Coping With Anxiety Through Pregnancy

Coping With Anxiety Through Pregnancy

Dr. Norris Von Curl, II, MD

Dr. Norris Von Curl, II, MD

Pregnancy can be a challenging time in a woman’s life, affecting her physically, mentally, and emotionally. Unfortunately, women can also experience mental health disorders while pregnant. One of these disorders is anxiety. Anxiety may become especially intense during pregnancy if a woman has a pre-existing mental health condition. Coping with anxiety through pregnancy can seem difficult. However, managing anxiety is entirely possible with the right guidance.

At First Steps Recovery, gender-specific care is offered with each client’s treatment plan. This ensures specific care that is unique to the individual and most beneficial. For women coping with anxiety through pregnancy, their gender, history, and circumstances are all factors that are taken into account. Working on developing a healthy and happy life for both the mother and her family is prioritized at First Steps Recovery. 

Anxiety Disorders

There are many kinds of anxiety disorders. This includes generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, and phobia disorders. Each disorder has its own set of signs and symptoms. GAD, for instance, involves feeling persistent anxiety or dread to the point of interfering with daily life. 

Generalized Anxiety Disorder

The following are signs of GAD:

  • Restlessness
  • Feeling on edge
  • Being easily fatigued
  • Irritability
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Headaches, muscle aches, stomaches, or other pains
  • Difficulty controlling one’s worry
  • Sleep problems

Panic Disorder and Social Anxiety Through Pregnancy

Panic disorder is defined as having frequent and unexpected panic attacks that cause intense fear, discomfort, and a sense of not being in control. People with panic disorder often avoid places, people, or situations that they associate with panic attacks. 

Social anxiety disorder is defined by an intense and persistent fear of being watched or judged by others. Some people with social anxiety disorder fear social situations to an uncontrollable extent. This fear can cause a person to avoid school, work, social gatherings, and more. Phobia-related anxiety disorders are specific to an object or situation that one fears or worries about excessively. 

With any of these disorders, anxiety is often heightened in certain circumstances or situations. Pregnancy can increase symptoms for a number of reasons. This includes hormonal changes, feeling worried about the life changes involved with the pregnancy, or concerns about the health of the baby. Regardless of the reason for anxiety through pregnancy, it is important to seek treatment and find personalized care. Regardless of circumstances, everyone deserves to heal and live without feeling confined by worry. 

Women and Anxiety Through Pregnancy

During childbearing years, women are more vulnerable to mood and anxiety disorders. During the pregnancy and postpartum stages of a mother’s life, symptoms of these disorders can heighten. Women can have high levels of stress when pregnant. This can be due to factors like unfavorable employment, lack of material resources, family and/or household responsibilities, the strain on intimacy, or pregnancy complications.

Unfortunately, women who are experiencing anxiety through pregnancy are at risk of preterm birth and low birth weight. This stress that is placed upon or felt by a mother can greatly impact the baby as well as the ease of pregnancy. Finding treatments to help alleviate stress and anxiety symptoms can improve the overall mental and physical well-being of the mother and her baby. 

Coping With Anxiety Through Pregnancy at First Steps Recovery

Anxiety is typically treated through psychotherapies, medications, and/or practicing stress management techniques. Medications, however, are always a concern for pregnant women. Therefore, it is important for mothers to seek other treatment options to relieve them of their anxieties and stress. 

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is a psychotherapy that is often recommended for mothers coping with anxiety through pregnancy. CBT at First Steps Recovery helps mothers identify and reconstruct their thinking patterns in order to produce healthier thoughts and behaviors. Thoughts are directly linked to one’s behaviors and perception of life overall. By addressing one’s perceptions, clients begin to feel calmer and happier. Pregnant women start to think about the present moment, including their pregnancy, in a positive light and work through the stressors and anxieties they face. 

Holistic Care Options

Another vital element of the healing process is holistic care. Holistic care is part of the whole-person approach in which clients are encouraged to participate in non-clinical therapies, such as art therapy or yoga therapy. These therapies help clients connect more deeply to themselves, uncover underlying factors of their disorders, and develop healthy coping mechanisms. Then, they can implement these coping mechanisms into their daily lives both inside and outside of the facility.

These holistic services provide mothers coping with anxiety through pregnancy with nature-based, creative, and mindfulness-based therapies. These therapies are both easy on the physical body and allow for mental growth. Yoga therapy and mindfulness, for instance, are two holistic therapies that require mothers to sit with themselves and engage in the present moment. 

Mindfulness helps mothers address their negative or judgmental thoughts and work through these difficulties to bring peace into the present moment. As for yoga therapy, clients rejuvenate the body through mindful movement guided intentionally by breath. Engaging in pregnancy-safe yoga allows pregnant mothers to calm their minds more easily and enhance their overall well-being. 

Here at First Steps Recovery, we understand that coping with anxiety while pregnant can be difficult for many women. However, having an increased sense of peace and calm in your life is possible, even during pregnancy. We offer clinical and holistic care for others coping with anxiety through pregnancy. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and holistic care, like yoga and mindfulness therapies, may be part of your personalized treatment plan to promote inner peace and ease. These therapies work to help pregnant women and mothers to ground themselves in the present moment, address their negative thoughts and/or detrimental behaviors, and restructure their lives in a way that welcomes in peace. For more information, please call us at (844) 489-0836.

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