Pregnancy anxiety

My Anxiety Story | Anxiety During Pregnancy (March 2019).


they are pregnant and suffering from anxiety or you just lack a little bit of inner peace? You should not just settle for that, quite the contrary. Because it is not good, especially during pregnancy, to feel anxiety over a longer period of time. If you are constantly suffering from anxiety, it will not be healthy for your growing baby. (Bea et al 2005, Kurki et al 2000) Fortunately, there is a wide range of options to counteract. You can try some techniques to see which ones help you.

Is it normal for me to feel more anxious during pregnancy?

Yes! Pregnancy means lasting changes in life. So it is quite normal that you have phased fear of the unknown. (McLeish 2007, NHS Choices 2014c). In addition, the hormone balance in pregnant women changes and therefore brings a sense of chaos with it. All these factors make you more prone to anxiety. (NHS Choices 2015). Think About:

  • Typical Pregnancy Symptoms and What They Mean
  • Your Baby's Development
  • Relationship with Your Partner
  • Money

Mood swings such as depression often go away by themselves during pregnancy, However, discussing any concerns you have with your midwife is always a good idea. (McLeish 2007). She may support you and may know well what helps with anxiety during pregnancy, so they do not take up too much space.

When Your Worries Become a Bigger Problem

Worrying becomes a problem if you have trouble controlling your thoughts or if they affect you in your everyday life. (NHS Choices 2014c). For example, you avoid public spaces because it makes the gathering of people nervous and you worry about what other people think of you.

If this is the case or you feel miserable because of your anxiety or even make the anxiety depressive, then you may be suffering from a generalized anxiety disorder.

The main symptoms of anxiety disorder are:

  • being nervous and anxious most of the time
  • not being able to stop or controlling his anxious thoughts
  • are worried about too many subjects it is impossible or difficult to relax
  • to feel restless
  • it is exhausting, sometimes silent orto be calm
  • to be easily irritable
  • to feel anxious or to think constantly that bad things are going to happen
  • (Thomas 2010)
  • You may also feel physical symptoms like:

Rapid heartbeat and rapid breathing

  • Dizziness
  • severe sweating
  • Tension, pain in the muscles
  • Deafness, tingling in the fingers, toes or lips
  • (Ryan 2013)
  • Sometimes these symptoms can occur spontaneously and very intensively, for no apparent reason. This is called a panic attack.

If you feel you have an anxiety disorder, it is important that you see a doctor who will examine you and, if necessary, order you the right treatment (Ryan 2013, NHS Choices 2014c ).

How can I defeat my fear?

Your doctor will discuss benefits and risks with each treatment method. Try to tell as honestly as possible how you feel so that you receive the right treatment.

As long as the symptoms are not severe, the treatment proposal is likely to be a talk therapy so as not to unnecessarily endanger your baby (NICE 2014). Conversation therapies offer many practical approaches that help you control your emotions.

If you have been taking medication for your anxiety before your pregnancy, your doctor may tell you to start talking (NICE 2014). However, before you stop taking your medication, you must talk to your doctor!

In the event that your doctor thinks talking therapy is useful, he certainly has contacts from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) specialists (NICE 2014a).

There is scientific evidence that CBT is an effective way to control anxiety (McLeish 2007). The goal of KVT is to identify how your body and brain respond to stress, and to learn how to change those responses to make you feel better again (BABCP 2012).

Depending on your circumstances and how much your feelings of anxiety affect you, your therapist will tell you whether CBT is a viable option for you.


  • With this method, your therapist will provide you with information and recommendations, as well as the access data for an online course in which you can independently try out CBT. A therapist will assist you, either in a personal conversation or by phone, and will answer your questions.

    KVT guided by a therapist

  • This type of KVT is more intense than the normal form of therapy. Here you participate in personal conversations with the therapist.They will try to find your personal trigger points for your anxiety. Next, he / she develops strategies to better manage your anxiety.

    (NICE 2014a, McLeish 2007)

  • Another psychological treatment to better cope with anxiety is relaxation. The therapist will show you how to properly relax your muscles and will find your trigger word to help you stay calm when you become anxious. The relaxation method used each week is a one-hour session over a period of a few months (NHS Choices 2014c).

These treatments are mostly offered by psychotherapists. Depending on the health insurance company and the availability of free places, you may have to pay for this service privately. Your treating doctor or your health insurance provider will give you information and help you.

What can you do to relieve your anxiety?

Whether you experience anxiety only occasionally or more often, there are many techniques that you can learn to relieve your symptoms.

Relaxation Techniques

Try to relax each day for a moment, or better every day a few times for a short period of time. By training in the wellbeing phases, you may find it easier to stay calm the next time you get scared.

You can just sit still and focus on your breathing, inhale deeply through your nose and exhale through your mouth. Or try to imagine a beautiful place where you feel comfortable or listen to some music. Also a relaxing podcast is an ideal way to start.

Sometimes it's helpful to consciously tense the muscles first and then relax. First tighten the muscles in your toes and then slowly go up. Finish this exercise with your facial muscles (Mind 2013b).

Another meditation technique is called mindfulness and could help as well. As you inhale, focus on your field of vision, sounds and taste. If a negative thought comes into your consciousness, do not fight it. Just leave it there and do not rate it. This is quite difficult at the beginning, so it may be easier to join a mindfulness training in the group (NHS Choices 2014d).

Find a Self-Help Book or Online Class

There are a variety of methods available to deal with anxiety. These range from meditation videos to online courses and books (NHS Choices 2014a). Your midwife or doctor may be able to give you recommendations. Or you can search online or at the nearest bookstore. The libraries also have books of this kind to choose from. Ask your library.

