Potential Risks Of Medication
a link between anxiety medication use and premature birth, low birth weight, and congenital disability, there is also a risk of untreated mental health conditions. Untreated prenatal anxiety may contribute to miscarriage, preterm birth, and delivery complications.
There are also risks associated with coming off SSRI and SNRI medications, especially in a short period of time. Because these medications can cause unpleasant discontinuation symptoms, a person needs to taper them off gradually under the supervision of a doctor.
Stopping medication cold turkey or deciding to stop a medication before a person is ready can cause their mental health to worsen.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advise that the actual risk for a congenital disability in the babies of people on some of these medications is still very low. With this in mind, individuals may need to discuss the advantages and drawbacks of medications with a doctor.
There are many ways a person can manage their anxiety symptoms. They can involve the help of a healthcare professional, such as a therapist or psychologist, or individuals can carry out other methods or lifestyle changes on their own.
How To Calm Anxiety While Pregnant
The anticipation of motherhood is exciting, joyful, and sometimes a little bit scary. Its normal to feel apprehensive about all of the ways your world will be different once your baby arrives. Just as your body begins to adjust to the newness, another emotion or physical change appears to throw you through a loop, causing those anxiety symptoms to increase by the minute.
Youre not alone. Every new mom-to-be has been there. Even with strong emotional support, at times, it can feel that youre on your own while pregnant. Signs of anxiety during pregnancy may include:
- Heightened irritability and mood swings
- Muscle tension
- Excessive worrying or sense of anxiousness
- Trouble breathing
- Racing thoughts
Struggling with symptoms of anxiety is an unnerving feeling. For some, the feeling never goes away fully. For others, anxious feelings come and go with bad days mixed in with the good.
Either way, you dont have to power through or handle things by yourself. There are helpful ways for you to cope and various forms of treatment you can use to alleviate it when it starts to creep up again. The most important thing is to maintain your prenatal care regimen to keep you and your baby in a good mental health state.
Make Meditation a Daily Practice
Exercise to Benefit from Endorphins
Increase Communication for Positive Connections
Stay Consistent with Your Sleep and Self-Care
Focus on the Positive to Help Quiet the Mind
Get Started on a Stress-Free Path
Can Pregnant Women Safely Take Anxiety Medication
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In the last decade, it has come to light that many women suffer from new onset anxiety disorders or worsening of pre-existing anxiety in pregnancy. But until recently, it was believed that anti-anxiety medications would negatively impact the fetus.
Its kind of a tricky balance, Dr. Kimberly Yonkers, a psychiatrist, and professor at Yale University said to NPR. People have this illness that they didnt ask for and dont want. Theyre really suffering.
Yonkers recently published a study in JAMA that concluded the risks associated with taking benzodiazepine such as Xanax and serotonin reuptake inhibitors like Prozac, are mild to modest, thus hopefully taking the onus off pregnant women to suffer through their illness.
She looked at the maternal and neonatal outcomes of panic disorder and generalized anxiety disorder in nearly 3,000 women from July 2005 to July 2009, and found the disorders themselves did not have negative effects on the babies, while the medications had mild adverse outcomes.
This is especially poignant considering that if a severe psychiatric disorder went untreated, a woman could be more prone to improper nutrition from a lack of self care, or hazardous choices, including drug, alcohol and cigarette use, and even suicide.
Read Also: Can Anxiety Cause Stomach Problems
Tips For Managing Panic Attacks During Pregnancy
If you are worried about pregnancy and panic disorder, these tips on how to manage panic attacks while pregnant may help you.
If you or a loved one are struggling with panic attacks, contact the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration National Helpline at 1-800-662-4357 for information on support and treatment facilities in your area.
For more mental health resources, see our National Helpline Database.
