Anxiety is a common psychological condition during pregnancy. It is very likely for a woman to feel anxious while pregnant. This condition is normally named as “antenatal anxiety.” Researchers put antenatal anxiety above depression. Around 13 to 21% of pregnant women experience serious anxiety during pregnancy.
It is a common observation that anxiety disorders in new mothers are outpacing depression. Pregnancy is supposed to be a time of great joy but greater responsibility. Thus, these nine months are full of emotional twists for every woman.
Symptoms of antenatal anxiety
Following are some common symptoms of antenatal anxiety. Note that the severity of symptoms is experienced differently for each person.
- Continuous worrying
- Feeling difficult to concentrate
- Difficulty in sitting still or relaxing
- Racing thoughts
- Snappy or irritable behavior
- Imagining the worst case scenario
- Tension, stress, panic attacks
- Rapid pulse tight chest
- Heavy sweating
- Muscle tension
- Loss of appetite
How to cope with anxiety during pregnancy?
Anxiety, in severe cases, begins taking a toll on your mental and physical health. It can potentially affect your lifestyle, work, and relationships. Thus, it might demand to consult a medical expert immediately.
There are multiple modalities that can be utilized to address anxiety during pregnancy. Note that the degree of severity of the anxiety in part determines the initial treatment approach.
As per the experts, the mild symptoms of antenatal anxiety can be addressed via,
- Prioritizing self-care
- Healthy diet
Women with moderate symptoms should go for Psychotherapy. On the other hand, a combination of psychotherapy plus medication is the recommended approach for more severe symptoms.
Additional steps to manage the condition
Before going for any treatment plan or medicine course, there are some self-care tips one can try in order to alleviate the risk and symptoms of antenatal anxiety.
- Focus your energy on the things you can control
Experts advise to enlist the things, a woman can control during pregnancy, and focus all her energy on them. These things include eating balanced meals, getting adequate sleep, etc. In addition, they ask not to worry about what one can’t control. This might include when to deliver, the exact amount of weight gain, complications for the baby, etc.
- Don’t compromise on your sleep
If you are exhausted, you cannot address your fears appropriately. Thus, pregnant women must ensure a good night-time routine and obtain adequate sleep. This will surely allow them to have a clear head and reduced overall anxiety.
- Give yourself some time
Experts highly recommend pregnant women to do things they enjoy. One can go for meditation, exercise, and outdoor visits, etc. It is very important to take out time for yourself and focus on your happiness. Talk to people you trust rather than keeping it all in.
- Feed your body with a scheduled, healthy diet
Hypoglycemia or low blood sugar can potentially lead to feelings that mimic panic. Moreover, it can lead to increased nausea as well. Thus, women must eat small, high protein meals throughout the day. In this way, they can decrease the sense of panic that comes with extreme hunger and can also minimize nausea.
- Try mindfulness-based practices
Daily guided mindfulness meditation practices and prenatal massage can be helpful for relaxation. Mindfulness-based practices have become trendy in the treatment and management of anxiety. They can promote healing in both the physical and emotional states of the body. These practices are about maintaining your thoughts, feelings, emotions, bodily sensations, and your surrounding environment. They can help you feel calmer and more connected to your body.
Being a mother is surely one of the beautiful feelings in the world. Women must cherish the time as much as they can. The most important thing to remember is that you are not alone. Stay happy and you will enjoy your pregnancy for sure.