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If you have never experienced the pangs of anxiety before, you are incredibly lucky. Some people feel clammy, hyperventilating, nausea, and more. Something that many soon-to-be moms don’t realize that anxiety during pregnancy is totally normal and common.
How Common is Prenatal Anxiety?
Healthline says that 1 in 10 women will have anxiety during pregnancy. That is a staggering number. This can be more likely in moms who have already experienced anxiety before getting pregnant. It can also be more likely in women who have a family history of anxiety, or some form of PTSD.
What Causes Prenatal Anxiety?
For one thing, your hormones are pumping harder than a man on steroids at the gym. Think of it as your emotional state on your period x 239889324792384 thousand. It can be bad. You are also worried about your little fetus, and possibly about how you will handle work, your family, and life after the new baby. Understandably this can be a big time in a woman’s life.
How Can I Cope With Prenatal Anxiety?
At times, it may feel difficult to cope. However, there are many ways to help lessen the feelings of anxiety.
- Remember that so many women out there have had the same feelings that you do. You are not alone, you aren’t crazy. Accept that your feelings are valid.
- Talk to someone you trust, whether that is your partner, a family member or friend, or healthcare professional.
- When you are experiencing distress, try the 4, 7, 8 breathing technique. Breathe in for four seconds, hold it for 7, and exhale making a loud whooshing noise for 8. Repeat this until you feel better.
- Another breathing technique that I love is breathing in sync with this gif. (SOURCE: Giphy)
- Figure out what kind of anxiety triggers you have, and try and control them. For example, if having a messy house makes you anxious, work on slowly getting it done.
- Remember that many feelings are beyond your control. That is a hard fact sometimes, but there are many times that we cannot remove the stressors from our life.
- Remember you are not going to accidentally kill your baby by accidentally eating sushi that once, or accidentally sleeping on your belly. You will worry the whole time, but you are keeping your baby safe.
- Practice self-care. You need to take care of your body and your mind.
Related: 24 Self Care Ideas for Moms During Pregnancy
- Get proper exercise. Make sure you always take the advice of your health care professional to make sure it is done safely.
- Find an outlet. Whether it is listening to music, reading a book or walking, find something to help lessen the stressors that you may feel.
- Eat and drink properly. Dehydration and improper nutrition can intensify feelings of dizziness or other feelings of anxiety. When anxious, you also may feel less inclined to eat. Make sure you are getting what your body needs to stay healthy.
- Recognize the different in panic attacks and anxiety. Panic attacks are caused by an immediate stressor, like coming across a frightening dog or getting a needle. Anxiety is caused by symptoms usually beyond your control.
- Connect with other moms who understand how you feel. It can be extremely helpful to know you aren’t the only one facing what you are facing.
- If you feel like you are getting worse, or it is impeding with your daily life and ability to function, follow up with your doctor. He can recommend a course of action to take to help lessen those feelings. He or she is in the best possible position to help you.
- If you feel helpless, like you are becoming depressed, or losing interest in daily activities, follow up with your doctor right away.
Prenatal anxiety is super common, but it doesn’t need to define you. It can be difficult, but not fatal. It is definitely treatable if you take the proper action. Do not feel embarrassed, and reach out for help. You have a full team of medical professionals behind you, and hopefully a home support system too. Pregnancy doesn’t last forever, and your anxiety during pregnancy won’t either. Take it one day at a time, and you will get there!
What kind of things do you like to do when you are anxious? Did you experience anxiety during pregnancy? Comment below!
Mom blogger, job coach, ESL teacher and mom to my little girl.