Anxiety during pregnancy is also known as antenatal anxiety. Antenatal anxiety can affect either or both parents but expecting mothers are prone to face this situation.
Anxiety is more than feeling worried in a specific situation. It occurs when feelings of worry and stress come on for no particular reason, keep coming back and can’t be controlled easily. If left untreated, anxiety can have a major impact on your wellbeing.
It’s natural to feel a little anxious when you’re pregnant, but for some people, anxiety can become a real problem. If you suffer from anxiety there is support available, so it’s a good idea to know the signs.
How do I know if I have antenatal anxiety?
You might have antenatal anxiety if you are expecting a baby and you –
• feel worried, stressed or on edge most of the time
• have fears that take over your thinking
• have panic attacks
• have tense muscles when you are doing daily tasks
• have trouble sleeping because of your thoughts or feelings
• an inability to concentrate on your day-to-day life
• trouble functioning at work or home
• having obsessive thoughts
• not enjoying things that used to make you happy
• heart palpitations
• rapid breathing (hyperventilation) or shortness of breath
These symptoms can develop gradually, or may come on suddenly and intensely. They can get worse over time if they’re not treated.
If you have antenatal anxiety, you may feel very anxious about your baby’s welfare, and seek frequent reassurance that they are healthy and developing normally.
Worries during pregnancy are universal. Still there are certain causes of antenatal anxiety –
• Hormonal changes of pregnancy
• Prior heartbreaking miscarriages
• Sleep difficulties may all contribute to anxiety for mothers-to-be
• You may worry about how a baby will affect your relationships with friends or family members
• The health of your future child
• The delivery experience, or the financial burden of an additional family member.
All of these worries are completely normal. For humans, a certain amount of anxiety is protective.
What’s the difference between antenatal anxiety and antenatal depression?
Many people with antenatal anxiety may also have antenatal depression.
If you have antenatal depression, you may experience symptoms such as:
• low mood
• feeling hopeless
• finding it difficult to concentrate
• difficulty sleeping or eating normally
• losing interest in activities you previously enjoyed
What are the effects of untreated anxiety on the fetus?
• Preterm birth
• Low birthweight
• Earlier gestational age, and a smaller head circumference (which is related to brain size).
What else helps anxiety during pregnancy?
• Engage in regular physical activity.
In general, it is safe to engage in physical activity during pregnancy. However, if you are at risk for preterm labor or have pregnancy complications, consult with your doctor first.
• Ensure adequate sleep.
Whether it’s a calming bedtime routine, pregnancy pillow, or a few nights in a bed away from your snoring partner, now is the time to learn what works for your sleep.
• Practice mindfulness.
Research shows that mindfulness may reduce worries about labor, and it may even prevent postpartum depression.
Writing about your worries may help you brainstorm potential solutions, and it allows you to reflect on your concerns.
• Schedule worry time.
We often worry because we do not want to forget something. Setting aside 30 minutes toward the end of the day provides you with a time to worry productively, but it frees you from holding onto your worries the rest of the day (practice reminding yourself “I’ll get to these thoughts later”).
• Yoga, massage, meditation, and acupuncture.
Finding relaxation techniques that work for you may take some experimentation — but their benefits will continue even after the baby arrives.
For more informative articles on Pregnancy and other health related issues, please visit our website www.santripty.com and YouTube channel https://youtube.com/channel/UCYpFPIzh7g1cWmqC_cNNNLw also and feel free to consult with our experienced team of doctors, get benefits and stay healthy.