiety. And of course, that she knows how to turn to experts who can help her.
Self-help tips if you feel anxious during pregnancy
For some pregnant women, relaxation techniques will be enough to overcome anxiety. Other could need medication for anxiety during pregnancy, although that is mostly avoided.
What could be first aid are all ways to relax and control stress. Above all, walks in nature, relaxing baths, listening to music, reading books … Do not neglect daily activities unless they burden you. Enjoy your hobbies and do what you like and what is relaxing. Including light physical exercise, in consultation with your obstetrician.
Timely, but moderate information load can help reduce anxiety. First of all, a pregnancy or parenthood course is where you can inquire about everything that interests you. Don’t overwhelm yourself with information if you notice that it is stressing you out. But try to ask your doctor all the questions that are important to you and that you might be worried about.
These are just some of the ways to overcome pregnancy anxiety. According to us, psychotherapy is the most effective.
How does psychotherapy help with anxiety during pregnancy?
When thinking about how to overcome anxiety, psychotherapy proves to be the most effective solution. Psychotherapeutic techniques will help you better control your thoughts and feelings.
If you have already talked to your loved ones and have not received the help you think you need, so your worries still persist, we advise you to first consult a psychiatrist to assess your condition. A mental health expert will determine whether you are burdened by normal anxiety related to your condition or whether you need to work on getting rid of excess stress. Don’t worry about medication. Anxiety meds are usually avoided during pregnancy.
The psychiatrist will talk to you to find out if you may have anxiety and depression. If necessary, they will refer you to a psychotherapist.
How is anxiety treated? Different psychotherapeutic directions use different techniques. They aim at better stress tolerance and better understanding of your thoughts and your emotions. So you can better direct them to work for you during pregnancy.
We at the LORIJEN Center have been dedicated to mental health for decades. If you are not sure whether your condition is transient or if you have any doubts about your mental health, feel free to email us: firstname.lastname@example.org