Many expectant mothers experience a lot of anxiety when they’re pregnant. For instance, they may worry about miscarriage, whether their baby will be healthy, and how childbirth will go. Many pregnant women also worry about life after the birth, including how things will change with their partner, how they’ll cope financially, and whether or not they’ll make good parents. While many of these worries are common, sometimes your worries are severe enough that they begin to impact the quality of your life and your relationships. All those hormonal fluctuations don’t help, either.
Some symptoms of anxiety are physical, like stomach pain, tightness in your chest and throat, shallow breathing, increased heart rate and trouble sleeping. Others are mental, like racing thoughts, obsessing and imagining the worst-case scenario. Still others appear in our behaviour, when we start avoiding places, activities or people, checking things repeatedly, or becoming controlling. Loss of appetite, irritability, muscle tension and forgetfulness are also common signs of anxiety. If you’re experiencing some of these symptoms and they’re starting to impact your life in negative ways, it may be a sign that you need help dealing with anxiety. If so, you’re not alone – anxiety in pregnancy is very common.
How can you cope when your worries are out of control? One of the first places to start is by taking a look at your self care. When you have a lot on your plate it’s easy to let self care slip. Making sure that you’re eating healthy food, getting enough sleep, allowing yourself down time, and spending time with friends and family can help. While self care isn’t a magic bullet, the truth is that when you’re already run down, the symptoms of anxiety exact a higher toll. You don’t have to make big changes, either. Even small shifts, like making sure that you have snacks on hand so your blood sugar doesn’t drop too low, can make a big difference.
Help is Available
If improved self care doesn’t help, or if your anxiety is still taking a big toll on your mental and physical state, that may be a sign that you need some extra help. Talking to your health care provider about anxiety can seem really intimidating. The good news, however, is that anxiety is highly treatable. There are a number of tools you can use to help you recognize when you’re stuck in an anxiety thought trap, so that you can let go of your worries. By seeking help, you’re taking an important step towards a better life for you and your baby.
One great place to go for more information on anxiety in pregnancy is AnxietyBC’s new site for mothers at perinatal.anxietybc.com. You’ll find more information on how to recognize and deal with anxiety, in pregnancy and beyond. You’ll also read stories from other expectant moms who have been there. Help is out there – you just have to be willing to find it.
This article was sponsored by AnxietyBC. Expectant and new moms often have many questions and worries about motherhood. AnxietyBC’s new website helps address those questions and fears. If you’re pregnant or have a new baby, the website can help. You’ll learn how to recognize anxiety and how it affects your body. You’ll also find self-help tools to help decrease your stress and anxiety, as you learn how to effectively manage anxiety during pregnancy and the postpartum period. If you’re concerned about a friend or family member, you’ll find information on the site about how you can help. Find help online, and take the first steps towards a better quality of life.
Amber Strocel is a writer, aspiring math teacher, suburbanite, wife and mom of two. She believes in the power of the Internet to connect people, and she believes that numbers are the poetry of the universe. You can often find her knitting, sewing, volunteering, working in her garden, and sneaking chocolate when no one's looking. She blogs at Strocel.com and shares her photos on Instagram as @AmberStrocel.