Panic Attacks During Pregnancy: Mental Health Day Tips

Panic attacks during pregnancy are not fun. In fact, panic attacks at any time are not going to be enjoyable. The fact that they can appear to strike out of nowhere will even keep you on edge all of the time as if you are actively anticipating something is going to happen.

how to overcome panic attackes during pregnancy

When you think about acting in this way, does it sound like a logical way to live your life? Absolutely not! Due to this, you need to be aware of what to do in order to either cope with one in a swift manner, or to even stop it from happening and striking in the first place. With panic attacks pregnant women need to understand what to do.

Mental Health and Pregnancy.

menatl health during pregnancy

Being pregnant is stressful. It’s a time of anxiety and worry as to whether everything is going ok and will it all turn out well in the end. Throw in those hormones being all out of sync with one another along with being tired and feeling somewhat uncomfortable, and you have a perfect maelstrom that can lead to the development of mental health issues.

The problem is often that people are aware of depression after the child has been born as that is something that is very well documented. However, depression and mental health issues while pregnant tend to be just as common, and yet it is barely mentioned in most places.

It Could Be an Issue For Your Baby.

panic attackes could be an issue with the baby

First, we need to begin by addressing perhaps the biggest concern for any expectant parents out there. Sadly, regular panic attacks and developing high anxiety could cause some problems for your baby. This is linked to an increase in your own blood pressure and there is the possibility of inducing an early labor or the fetus being smaller.

The Symptoms of a Panic Attack.

symptoms of panic attacke sudring pregnancy

The symptoms of a panic attack are easy to identify, and being aware of them in advance will reduce the chances of them happening to you. 

There are at least 10 major symptoms that may indicate you are having a panic attack. You are not guaranteed to get each one, but you do need to have experienced a number of them before a diagnosis is made.

  • Your heart races.
  • You develop a sense of you going to die.
  • You feel dizzy.
  • You sweat.
  • You develop chest pains.
  • Your stomach feels as if it has been turned upside down. 
  • You feel faint.
  • Your legs feel weak and like jelly.
  • You have tingling in your body.
symptoms of panic attacks

While this sounds horrific, it’s also worth noting that panic attacks generally last for only between 5 to 20 minutes. However, we do know that those 5 minutes could be difficult to deal with.

How to Cope.

cope with pregnancy panic

So, we know what kind of symptoms you may develop when having a panic attack, but how do you then cope? You may feel like running away from the feelings, but you are pregnant and low on energy, so that’s not an option.

Understand Where it Comes From.

understand the source of pregnancy panic

One of the first things is to try to identify where the panic is coming from. As an expectant mother, you do need to understand that you will worry about various things. While this is often normal, as many as 1 in 10 pregnant women develop some kind of mental illness during this phase in their life. Mental health and pregnancy are a real concern.

The only way in which you can dilute the power of the panic attack is to look at its core. What are you anxious about? What can you do to counteract those anxieties? Discovering the root cause allows you to determine if you should have done something better. 

Breathe Deeply.

breathe deeply

When you feel as if a panic attack may be about to strike, you need to start focusing on your breathing and in particular remember to breathe deeply. Pay close attention to how you breathe in and out as this is not only going to stop various aspects of the panic attack from developing, but it also switches your mind away from the attack. If your mind is consumed with something else, then it has no time to focus on what was making you anxious.

Visualize Something Nice.

visualise nice things

Aside from breathing, you should also attempt to visualise something nice as this is another way of effectively distracting your mind. You should become aware of a safe spot in your mind before you go ahead and have an attack to stop you from worrying about it at the time.

For some, it may be a specific place or memory. It could be a beautiful spot in nature, a desert island, anything you want as long as you find it to be peaceful and calming as that is the key.

Don’t Resist.

dont resist yourself

This may sound strange, but don’t resist the attack. The more you fight it then the worse it becomes as your own anxiety will build and make it even bigger than before. Realize that it is just a panic attack and that you will be absolutely fine by the end of it all. It is unable to do you any harm and even consider challenging it do try to do its absolute best with you.

The intention here is to dilute the power of the panic attack because the weaker it is then viewed in your mind is going to directly equate to how you feel about them in the future. If you remove the fear of having the attack, then it will eventually tone itself down from being a full-blown panic attack to you simply being slightly anxious, and that is easier to deal with.

Panic attacks are serious, but you can also be treated for them and your quality of life will improve. Sadly, all of the concerns that any mother has in advance of giving birth are capable of having a major negative influence on the health of the baby. We stress that you should seek some help and advice to deal with your panic attacks while pregnant. You are not alone in suffering with this.

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