If you’re pregnant and experiencing anxiety, you’re in good company. Approximately 60% of women will feel significant pregnancy anxiety at some point. This includes both mental components, like worrying about worst-case scenarios and riding extreme mood swings, and physical components like feeling tension and having a hard time relaxing into sleep.
Pregnancy is amazing. In 40 weeks, two cells go from just meeting each other to having turned into a tiny human. For some, having a baby is a surprise, and for others, the result of a long and arduous journey to conception. For some, it’s a terrifying prospect; for others, it’s something they were born ready to do. For everyone, the experience is unique.
The weeks when you’re expecting a child are a special time full of change. For a pregnant woman, the amount of physical, mental, and existential changes that happen in such a short time can be dizzying. I’m expecting my first baby in February 2020. For me, it’s been a mix of emotions all happening on top of seismic changes in my body. During a process as life-changing as this, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed.
It’s normal to have anxiety during pregnancy
You may be particularly at risk for anxiety and other mood problems during pregnancy if you:
- Have a high-risk pregnancy
- Have had a mood disorder in the past
- Had previous difficulties with pregnancies or fertility
- Have high levels of stress in your life and relationships.
That doesn’t mean you’re doomed to have a bad pregnancy experience. Even if you do experience anxiety, know it’s totally normal to be nervous—after all, you’re going through one of the biggest life changes there is.
To help yourself enjoy this time and take it all in stride, here are some tips for keeping calm so you can carry on.