Anxiety during Pregnancy: How to Manage?

Anxiety during pregnancy

Anxiety is a natural response we experience whenever we feel unsafe or threatened. We become anxious when we experience threat to ourselves or our loved ones. Anxiety is a mental health condition and not a sign of weakness. Usually, it will go away on its own and there is no need to worry.

How common is anxiety in pregnancy?

Anxiety is very common during pregnancy.  Pregnancy is a very emotional experience, and we tend to take every care to ensure safety. Despite all the care and precautions, moderate amount of new fears and worries is normal and expected. Factors that could increase the chance of experiencing high anxiety during pregnancy are:

  • History of high anxiety or depression
  • History of miscarriages
  • High risk pregnancy
  • External life stress ( Marital or financial issues )

How does it affect?

High levels of anxiety, during pregnancy can have some adverse effects on mother and the baby if not managed well. Anxiety in early pregnancy may result in loss of fetus while anxiety in later stages might influence baby’s weight, height, head circumference and heart rate variability. Children might show more fear in dealing with everyday events. Anxiety during pregnancy can also lead to prolonged crying in the neonatal period, irritability, and restlessness after the birth.   

Symptoms of anxiety during pregnancy

  • Restlessness
  • Continuously worried
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Sleep difficulty
  • Panic attacks
  • Racing heartbeat and shortness of breath
  • Loss of appetite

Treatments for anxiety during pregnancy?

There are many treatments and lifestyle change depending on anxiety severity to treat and manage anxiety during pregnancy. You should talk to your midwife if you cannot control anxiety using lifestyle changes. You can practice following activities to control anxiety:

  • Regular physical activity: In general, light physical activity is safe during pregnancy but talk to your midwife or doctor if you are at the risk of preterm birth or have pregnancy complications.
  • Sufficient sleep
  • Practice meditation to calm your mind
  • Practice Yoga
  • Avoid Caffeine, Alcohol, or smoking
  • Eat well and on time
  • Talk to someone you trust
  • Start writing a diary

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