Tuesday, May 9, 2023

Healthy Habits: Dealing with Anxiety During Pregnancy

 Anxiety during pregnancy is estimated to affect between 15 - 23% of women. Unfortunately, anxiety and other stressors are associated with miscarriage, preterm delivery, and delivery complications. What are some tips for helping women deal with anxiety during their pregnancies?


This month is National Maternal Health Month. OBGYN & Maternal Health Expert “Rural Doc” Alan Lindemann, M.D., author of the forthcoming book "Pregnancy Your Way," who has over 40 years of experience, over 6000 babies delivered, provides six ways to help women deal with anxiety during their pregnancy.


1) Journal: Journaling helps promote self-esteem and is an excellent technique to help you manage your anxiety and depression at home. You may want to keep two journals: an everyday journal with your private thoughts, and a second journal for issues you want to bring up with your therapist or OBGYN:

  • Private: In your first journal, think gratitude. Gratitude affirms goodness and helps you know that the source of goodness can be outside of yourself. This helps you build a healthy, holistic view of yourself.
  • Public: Your second journal will help you prioritize the concerns you plan to share with your therapist or your obstetrician. Getting answers to the tough questions early on helps establish a feeling of safety with your pregnancy. Keep your list to three or five concerns — this allows your doctor to concentrate on your biggest problems given their time restraints.

2) Don’t Be Shy About Seeking a Therapist/Counselor: Although journaling is very constructive, it doesn’t take the place of a counselor. If you get a referral to a counselor from your physician, don’t be shy about seeking help.


3) Try Yoga, Meditation, and Walking: Yoga and mindfulness meditation have both been shown to reduce anxiety in pregnant women. Walking has been shown to reduce anxiety, with the CDC recommending at least 150 minutes of exercise a week, such as brisk walking, for healthy pregnant or postpartum women. This can be broken down into about 30 minutes a day for five days. Even the 30 minutes can be broken down into smaller segments.


4) Create a Calming Home Environment: Enlist the help of your partner with creating and maintaining a calm pregnancy environment. Consider decluttering, adding a few plants, and maybe introducing aromatherapy to your home.


5) Anxiety Medications May Help, But Come With Risks: Taking anxiety medications during pregnancy does carry some risks to your baby (depending upon the medication) including cleft lip and “floppy baby syndrome” (i.e., hypothermia, lethargy, poor respiratory effort, and feeding problems). Your infant may also suffer from withdrawal from certain medications. Be sure to consult with your prescribing physician and understand all the risks before making your decision.


For more information, visit the online press kit at DrAlanLindemann.OnlinePressKit247.com and the public sites LindemannMD.com and PregnancyYourWay.com.


About Dr. Lindemann:

An obstetrician and maternal mortality expert, “Rural Doc” Alan Lindemann, M.D. teaches women and their families how to create the outcomes they want for their own personal health and pregnancy. A former Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of North Dakota, he is currently a clinical faculty member available to serve as preceptor with medical students in rural rotations. In his nearly 40 years of practice, he has delivered around 6,000 babies and achieved a maternal mortality rate of zero! Learn more at LindemannMD.com and PregnancyYourWay.com.


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