Anxiety in Pregnancy: What to Look Out For

Pregnancy is a time of great excitement and anticipation, but it can also be a period of worry and anxiety for many expecting mothers. Anxiety during pregnancy is very common, and it can have a negative effect on both the mother and the unborn baby. In this article, we’ll discuss the causes of anxiety in pregnancy, its effects, and how to manage it.

What Causes Anxiety in Pregnancy?

Anxiety in pregnancy can be caused by a variety of factors. Expecting mothers may feel overwhelmed by the physical and emotional changes that come with pregnancy, as well as the added responsibilities of caring for a new baby. Financial worries, relationship issues, and a lack of support can also contribute to anxiety.

What Are the Effects of Anxiety in Pregnancy?

Anxiety during pregnancy can have a serious impact on both the mother and the unborn baby. It can lead to physical symptoms, such as headaches, stomach aches, and insomnia, as well as emotional issues, such as depression and irritability. It can also affect the unborn baby, as high levels of stress hormones can cross the placenta and affect the baby’s development.

How Can Anxiety in Pregnancy Be Managed?

It is important to seek help and support if you are feeling anxious during pregnancy. Your doctor or midwife can provide advice and support, and may be able to refer you to a counsellor or psychologist if necessary.

There are also a number of lifestyle changes you can make to help manage your anxiety. Try to get plenty of rest and exercise, eat a healthy diet, and take time out for yourself. Talking to family and friends can also be beneficial, as can relaxation techniques such as yoga and meditation.

When Should I Seek Help?

If your anxiety is affecting your daily life and you are struggling to manage it, it is important to seek help. Your doctor or midwife can provide advice and support, and can refer you to a counsellor or psychologist if necessary.

Conclusion

Anxiety during pregnancy is very common, and it can have a serious effect on both the mother and the unborn baby. It is important to seek help and support if you are feeling anxious, and to make lifestyle changes such as getting plenty of rest and exercise, eating a healthy diet, and taking time out for yourself. By taking steps to manage your anxiety, you can ensure that you and your baby have a safe and healthy pregnancy.

FAQs

What are some common symptoms of anxiety during pregnancy?

Common symptoms of anxiety during pregnancy include feeling overwhelmed, sleeping too much or too little, difficulty concentrating, irritability, and feeling restless.

What are some methods of managing anxiety during pregnancy?

Some methods of managing anxiety during pregnancy include talking to a doctor or mental health professional, exercising regularly, eating a balanced diet, getting plenty of rest, and engaging in relaxation techniques such as yoga, meditation, and deep breathing.

What are the risks associated with anxiety during pregnancy?

The risks associated with anxiety during pregnancy can include preterm birth, low birth weight, and postpartum depression. Additionally, anxiety can have a negative impact on the mother’s physical and mental wellbeing.


References

Gavin, A., Gaynes, B., Meltzer-Brody, S., Gartlehner, G., & Swinson, T. (2005). Perinatal depression: A systematic review of prevalence and incidence. Obstetrics & Gynecology, 106(5), 1071–1083.

Bos, A. E., & van den Berg, M. P. (2016). Anxiety during pregnancy: Prevalence, correlates and consequences. Journal of Affective Disorders, 207, 253–260.

O’Connor, T. G., Heron, J., Golding, J., Beveridge, M., & Glover, V. (2002). Maternal antenatal anxiety and children’s behavioural/emotional problems at 4 years. British Journal of Psychiatry, 180(2), 502–508.