Anxiety is a common occurrence in women who are pregnant. About 1 in 10 women experience this mental health illness while pregnant. What many people do not realize is that anxiety is a real illness and it can even affect the development of a growing baby in the womb. Luckily, it is treatable. Here is what you need to know about coping with stress and anxiety while pregnant.
What are signs of anxiety?
Everyone worries and deals with stress from time to time. This is a part of life. However, those with anxiety deal with these feelings of stress and worry daily. Sometimes these feelings can even affect daily routines and responsibilities. Some common symptoms of anxiety include:
- Not being able to control anxious feelings or stress
- Extreme worry
- A feeling of dread
- Constantly feeling irritable
- Always on edge
- Difficulty with concentration
- Difficulty sleeping or staying asleep
What causes anxiety?
There are many reasons why women may develop anxiety while pregnant. Sometimes the illness already existed and has grown exponentially during pregnancy. Other common causes may not even be linked to pregnancy like a family history of mental health illness, a traumatic event, abuse, drugs, other health conditions, or extra stress. Another mental health illness that is commonly linked to anxiety is depression. Although not the same, they are frequently experienced together. Another common cause of anxiety during pregnancy is phobias. Many women have a strong fear of giving birth or other medical treatments like needles. The feelings of anxiety that come with these phobias can become debilitating.
Related: Dealing with Postpartum Depression
Ways to cope
There is no one right way to coping with stress and anxiety while pregnant. Every woman is different and should be treated accordingly. One of the most important things to do, however, is to talk to someone about it. This should be someone you trust will listen and take the real feelings you have seriously. You should also speak to your healthcare provider. They will be able to help you find ways to cope and deal with your feelings of anxiety.
Finding natural ways to treat anxiety is a great place to start. Changing your daily habits to make sure you are eating healthy, exercising, and getting plenty of sleep can make a big difference. Without the proper amount of nutrients, our bodies and minds have a hard time functioning properly. Be sure that you are also taking an approved prenatal vitamin on top of your healthy diet. Exercise has been proven to lower cortisol levels, which cause stress. Exercise can also make it easier to sleep at night. Getting limited amounts of sleep can cause negative impacts on our bodies, especially on our minds. Meditation between exercise and sleep can also be a great way to cool down and clear your mind for a peaceful rest. If none of these changes help or you are unable to do them, therapy is always available for you.
Sometimes anxiety can persist even after all the many healthy changes you have made. If this is the case, speak with your healthcare provider. There are certain medications they can prescribe that are safe to take during pregnancy. The most important thing is that you and your baby are healthy, both physically and mentally.