Experiencing anxiety is something that many people face at one time or another in their life. It’s a worry and nagging feeling that you just can’t get to go away. Common before and during major changes in your life, anxiety and depression could significantly affect your quality of life.
As your body changes during pregnancy, you may experience anxiety, especially if you don’t know how to deal with these changes. You may be worried about your household, concerned, concerned about deliveries and packages. Let’s not even talk about your career and work. Add your pregnancy hormones into the mix and things can truly be overwhelming.
Approximately 8 to 10% of pregnant women experience some degree of prenatal anxiety and depression. You’re not alone if you’re feeling this way, and there are some things you can do to help.
Symptoms of Pregnancy Anxiety and Depression
Some people experience pregnancy anxiety and depression after a lifetime of not ever feeling this way. Other people feel their pre-existing anxiety and depression creeps up on them when they’re pregnant.
Some things to watch out for may indicate anxiety or depression are:
- Feeling a constant sinking feeling in your stomach
- Excessive worry about things you can’t control
- Inability to focus
- Feeling aggressive or irritated
- Losing sleep at night
- Wandering thoughts
- Feeling worthless
- Lack of appetite
- Feeling tension in your muscles
How to Deal with Pregnancy Anxiety and Depression
If you feel that you may have a mild case of anxiety or depression, let your doctor know about it on your next appointment. Experiencing anxiety and depression during pregnancy may put you at a higher risk of post-partum depression.
It’s helpful to talk to someone about your emotions. Whether you’re talking to your parent, a friend, or a professional, talking about your feelings could help you deal with your current situation and condition. It can also make you realize how much anxiety and depression have affected you, which may mean you need to consult a doctor.
Finding Something That Helps You Unwind
Find a way to unwind or relax. Pregnancy can be very physically demanding. You might not have the same outlet that you once had when you weren’t pregnant. If working out was something that you did for yourself, you might be left without an outlet now that you’re pregnant and couldn’t do your intense workout routine. Try a prenatal yoga class, meditation, a warm bath, or a prenatal massage to wind down when you start to feel overly anxious or depressed.
If your anxiety or depression is rooted mainly in your fear of giving birth or raising a child, do as much research as you can ahead of time. Knowledge can provide you with peace of mind and the confidence you need to overcome negative emotions. You can also look into birthing classes. With your doctor’s assistance, you may visit the hospital where you will give birth to familiarize yourself with the facilities. Furthermore, you can talk to friends and family that have already gone through what you have.
Don’t Forget to Rest
Pregnancy demands a lot from your body, and you’re probably unable to get very comfortable at night. Make sure that you give yourself time to rest each day. If you’re feeling exhausted, take a nap if time allows. Don’t be hard on yourself if you feel like you’re not doing your best on certain days. Rest when you need to. Don’t forget that these feelings will pass, even though they may seem overwhelming right now.
If your feelings of anxiety and depression have affected your daily living, consider talking to your doctor. The sooner you’re able to deal with your condition, the better it is for you and your baby. Remember, the anxiety and depression you’re feeling don’t just affect you. It can affect your unborn child, too.