The symptoms of antenatal and postnatal anxiety are the same as anxiety at other times of life and can affect any parent. Common anxiety symptoms include:

  • Feeling nervous or on edge
  • Struggling to relax
  • Feeling restless and having difficulty sitting still
  • Worrying to a point you feel you cannot control worry
  • Having a sense of dread that something awful may happen
  • Feeling more easily annoyed or irritable
  • Having physical symptoms such as a racing heart, feeling sweaty either with a feeling of hotness or coldness, feeling dizzy, having a tight chest, difficulty breathing or holding your breath, having headaches or migraines or an irritable bowel

If you’re worried about any physical symptoms it is recommended to always speak to your midwife, health visitor or GP.

Some increase in anxiety and worry around the time of having a baby is normal. Its nature’s way of making sure that we keep a closer check on things which could cause harm to our vulnerable offspring. We know that there are common themes of thought that expectant and new parents can have which include:

 “Something may go wrong with the pregnancy”

 “I may lose my baby”   

 “Being anxious will harm my baby”

“Something may go wrong during labour”

“Will I be able to care for my child well enough?”

 “Will I relate to my baby and help them feel loved?”

 “Who will support me?”    

“What kind of parent will I be?”

“What will my child be like? Will they like me?”

Whilst these thoughts can be normal, if the worries become overwhelming or unbearable then it is important to speak to your midwife, health visitor or GP. Sharing your worries is an important first step in getting the right support but it can feel like a huge and daunting leap. However, there is a great deal of support and a range of treatment options, so you do not need to struggle on your own. Anxiety is treatable and we are here to help.