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Anxiety in pregnancy, how you can help your self feel better.

Anxiety in pregnancy, how can I feel better ?

Anxiety in general can be an absolutely debilitating feeling, add pregnancy hormones and emotions to the anxiety and your feelings can spin out of control. By no means can give you and easy way out and tell you how to get rid of anxiety. First of all always consult your doctor or midwife and let then know how you feel, you are not alone and there is help out there. There are several ways though you can help your self to minimize your anxiety and learn how to control it and live with it.

One very important thing is to learn to distinguished between the things in your life you can control and the things you can not. When it comes to pregnancy and birth there are lots of situations that are out of your control and there will be plenty of surprises a long the way. At the same time there are many of things women can take control of them selfs. These are the things you need to focus on. Surrounding yourself with the right people, childbirth preparation, nutrition, minimize stress factors, and take care of your sleep. These are things that you can take control of in your pregnancy and this can help reduce anxiety.

Let me explain:

Surrounding yourself with the right people, there will always be persons in your life that even if they love you, mean well and want the best for you, they still can contribute to your anxiety, it could be your mother that tells you stories of how little pain tolerance you have always had, and how she can absolutely not see you being able to deal with the pain of giving birth. Or it could also be your best friend, who just had a baby and wants to enlighten you with her birth story and how awful it all was. When women become pregnant suddenly everyone around them decide they have to tell them a horror story about a birth. Why people find the urge to do so, I will never understand. Birth is the most amazing and beautiful experience in this world. This might be harsh but if you have those people in your life, you have two options you can either be honest to them and just ask them to not tell you those things and if you do need their advise you will ask for it. Or you can minimize the contact with them during pregnancy since it is not doing you any good anyway. Rather surround your self with people that are positive and happy for you, people who will listen to you without having to have to respond with an advise, some times you just need someone to listen. Pregnancy can be a good time do declutter your personal life, clean up and be positive.
This is within your control

Childbirth preparation, with multimedia and the information highway, pregnant women are often over informed and at the same time overwhelmed by conflicting information. It can really help you to find a midwife or a doula, who has experience and can help you sort through the jungle of information and help you focus on what you really need to know. Sorting out unnecessary information that only contribute to fear and anxiety can be crucial to your mental well being. If you have the possibility to choose where you give birth, think about your own priorities what is important to you during birth. This varies for every pregnant women, for some a high tech hospital is important and for others a home birth, pick what is best for you, not what your husband, family or friends think are the best. Choose what is comfortable for you, because what is best for you will ultimately be best for your baby. Consider attending a natural child birthing class.
This is within your control.

Nutrition is an extremely important factor when it comes to anxiety. This has been well documented in several studies that show the link between anxiety and nutrition. Eating to much processed and sugary food resulting in unstable blood sugar levels can affect your mind and emotions. Mineral deficiencies like low Magnesium, Iron and Zinc levels can all contribute anxiety. Being deficient in vitamin D and B also has been linked to anxiety. This is something that is not to difficult to fix, with the right foods.
Leaky gut and gluten intolerance can also contribute to anxiety. Getting enough probiotic foods or taking a probiotic supplement can actually help your mental and emotional well being.
Make sure you are nourishing your body right to feel right. Consider hiring a nutritionist during your pregnancy for help. Pregnancy is the perfect time to start a healthier lifestyle.
This is within your control.

Minimize stress factors, I know this can be difficult. We all live in this world full of pressure, timelines that especially during pregnancy can be overwhelming. Here you need to set your priorities straight and learn to say NO. You don’t have to be at every social event or say yes to everything that others ask you to do. Make more time for your self by simply saying no I’m sorry but I can’t, thats enough, you don’t have to explain yourself. Rather use the time to take care of yourself, take a nice bath, meditate or go for a walk, sit down and have a cup of tee and read a good book. Practice deep breathing.It is so difficult for us do take care of our selfs like this today without feeling guilty about it. Women constantly feel like they have to be productive and taking care of others. Just remember is you don’t take good care of your self, and let your self have that me time, eventually you won’t be able to take care of others.
This is within your control.

Sleep is just so important when it comes to anxiety, pregnant or not, lack of sleep is a huge factor contributing to anxiety. Make sleep a priority, if you have to choose between your favorite show on tv or sleep, really pick sleep, you can always watch that show a different day. If you have the opportunity to nap in the afternoon DO IT, don’t feel guilty about it. Napping can help your emotional well being so much. Pregnant women often suffer with sleep problems, there are several things that can help, I will explain these in a different blog. The most important one being to make the time for sleep, always make sure you have at least 8 to 9 hours you can spend in bed, don’t necessarily put yourself under the pressure that you have to sleep that whole time, use the time to let your self completely relax, meditate and let yourself dream about the things you love and love to do. IMPORTANT stay away from the internet during this time.
This is within your control.

This last one is actually the easiest one and at the same time highly effective. Summon feelings of gratitude. When you feel the anxiety pour over you, stop and think about all the good things in your life, concentrate on specific persons, experiences and or events that make your life better, take a deep breath and be grateful.

Yes you might need help controlling your anxiety, but you do not need to be a helpless victim of your feelings, focus on the things you can control and change, and do your best to let go of things that are not within your control.

If you have suffered with anxiety in your pregnancy and know of any other solutions I would really like to hear from you, please comment below.
I would also like to recommend a wonderful book about this and other mental topics, it is called “A mind of your own” by Dr.Kelly Brogan MD.

I wish you a happy and healthy pregnancy
Your midwife nutritionist

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© Copyright 2017 - Asthildur Huber. Asthildur Huber. 1997 Bachelor of Science in Respiratory Therapy University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. 2008 Midwife, Hebammenschule Augsburg Germany. 2012 Doula DAME doulas of New Mexico. 2017 Nutrition Conselour ILS Hamburg Germany.