Are you anxious and sad, although you should be happy? You are not alone. Increased levels of sensitivity and anxiety are common pregnancy symptoms.
3 min read
During pregnancy, it’s important that life is not too busy and that you don’t worry constantly. Pregnant women of today are often ambitious, high-performing individuals and they may expect to live life at the same pace as prior to their pregnancy. They may put themselves under a lot of pressure, which may adversely affect their health. If you feel anxious, try to lower your expectations and try to ease the pace whenever you can. You are pregnant, and you don’t need to prove yourself. If you feel anxious, blue, and not at all as happy as you “should” be, talk to your midwife and tell her how you feel. Anxiety can lead to depression for some women, hence it is important to take the symptoms seriously. You might not need care, but if you are not well you should tell your midwife and if needed she may refer you to someone to talk to. If you don’t think your midwife listens to your concerns or if you think she neglects your worries, you are entitled to get another midwife.
If you notice abnormal anxiety and mental illness during pregnancy, then this needs to be addressed. Mental illness may arise after birth as well when there is a small child to look after. Therefore, it is important that women who suffer from severe anxiety get help already during their pregnancy. Do not hesitate to say how you feel. Support is available and can come in the form of conversational therapy or family counseling if there are problems in the relationship. Research has shown that dysfunctional relationships, feeling excluded, financial issues, unemployment, abuse, mental illness, or acute crisis are risk factors during pregnancy. Stress can be transmitted to the child by elevated levels of cortisol (the body's stress hormone), regulated by the hormone system, cardiovascular system, or via the immune system.
Pregnant women are often expected to be excited and happy, which can be a real challenge if they are not well. If you find yourself in an emotionally or otherwise difficult situation that you can’t influence, this can turn into feelings of guilt towards the child, which increases stress further. If ongoing anxiety affects your everyday life, talk to your employer and see if it is possible to adjust the job to your situation. If not, ask if there is another more flexible role that you could move into. If your anxiety is such that you can’t work at all, you are entitled to apply for maternity leave, although it’s only granted in very rare situations. Ask your midwife for advice.
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