It is perfectly normal for a woman to have feelings of anxiety during pregnancy – after all, you are about to enter a completely different stage of your life!
Common pregnancy anxieties may concern your baby’s health; whether you will be a good mum; what the birth will be like; how you will manage; what is happening in your body; whether the baby will affect your other relationships … and that’s just the start!
Some of the worries and emotions you may be having as you progress through your pregnancy might be:
- I am feeling vulnerable.
- I am so excited but have mixed emotions.
- I am so forgetful and vague.
- Am I as healthy and “glowing” as I should be?
- Do I like being pregnant?
- Who will the baby look like?
- Will my baby be a boy or a girl?
- I am having fantastic and/or scary dreams.
- How will the pregnancy affect my body and my sexuality?
- Will I be the same or different to my mother?
- I am feeling down in the dumps and don’t know why.
Exposing Pregnancy Secrets
The best kept secret about pregnancy is that it can come with so many conflicting feelings – and we can’t always look and feel glowing, healthy and sure of ourselves. Pregnancy can upset the emotional balance, or make existing emotional upsets even worse.
These sudden emotional swings are more pronounced in some women than in others. This depends on your personality structure, the kind of stress you are experiencing, and the emotional support you are receiving, as well as hormonal changes in your body.
Feeling less than glowing and “normal” during pregnancy does not mean you don’t want your baby or you will not be a good mother.
If you have been a career woman this may be a more difficult transition. Your culture may also dictate that you respond in certain ways to your new role as a mother, however you may be ambivalent or unsure.
Regardless of where these feelings are coming from, they may be more manageable with some supportive counselling.
Dealing with Anxiety During Pregnancy
Having non-directive counselling is also a good way to gain some insights in to how you, in your particular circumstances, can be strengthened to allow a smoother transition to motherhood. You will be able to explore you own individual reactions to being pregnant, how you experience the different trimesters, and what others have found helpful when managing pregnancy worries and emotions.
If you have specific health problems you should consult your doctor to rule out other health issues prior to making an appointment with a psychologist. Your doctor will do a thorough history, examination and appropriate testing before providing a referral to a mental health practitioner.
Interventions are based on best available evidence, integrated with individual client characteristics, culture and preferences.
Author: Mia Olsson, BA Psych (Hons), Dip Nurs, AMAPS.
Brisbane Psychologist Mia Olsson has had a broad interdisciplinary role in the health industry for over thirty years, including hospital-based nurse training, and an Honours Degree majoring in Psychology. She has a particular interest in assisting clients with depressive disorders, anxiety, acute and chronic complex trauma, and health related issues.
To make an appointment with Psychologist Mia Olsson, try Online Booking – Loganholme or call M1 Psychology (Loganholme) on (07) 3067 9129.
The information on this topic page is NOT a substitute for proper diagnosis, treatment or the provision of advice by an appropriate health professional.