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Is Anxiety A Sign Of Pregnancy

Does Pregnancy Cause Depression

These Are the Signs of Anxiety During Pregnancy & Postpartum

Pregnancy can cause you to experience depression. Your body goes through a lot of change and the stresses of pregnancy can trigger depression in some women. Not everyone who becomes pregnant will also be depressed.

If you have experienced depression in the past, your symptoms could return or if you were living with depression before your pregnancy, it may get worse once youre pregnant.

Its important to talk to your healthcare provider about depression during pregnancy because it can extend after delivery. Women who experience depression during pregnancy are at a higher risk of postpartum depression .

How Does Stress Cause Pregnancy Problems

We dont completely understand the effects of stress on pregnancy. But certain stress-related hormones may play a role in causing certain pregnancy complications. Serious or long-lasting stress may affect your immune system, which protects you from infection. This can increase the chances of getting an infection of the uterus. This type of infection can cause premature birth.

Other ways stress can cause pregnancy problems include:

  • Normal pregnancy discomforts, like trouble sleeping, body aches and morning sickness may feel even worse with stress
  • You may have problems eating, like not eating enough or eating too much. This can make you underweight or cause you to gain too much weight during pregnancy. It also may increase your risk of having gestational diabetes and preterm labor.
  • Stress may lead to high blood pressure during pregnancy. This puts you at risk of a serious high blood pressure condition called preeclampsia, premature birth and having a low-birthweight infant.
  • Stress also may affect how you respond to certain situations. Some women deal with stress by smoking cigarettes, drinking alcohol or taking street drugs, which can lead to serious health problems in you and you baby.

Many women worry that stress may lead to miscarriage, the death of a baby before 20 weeks of pregnancy. While extra stress isn’t good for your overall health, there’s no evidence that stress causes miscarriage.

What Are The Most Common Early Signs Of Pregnancy

In a poll on pregnancy symptoms conducted by the American Pregnancy Association:

  • 29% of women surveyed reported a missed period as their first pregnancy symptom
  • 25% indicated that nausea was the first sign of pregnancy
  • 17% reported that a change in their breasts was the initial symptom of pregnancy
  • While implantation bleeding is often considered the first pregnancy symptom, our survey reveals that only 3% of women identify implantation bleeding as their first sign of pregnancy

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Help For Panic Attacks During Pregnancy

What are the best treatments for panic attacks in a pregnant woman? In most cases, a combination of cognitive and behavioral therapies will help. Cognitive therapy can help people replace negative or frightening thoughts with more realistic, positive ones. Behavioral therapies, such as mindfulness exercises, also may help. Mindfulness teaches you to focus on whats happening right now in the present, rather than worry about the future or dwell on the past. It can help reduce stress during pregnancy, Hassan says.

Amy says cognitive-behavioral therapy helped her to exert more control over her thoughts it attempts to stop the anxiety before it escalates into a panic attack and to control anxiety in general.

Pregnant women who know what might trigger a panic attack such as drinking coffee or stepping into an overheated room should avoid those situations whenever possible.

Relaxation techniques, including deep breathing, can help calm someone who is having a panic attack. Amy says breathing is an important part of her therapy. Anti-anxiety medications can also be used, under the supervision of a physician. Medications may be necessary because women who have panic attacks during pregnancy are more likely to struggle with them postpartum, Hassan says.

If you are pregnant and are having panic attacks or feel overwhelmed by stress, you should talk to your doctor and get appropriate treatment.

My Mouth Feels Like It’s Full Of Spit All Of The Time Lately Could That Me A Positive Sign

Anxiety Sign Of Pregnancy

Excessive saliva can definitely fall into the “morning sickness” category of pregnancy. The medical term for it is Ptaylism and it’s one of those obnoxious symptoms that can trigger vomiting early on. However, I’ve experienced it during PMS too. A great way to combat it is with tiny sips of water.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the authorâs knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

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What Else Helps Anxiety During Pregnancy

  • Engage in regular physical activity. In general, it is safe to engage in physical activity during pregnancy. However, if you are at risk for preterm labor or have pregnancy complications, consult with your doctor first.
  • Ensure adequate sleep. Whether its a calming bedtime routine, pregnancy pillow, or a few nights in a bed away from your snoring partner, now is the time to learn what works for your sleep.
  • Practice mindfulness.Research shows that mindfulness may reduce worries about labor, and it may even prevent postpartum depression.
  • Journaling. Writing about your worries may help you brainstorm potential solutions, and it allows you to reflect on your concerns.
  • Schedule worry time. We often worry because we do not want to forget something. Setting aside 30 minutes toward the end of the day provides you with a time to worry productively, but it frees you from holding onto your worries the rest of the day .
  • Yoga, massage, meditation, and acupuncture. Finding relaxation techniques that work for you may take some experimentation but their benefits will continue even after the baby arrives.

Affect And Preterm Birth

State anxiety during pregnancy significantly predicted gestational age and/or PTB in seven of 11 studies recently reviewed , but only in combination with other measures or in subgroups of the sample. More consistent effects have been found for `pregnancy anxiety’ . Pregnancy anxiety appears to be a distinct and definable syndrome reflecting fears about the health and well being of one’s baby, of hospital and health-care experiences , of impending childbirth and its aftermath, and of parenting or the maternal role . It represents a particular emotional state that is closely associated with state anxiety but more contextually based, that is, tied specifically to concerns about a current pregnancy. Assessment of pregnancy anxiety has entailed ratings of four adjectives combined into an index . Other measures exist as well.

