Anxiety during pregnancy is a common and oftentimes unrecognized condition. While it is not always easy to identify, there are several signs and symptoms of anxiety that may be present during pregnancy. In this article, we will discuss how anxiety is related to pregnancy and what you can do to manage the condition.
What Is Anxiety?
Anxiety is a feeling of worry, fear, or apprehension that can be generalized or specific. It’s often characterized by an intense feeling of dread or tension and can interfere with daily activities. Anxiety is one of the most common psychiatric disorders, affecting approximately 18% of adults in the United States.
Pregnancy can lead to anxiety in women due to various physical changes and increased expectations. However, there is no single cause for anxiety during pregnancy, and it can vary from woman to woman. Some women experience anxiety early in their pregnancy and others later on.
There are many ways to treat anxiety during pregnancy, including self-care techniques such as relaxation exercises and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). If treatment isn’t effective, medication may be necessary.
If you’re experiencing significant anxiety during your pregnancy, talk to your doctor about what steps you can take to manage it.
What Are The Symptoms of Anxiety In Pregnancy?
Anxiety is a common mental disorder that affects about one in every five women during pregnancy. The symptoms of anxiety can range from mild to severe and may include problems sleeping, stress, irritability, and feeling overwhelmed. Anxiety can also interfere with a woman’s ability to enjoy her pregnancy and raise her child. While there is no sure way to prevent anxiety in pregnancy, there are ways to manage it and ensure a healthy pregnancy for both you and your baby.
Some of the signs of anxiety in pregnancy include:
-Feeling overwhelmed or stressed out
-Trouble sleeping, especially at night
-Having problems concentrating or making decisions
-Excessive nervousness or anxiety that is out of the norm for you
-Feelings of guilt, shame, or embarrassment-A change in your eating habits, such as overeating or eating too little
-Having a new or increased fear of being alone or being in large crowds
How Does Anxiety In Pregnancy Impact Someone?
There is a lot of debate on how anxiety and pregnancy are related. Some doctors believe that anxiety in pregnancy can lead to an increased risk of premature birth or low birth weight, while others say that there is no link between the two. However, many women with anxiety find that their symptoms worsen during pregnancy, which can impact both themselves and their babies.
Some other impacts that anxiety during pregnancy can have on someone include:– Increased stress levels, which can lead to fatigue and adrenal crashes
Panic attacks and flashbacks: One of the most common symptoms of anxiety during pregnancy is a drastic increase in panic attacks and flashbacks. This can be extremely frustrating and debilitating, as it can make it difficult to function normally.
Depression: Pregnant women with anxiety are at a heightened risk for developing depression. This is because prenatal stress hormones like cortisol can negatively impact mood and feelings of well-being.
Poor sleep: Anxiety can lead to an inability to get a good night’s sleep, which can have serious consequences for both mother and child.
Mood Swings: Pregnant women with anxiety often experience a wide range of mood swings, from feeling great one moment and then feeling very anxious the next. This can be incredibly difficult to manage and can hurt the mother and her baby.
Relationship Issues: Pregnant women with anxiety may find it harder to connect with their partners, as they may be too focused on their worries. This can lead to problems in the relationship and a decreased sense of intimacy.
Problems in Work: Anxiety in pregnancy can also lead to problems at work. For example, a woman who is constantly worrying about her health or the health of her child may be less productive and have difficulty keeping up with the demands of her job.
Feeling like a Failure: Anxiety during pregnancy can lead to feelings of self-doubt and guilt. This can make it extremely difficult to cope with the stress of the pregnancy, let alone continue to pursue a career or engage in other activities that are important to you.
When Should You See a Doctor About Anxiety During Pregnancy?
One should see a doctor about anxiety during pregnancy if they experience significant distress or problems functioning in everyday life.
There can be several reasons for anxiety during pregnancy, including increased levels of stress, fear, and worry; changes in mood; difficulty sleeping; and difficulty concentrating. If you are experiencing significant distress or problems functioning in everyday life, it is important to see a doctor for evaluation.
Visiting a doctor during pregnancy can help identify any underlying health issues that may be contributing to your anxiety, and can guide possible solutions. If you are experiencing significant anxiety, it is important to seek professional help as soon as possible.
You should visit a doctor if you have any of the following symptoms:
significant distress or problems functioning in everyday life
increased levels of stress, fear, and worry
changes in mood
frequent worry, restlessness, difficulty concentrating, feeling on edge or panicked, racing thoughts, irritability, insomnia, excessive worrying about things that don’t matter, and feeling tense all the time.
If you are unsure if you should see a doctor about your anxiety during that time, it is best to speak with your healthcare provider.
What Can You Do To Manage Anxiety During Pregnancy?
Here are some tips to help you manage anxiety during these:
1. Seek out support: Talking to someone who understands what you’re going through can be very helpful. There are plenty of resources available to you, such as support groups or online forums.
2. Make sure you’re getting enough sleep: Studies have shown that inadequate sleep can exacerbate anxiety symptoms. Try to get at least 7 hours of sleep each night, even if it means skipping a night or two. If you experience severe bouts of anxiety, consider seeking out treatment for sleep deprivation.
3. Exercise regularly: Just like getting enough sleep, exercise helps reduce anxiety symptoms. Make sure to add exercise into your daily routine – even if it’s just 20 minutes of aerobic activity each day.
4. Avoid caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol: These substances can hurt anxiety levels. Avoiding them can help to reduce the severity of your symptoms.
5. Keep a positive outlook: It’s important to maintain an optimistic attitude during this time – even if things are tough. This will help you to cope better with your anxiety and stay in control.
6. Seek out professional help: If anxiety is impacting your day-to-day life, it may be time to seek out professional help. A therapist can provide you with support and guidance as you work to manage your anxiety symptoms.
Numerous studies have shown that pregnant women experience an increased level of anxiety, which can be very disruptive to their daily lives. While there is no single answer as to how anxiety affects pregnancy, it is understood that the stress hormones released during pregnancy can aggravate symptoms of anxiety. If you are struggling with anxiety and would like to explore some natural ways to manage your condition while pregnant, be sure to speak with your doctor or mental health professional. There may be additional support available that will help you cope better during this time in your life.
Hope this article was of help to you! If you are suffering from anxiety, you may seek help from Therapy Mantra. We have a team of highly trained and experienced therapists who can provide you with the tools and skills necessary for overcoming anxiety. Contact us today to schedule an online therapy or download our free Android or iOS app for more information.