Are you wondering how to prevent anxiety during pregnancy? It’s no surprise hormones heighten emotions during pregnancy – which ultimately makes someone like me more susceptible to anxiety attacks. If I am having a particularly difficult time with my anxiety I usually take an Ativan to calm my mind and body. However, I cannot take my anxiety prescription while pregnant. I’ve found the best way to treat anxiety during pregnancy is prevention.
10 Ways to Prevent Anxiety during Pregnancy
- Start the day RIGHT every morning: organize tasks in a To Do list, take a few quiet moments for stretching and calm breathing, set positive intentions for the new day.
- Avoid caffeine when I anticipate an anxious moment (ex. waiting for prenatal test results).
- Write out my worries before they consume me. I find it helpful to see my concerns on paper, especially when my troubles are irrational – then I just cross them off and move on to the big stuff.
- Talk therapy – I try my best to never skip a weekly session with my therapist.
- Stay hydrated. Did you know dehydration can actually cause heart palpitations?
- Sleep as much as possible, especially since sleep deprivation can worsen anxiety. If you’re struggling with pregnancy insomnia, speak to your OB before anxiety takes the place of sleep.
- Remember these ways to stay grounded – THIS BLOG POST is my guidebook for whenever I find myself floating away from my calm center.
- Eat well and exercise. Enough said.
- Self Talk – There is nothing wrong with talking to yourself, especially if you’re talking yourself out of something stressful. Read more about how I use self talk to treat my anxiety here.
- Self Care – We all know how important it is to carve out dedicated time in a day (or week) for self care. Whether it’s something as simple as a childless uninterrupted shower, 30 minutes reading a book, or a pedicure, make sure to do something for YOU. There is nothing to give when you have an empty cup, so make sure you’re filling it with personal moments of joy.
Pregnancy Anxiety is More Common than you may Think
Did you know anxiety is a common peripartum psychological disturbance? More than 1 in 10 women experience anxiety at some point during pregnancy. Pregnancy itself is an emotional experience, but hormones can exacerbate anxiety or an underlying history of anxiety. The best way to prevent anxiety during pregnancy is to stay ahead of the feelings. If you already experience anxiety pre-pregnancy, tell your OB or Midwife. If you’ve never had anxiety but are feeling different since becoming pregnant, tell your OB or Midwife! Don’t be afraid to talk about your emotions with other pregnant women too!
How to Calm Anxiety While Pregnant
Sometimes my efforts to prevent anxiety fail. There are so many factors out of my control – life being at the top of the list – so I have to have an emergency plan in place. Whenever I find myself on the verge of an anxiety or panic attack, I immediately ask for help. Then I reference this post with tried and true ways to calm down during an anxiety attack.
Always remember, life (and pregnancy) doesn’t have to be a journey one navigates on her own!
Author’s Note: When I write posts like these it’s never to imply my mental health is perfectly… healthy. Content like this is most often triggered by an event – and I always seek the help of a mental health professional when I’m in distress. Please keep that in mind while you’re reading my personal advice – as well as the professional advice given to me by my therapist.