In sum, recent evidence is remarkably convergent, indicating that pregnancy anxiety predicts the timing of delivery in a linear manner. Further, pregnancy anxiety predicts risk of spontaneous PTB with meaningful effect sizes across studies, comparable to or larger than effects of known risk factors such as smoking and medical risk. These effects hold for diverse income and ethnic groups in the USA and in Canada. The consistency of these findings paves the way for investigating the antecedents and correlates of pregnancy anxiety, mechanisms of effects, and available treatments.

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Treatments For Perinatal Anxiety

There are various treatments that you may be offered for perinatal anxiety. Your doctor should discuss these options with you, so you can make a decision together about the best treatment for you:

Talking therapy

The talking therapy you are most likely to be offered for anxiety is .

Your local mental health services may also run specific counselling or group programmes for anxiety. You can speak to your doctor or contact your local services to find out what is available.

See our pages on talking therapy and counselling for more information.

Self-help resources

Your doctor could give you access to online CBT programmes to try yourself. Or they may prescribe self-help books to help you learn to manage your anxiety.


There are several types of medication that can help to manage anxiety. If you have any concerns about taking medication, you can talk to your doctor or pharmacist. This includes discussing any concerns about taking medication during pregnancy or while breastfeeding.

See our page on talking to your GP if you’re worried about having this conversation.

A combination of talking therapy and medication

You may be offered a combination of a talking therapy and medication. Many people find that taking medication helps them feel stable enough to get the most out of a talking therapy. But others find medication or talking therapies are more helpful on their own.

See our page on treatments for anxiety for more information.

Worrying About The Future

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If youre spending a lot of your time running possible scenarios through your mind or stressing about the what ifs, thats a sign that you may be suffering from anxiety in pregnancy. Your inner dialogue might run a string of worries like What if my boss doesnt give me enough time off?, What if my husband is a bad dad? or What if something bad happens when I go into labour?

Theres a difference between anticipating whats ahead and getting stuck fretting about what could happen way down the road. If the hypotheticals of the future have you unable to properly live in the present, thats a sign of anxiety. If youre feeling stuck in this anxious thought cycle, know that you absolutely can move past this state of worry.

Even though some anxiety during pregnancy is completely normal, its not spoken about often enough in our society. When we dont acknowledge these painful experiences, women feel isolated in their struggles. Feeling as though youre the only one with these experiences creates a sense of shame. That just makes it even more difficult for women to reach out and get support.

If any of the above signs of anxiety during pregnancy describe what youre going through, just remember that youre not alone, and each of these symptoms is completely treatable.

You deserve support. You can feel at ease in your own mind with the proper tools, information and skills.

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What Causes Anxiety During Pregnancy

Worries during pregnancy are universal. Hormonal changes of pregnancy, prior heartbreaking miscarriages, and sleep difficulties may all contribute to anxiety for mothers-to-be. You may worry about how a baby will affect your relationships with friends or family members, the health of your future child, the delivery experience, or the financial burden of an additional family member. All of these worries are completely normal. For humans, a certain amount of anxiety is protective how else could we motivate ourselves to complete our work or run away from a bear?

In The First Months Of Pregnancy She Felt Completely Exhausted And Needed Lots Of Sleep Read By

Physically I didn’t feel that much different in terms of how I looked, or, or feel that I looked any different. I felt exhausted and the first three months, or the first – it was more like the third month was I think the most exhausting month of my life, I’ve never been so tired. I couldn’t get out of bed some days because I’d just wake up, eat some food, sleep all day, eat some food and go back to sleep again. And that was difficult, and I found that no-one understood that at all because – I don’t know whether it was, it was because I was slightly stressed about the situation, maybe, and that the best way I dealt with it was by sleeping through everything – but I really, I was just exhausted all the time. Yeah, but my appearance I didn’t worry about too much at the time.

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What I Didnt Know: The Truth About Prenatal Anxiety And Depression

I feel awful, and no one is listening to me, I started, through tears, as I sat in a small office, 33 weeks pregnant, across from my neurologist. I had recently experienced a severe migraine a condition for which there are scans and tests and a clear protocol to follow. I am terrified to have another C-section and I dont know that I even want this baby, I choked on my words.

My kind neurologist, looked me right in the eyes, and said the words that I will never forget: I am not worried about anything neurological with you. But, I am scared that you are going to have this baby and develop a walloping case of postpartum depression. He then dictated a memo to my OBGYN, urging him to take me seriously, explaining to him that I was suffering that I needed compassion that I needed help.

What I didnt know then was that I was experiencing the all-too-common but little-known affliction called prenatal distress. I was the mother of an enchanting three-year-old girl, I was the writer of a mommy blog about tutus and tummy-time, and yet, I was suffering. I had no history of mental health issues, I had a stable home life, access to great medical care in a major metropolitan city, but still I was not immune.

From the moment I became pregnant with my son, something was not right. I was preoccupied by my worries about my unborn babys well-being, on a never ending mental carousel that spun me, mercilessly, and from which I could not get off.

Finding Support And Specialists

interpdesigns: Is Anxiety A Sign Of Pregnancy

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 .

Parents Magazine

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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.

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