Having a child for the first time can be a very emotional experience and even an overwhelming one. You’re dealing with so many different feelings and things to prepare for that it can often lead to an emotional overload. For many soon-to-be first-time moms, pregnancy and the anticipation of this beautiful blessing brings more nervousness than anything else. This is natural, your maternal instincts kick in even before your child is born and you start to think of taking care of yourself to make sure you have a healthy baby, how you’re going to be as a parent, and all the changes being a mom will bring to your life. Even if you’ve planned everything about your pregnancy, there are going to unexpected moments and feelings that you just can’t control.
Having these emotions in passing is one thing, but when it turns into full-blown anxiety and debilitating, distressing thoughts, this is when it becomes a cause for concern. Usually, this is compounded with guilt, because we believe that we should be happy throughout our pregnancy and that anything less makes us bad mothers. The guilt also makes it hard for us to open up to other people who might be able to provide support. In this guide, we share how you can cope with pregnancy anxiety, whether you’re dealing with it or it’s happening to a loved one.
There are so many things that make becoming a parent for the first time, but there are also so many beautiful and special things about it. It’s important for us to focus our energy on those things in the moments the fear kicks in. Becoming a mother is a beautiful gift and the things to look forward to are endless, even within your pregnancy.
Positive Things to Focus On to Combat Pregnancy Anxiety
- The people in your life are all rallying together to support not just you, but your baby. This is the village that will be part of your child’s life and be a huge part of the greater community he or she is going to be a part of.
- You’re getting to experience the wonderful gift that is being a parent, the chance to raise, nurture a wonderful human being, who in their own way, will impact the world.
- There are so many little things about the months before you give birth that make it a special time. You’re going to find out if you’re having a boy or a girl, and even do a gender reveal party. You’re going to start planning out where your baby will sleep decorating it and making it a space for them, and you get to start buying toys to put your touch on that space.
- There’s all the cute clothes and outfits you can dress your baby in. If you’re having a girl, you can start thinking about all the best places to buy cute girls clothes for your little fashionista. If you’re having a boy, you can deck him out in all the Avengers onesies you want!
- There’s going to be celebrations, gifts, beautiful moments and so many sweet things that will take place in the lead up to the arrival of your baby.
How to Deal With Prolonged Anxiety
When you’re dealing with debilitating anxiety, you can focus on all the positives, but that fight or flight response just won’t go away. If your anxiety is now causing you not to sleep, become withdrawn, feel depressed or it’s disturbing your day-to-day routine, this is where more serious action needs to be taken.
The first thing you need to do is talk to someone about this, people who love and support you will not judge or make you feel bad for your feelings. Open up to your partner, a parent, a close family member, or a friend. You can also confide in your GP who would be able to come up with a course of action to help alleviate the anxiety.
Taking care of ourselves isn’t just for the sake of our baby, it’s also a good way to combat our anxiety. This can include doing meditation and other relaxation methods, doing light exercise to get your endorphins up, and eating well.
If the anxiety continues to make your day-to-day life challenging, consider seeking the help of a mental health professional, a therapist who specializes in anxiety. They can help you get to the root of your anxiety so that you can deal with it, start recognizing the triggers so you can better deal with it if it comes up again.
Remember not to feel guilty in this process. This is not your fault and you are not a bad person. Bringing a child into the world is a big deal, and you’re going to have a flood of emotions throughout the process. Ultimately, we need to find a way to bring calm and tranquility into your daily life because it’s good for both mother and child.