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Learning to cope with pregnancy anxiety

Pregnancy brings one of the most dramatic and beautiful changes in your life. Still, even for the generally confident woman, pregnancy can induce an almost debilitating anxiety.

For many women, including successful professional women, pregnancy can introduce many new fears and worries.

Emotions can get overwhelming

It’s normal for pregnancy to stir up many different emotions, like delight, anxiety, exhilaration, and exhaustion — sometimes all at once.

Even if you’re thrilled about being pregnant, a new baby adds emotional stress to your life.

It’s perfectly normal to experience some anxiety when you are pregnant. When pregnancy anxiety becomes severe or intense, consult your physician or psychologist for support.

Some concerns might center on very practical questions. When will you be able to return to work? When are you going to find the time to re-arrange your apartment?

Some are much more emotional and abstract. Will I be a good mother? Am I still going to be the same person I am now? Am I still the same person now as I used to be?

Most difficult of all to cope with are uncontrollable anxious thoughts about your own mortality and the health and well-being of your baby.

Where does pregnancy anxiety come from?

Part of the reason you feel different during pregnancy is because you are different. Carrying and growing another human being inside you puts immense stresses on the body. Hormonal changes directly affect the chemical balance in your brain that controls and regulates emotions.

For some expectant mothers, pregnancy releases feelings and thoughts about past experiences that they may have kept the lid on for years.

Your partner, family, colleagues, and friends are all treating you differently and may be expecting you to act and feel differently. The cumulative effect of so many new experiences can trigger feelings of insecurity, self- doubt, and stress.

Talking about anxiety

For some people, bottling up worries is the default response to anxiety. This can be particularly true of pregnant women, who are experiencing feelings they are not used to and which they hope will just go away.

Suppressing your feelings is not the way to deal with anxiety.

Ideally, pregnancy should be a time of joy and hope. Losing that period to anxiety means starting motherhood with a handicap.

A happy pregnancy will place you in the right state of mind to start bonding with your baby from day one. There is also evidence that freeing yourself from feelings of stress and worry helps in utero development.

Therapy can help you deal with pregnancy anxiety, by separating rational concerns from irrational anxiety, and focusing on what’s within your control.

More fundamentally, you can also learn about who you, as a mother-to-be, truly are and wants to be.

Instead of being an unwelcome means to an end, your pregnancy can become a stepping stone to a more happy and fulfilled life.

Reach out for help

It’s ok if you’re feeling overwhelmed about where to begin. You don’t have to figure it out alone. As a woman and mother, I’m committed to helping you navigate your way through pregnancy anxiety in a healthy and productive way.

For compassionate and experienced therapy in New York City, please get in touch with me. I can be reached by phone or via the contact form.

If you are experiencing severe or intense pregnancy anxiety, please reach out today.

Get in Touch

Click here to make an appointment with Dr. Shira Kaufman Danzig, Licensed Clinical Psychologist

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