How Can You Manage Anxiety During Pregnancy
- By Stephanie Collier, MD, MPH, Contributor
Pregnancy is an exciting time. You will soon become a parent to an adorable, tiny human. You may expect to experience the rollercoaster of emotions during pregnancy, or emotions may catch you off guard. Some women feel joy at every flutter or kick, marveling at their changing bodies. For other women, pregnancy is hard, giving no reprieve as it brings severe fatigue, mood changes, and constant worries. You may notice that with every passing month, your thoughts are spiraling out of control, affecting your performance at work and your relationships at home. But how do you manage your anxiety, and should you treat it?
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Symptoms Of Anxiety In Pregnancy
Anxiety can come in many different guises, but some common symptoms are:
- Feeling worried in general Sometimes you cant even put your finger on why
- Worrying excessively You cant seem to find the off switch and when one thing is settled in your mind, youll switch to another issue instead
- Poor focus and concentration
- Feeling annoyed, irritable, and agitated for no real reason
- Feeling tense, both physically and mentally You might have headaches and you might feel like your muscles are tense, especially in the neck and shoulders
- Disrupted sleep Either you cant get to sleep, you wake up a lot, or a mixture of the two
- Obsessive thinking and compulsive behaviors OCD can get a lot worse in pregnancy
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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What Should I Do If I Have Anxiety In Pregnancy
Talk to your midwife or doctor if you:
- feel anxious most of the time for more than two weeks
- have anxiety that is making you feel physically ill with fast heartbeat, fast breathing, sweating, feeling faint, feeling sick and diarrhoea
- have a panic attack/s
- have unpleasant thoughts that keep coming back and you cant control them.
- find yourself repeating an action to feel better.
- are so afraid of giving birth that you dont want to go through with it
- you are so afraid of blood tests that you avoid having them.
Tell your midwife or GP if you have experienced anxiety before even if you arent feeling anxious right now. The more they know about your mental health history the better they can support you during your pregnancy.
The midwife or doctor wont criticise you or judge you for having these feelings. They know this happens to many pregnant women, and they will focus on finding the right treatment to help you recover.
If you find anxiety difficult to talk about, you could write down how you feel before your appointment or take someone with you for support.
Antiepileptic Therapy For Bipolar Disorder
Several antiepileptic drugs are used in the treatment of bipolar disorder, including valproic acid , carbamazepine , and lamotrigine . However, data on the fetal effects of these drugs come primarily from studies of women with seizures. It is not clear whether the underlying pathology of epilepsy contributes to the teratogenic effect of these drugs on the fetus.
Exposure to valproic acid during pregnancy is associated with an increased risk of neural tube defects, craniofacial and cardiovascular anomalies, fetal growth restriction, and cognitive impairment. Carbamazepine exposure during pregnancy is associated with facial dysmorphism and fingernail hypoplasia. It is unclear whether carbamazepine use increases the risk of neural tube defects or developmental delay. Although these drugs are superior to lithium in the treatment of patients with mixed episodes or rapid cycling, they should be avoided during pregnancy.
The use of lamotrigine during pregnancy has not been associated with any major fetal anomalies and is an option for maintenance therapy in women with bipolar disorder.
Valproic acid use during lactation has been studied in 41 maternal-infant dyads only one infant was adversely affected with thrombocytopenia and anemia. The American Academy of Pediatrics and the World Health Organization consider valproic acid safe in breastfeeding women. Carbamazepine is ruled probably safe rare side effects include transient cholestatic hepatitis and hyperbilirubinemia.
Recommended Reading: What To Do If You Keep Having Anxiety Attacks
During The First Trimester
Taking Xanax during your first trimester of pregnancy could pose possible risks of raising your babys chance for birth defects, according to older studies . These could include cleft lip, cleft palate, or more serious problems.
These birth defects could affect the way your baby looks, develops, or functions for the rest of their life.
More research is needed to gather more definitive insight regarding the use of Xanax during this stage of pregnancy.
The Importance Of Maternal Mental Health
After her miscarriage, McDermott took a month off fertility treatments, as she and her husband mourned their loss. To help cope, she began taking her low-dose Effexor pills again. She started to feel better within a couple of weeks, and soon, the little things that made her fly off the handle before were non-events.
