While most women are thrilled to be pregnant and eagerly look forward to the arrival of their little bundle of joy, those women who already suffer from mood disorders may see an increase in their anxiety during pregnancy. Indeed, several studies have shown that mood problems are more likely to happen during pregnancy than postpartum. Hormone fluctuations, the stress of an impending and significant life change, and fatigue can all increase anxiety symptoms, so it is important to find ways to deal with pregnancy anxiety.
Managing Anxiety Symptoms During Pregnancy
There are several ways to cope with anxiety during pregnancy:
- Share your fears with your spouse, significant other, family or friends, or join a support group. Talking about your worries and getting other perspectives helps you feel better and more able to deal with the changes you are going through and your concerns about the future.
- Share your worries with your obstetrician. When you experience physical changes or have concerns about your growing baby, he or she can help calm your fears. Additionally, if your anxiety or depression becomes overwhelming, your doctor can assist you with getting the professional help you need.
- Take care of yourself. This is the time to start saying “no”, to learn to relax, and to stop being an overachiever if you tend to be Superwoman.
- Get more rest. Mediation, reading, or taking a warm bath can help you shed the stress of the day and unwind.
- Get more sleep. When you are tired, your stress level increases. Trying to get seven to eight hours of sleep a night can go a long way toward reducing your anxiety during pregnancy.
- Try prenatal yoga to help calm your mind and reduce aches and pains. Concentrating on the different postures and listening to the tranquil music can help take your focus off the things that are making you anxious.
- Along with yoga, exercise can help you feel more energized and less anxious or depressed.
- Eat healthy, nourishing foods to keep your energy levels up and help you stay strong.
- Seek professional help if you feel like your anxiety during pregnancy is becoming too much for you to handle. Severe and untreated anxiety during pregnancy can result in premature births and low birth weight babies, among other problems. It also can affect how your care for yourself and your baby, so it is very important that you begin therapy as soon as possible if you are feeling overwhelmed.
To get more information and help for anxiety during pregnancy, please contact Dr. Andrew Rosen and The Center for Treatment of Anxiety Disorders in Delray Beach, Florida at 561-496-1094 or email Dr. Rosen and The Center today.