Previous Miscarriages Or Complications
Experiencing a miscarriage or a previous pregnancy complication can most definitely be the source of your anxiety during pregnancy. The loss of a child is a traumatic, life altering event. If youre expecting your beautiful rainbow baby or have just learned that your little miracle is going to have some struggles and complications, it is completely understandable to experience some intense anxieties.
Being pregnant is hard. You want to do everything that you can to protect and take care of your baby while it is in your belly, and it is so hard to learn firsthand that you have very little control.
How To Relax Through Anxiety And Fear In Pregnancy After Miscarriage And Infertility
If youve suffered a miscarriage and/or have struggled with infertility for years, becoming pregnant may be the greatest blessing of your life. But, it can also be terrifying.
Early pregnancy especially, can be filled with anxiety and worries about the potential for another miscarriage. Even if youve never had a miscarriage but youve suffered from infertility, you might be scared because you thought you werent capable of it and you worry something will happen.
In this post Im going to talk about why fear is completely normal and what to do about it- so you arent a basket-case your entire pregnancy.
Check out all my posts on pregnancy here.
Early Pregnancy Anxiety About Miscarriage
First, I’ve been very fortunate to never have a miscarriage.
With that said though, I do have a family history of miscarriages.
Personally, until this pregnancy I never felt concerned about having one. It just never seemed in the realm of possibility despite knowing SO many people who have experienced it. But that all kind of changed in October 2020 when I found out. I shared this in our second pregnancy announcement post but October is National Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness Month. The week I found out was actually Baby Loss Awareness Week. On top of those 2 things our actual anniversary is national remembrance day for miscarriage and pregnancy loss.
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How To Reduce Anxiety During Pregnancy 7 Helpful Tips
We are currently in a time when people are experiencing heightened rates of anxiety during pregnancy. Our goal is to share helpful information, without being triggering. The reason for social distancing is not addressed in this article.
This content is in no way a replacement for medical advice. If you are in crisis, call 911 or your care provider immediately.
Congratulations on your pregnancy! Im guessing youre reading this article because youre currently experiencing excessive worry or are wanting to learn about reducing anxiety during pregnancy.
The truth is, everyone will experience some level of stress and anxiety during pregnancy.
You are not alone.
Anxiety can be magnified to the point of feeling unbearable, especially when things are difficult in the world.
Again, you are not alone!
Lets start by identifying what anxiety is and the symptoms.
According to the American Psychological Association, Anxiety is an emotion characterized by feelings of tension, worried thoughts and physical changes like increased blood pressure.
Anxiety symptoms can include feeling irritable, worried, having a sense of dread, difficulty falling or staying asleep, and finding it hard to focus or concentrate due to the distraction of excessive worry.
Now that you know how to identify anxiety, lets talk about how to reduce it while youre pregnant!
How Are Problems Treated
Treatment for mental health problems may include:
- Prescription medicine. Always talk to a doctor before you start taking or stop taking any medicines during your pregnancy. If you take any kind of medicine for a mental health issue and are pregnant or planning to get pregnant, tell your doctor. Don’t stop taking it unless your doctor tells you to. Some medicines may cause problems for a growing baby, but stopping your medicine may make things worse. Your doctor can make a treatment plan that is best for you and your baby.
- Talk therapy. Talking one-on-one with a therapist can be a great way to manage stress, deal with depression, and ease anxiety during pregnancy. Finding a support group where you can share your concerns with other mothers who know what you’re going through also can help. Talking with a social worker or counselor can help you deal with money issues, worries over raising a child, or other stresses in your life.
- Other approaches. Many women find comfort in activities like yoga, exercise, and meditation. If you’re feeling stressed or overwhelmed, talking to a friend, family member, or faith leader can help you feel better.
