Being concerned about whether anxiety or stress will effect your baby is understandable, but it can also create a vicious cycle of thoughts. If you feel anxious during your pregnancy, you may begin to worry if it this is affecting your baby and so become even more anxious.
It is very unlikely that your baby will be affected by stress or anxiety, if you get the right treatment and support. So try to focus on asking for help and finding ways to manage your symptoms.The first step is to talk to your midwife or doctor about how you’re feeling.
The first step is to talk to talk to your midwife or doctor about how you're feeling. There are several things that can be done to help. What support you’re offered will depend on what your symptoms and how severe they are, what’s available locally and what you and your healthcare professional think will help.
Some pregnant women feel distressed or guilty about feeling anxious or panicky when everyone expects them to be happy. But pregnancy can be a very emotional experience and mental health problems such as anxiety and depression are common. Try to remember that your healthcare professionals won’t judge you for how you feel. Their focus will be on finding ways to help you stay well so you can take care of yourself and your baby.
Have a look at our ideas for coping with stress and top tips for looking after your emotional wellbeing.
For specific worries, such as money, housing, relationships there are local and national organisations that may be able to help you too. Ask your midwife or GP for details.
Managing mental health problems can be difficult when you’re pregnant. But try not to focus on the anxiety itself and focus on what you're doing to manage your symptoms. Be confident that you are doing everything you can to take care of your baby.
Glover V (2015) Prenatal stress and its effects on the fetus and the child: possible underlying biological mechanisms. Advances in neurobiology 2015;10:269-83. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4939-1372-5_13
The Royal College of Obstetricians & Gynaecologists (February 2017) Maternal Mental Health – Women’s Voices https://www.rcog.org.uk/globalassets/documents/patients/information/maternalmental-healthwomens-voices.pdfHide details
I have always been a worrier. But after I had a miscarriage and my Dad, Nan and Grandad passed away, I started having panic attacks and was diagnosed with anxiety.
Some mums expect to feel excited and happy throughout their pregnancy. Unfortunately this isn't always the case, but there are things you can do to take care of your mental health.
It’s natural to feel a bit stressed or anxious when you’re pregnant. If you are struggling with these feelings you may need help.
Further help and information on mental health in pregnancy
Mark and I have two girls. We also had a son, Alexander, but he was stillborn at 36 weeks.
People were just completely bemused if I said, ‘I don’t really like being pregnant.’
ℹLast reviewed on October 12th, 2018. Next review date October 12th, 2021.