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5 Ways to Navigate Anxiety During Pregnancy

5 Ways to Navigate Anxiety During Pregnancy

Finding out you’re pregnant is a rollercoaster of emotions. First, you will inevitably be shocked at the news, which may be quickly replaced with excitement. This is a new chapter of your life, and even if you’ve experienced pregnancy before, there are a lot of unknowns that come with this experience.

While pregnancy is often touted as a special and cherished time, it isn’t always as idyllic as expected. As your body rapidly changes to accommodate this new life inside you, it is also undergoing hormonal changes simultaneously. While your mind and body work together, the consistently fluctuating hormones can be enough to cause any expectant mother to experience high levels of anxiety. The truth is that anxiety is a very common experience during pregnancy. But how can you deal with this anxiety?

5 Ways to Navigate Anxiety During Pregnancy

1. Don’t Push Your Emotions Away

Many of us know that it’s important to manage stress levels during pregnancy, both for the health of your child and yourself. However, that is easier said than done given the degree of uncertainty, uncomfortable physical symptoms, and fluctuation of emotions during pregnancy. Many expectant mothers might try to push their emotions away by minimizing their feelings as invalid, thinking that will help them to deal with the stress.

However, pushing away emotions is not only ineffective, but it also can intensify them. Pushing emotions away really means letting them dwell under the surface. In attempting to push emotions away an individual often finds themselves frustrated and further distressed. Acceptance and validation of emotions is essential. When paired with committed action an individual can cope with their emotions more effectively.

2. Try to Keep Stress Low

We mentioned this in the last point, but it’s worth putting in its own section. During pregnancy, trying to keep your stress levels low is imperative. This means setting boundaries with yourself and others and practicing consistent self-care. In the absence of boundaries and self-care individuals can often find themselves burnt out and hyper responsive to situational triggers of anxiety.

3. Self-Care

We mentioned self-care to manage stress levels. What does this look like? Low impact physical activities such as yoga and walking. These activities will keep your body moving and are gentle on your body during pregnancy. Be sure to eat nutritious meals as much as possible while catering to your pregnancy cravings when you need to.

4. Journal or Share Your Thoughts

Journaling can be a great way to keep your anxiety at a minimum. Anxiety has a way of forcing our minds into an endless cycle of worrying about the future.

What will pregnancy be like? What about the labor? Will my baby be healthy? Am I/are we going to be good parents?
The list is endless, but worrying is a completely natural part of pregnancy and life. When your mind begins to have these worries, it is helpful to place them on paper to externalize them so that we are not as apt to confuse anxiety for fact.

Journaling doesn’t require you to write in complete, fully formed sentences. You can quickly jot down what you are most worried about in just a word or two. Practicing awareness of these thoughts and unhelpful thinking patterns related to anxiety will help to lessen their impact and help decrease anxiety levels overall.

5. Ask for Support

Pregnancy, whether you are doing it alone or with a partner, is a wonderful but anxiety provoking experience. So much of your life is about to change with this huge transition. If you are struggling to deal with anxiety during the perinatal or postpartum stage, you deserve to find support.

Reach out to a trusted friend, family member, or partner. Don’t be afraid to reach out to others who have been pregnant or find a support group in your area. If you believe that anxiety is becoming too consuming in your life, therapy can be an invaluable tool. The clinicians at The OCD & Anxiety Center are trained in evidenced based therapies that are proven to be effective in treating perinatal and postpartum anxiety. Therapy will equip you with coping tools that will help you through the perinatal phase of life and onward. Reach out to us today to learn more.


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