I've never met a mother that didn't have some degree of anxiety while pregnant. Not only is your body going through physical and hormonal changes, but your life and home will be forever changed with the arrival of your new baby. It's normal to experience nervousness, especially if this is your first child. But if you (or your loved ones) feel that you are worrying way more than necessary, it may be on eof the signs of pregnancy anxiety.
It can be tough to differentiate between the typical or "expected" amounts of concern over your pregnancy versus the kind of prenatal anxiety that requires treatment. According to Parents, up to 33 percent of pregnant women experience anxiety, yet only about 20 percent of them ever seek treatment. Part of the problem, according to psychologist and a marriage and family therapist Dr. Michal Regev, is that the medical community believed that the high levels of “feel good” hormones, such as estrogen and progesterone, protected pregnant women from mental health challenges. Doctors today realize that this is not the case. However, moms-to-be still feel ashamed to admit that they are experience anxiety.
Anxiety disorders are more common during pregnancy than depression, warned Psych Central, but are often harder to diagnose. If you experience any of these signs, you should talk to your doctor, because you might be struggling with prenatal anxiety.
1. You Constantly Worry
With prenatal anxiety, you don't just worry when something feels off, you worry constantly, even when you know intellectually that everything is OK. Parents warned that you should seek treatment if you are pregnant and have excessive worry that is out of your control.
2. You Feel Something Bad Is Going To Happen
According to website for the Kim Foundation, a mental health support and resources foundation, moms with prenatal anxiety often can't shake the feeling that something bad is going to happen. It's less of a concern and more of an expectation.
3. You Have Racing Thoughts
Racing thoughts, or fast, repetitive thought patterns about a particular topic is a common symptom of anxiety according to Psychology Today. If you find yourself unable to stop constantly thinking about setting up the nursery, packing the hospital bag, or researching the perfect stroller you might be showing signs of prenatal anxiety.
4. You Sleep and Appetite Change
Dr. Healy Smith, a reproductive psychiatrist at the Women's Mental Health Clinic at New York-Presbyterian Hospital told Parents that it can be hard to diagnose mood disorders in pregnant women because anxiety symptoms can overlap with those of pregnancy, such as changes in changes in appetite, energy levels, concentration, or sleep. Even so, disturbances in sleep or appetite should be reported to your doctor.
5. You Are Restlessness
Just like your mind races when you have anxiety, so can your body. The Kim Foundation noted that pregnant women with anxiety often find it difficult to sit still. They are often on-the-go or looking for something to do. This can lead to other issues such as physical exhaustion.
6. You Have Physical Ailments
According to Tommy's, an accredited midwife-led pregnancy health information website for parents-to-be, women with prenatal anxiety can suffer from tense muscles. The Kim Foundation noted that dizziness, hot flashes, and nausea are also common physical ailments related to pregnancy anxiety.
7. You Have Panic Attacks
A serious prenatal anxiety symptom are panic attacks. According to Tommy's, panic attacks start suddenly and are at their worst up to ten minutes later. Feeling you can’t breathe, thinking you’re going crazy, and being afraid you are going to die are some symptoms of a panic attack.