Millions of pregnant women deal with symptoms of anxiety on a daily basis. It can be a harrowing psychological concern with several lows and tremendously difficult times.
With the physical symptoms of a regular pregnancy piled on top of your anxiety, it can lead to a troubling time for women.
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As a result, it’s important to understand pregnancy-related anxiety, its causes, and how to manage it properly. This guide is an all-encompassing read on what’s required and what anxiety is all about.
What is Pregnancy-Related Anxiety?
Pregnancy-related anxiety or “antenatal anxiety” refers to a mental health condition where an expecting mother’s state of mind is impacted leading to an assortment of anxiety-related symptoms.
This condition can vary in severity and will depend on the type of symptoms an expecting mother is dealing with.
Symptoms may include:
- Heart Palpitations
- Shortness of Breath
- Social Withdrawal
- Excessive Sleeping
- Inability to Focus
Please note, these symptoms shouldn’t be confused with traditional pregnancy symptoms. With antenatal anxiety, the expecting mother will have a combination of symptoms leading to this underlying sense of anxiety.
It can have a profound impact on the mother’s ability to function and lead a healthy life during her pregnancy.
Tips for Managing Your Anxiety During Pregnancy
1. Find Things That Calm You
Staying calm is of utmost importance and it’s best to focus on creating a well-designed routine around some of your favorite calming activities. Some ideas are:
- Listening to Music
- Playing music
- Reading a Book
- Watching TV
- Walking in nature
- Talking with friends
Each person is going to have a different set of activities that keep them calm.
This is normal and is a part of life. It’s important to find what’s calming in your life and make sure it’s a part of your daily routine.
By having this “me time” you will be able to better control some of the lingering anxiety symptoms.
2. Stop With the Rules
Rules can get in the way of your mental well-being.
For example, let’s imagine you have been following clear-cut rules for making sure the pregnancy is a perfect one.
These rules of perfection can start to eat away at you slowly and it’s important to relax a little bit.
Your pregnancy does require you to be sensible with some choices, but you don’t have to hold yourself to rigid rules.
If you want to eat something sweet, it shouldn’t become an impossible task to do so. It should be okay for you to enjoy a nice chocolate bar and not have to think about ruining your life.
3. Eat Well
Eating is all about having a proper diet plan and eating enough calories. Too many pregnant women eat poorly and this gets in the way of their mental health.
You have to be in control over what’s going into your body but that doesn’t mean being super restrictive.
You want to eat enough to keep your body running at 110% health. Otherwise, you are going to hit a point where things don’t work out in your favor.
Your anxiety is going to go through the roof when your body and baby isn’t getting enough nutrients on a daily basis. Magnesium, Vitamin B12 and Omega 3’s have all been shown to help with anxiety.
4. Try Gentle Exercise
Exercise is of real benefit during pregnancy and can be a great way to alleviate stress or anxiety as well.
For example, you can go out for a gentle swim at the local swimming pool with other expecting mothers.
Several pregnant women do this and it can be a great way to bond with other women and get your body moving at the same time.
Along with the physical benefits, you are also going to notice your mind easing over time as well thanks to the endorphins that exercise makes your body release. These are the feel good hormones that make you feel happy.
Exercise is something women need to incorporate into their routine as soon as they can if you are noticing anxiety rearing it’s ugly head.
5. Sleep Properly
Are you getting enough rest during the night?
Pregnancies come with a number of symptoms that will leave you feeling exhausted. This is a normal part of the process but that doesn’t mean it’s time to avoid getting enough rest when it matters most.
In general, a woman should be willing to find at least 8-9 hours during the night where she’s able to sleep without interruption.
Anything less than this is going to leave you unsatisfied and exhausted, and it will start to eat away at your resolve.
If you are struggling to sleep, embrace the naps, and take them when and how you can.
Taking a magnesium supplement can help improve your sleep as well.
6. Talk to Someone You Trust
Opening up to someone that’s close to you (i.e. spouse, parent, sibling, therapist) is a good way to relive some of the mental struggles that happen during a pregnancy.
It’s okay to have negative thoughts during these times in your life. However, you need an outlet because that will help to ease some of the anxiety you have inside your head.
The goal should be to express as much as you can and let it all out, when and where you need to. By doing this, you will know someone else is aware of what you’re going through and this can be comforting.
7. Prepare for the Birth
Preparations are an integral part of your pregnancy and need to be focused on.
By doing this, you are going to have the opportunity to relax, unwind, and truly appreciate the intricacies of your beautiful moment.
I recommend you read my review of the Hypnobabies program, it is perfect to help calm your fears and arm you with all that you need to know going in to labor, as well as helping with relaxation during pregnancy.
8. Take a Vacation
Vacations are your best friend during such a massive time in your life.
A relaxing environment that’s away from your daily stresses may be just the ticket to help settle your anxiety and give your mind a rest.
Whether this is a beach or a relaxing cottage, you should think about taking a vacation during the pregnancy.
Final Thoughts on Anxiety During Pregnancy
It’s important to keep an eye out for these underlying symptoms of anxiety. Expecting mothers can go through a lot at a psychological level and it’s important to take action as soon as possible before the anxiety becomes debilitating.
Letting things fester for too long before starting to deal with is can be the key reason a mama may end up dealing with unrelenting symptoms of anxiety for months on end.
In some cases, a poorly managed anxiety case can lead to extended postnatal anxiety (after birth) and that is not fun!
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