Many moms feel anxious or depressed at some point in their pregnancy, and some may even need treatment for it. But a mental health problem doesn’t have to be a problem for you or your baby. Get the help you need to feel better, and you’ll be doing the best thing for you both.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Anxiety Disorders During Pregnancy
Although its normal to be worried about the health of your baby, in some cases this worry becomes debilitating and may require further attention. Thoughts about the health of the baby may become obsessive, even when doctors are reassuring. Worries may also appear as physical symptoms, such as a rapid heartbeat, difficulty breathing, or panic attacks. If this is the first time you experience a high level of anxiety, this may be frightening in itself. When anxiety starts to interfere with your day-to-day functioning, relationships, or job performance, it may be classified as an anxiety disorder if your doctor picks up on it.
Anxiety can occur at any time during pregnancy, or it may first appear after delivery . The rates of generalized anxiety disorder appear to be highest in the first trimester, likely due to hormonal changes. The most common symptoms of anxiety include constant worrying, restlessness, muscle tension, irritability, feeling dread, an inability to concentrate, and difficulties falling asleep due to worries. Some women also experience symptoms as a result of other anxiety disorders, including panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, or post-traumatic stress disorder.
Flying With Anxiety While Pregnant
Well ladies, we are going to Disney in May, which is about a 2 hour flight. I am the only one of my, my husband and my 5 yr old twins that has ever flown and I”ve only flown once. On the way to Chicago, it was a breeze, but since I already have anxiety I took a xanax before the flight. On the return flight, I immediately began to get anxiety and was sick the entire way back . So, basically I was suffering from both anxiety and motion sickness. Now that I am pregnant, I am worried that I will not be able to “help” my family on the flight and that I will have a panic attack the entire way there. I will be speaking with my OB about this at my next visit, but wanted to get some input from some moms out there was well. Is there anything you’ve been able to take safely while pregnant? Or, any other tricks from those frequent fliers?
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Keep A Support System
Having loved ones to turn to can help you cope with your fears and uncertainties about panic, anxiety, and pregnancy. Let trusted friends and family members know about your concerns and enlist them to be available should you have any type of emergency. You may not need to call anyone for assistance, but it can help reduce your anxiety just knowing that loved ones are there for you should you need them.
Causes And Risk Factors For Anxiety In Pregnancy
There is no specific common cause of anxiety in pregnancy. Hormonal changes and the general worry of motherhood could be the fundamental cause of anxiety in most pregnant women. However, several factors could play a role or influence other conditions, which lead to anxiety.
The following factors may increase the risk of anxiety during pregnancy .
- Age: Studies indicate that women between the ages of 18 and 25 years could be more prone to anxiety in pregnancy. While the precise link between age and anxiety is not determined, it may be that younger women could develop anxiety due to insufficient experience and knowledge.
- Education: Research indicates that women with little or no education tend to be more prone to anxiety in pregnancy. It is not fully understood how poor education increases the risk of anxiety. It might be that women with better education may seek support through different methods and understand the solutions better, reducing the effects of anxiety.
- Lack of support: Women with poor family support during pregnancy could be at a higher risk of becoming anxious about their pregnancy and upcoming childbirth.
- Family history: A family history of anxiety may increase the chances of a woman experiencing anxiety at any stage in her life, including pregnancy.
- Trauma: A bad memory or traumatic experience in life may lead to anxiety during pregnancy.
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Treatment For Anxiety During Pregnancy
The doctor may consider non-pharmacological approaches for anxiety to avoid any pregnancy complications. Non-pharmacological or non-medicinal treatments for anxiety in pregnancy could include the following .
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy: It aims to modify the thoughts that lead to anxiety and modulate the amount of natural or reasonable worry the woman may feel. The therapy is customized based on the specific symptoms and thoughts encountered by the pregnant woman. It could involve multiple sessions, depending on the type of therapy employed.
- Yoga and meditation: Yoga is best known for its effect on balancing hormones and relaxing the body. You could also consider meditation to regulate your thoughts. You must consult a doctor before trying yoga or any physical exercise during pregnancy. Meditation is safe, and you may do it anytime to relax and refresh your mind.
- Massage therapy and acupuncture: It helps regulate blood flow through the body and ease muscles, leading to calmness and relaxation. Remember to visit an experienced and certified massage or acupuncture therapist to reap the maximum benefits safely.
