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Anxiety and Pregnancy - Simple Tips To Relieve It Now

Anxiety and pregnancy is a common occurrence for many women and this article is all about understanding why and some simple tips to relieve it.

For some, anxiety during pregnancy is nothing more than generalized worry about managing pain, and coping after the baby is born, and for others, anxiety and pregnancy can be all consuming.

What causes anxiety & pregnancy?

The words "anxiety and fear" are so commonly used and interchanged that many people don’t fully understand what they mean. Anxiety refers to an overriding mental tension with no apparent identifiable cause while fear may be caused by a specific, often external reason which causes mental tension.

Most of us will experience low levels of anxiety at various times through our life, this is perfectly normal. People with Generalised Anxiety Disorder suffer with unrealistic or excessive anxiety and worry about almost all aspects of everyday life.

They may feel panicky about carrying out everyday activities, like shopping and using public transport and are generally anxious most of the time.

Anxiety and Pregnancy – when is a little bit too much?

As with the rest of the population who may experience anxiety of a non clinical nature from time to time, most pregnant women experience generalised anxiety surrounding their pregnancy.

While a certain amount of anxiety during pregnancy is inevitable, high levels of stress and anxiety can have a detrimental effect on both mother and baby and there is growing evidence that high levels can affect children long after birth.

It is well known that a woman’s maternal emotions can have an affect on her unborn baby. Anxiety and pregnancy can increase a woman's risk of miscarriage, preterm delivery, and giving birth to a baby that is low birth weight.

Recent studies show a strong link between maternal anxiety levels early in pregnancy and a child's susceptibility to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) years later.

How do I know if my anxiety levels are too high?

Being concerned about the changes in your body, feeling a little more tired than usual, worrying about how you’ll cope after your baby is born are all perfectly normal concerns.

However, your anxiety levels may be cause for concern if you experience any of the following:-

• unrealistic or excessive worry

• unrealistic fears concerning objects or situations

• "flashbacks" of past trauma this may include previous pregnancies

• tension

• fatigue

• high pulse and/or breathing rate

Anxiety and pregnancy – how to reduce it now!

In order to overcome anxiety during pregnancy it is essential to learn how to relax. The process of reciprocal inhibition means it is impossible to feel relaxed and tense at the same time.

If you have been an anxious person prior to pregnancy, or even if your anxiety has emerged as a direct result of pregnancy, the chances are you do not know how to relax and release the tension stored in muscles that contribute to the experience of anxiety.

Many of the symptoms of anxiety can be combated with regular practice of relaxation techniques.

Daily practice in the skills of relaxation will assist you in relieving muscle tension, will greatly improve your overall feeling of wellbeing and most importantly, reduce your anxiety during pregnancy.

Deep relaxation involves a number of physiological changes including:

• decreased heart rate

• decrease in respiration rate

• decreased blood pressure

• decrease in skeletal muscle tension

• decrease in analytical thinking

• decrease in metabolic rate and oxygen consumption

Concerns over anxiety and pregnancy can be greatly reduced by regular practice of deep relaxation for approximately 30 minutes on a daily basis with the aid of a relaxation CD.

During pregnancy and birth, feeling relaxed and at ease ensures you are less likely to respond with anxiety therefore you will find that you feel more in control most of the time.

Over time the effects of anxiety and pregnancy can be greatly reduced and a general feeling of greater wellbeing and relaxation can benefit every area of your life.

Anxiety and pregnancy fears surrounding labour and birth can also be dispelled with the use of regular relaxation and there are several childbirth preparation CDs which focus specifically on relaxation for labour and birth.

More FREE info

On how to reduce anxiety and stress during pregnancy including articles and tips to enjoy your pregnancy, as well as hypnosis CDS that are proven to reduce stress visit http://www.childbirthnaturally.com.