This is a guest post by Kristi from IntelligentMother.com.
Pregnancy should be a happy and exciting time in a woman’s life. However, this is not always the case for some women as it can be a time of confusion, fear, stress and even depression. Women with a history of depression may spend the next nine months of their pregnancy trying to feel better.
According to the Scientific World Journal, 70% of pregnant women suffer from anxiety. According to the studies carried out by the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), 1 in every 4 women at some point during their lifetime has suffered from depression. So, how do you cope with anxiety while pregnant when you have a history of depression?
There are so many reasons why you might be anxious when you are pregnant. Sometimes you may fret about what you eat, think about, feel and drink. You may also be worried about your baby’s health or your own health. When you have health problems, your anxiety may be legitimate since you will worry about whether your body will be able to carry a child or how you will cope with being a parent while you are sick.
You may also worry about how your relationship with your partner will be after the baby is born or how you are going to take care of the financial expenses that come with having a baby.
Signs and Symptoms of Anxiety
- Feeling fearful, scared or upset.
- Unrealistic worrying about the baby.
- Feeling keyed up.
- Smothering sensations.
- Sweating hands.
How You Can Cope with Your Anxiety
1. Get Professional Help
If you have had a history of depression and you are pregnant, chances are high that you are going to suffer from anxiety. If your anxiety is getting out of hand and is interfering with your life, appetite or ability to sleep, then it will be important to seek the services of a therapist. The therapist could conduct Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) to help treat your disorder.
This therapy will focus on changing your behaviour and thinking patterns so as to decrease behaviours that make your symptoms worse and increase the behaviours that reduce the symptoms. CBT will focus on four components of your experience, which include your emotions, body responses, thoughts and behaviours.
2. Think about Medication
Sometimes when you are on medication for depression, and you get pregnant, you may consider stopping your medication for the sake of your pregnancy. However, this may not necessarily be the right decision because the chances of relapse are high. You can consult your doctor so that you may get help in determining whether you should quit your medication depending on how serious your condition is.
Getting enough sleep when you are suffering from anxiety while pregnant is always tough. Sleep has been known to be a remedy for helping moods get better. You should, therefore, try to get at least 7 or 8 hours of sleep every night to help ease your anxiety.
It’s normal to get concerned about your health while you are pregnant. However, if you get too focused on your health concerns by spending all day Googling your pregnancy ailments, it might lead to an anxiety disorder. If you have any issue that’s troubling you, then you should get the information from your doctor. You should also find something that will make you calm to distract yourself with.
According to recent studies, women who did exercises every day for 30 minutes for at least four times a day experienced fewer symptoms of depression and anxiety as compared to women who were less active.
6. Find Support
The more you talk about a problem with people close to you, the less troubled you will feel. You should, therefore, find support groups where you can find other women going through the same problem as you. This will help you bond with those women and see how they are dealing with the same emotions.
Possible Triggers of Depression during Pregnancy
- Relationship problems.
- A family history of depression.
- Previous loss of pregnancy.
- History of abuse or trauma.
- Stressful life events.
Can Depression Harm Your Baby?
Being too anxious during pregnancy may lead to depression. If this problem is left untreated or is not managed, it may pose risks to you and your baby. This may result in you giving birth to a premature baby, a baby with low birth weight or may result in your baby having developmental problems. Getting the right help will thus be important for your pregnancy.
Women get anxious a lot when they are pregnant due to a number of reasons, and it is considered normal. However, some women may worry too much to the point where their appetite and sleep is affected. This level of anxiety is not good for the baby and should always be checked before it becomes a disorder.
Learning how to cope with anxiety while you are pregnant is necessary for every pregnant woman to ensure that you don’t get into a depression so that you and your baby stay safe.
About the Author: My name is Kristi and I’m the mother of 3 beautiful angels, founder of Intelligentmother.com. This blog was created in order to share experiences baby care, health care for pregnant women. You can find many interesting insights. Problems – Solved!
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