Doing Exercise Regularly

Gentle exercise not only keeps your body fit during pregnancy, but also helps dispel gloomy thoughts. Sporting activities stimulate your brain to release messengers that will help cheer up your mood (NHS Choices 2014b).

Walking, swimming, yoga and Pilates are great for this. Or maybe your sports club offers a course offer especially for pregnant women.

Consciously Eating

Some pregnant women also said that having a special diet helped them cope better with their fears. This may be because mood changes when blood sugar levels rise or fall (NHS 2014b, Mind 2010).

The absence of caffeine (200 mg per day are allowed!), Alcohol and tobacco is very important! In addition to being harmful to your baby, these stimulants can promote panic attacks (NHS Choices 2014b) and make it more difficult for you to control your fears (Mind 2015).

Talk about your feelings

If you can talk to a confidant, it may help too (Mind 2015). Try to tell your partner or family member how you feel. Maybe there are also talkgroups in your area (NHS Choices 2014c).

Writing a diary

Writing a diary can help you figure out what your fears are causing you. You may realize that you always become anxious at the same time of the day or whenever a particular activity or requirement is imminent. The diary also helps you to capture the moments when you were well. From this you can deduce what helps you (Mind 2015). While there is no evidence for the efficacy of concomitant therapies during pregnancy (NICE 2008), many pregnant women found these to be very helpful. You may also like to try it out:




(Mind 2015)

  • Aromatherapy, herbal treatments and Bach flower remedies sometimes help with anxiety (Mind 2015). As safe as these applications may sound, some are not recommended for pregnant women. Before you start treatment, first discuss it with your midwife or doctor (NHS Choices 2014f).
  • Will I feel less anxious after giving birth?
  • Most women feel less anxiety after birth than they do during pregnancy (McLeish 2007, NCCMH 2014). If you did not have any mental health problems before you were pregnant, you can expect that you will be less concerned with anxiety after your baby is born (McLeish 2007, Andersson 2006).
  • If you still find it difficult to control your mood and feelings after giving birth then talk to your midwife or doctor.They will reassure you and tell you that this kind of feeling is normal at the beginning of motherhood. They can give you good advice on how to keep these conditions under control. If it is something serious, and not just a mood, it is good if it is dealt with in time.

Read more about baby blues and pregnancy depression.

Where can I get more help with anxiety issues?

Psychotherapist search on the net: PAL publishing company.

Very important website about mental illnesses around pregnancy and birth, with lots of links to u. a. Support Groups: Shadow & Light e. V.

Website for fathers with problems related to pregnancy and childbirth, but also information for men whose women suffer from it: family planning. de

Website in general on depression: German Alliance for Depression e. V.

  • Website of the Vivantes Humboldt-Klinikum Berlin: Center for Mental Women's Health
  • The community of BabyCenter is also very helpful. Here you will find support from other affected pregnant women and mothers who may have been through the same thing.
  • Find that your emotions are unpredictable, then you can read more in our article Mood Swing in Pregnancy.
  • Sources
  • Anxiety UK. nd.
  • Young people with anxiety.

Andersson L, Sundstrom-Poromaa, et al 2006. Depression and anxiety during pregnancy and six months postpartum: a follow-up study.

ACTA Obstetricia et Gynecologica

85: 8 BABCP. 2012.

CBT: therapy worth talking about. British Association for Behavioral & Cognitive Psychotherapies. Bea R. H, Van den Bergh, et al 2005. Antenatal Maternal Anxiety and Stress and the Neurobehavioral Development of the fetus and child: left and possible mechanisms: a review.

Neuroscience and Behavioral Reviews. 29: 2 Kurki T, Hilesmaa V et al 2000. Depression and anxiety in early pregnancy and risk for preeclampsia.

Obstetrics and Gynecology. 95: 4 Lee A, Lam S, et al 2007. Prevalence, course, and risk factors for antenatal anxiety and depression.

Obstetrics and Gynecology. 110: 5 Mind. 2013a.

Mind tips for better mental health: panic attacks. Mind. 2013b. Tips for relaxation.

Mind. 2015. Anxiety and panic attacks: how can I help myself cope?

McLeish J. 2007. Antenatal and postnatal mental health: To NCT Evidence Based Briefing.

National Childbirth Trust, Research Evidence Based Briefings NHS Choices. 2012.

Coping with panic attacks. NHS Choices, Live Well. NHS Choices. 2014a.

Stress, anxiety and depression - self-help therapies. NHS Choices, Health A-Z. NHS Choices. 2014b.

Panic disorder - self-help. NHS Choices, Health A-Z. NHS Choices. 2014c.

Generalized anxiety disorder in adults. NHS Choices, Health A-Z. NHS Choices. 2014d.

Mindfulness for mental wellbeing. NHS Choices, Health A-Z. NHS Choices. 2015.

Getting pregnant. NHS Choices, Health A-Z. NICE. 2008.

Antenatal care. Revised reprint December 2010, National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, Clinical Guideline 62. NCCMH. 2014.

Antenatal and postnatal mental health: The NICE Guideline on Clinical Management and Service Guidance. National Collaborating Center for Mental Health, National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, Clinical Guideline 192 (Evidence). NICE. 2014.

Antenatal and postnatal mental health. National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, Clinical Guideline 192. Reading Agency. nd.

Reading Well. The Reading Agency. Ryan A. 2013.

Intervention to reduce anxiety during pregnancy: an overview of research. Thomas H. 2010. Generalized Anxiety Disorder Assessment (GAD 7).

Vieten and Austin. 2008. Effects of a mindfulness-based intervention during pregnancy on prenatal stress and mood: results of a pilot study. Arch Women's Mental Health.

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