When the couple decided to do their final frozen embryo transfer, McDermott stayed on Effexor with the support of her doctors. I really had to weigh the pros and cons of what I knew scientifically and what was going to be the best quality of life for me and my family, she says. I came to the conclusion that medication allows me to be calmer and less stressed, which is better for my baby and the kids I already have. They need me, andI cant be their mom without it.
As McDermott took her pills daily throughout pregnancy, she wondered what effect they may be having on her baby. Still, shes confident she made the right decision. Her son was born healthy this past November, and she knows the nine months leading up to his birth would have been much different without her medication.
*Name has been changed.
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What Are Risk Factors For Anxiety During Pregnancy
Just about anyone can develop anxiety during pregnancy. That said, there are a few criteria that put you at higher risk for a severe anxiety disorder, which means that you should pay extra-close attention to how youre feeling when youre expecting, including:
- A previous diagnosis of an anxiety disorder
- Anxiety during a past pregnancy
- Previous pregnancy loss or fertility struggles
- Pregnancy with complications or bed rest
All of these factors can contribute to a heightened risk of anxiety during pregnancy.
Is Ativan Safe During Pregnancy
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration places Ativan in Category D, which means that the drug has the potential to cause birth defects and health problems in developing babies, but that the drug might be required for some women with serious medical problems. Women with severe anxiety that cannot be treated with other medications, for example, might be encouraged to keep taking Ativan during pregnancy, under the close supervision of a doctor.
Treating anxiety during pregnancy can be challenging, especially if the mother has been using psychiatric drugs that could threaten her health or the health of her baby. Ativan, or lorazepam, belongs to a class of tranquilizing medications called benzodiazepines, which are among the most commonly prescribed psychiatric drugs in the US. Ativan is classified Category D drug by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which means that although research shows that the medication poses risks to developing infants, it may still be advisable to prescribe the drug to pregnant patients in certain cases.
Ativan is a central nervous system depressant that is prescribed to treat several serious conditions of the brain and nerves, including anxiety, insomnia, seizure disorders, muscle spasms, and alcohol withdrawal syndrome.
Read Also: How To Get Of Anxiety
Ways To Reduce Anxiety In Pregnancy
Now we know why anxiety happens in pregnancy and the symptoms to look out for, what steps can you take to manage and drastically reduce anxiety from these precious nine months?
Choose a couple of ideas from the list and work on them over the next couple of weeks. It takes a while to feel the effects of changes but they will be worth the effort.
1. Talk it Through
Youre not abnormal. You may feel awful but there is nothing intrinsically wrong with you. Anxiety in pregnancy is common and nothing to feel ashamed or bad about.
Find a close friend, family member, or your partner and talk about it.
Youll find that by speaking out, youll lighten the load. Having a communicative support system will also help you to work through any issues without feeling youre alone.
2. Join a Support Group
If you dont have someone you can speak with face to face on a regular basis try a Facebook group like the Pregged pregnancy support group.
Our Facebook group is called Pregnant Moms Due 2019-2020 and is a safe and supportive space for moms to be to share their worries, concerns and joys.
We work hard to make sure it has a kind and nonjudgmental vibe and we definitely dont like dramas. You are very welcome to join us
3. Find a Hobby Which Releases Anxiety and Stress
Hobbies are fantastic for distracting us from issues in our lives and provide fun and enjoyment too.
Reading is a great way to relax and distract yourself from your troubles.
4.Try Yoga or Swimming
3. Cut Out Caffeine
Can You Take Mirtazapine While Pregnant
There is much to consider during all aspects of pregnancy, birth, and after birth. You may experience some anxiety and depression before, during, and after pregnancy. If you have talked to your doctor about how you feel, you may have heard the phrase perinatal depression, perinatal depression and anxiety, or perinatal mood and anxiety disorders. These are common medical conditions that many expectant women feel, and they are treatable.
It is estimated that 14 to 23 percent of pregnant women experience depression during pregnancy, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. That equates to about one in seven women.
Mirtazapine is among the many medications that are used to treat depression and anxiety. Read on to learn if its OK to take it while pregnant.
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