Is it common to be anxious a lot during pregnancy?
Pregnancy brings out the worry in all of us! For good reason; you’re growing a baby! It’s natural to worry about what you are eating, drinking, thinking and feeling. It’s also perfectly normal to worry about whether your baby is healthy and how this new person will change your life and relationships. But, if your anxiety is becoming all consuming and regularly interferes with your day-to-day life, it’s time to find a better way to deal with it.
To start, share your fears and your worries with your spouse or significant other, or a close personal friend. Opening up about your anxiety can help you start to deal with those fears. Other moms-to-be are another great source of support, as they’re probably dealing with the same anxiety and worries as you.
If you’re experiencing extreme anxiousness or have a specific reason to be concerned about the health of your child, share your concerns with your doctor right away.
I have a lot of stress in my life right now. Will it affect my baby?
While everyday pressure is a part of life, a high level of chronic stress can boost your odds of preterm labor or delivering a low birth-weight baby. If you are used to caring for others or giving 110% at work, making yourself a priority may seem unnatural or even selfish.
But taking care of yourself is an essential part of taking care of your baby. Cutting down on stress, or learning to manage it, makes for a healthier pregnancy.
What can I do to calm my anxiety?
Here are a few ways to manage your stress and reduce your anxiety in your workplace and at home:
- Practice saying “no”. Now’s a good time to get rid of the notion that you can do it all. You can’t. So learn to let your superwoman ideals go. Make slowing down a priority, and get used to the idea of asking your friends and loved ones for help.
- Cut back on strenuous chores. Use that time to rest. Read a book or take a nap. Who doesn’t love a nap?
- Regularly exercise such as walking or swimming. These activities can alleviate tension and it releases feel-good endorphins.
- Eat a healthy and balanced diet. A well balanced diet contributes greatly to your physical and emotional well-being.
- Go to bed early. Your body is working overtime to nourish your growing baby and needs all the rest and sleep it can get.
- Limit “information overload”. Reading about pregnancy and listening to your friends pregnancy stories are fine, but don’t delve into all the scary things that might (but probably won’t) happen during your pregnancy. Focus instead on how you’re feeling and what’s happening now.
- Join a support group. If you are coping with a difficult situation, spending time with others in the same boat can ease your burden. Many women create support networks using social media or by joining groups online.
If you are under unusual stress or feel like you have reached a breaking point, please talk with your healthcare provider. They will be able to better asses how strong your anxiety has become and what you may need to do to feel better. Listen openly to what they are telling you. Getting help during your pregnancy will help protect you and your baby from unnecessary risks and reduce your chances of postpartum anxiety and depression.
If you are in need of some mentoring or help in managing your stress, here at the Freeport Pregnancy Center, we have staff and volunteers who would love to talk with you! You can make an appointment right here on our website or give our offices a call during our normal business hours, Monday-Thursday 9am-3pm.