Are you thinking about trying to become pregnant but feel your anxiety is holding you back? Or, have you found yourself recently pregnant and feel very overwhelmed by it? While pregnancy is an exciting time for many women, those who have anxiety often feel very worried and even scared about this time in their lives. You may find yourself wanting to be pregnant or happy that you’re pregnant right now, that doesn’t mean the anxious feelings and thoughts of worry are going to just “go away”. If this resonates with you, you’re not alone.
Anxiety says to worry. It tells our body to be alert, stay on edge, and that something bad may happen. It tells us that we cannot relax or feel calm. Anxiety can trick our bodies and minds to feel a sense of threat or danger, even when nothing bad is happening in the moment. When we’re thinking about becoming pregnant, or have recently become pregnant, those feelings of anxiety can cause us to feel overwhelmed and scared to the point that we no longer enjoy the thought of being pregnant. Pregnancy can be enjoyable though, and having anxiety while pregnant does not mean you and your body were not made for this.
If you are feeling anxious about pregnancy, consider the following:
- How do I want to feel about pregnancy and birth?
- Are there any negative influences in my life telling me I should fear or worry about this? (Examples: friends or family that have had negative experiences with pregnancy, birth, or postpartum, TV shows, movies, and social media)
- Am I worried about what is happening right now or what may/may not happen?
- How much do I really know about pregnancy and birth?
Often times, we feel anxious because we do not know what to expect, and fear that the worst may happen. Feelings are not facts though. While you may feel that something bad may happen, that does not mean it will actually happen. If you want to take control of your anxiety and feel more confident in yourself and your body to be pregnant, have a healthy pregnancy, and conquer birth, then consider trying the following:
- Seek support- Consider talking to a licensed therapist or counselor who specializes in anxiety surrounding pregnancy and perinatal anxiety. Having a safe space to explore and process this worry, gain support, and learn coping strategies has been very beneficial for many women. We have support available for you here at Psychotherapy for Women, LLC when you’re ready.
- Learn more about pregnancy- Often times our anxiety comes from a place of unknown, and knowledge can be powerful. Consider reading about or listening to podcasts on what to expect in pregnancy.
- Listen to positive birth stories- If you only know the negatives, it’s understandable to feel worried and scared. However, no one will have the same experience as you and this can be a positive time in your life. Consider listening to positive birth stories from women who have been there. You can find these on podcasts, YouTube, and friends/family.
Pregnancy and birth are likely going to bring about feelings of worry, and that’s okay. While you may be feeling anxious now, you can feel more at peace and in control if you take advantage of these tips. Remember, your body was made for this.