Tuesday, 05 April 2016
Pregnant and anxious, is this normal?
Communicating how you feel can help to reduce anxiety, whether it's to your partner, GP, friends or family
I’m 14 weeks pregnant and I know I should be feeling excited about my pregnancy and becoming a mum, but instead I feel anxious all the time. Is this normal? How can I relax and enjoy the experience?
Every mother-to-be has concerns when she’s pregnant, whether it’s about how she’s feeling, the health of her baby, childbirth, or parenting. This is normal. But when these worries become so distressing that they affect your day-to-day functioning, you are suffering from anxiety – and research shows that anxiety in pregnancy is more common than depression, so you’re not alone.
Severe anxiety can affect both your health and that of your baby, but there are ways of treating it, so it’s important to talk to your GP. Cognitive behavioural therapy has been found to be very effective at managing anxiety disorders, and your GP should be able to arrange sessions for you.
If you don’t feel your symptoms warrant this, then talk to your partner – communicating how you feel can help to reduce anxiety. Also talk to friends, family, and other mums in similar situations. Reducing and managing your stress will make for a healthier pregnancy, and a happier you. Good luck.
Teresa Tyler is an accredited member of the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy. Got a question for the panel? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.