Anxiety can be such a large and unwelcomed part of life. Pregnancy can bring on additional stress that exaggerates feelings already present or never before felt. It's an honor to have psychotherapist Katie Wenger share on this important topic. - Britt
Pregnancy is probably one of the most vulnerable times during our lives. When you are preparing to welcome a new baby into the world, your family, and your life, there are a lot of thoughts and emotions that surface. Sometimes there are situations that cause anxiety or an increase in anxiety during pregnancy that may be health or family-related. Other times, anxiety may be occur unexpectedly.
If we really look into this anxiety, particularly the anxiety that can’t be linked to a particular stressor, there is a lot that can be learned about yourself and how you process your emotions and information. You can gently explore what lies beneath specific worries or general anxiety. You can then identify what can be released and what must be addressed. The thoughts that can be released can be worded into a type of mantra or phrase that you can repeat to reassure yourself and change your mindset.
There is relief in support. The support of a pregnancy or birth team, family, a partner, or friends can facilitate the expression of these emotions and the reassurance that you are not alone. It is very important to communicate any concern that you have about managing your anxiety or emotions to a trusted person that can connect you to the right resources. This may be a therapist or someone else with whom you feel comfortable being in this role. Therapy can also be extremely helpful during this time to express your emotions out loud and assess what strategies are the most helpful to you.
Meditation can help you relax your body, de-stress, and connect with your baby. Here is one that I like from the app, Insight Timer: Institute of Noetic Sciences - Grounding Meditation for Pregnant Women & New Moms
I found pregnancy meditation so comforting and relaxing during my own recent pregnancy. And even though your little one is still snugly secured inside of you, it also sets the stage for teaching your children meditation and allowing them to feel the calming and reassuring effects of meditation and deep breathing. And we know that relaxing and taking in deep cleansing breaths benefits our babies!
Nutrition and exercise are always so important in taking care of yourself and are especially important when trying to decrease your anxiety during pregnancy. Light exercise can go a long way including a nice calm walk. Assessing and talking with a nutrition or health-care professional about your nutritional needs and how to best meet these needs can be very helpful.
And most of all, go easy on yourself as you notice and work through any anxiety during pregnancy. Don’t judge what you’re feeling or your reactions and release any shame or stigma. Be compassionate towards yourself - you are the most important person to play this role for you.
Katie Wenger LCSW is a psychotherapist based in North Wales, PA but also travels to homes in the Philadelphia suburbs for sessions. She specializes in anxiety and how anxiety affects relationships. After 14 years as a therapist, the most effective approach has emerged. She believes in having a clear plan for sessions and continuing to find and utilize creative techniques and recommendations. Outside of the office, Katie spends her time doing yoga, running, reading, and raising her blended family. You can find her at katiewengerlcsw.com or reach out directly by
e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 267-304-4442.
As the Philadelphia birth world blooms bigger and brighter, I think it's time I start putting some of the insightful questions I've received and information I've research into a public journal. I hope you'll find this inspiring, empowering, and totally enjoyable.