4 Keys to Help Reduce Anxiety in Pregnancy

Pregnancy is a period of continual physical change. But it can also affect you psychologically. Here are some keys to help reduce anxiety in pregnancy.
4 Keys to Help Reduce Anxiety in Pregnancy
Ana Couñago

Written and verified by the psychologist Ana Couñago.

Last update: 27 December, 2022

Women experience many physical and hormonal changes during pregnancy. Because of that, it’s normal for pregnant women to experience anxiety from time to time. That’s why we’ve prepared this article for you, to share four keys to help you reduce anxiety in pregnancy.

Anxiety is a normal emotion that comes to the fore when you face threatening situations. In many ways, anxiety is an excessive and uncontrollable form of worry. As far as pregnancy is concerned, it’s very common to worry about your own health and that of your baby.

However, when this concern is irrational and frequent, and negative thoughts appear continuously, then we’re dealing with an anxiety disorder.

Causes of anxiety during pregnancy

The symptoms of anxiety in the prenatal phase can be very varied, and depend on each woman’s individual characteristics. As for the causes, it’s clear that the simple fact of being pregnant is, in itself, a reason that justifies you feeling anxious!

4 Keys to Help Reduce Anxiety in Pregnancy

There are also three specific factors that can lead to excessive worry during pregnancy:

  • Fear about giving birth
  • Concern about one’s physical image
  • Fear of having a sick or disabled child

In addition, anxiety during pregnancy occurs especially in women who:

  • Have had a previous miscarriage
  • Were prone to stress before pregnancy
  • Have struggled with infertility
  • Have a high-risk pregnancy

“Fear sharpens the senses, anxiety paralyzes them.”

– Kurt Goldstein –

4 keys to help reduce anxiety in pregnancy

1. Relaxation exercises

Relaxation is very helpful in reducing anxiety in pregnancy and also preventing these symptoms from recurring after you give birth. In addition, relaxation exercises are useful to help you learn how to breathe correctly, and to help you keep calm.

Some of the benefits they bring are:

  • Lowering blood pressure
  • Improving breathing and heart rate
  • Decreasing muscle tension
  • Strengthening the immune system

2. Practicing moderate physical activity

Experts recommend that you carry out physical activity during pregnancy, as long as it’s done in moderation. Some physical activities that can be done during pregnancy are:

  • Walking
  • Exercises conducted by a professional instructor, such as:
    • Gymnastics
    • Yoga
    • Exercises with weights
    • Pilates
    • Water activities

“Lack of activity destroys the good condition of any human being, while movement and methodical physical exercise save and preserve it.”

– Plato –

3. Seek support from someone close to you

Having someone you can confide in is very beneficial for everyone. However, during pregnancy you’ll need it even more, as you’ll be experiencing many changes in a short period of time. In addition, it’ll help you let off steam and express your feelings and worries with someone else – someone who is willing to actively listen.

This person may be a partner, mother, father, sibling, or any relative or friend with whom you have a close loving relationship.

“One of the most important qualities of love is support.”

– Anonymous –

4 Keys to Help Reduce Anxiety in Pregnancy

4. Seek professional help

Anxiety, if it occurs constantly, can be classified as a clinical disorder. In this disorder, distress and stress disrupt and interfere with your daily activities. In addition, these symptoms can be very time-consuming, intrusive and irrational.

If you or someone you know are suffering in this way, then it’s best to see a health care professional who can provide the necessary support to overcome this anxiety and to keep your baby safe.

In this regard, recent research has shown that stress and anxiety in the mother can affect, and have a significant impact on, your baby’s mental health and development.

Your health during pregnancy will influence the health of the child you’re going to have.

In short, take care of yourself physically and psychologically in order to avoid possible problems in your baby’s development.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Artal, R. (1995). Ejercicio y embarazo. Madrid: Editorial Médici.
  • Diaz, M., Amato, R., Chávez, J. G., Ramirez, M., Rangel, S., Rivera, L. y López, J. (2013). Depresión y ansiedad en embarazadas. Salus17(2), 32-40.
  • Fernández, I. O. y Tejedor, I. G. (2007). La teoría de la programación fetal y el efecto de la ansiedad materna durante el embarazo en el neurodesarrollo infantil. Revista de psiquiatría infanto-juvenil24(2, 3 y 4), 176-180.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.