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Anxiety during Pregnancy

Pregnancy is one of the most significant stages in a woman’s life and, as well as being associated with many physical changes, also coincides with a number of emotions, including joy, excitement, love, anxiety, and dread. Pregnancy is also a time of heightened worry, with the following worries being common:

  • Will the birth go as planned?

  • Will I miscarry?

  • Will I be able to care and provide for my baby?

  • Will I be a good mother?

  • Will I get postnatal depression/anxiety?

  • Will I be able to breastfeed?

  • Will I get the emotional and practical support I need?

  • Will I be able to cope being at home more often/not working?

  • Will I be judged for my decisions as a mother?

  • Will I act similarly/different to my own mother?

  • Will I be able to return to my pre-pregnancy body?

It is normal to experience these worries from time to time throughout your pregnancy. However, if your worry is frequent, severe, difficult to control and interfering with your capacity to look forward to motherhood, it is important for you to seek professional support. Women who are considered perfectionists, have a history of anxiety, or have experienced complications during pregnancy, are especially vulnerable to anxiety in the pregnancy and postpartum period. Fortunately research has indicated that psychological therapy, such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) can effectively prevent and manage anxiety during pregnancy, with this having long-lasting positive effects into the postnatal period.

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