Most pregnant women will experience a multitude of emotions before and after they have given birth and one emotion that should never be underestimated is anxiety. No doubt you are concerned about your pregnancy in general, the actual act of giving birth and especially about the thought of impending motherhood. As an expectant mother there is a lot of pressure on you and even more stress. This can lead to deep anxiety and panic attacks during pregnancy. Additionally if you have suffered from panic attacks before, unfortunately you are more likely to experience them during pregnancy.
When you first learnt that you were pregnant, i would imagine that you felt overwhelmed with excitement and happiness, but also with a sense of fear. This is especially true for first time mums as you are often bombarded with lots of new information. "Do this, but make sure you don't do that!" There is so much to take in and you are worried that you are never going to remember everything. If you add to this the chemical, hormonal and emotional changes your mind and body are going through, it seems even more inevitable that you may experience extreme anxiety and potential attacks while you are pregnant.
So how do you deal with panic attacks during pregnancy?
Your body is going through some extraordinary changes and so is your mind. Therefore it is extremely important that you learn how to deal with panic attacks during pregnancy.
- You will learn about the benefits of correct breathing techniques during your antenatal classes. Certain methods of breathing will help to calm you down and deal with anxiety during labour. These can be used at any time to cope with panic attacks during pregnancy. You should breath in a slow and controlled manner and this actually helps you to focus on something else rather than your extreme anxiety and upcoming attack!
- Your diet can effect your ability to cope with panic attacks during pregnancy. You should be eating foods enriched with protein and also plenty of fruit and vegetables. This will not only supply you with the essential nutrients your body needs, but also your baby's. The correct foods will also ensure that the correct chemicals are being fed to the brain to help you calm your nerves!
- There is no prescription drug that is better at calming the mind and resting the body than a good night's sleep. No matter how uncomfortable or dreadful you feel, getting as much rest as you can will help you deal with any potential panic attacks during your pregnancy.
I would suggest, if you suffered from panic attacks prior to your pregnancy, you should discuss this with your midwife. If your midwife is aware of our concerns, they can recommend other techniques to deal with your attacks. This should be one of the most exciting time's of your life, so make sure you are open about your worries and take in as much information on this subject as you can.
WARNING: Don't allow your extreme anxiety and innermost fears to control your pregnancy!