Anxiety disorders and panic attacks are not uncommon for pregnant women. Some women experience anxiety disorders and panic attacks before getting pregnant and some experience it after getting pregnant or during postpartum. Pregnancy can be very stressful, especially if you are a chronic worrier.
Both positive and negative events can cause stress. For example, pregnancy is actually a positive and joyful event but it can also be the most life-altering experience as your body going through big hormonal changes. This creates a lot of tension and stress which could lead to panic attacks.
During pregnancy, the serotonin (chemical which the body produces during times of fear or worry) level could become imbalanced in the brain, this can trigger depression, mood disorders and even panic attacks. It’s no secret that having a baby is a very stressful situation, and for someone who is a chronic worrier, the additional stress could generate even more severe panic attacks. The effect of panic attacks during pregnancy can impact on the women’s ability to cope with family and the birth of the baby.
The symptoms of anxiety and panic disorders during pregnancy could include shortness of breath, racing heartbeats, hot flashes and dizziness. But there are also psychological effects which include fear of losing control, fear of dying and fear of inadequacy. Symptoms of panic attacks and anxiety can be confused with life threatening physical disorders. Please consult your doctor to determine the source of your symptoms.
Here are some tips to help you control your anxiety during pregnancy:
1. Breathe slowly. When you feel anxious, put your left hand over your stomach; inhale slowly and deeply; you should feel that your stomach expand or move out when you inhale and move in when you exhale. Just do it slowly, it will help take your mind away from your worry.
2. Pay attention to your diet. Eat enough protein (such as lean meat, fish, poultry, egg whites, and beans); eat more fruits and vegetables. They are good for your body and mind, producing the chemicals needed to help calm your mind.
3. Exercise regularly will help you reduce the stress. However, please get some professional assistance to help you build an appropriate exercise program during pregnancy.
4. Rest well at night. Quality sleep is very important as your body is doing self-healing and self-recovery during sleep. No medication in the world can beat the natural self-healing given by your body.