Hello all fellow moms - I am a clinical counsellor who is working on some web content (for a non-profit) to help pregnant women and new mothers understand and help manage anxiety during pregnancy and post-partum. All the information that we develop will be absolutely free - our goal is to help women recognize problematic levels of anxiety (vs. normal, that we all experience!), and how to manage this anxiety or when to get professional help. We won't be talking about medication, but will be outlining other self-help and self-care strategies. We are all professional mothers writing this content (I am working on a team of psychiatrists and psychologists). I will certainly be drawing on my own personal experiences too.
One of our first steps is collecting real stories of women who had an increase of anxiety during pregnancy - what racing thoughts came up? How did it interfere with life (relationships, sleep, work, even leaving house, etc..) What was the content of the worries?
Once we collect some stories we will likely blend some content together to create about four or five narratives - of course everything would be anonymous.
If you have a few minutes to jot down your experience of anxiety, please do - it would be very much appreciated and will help new moms in the future!
Thank you in advance.
As a doula I have come across this a few times. I had one client in particular last year who really was in a bad way during her pregnancy, but after the birth was just fine and bonded with her baby right away without any problems. She really had me worried during the pregnancy though - talking about not wanting this baby, feeling like she couldn't handle it, fearing she would stop caring as much for her older child, wanting to scream or sleep all the time. She went for counseling and was put on a couple of major drugs - and it didn't seem to help at all. As soon as her baby was born she was just fine though. When I did a follow up about a month later things were still just fine and she was amazed at how strong her love for her baby was. If you want to PM me with your email I can see if she would be willing to tell her story.
I had a lot of anxiety with my son- not so much time time around. With him, I worried a lot about everything, but especially things like my husband dying, or being in a car accident and killing the baby (I reduced myself to tears once at a stop light with a sudden image of being hit by a semi and the impact sending me into premature labour, which the baby didn't survive). There were a couple times I became a blubbering, hyperventilating mess because my husband was late coming home from work- I remember calling his cell phone excessively, bawling the whole time, sure something had happened to him. It took him probably 20 minutes for him to calm me down when he did get home (and he had been less than 30 minutes late).
It was useful, in a way, because it gave us the kick we needed to go out and get life insurance, a will, etc. In one of my lower moments I actually wrote out an entire 5-year budget for what I would do if my husband did die- the life insurance would pay for the mortgage, give me a year of grieving, and then pay for me to return to school to get a job so I could support our son (I had been a sahm-to-be). It was 3:00 am or something and I absolutely could not sleep that night because all I could think of was about how we might be homeless if something happened to my husband.
It went away after baby was born. I was afraid it might get worse once there was a child to care for, but it didn't. I'm sure it must have been hormonal.
Anything that I have issue with seems to be related to a deep fear of some sort. Dealing with that make the anxiety go away. I don't have anxiety issues when not pg, and mine are not severe like the pp.
But, I wanted to say whenever I find myself feeling like I may jump out of my skin, or generally worried about everything, it is a sign to me that 1.) my blood pressure is low, and 2.) I need iron. Both of which are common issues in pregnancy. If I drink plenty of water, eat regularly, and take floradix, it's smooth sailing.
"If you keep doing the same things you've always done, you'll keep getting the same results you've always gotten."
My story of anxiety creeped up from pregnancy into full blown parental anxiety. I wrote about it extensively here. Hope it fits your criteria!
Writer/Designer/Hip Hippie Russian Mama to T (3yo) and K(4mo)