Coping With Prenatal Anxiety

Although finding out you are expecting can be some of the best news you’ve ever received, many first-time parents struggle with anxiety once the initial excitement subsides. According to a 2020 study on prenatal anxiety, anxiety during pregnancy or postpartum affects roughly 15% of the population. Anxiety can bring on several emotions that may make you feel unlike yourself or affect your relationships with the people around you. While anxiety can be unsettling, there are many steps you can take to ease the experience and promote a healthy environment for your baby to grow.

Before we address coping strategies for prenatal anxiety, we want to highlight how anxiety can influence your baby’s development.

In our first article, the authors discuss exactly why it is important to seek out help for your prenatal anxiety. Much research has been dedicated to observing the effects of maternal stress on the development of their baby. This article explains how stress can enter the womb and can be the cause of negative outcomes for your pregnancy. https://theconversation.com/effects-ofprenatal-stress-can-affect-children-into-adulthood-16332

Prenatal anxiety may be difficult for you to explain or describe.

In an article from Healthline, the authors discuss that prenatal anxiety may display as worrying relentlessly about your pregnancy or the health of the baby, having an inability to sleep, or feeling irritable in general. You may be at greater risk of these feelings if you have a family history of anxiety or are exposed to excessive stress. Regardless of what symptoms you may be experiencing, the most important thing you can do is talk to someone about how you are feeling. Whether it is your partner, your doctor, or a friend, sometimes talking through your thoughts can put your mind at ease and help prevent your anxiety from worsening. For more tips on coping strategies to ease anxiety during pregnancy, check out: https://www.healthline.com/health/pregnancy/anxiety-coping-tips#tips

New research shows music can help!

Another article from The Washington Post discusses the benefits of music on alleviating prenatal anxiety. According to recent research, music therapy can help pregnant women by activating specific hormone releases in order to produce feelings such as joy and calmness. Read more on music therapy during pregnancy here: https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/during-pregnancy-anxiety-can-spike-music-therapy-may-help/2018/12/21/6ed05726-bdaf-11e8-be70-52bd11fe18af_story.html

Combating anxiety when you’ve experienced a loss.

It is most common to experience anxiety during pregnancy if you have previously experienced a pregnancy loss. In a New York Times article, the concept of “emotional cushioning” is explained. Instances like preparing for the worst or not talking to your family about the pregnancy may be your brain’s way of protecting itself, but it is important to recognize whether this is increasing or decreasing your level of anxiety. For more on this, check out https://www.nytimes.com/ 2021/01/14/parenting/pregnancy-loss-emotional-cushioning.html