Naturally, the moment we see a positive test we are a flurry of mixed emotions. From happiness to nervousness, we begin to process this monumental change occurring in our lives.
We ease into the idea of being pregnant and find it oddly comforting when orange slices between bread and mayo is the best sandwich we’ve ever eaten! Then we notice the mood shifts towards something upsetting and overwhelming: pregnancy anxiety.
Anxiety during pregnancy is common with more than one in ten women experiencing it at some stage. Anxiety can complicate our pregnancy journey, but there are ways to manage and cope with the symptoms and feelings which anxiety bring.
Symptoms of Anxiety
There are moments during pregnancy when we all worry. This is natural. However, when our worries begin to affect our daily lives, anxiety becomes a problem, and we should seek help to manage these symptoms.
Anxiety can appear as:
- Feelings of uncontrollable anxiety with anxiety or panic attacks
- Feelings of frustration, irritability, or agitation
- Inability to concentrate
- Excessive worry
- Poor sleep
- Being overly tense
Tips for Coping with Anxiety During Pregnancy
There are many ways we can ease the symptoms of anxiety. However, if you find you need further help, talk to your GP or midwife. High levels of anxiety can create risks of low birth weight, premature birth, or preeclampsia. Remember, there is always support for you to counteract any risks.
Talk About It
Remember anxiety is more common than you think. Talk to a trusted friend or family member. Sharing your thoughts may be enough. Talking can also help to highlight the areas of life where you need support.
Put Your Feet Up
We all know we need to mind ourselves that little bit more when we’re pregnant. This is easier said than done if you are still working and have other children to care for. Anxiety doesn’t rest, so you most certainly need to. Sleep and rest when you can and it will help alleviate any anxious thoughts.
Put Pen to Paper
Writing is a very therapeutic experience and
can help you to understand what you are experiencing and feeling more deeply.
Keep a journal and don’t censor yourself. Every thought counts.
Move and Breathe
Exercise is a great way to combat anxiety as it releases endorphins, which lower stress. Whether it’s walking or yoga, find something you enjoy. Also remember to breathe and take the time to practise mindfulness, meditation or massages. All of these will give you the opportunity to relax and soothe your mind.