How Pregnancy Can Increase Anxiety And What You Can Do To Manage It

Pregnancy can be both an exciting and challenging time for mothers. It can also be a time when you experience more severe anxiety and stress than normal. Anxiety during pregnancy is a common issue, affecting up to 10% of women. Yet, it is manageable.

Research suggests that anxiety can have negative effects on both the mother and the baby. However, there are ways you can deal with anxiety during pregnancy. This article will explore how pregnancy can increase anxiety and what you can do to manage it.

Why Anxiety is Caused During Pregnancy?

Anxiety is a feeling of unease, such as worry or fear. Depending on the individual, it can be mild or severe. Pregnancy isn't the only reason for anxiety, but it is often associated with more stress than usual for women during this time.

Pregnant women often feel more anxious and stressed because of a variety of factors. It can be caused by multiple reasons, including physical and hormonal changes, fear of childbirth, financial concerns, and lifestyle changes.

Undoubtedly, managing anxiety during pregnancy is critical for the well-being of the mother. If the mother is healthy, she can ensure the development of her child and provide the care they need.

Symptoms of Anxiety During Pregnancy

Anxiety during pregnancy can be shown in physical, emotional, and behavioral symptoms.

  • Physical symptoms include restlessness, difficulty sleeping, and fatigue.
  • Emotional symptoms include irritability, worry, and fear.
  • Behavioral symptoms can include avoiding situations that cause anxiety, such as making trips to social events.

6 Causes of Anxiety During Pregnancy

Some common causes behind your increased stress and fear level can be:

  • Hormonal Changes

A woman’s body moves through different hormonal changes during pregnancy. The levels of progesterone and estrogen increase, which can cause mood swings, irritability, and anxiety. Additionally, the stress hormone, cortisol, is released highly during this phase which can also contribute to anxiety.

  • Relationship Issues

Pregnancy can affect one’s relationship, especially if it was unexpected or unplanned. Women may also worry about how their partner will be able to manage parenting and how their relationship will change after the birth of the baby.

  • Physical Changes

Physical changes during pregnancy, such as weight gain, fatigue, and morning sickness, can trigger and increase the level of anxiety in women. It becomes somewhat difficult to manage all of them, as their body goes through several changes at once.

  • Lack of Support

Pregnancy can be frustrating, especially if you do not have a strong support system. Women who don’t get enough support from friends or family may be more prone to anxiety during pregnancy.

  • Lifestyle Changes

Changes in lifestyle, such as preparing oneself for having a baby, can also cause you more fear and stress. If this is your first child, adapting to this changing lifestyle where you have to manage both yourself and your baby can be a challenging task.

  • Fear of Labor and Delivery

Many women experience stress about the upcoming labor and delivery process. Fear of birth and pain can all cause women to be more anxious. Women who have had difficulties with previous pregnancies or deliveries may have more complications than others.

  • Anxiety and Its Effect on Pregnancy and Child Development

Several studies show that anxiety during pregnancy can have negative effects on both the mother and the baby. It can increase the risk of preterm labor and low birth weight. It can also cause developmental problems in the baby and increase the risk of postpartum depression for the mother.

  • Coping Strategies for Anxiety During Pregnancy

Self-care strategies can be effective in managing anxiety during pregnancy. Exercises, such as prenatal yoga or swimming, can reduce anxiety and improve mood. Mindfulness meditation and deep breathing exercises can help calm the mind and reduce physical symptoms.

  • Other strategies, such as relaxation techniques can help reduce the physical symptoms of anxiety. Additionally, psychotherapy and support groups can also be a helpful choice for managing anxiety for pregnant women. Also, healthy nutrition and sleep are key here.


Pregnancy-related anxiety is common and can have negative effects on both the mother and the child. Thankfully, there are different methods you can follow to manage anxiety during pregnancy, such as self-care strategies, relaxation techniques, psychotherapy, and more.

Managing anxiety during pregnancy is critical for the well-being of both the mother and the baby. Women need to be aware of the causes and symptoms of pregnancy-related anxiety so they can learn ways of managing it.


Also Read: Uterine Diseases – Symptoms, Causes, Tests & Treatment - Dr. Shubhra Goyal