Anxiety During Pregnancy

Don’t Neglect Your Mental Health...for You and Your Baby 

Pregnancy is supposed to be a joyful time for the expectant mother.  Planning for the birth, decorating the baby’s room, celebrating with baby showers.  But for some, pregnancy can be a time of anxiousness and worry.  With all the physical and emotional changes, it’s important for expectant moms to be vocal about how they are feeling and seek help if needed. 

Many times, expectant moms may feel anxious and don’t know what to do or who to talk to,” says Tiffani Williams, BA, BSN, RN CBC, Program Director, Nurse-Family Partnership, Acenda. “It’s nothing to be ashamed of and is very common during pregnancy.  It’s important to acknowledge how you are feeling, both physically and mentally, and what you need to do to keep yourself healthy during this very important time in your life for both you and the baby you are bringing into the world. 

Remember, you are not alone and there are resources out there that can ease the anxiety.

Here are 5 ways to help during this monumental time in your life: 

1. Check in with your obstetrician.  Your doctor knows you best and can offer suggestions on how to relieve some of the anxiety you are feeling.  You can also ask any questions you might have.

young woman pregnancy stretching

2. Talk to a mental health professional.  There are various types of therapies that can help with the anxiety as well as safe medication that will not harm your baby if a prescription is necessary

3. Join a support group (virtually) for expectant moms.  Talking to others and realizing you are not alone in this situation will help. 

4. Try meditation.  This can help calm you and put you in a more positive frame of mind. 

5. Safe Exercise. This is a good form of relaxation and preparing the body for the birth. Check with your doctor before starting an exercise program. 

Williams added that with COVID-19 upon us, pregnant women have developed a new set of concerns, causing anxiety levels to grow even higher.  “Expectant moms are concerned with getting the virus and how this could affect the health of their babies, as well as what to do if a partner tests positive for COVID-19 and concerns about breastfeeding. Also, many expectant moms had to postpone doctors’ visits due to the pandemic.  These issues and more can create stress and anxiety that is certainly not unfounded. It is a stressful time for everyone, but certainly more so if you are pregnant. 

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) has some important information and useful on pregnancy and COVID-19. To visit their websiteclick here. 

If you are pregnant and experiencing symptoms of anxiety, there is help. Clinicians in our Counseling & Wellness Centers can help. Call our main number at 844-4-ACENDA (844-422-3632 x9500) for more information. We also offer several maternal health programs, including a virtual home visitation service program, that supports expectant moms. To connect with our maternal health programs, contact Central Intake at 856-431-4180 or email centralintake@acendahealth.org.