For many women, pregnancy is an exciting time as you prepare and anticipate the arrival of your baby.
However, while it is normal to feel some worry about having a baby, some women experience severe feelings of pregnancy anxiety.
As many as thirty percent of pregnant women experience anxiety, according to the Royal Women’s Hospital in Victoria Australia.
Anxious symptoms include feelings of unease or being unable to stop feelings of worry.
Although it is normal to feel some anxiety towards welcoming a new baby, every person deals with this differently and some women experience high levels of anxiety throughout their pregnancy.
If you are experiencing feelings of anxiety or worry it is good to know you are not alone.
Although the symptoms of anxiety can be worrying there are ways you can cope and help to reduce your anxiety.
In this article, we will discuss some of the common concerns women face when experiencing anxiety during their pregnancy and ways you can help to reduce the symptoms.
From making time for self-care to scheduling extra baby private 4D ultrasounds, read on for some great tips in dealing with pregnancy anxiety.
What does anxiety feel like?
Sometimes it can be hard to identify the signs of anxiety which can cause symptoms to build and worsen as time goes on.
It is important to recognize these symptoms of anxiety so you can learn how to cope and seek help if needed.
Anxiety can differ from person to person however there are some common symptoms.
Tommys.org describes anxiety as a feeling of unease, worry, or fear, that can be mild or severe.
Here are some of the common anxiety symptoms that you should be aware of:
- Unable to relax or unwind
- Feelings of restlessness
- Feelings of dread, or worry that there is something wrong with your baby
- Constantly feeling on edge or irritable
- Difficulty focusing on tasks
- Trouble falling asleep or staying asleep
Of course, when you are pregnant, tiredness can make it difficult for you to focus and many pregnant women have trouble falling asleep.
However, if you notice any of these symptoms feel overwhelming or you do not feel better after resting then you may be experiencing anxiety.
How can I manage my pregnancy anxiety?
In the first instance, you should speak to your doctor or midwife about your feelings of anxiety, as they will be able to give you the best advice and care that is appropriate for you.
This may include referring you to talking therapies or support groups in your area.
However, there are also many ways you can help alleviate the feelings you are having and help to calm your body and mind
Talk through your worries
Talking to someone you trust can help ease your mind about pregnancy and the worries you have.
This could be your partner, a family member, or a friend.
Talking through concerns you have can help you gain some perspective and can help ease your stress.
It may also be useful to join a pregnancy support group, where you will be able to share your feelings with others who are also pregnant and who will be able to relate to your worries.
It may give you peace of mind to know that others are in a similar situation.
Although you are pregnant some light exercise can elevate your mood providing a serotonin boost.
You don’t have to commit to a heavy workout and as long as your doctor says it is safe, you can incorporate some light exercise into your daily routine.
This could include getting out for a walk in nature, pregnancy yoga, or a relaxing swim which can all be great for your mood and help reduce feelings of anxiety.
Take care of your health
Taking care of your health is important while you are pregnant and one of the easiest ways you can do this is to eat a balanced diet.
Ensure that you eat enough fresh fruits and vegetables while you are pregnant and keep on top of your prenatal vitamins.
Folic acid is crucial during the first trimester to help with healthy baby brain development and prenatal vitamins will also help replace any nutrients your own body needs.
Make time for self-care
Take time for yourself outside of your usual responsibilities to help lower your stress.
If you have a hobby, set aside some time to spend doing it.
You can also make time for self-care by watching a movie with your favorite snack, reading a book, or baking your favorite treat.
Meditation can help
If you find it difficult to switch off or control your thoughts or worries then meditation may be helpful to you.
Meditation is the practice of learning to observe your mind and thoughts without judgment.
There are many tools that can help you meditate and meditating can help bring a calmness to your mind.
The meditation tool Headspace describes meditation as a skill and an experience that can positively impact your overall health and happiness.
Although you may be struggling with getting enough sleep, prioritizing good sleep is key when you are pregnant to ensure your body and mind are getting enough rest.
Make sure to turn off electronics at least 30 minutes before bed and make your sleeping environment as comfortable as possible.
Will anxiety harm my baby?
If you recognize the symptoms of anxiety while you are pregnant you should be mindful of how they may affect the development of your baby.
Some research studies on maternal anxiety during pregnancy have shown that anxiety can increase the risk of preterm birth and low birth weight.
Therefore, if you notice the signs of anxiety you should speak to your doctor or midwife who will be able to suggest a range of treatments.
This can include Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, a talking therapy that helps you challenge your thought patterns and can be quite effective for anxiety.
You may also find that booking a private 4D baby ultrasound will provide an enormous amount of peace of mind and help allay your pregnancy anxiety.
A private ultrasound allows you to keep a close eye on your baby and provides a unique experience that you and your partner can share.
At Baby in Sight 3D, we offer a range of 3D, 4D, and 5D ultrasound packages to suit every budget.
The Watch Me Grow package is particularly good for those experiencing pregnancy anxiety, as it is a multi-visit package conducted during each trimester enabling moms to watch their baby transition from a little peanut to a chubby, fully developed bundle of joy.
Pregnancy can be a wonderful time for many women but there is no denying that emotionally, pregnancy can be difficult.
Every woman experiences pregnancy differently, and it is very common to experience feelings of anxiety.
Whether it is your first or your third pregnancy, you can still be vulnerable to feelings of anxiety and you should not try to struggle through these feelings alone.
Share how you are feeling with those around you and talk to people that you trust.
It is also important to talk to your doctor or midwife about how you have been feeling so they can help you to manage your anxiety or refer you to additional therapy.
Anxiety Canada also has some great resources for those struggling with anxiety during pregnancy.