Pregnancy Jitters

Pregnancy is a time of excitement and anticipation, but it can also be a time of anxiety and worry. For some women, increased anxiety during pregnancy can feel like it’s taking over our lives and ruining what should be a happy and beautiful experience.

Who’s most at risk for anxiety during pregnancy?

We all worry, but these risk factors can make it more likely that you’ll experience severe anxiety during pregnancy:

  • A history of anxiety or depression symptoms
  • Difficulty conceiving or a previous miscarriage
  • Unplanned pregnancy
  • Financial worry
  • Problems in your marriage or other relationships
  • Pregnancy complications
  • Being put on bed rest
  • Stress on the job or at home

What can help with anxiety?

  • There are several things you can try at home to help you feel better:
  • Get plenty of sleep, including daytime naps if needed.
  • Get regular exercise, even if it’s just a 10-minute walk every day.
  • Eat nutritious foods, and try to avoid processed and fast foods.
  • Take a class on childbirth or parenting, to help you feel more prepared.
  • Take time to relax and unwind.
  • Find a local or online group of other expectant moms to connect with.

What if I need extra help?

If self-care doesn’t help, it’s best to talk with your doctor sooner rather than later. Anxiety during pregnancy can increase your risk of developing depression after your baby arrives, but there are ways your doctor can help. You should never feel embarrassed or ashamed to talk about what you’re experiencing—anxiety during pregnancy doesn’t mean you’re weak or that you’re going to be a bad mother. And asking for help is one more way to do what’s best for both you and your little one.

For help finding the right doctor, click here.