Stress & Anxiety in Pregnancy: Learn How to Manage the Risks
There may be many reasons to feel stress and anxiety in pregnancy, such as…
- You have a history of anxiety or panic disorder and this pregnancy has triggered new worries and fears;
- You have gone through IVF treatments, suffered previous pregnancy losses, or have been labeled as “high risk;”
- You have experienced or are experiencing a recent stressful event such as a job change, marital difficulties, loss of a loved one, etc.;
- You are fearful or preoccupied with giving birth and the pain or uncertainty of what will happen to you or your child;
- Your pregnancy was unplanned;
- You feel unprepared to become a mother or worry that you will be able to juggle work and family;
- Your partner is un-involved or unavailable and you feel like you are alone in the pregnancy or planning of this child;
- You or others would describe you as having a “Type A” personality;
- Your partner suffers from depression, anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder, or other mental health issues.
Are you worried about the effects of stress and anxiety on your unborn baby?
If you are like other pregnant women I have worked with, then you are probably worried about the effects of stress and anxiety in pregnancy to your unborn child. While there is research that supports this concern; however, there is also research that supports that managing your stress and anxiety can substantially minimize these risks and produce very good outcomes both for you and your baby.
Risks Associated with Stress and Anxiety in Pregnancy
- Increased chance of developing postpartum depression (also known as perinatal mood disorder);
- Difficulty with breastfeeding;
- Challenges with bonding with the baby or mother-infant interactions;
- Temperament or sleep challenges of the baby;
- Developmental issues/delays.
- premature labor
- low birth weight
Counseling for Anxious Moms-to-Be
I help moms-to-be effectively manage and lessen their stress and anxiety in pregnancy and into the early months of motherhood. Together we develop a strategy to decrease anxiety and stress during this important time. Moms-to-be learn to effectively identify and cope with their sources of stress, manage their fearful/anxious thoughts, and increase their sense of calm, peace, and well being. Therapy can be especially helpful for:
- Moms who have experienced a recent stressful event (marital issues, loss of a job, experienced the loss of a loved one, and so on);
- Moms expecting twins or multiples;
- Moms with a history of postpartum depression and perinatal mood disorder;
- Moms who have a history of mental health challenges – depression, anxiety, childhood trauma, abuse;
- Moms who do not have an adequate support system;
- Moms who secretly are overly anxious and stressed about giving birth;
- Moms who don’t have full faith or confidence in the medical staff or process;
- Moms whose partner struggles with depression, anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder, or other mental health issues;
- Moms with substantial symptoms during their pregnancy; weight loss, panic, sleeplessness, racing thoughts, etc.
- Moms who do not want to resort to taking anti-anxiety medications during pregnancy or breastfeeding or want to improve their effectiveness.
- Moms who feel affected by social media posts and/or the news.
Recent research indicates addressing anxiety in pregnancy has protective factors related to perinatal mood disorders. As a mental health professional specializing in therapy for pregnant and new mothers, we can emotionally and psychologically prepare you for the challenges of motherhood!
Getting Help with Stress & Anxiety in Pregnancy
Evidenced based counseling can help you develop tools and strategies to cope and manage with anxiety and stress in pregnancy and mentally and emotionally prepare for becoming a mom or adding to your family.