You Have A Million Things To Do Before Baby Comes
Meditation may help you to sort through the things that really must be done before baby, and what can wait, says Marci Howard-May, Spa Services Manager at Red Mountain Resort. By letting go of overwhelming thoughts you can focus on one item on your list at a time instead of thinking of all of them. Yes, the crib, car seat and stroller are important before junior arrives, but the entire nursery doesn’t need to be decorated to perfection right now.
Do a brief calming meditation, then pick up a pencil and write a list of what you feel are the most important tasks you need to accomplish, suggests Trapani. Remain relaxed, and create a clear strategy on how to complete the task that will give you the biggest sense of relief when completed.
“By taking those few minutes to breathe, focus and relax, you can reduce that sensation of being overwhelmed and make yourself be more productive,” says Howard-May.
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Relax When Experiencing Anxiety During Pregnancy
This suggestion feels obvious, but sometimes we need to be reminded to take it easy.
While being confined to your home, you might be feeling a ton of pressure to nest. We encourage you to rest and nest!
You dont need to get that hall closet perfectly organized in one sitting nest for a bit and then rest.
What helps you to relax?
Some of our favorite suggestions are yoga, reading a good book, getting a foot massage from your partner, give yourself an at-home facial, enjoy a steamy shower, and taking time to BREATHE!
Helpful tip Grab a piece of paper and a pen, then write down three to five things that help you to relax. Keep this list handy, and when you start to feel anxious, pick something on the list and do it right away.
For many, listening to an audiobook or podcast can be relaxing so, before moving on, well take this opportunity to plug the Plus Mommy Podcast. Content includes lots of topics ranging from plus size pregnancy, breastfeeding, motherhood, and body love.
Sit down with your feet up, and tune into an episode today.
Finding Support And Specialists
If you’re pregnant and you’re having depression or anxiety symptoms, talk to your OB-GYN or midwife. She should be able to treat you directly, or connect you with the appropriate mental health care provider. These organizations can also offer confidential help:
Postpartum Support International will connect you directly to a local coordinator who can help you find local resources, offer support, and give you tips on managing mood and anxiety disorders during and after pregnancy .
The MGH Center for Women’s Mental Health offers credible information on the risks of untreated depression during pregnancy, as well as evaluation and treatment options .
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Symptoms Of Anxiety During Pregnancy
Some degree of worry is natural during pregnancy. After all, the process may be entirely new for you. You may have faced situations in the past, like miscarriage, that give you reason for concern. But if these worries start to interfere with everyday life, you may have anxiety.
- feeling an uncontrollable sense of anxiousness
- worrying excessively about things, especially your health or baby
- inability to concentrate
- having tense muscles
- sleeping poorly
Occasionally, bouts of anxiety may lead to panic attacks. These attacks may start very suddenly with the symptoms above, and progress. During a panic attack, your symptoms may be very physical in nature, which can make the experience that much worse.
Symptoms of a panic attack include:
- feeling like you cannot breathe
- feeling like youre going crazy
- feeling like something awful may happen
While anyone can develop anxiety during pregnancy, there are certain risk factors that may contribute, including:
- family history of anxiety or panic attacks
- personal history of anxiety, panic attacks, or depression
- previous trauma
- use of certain illegal drugs
- excess stress in everyday life
Mild cases of anxiety usually dont require any specific treatment, though its a good idea to mention your feelings to your doctor.
In severe cases, your doctor may recommend medication after weighing the benefits and risks.
Natural Remedies For Anxiety While Pregnant That Actually Work
From the moment I found out I was pregnant, I was anxious about everything. In those early weeks, it felt exhausting worrying about my baby in between appointments, desperate to hear the reassuring sound of her little heartbeat. I looked desperately for natural remedies for anxiety while pregnant, that would ease my mind.
While anxiety can look a little different for everyone, if you are constantly worrying, your mind is racing, or you are struggling to eat or sleep normally, anxiety might be to blame. Here are some of the most helpful ways to deal with anxiety during pregnancy.
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