Do you experience anxiety attacks during labor?
It is reported that women during labor develop anxiety attacks of a severe form. this could also be due to various hormonal changes that might be taking place at the time of delivery.
Extreme discomfort and feelings of anxiety during labor pain are considered to be a normal response in many women as pointed out by the doctors.
It is also said that the amount of anxiety that a woman experiences during labor cannot be experienced under any other situation.
Anxiety can affect a woman both before and after delivery. That is postpartum anxiety attacks are also very common in women.
What are the symptoms and signs of anxiety attacks experienced during labor?
Anxiety attacks are characterized by a set of signs and symptoms such as:
- Difficulty in breathing
- Shortness of breath
- Sense of joking
- Complaints of chest pain
- Shaking or trembling
- Nausea or vomiting
- Dizziness or Lightheadedness
- Fear of losing control over oneself and their environment
- Fear of impending doom
- Hot or cold flashes
- Tingling or numbness
- Increased heart rate
These symptoms vary in severity from person to person. This might include hyperventilation or silent crying, apart from this individual might also show symptoms that are not very typical of anxiety attacks
What are some reasons that cause anxiety during labor?
Some reasons that might cause anxiety attacks in women during labor could be:
- Fluctuations in hormone levels nearing delivery of a child
- Unbearable pain and discomfort while giving birth
- Improper sleep and rest in women make them feel more overwhelmed
- A sense of embarrassment and discomfort over the delivery process
- Fears about complications during delivery
- Fear over one’s health and the health of the baby
- Concerned about what having a baby would be like after giving birth
What are some ways to control anxiety attacks immediately during labor?
Some strategies that can be used by women to keep their anxiety levels under control are:
- Listen to the doctor As they provide instructions and tips.
- Avoid reading sensitive content online before delivery
- Be consistent with exercise suggested by the doctor during delivery
What can be the main triggers for anxiety attacks during labor?
Even though anxiety is seen among many individuals certain triggers make some people more vulnerable to anxiety than others during labor. Some contributing triggers of anxiety are:
A woman is more vulnerable to experiencing anxiety in the presence of chronic or serious health diagnoses such as diabetes and unstable blood pressure during labor.
Triggers associated with health diagnosis tend to have a strong impact on an individual because of the strong negative thoughts and emotions that are associated with it.
It is believed that many over-the-counter medications taken for other healthcare concerns may contribute to the symptoms of anxiety in some women during labor. This is certainly because of the ingredients in this medication that makes an individual feel uneasy.
Use of caffeine
Even though it is said that the use of caffeine helps to activate an individual’s system studies show that over usage of caffeine might lead to adverse effects such as anxiety or even depression.
Apart from the overuse withdrawal from caffeine may also lead to anxiety. Hence it is suggested that individuals take conscious amounts of caffeine per day.
Apart from environmental factors, women’s eating habits might also contribute to an individual’s anxiety directly or indirectly. When a woman fails to maintain their food timings it might lead to fluctuations in their blood sugar levels which is not good for pregnancy.
These fluctuations might a woman feel jittery which in turn triggers anxiety.
Hence maintaining a proper schedule and diet is important for various reasons not just for energy but also for maintaining one’s mood.
Women’s behavior and emotions are certainly controlled by one’s thoughts. When an individual is upset and dwells on negative thoughts it further leads to discomforting emotions and detrimental thoughts causing a vicious cycle.
These negative thoughts are then projected to various areas of an individual’s life creating an overall sense of lack of control over oneself and the environment which triggers anxiety.
Daily stressors such as strained relationships might contribute to one’s intensity and frequency of anxiety and anxiety attacks.
However long term or chronic stress leads to long term anxiety and a build-up of negative thought processes and emotions that impact a women’s mental health during pregnancy
Women might also experience anxiety because of interpersonal or intrapersonal conflicts concerning pregnancy.
The inability to resolve these conflicts might lead to the buildup of negative thoughts, emotions that overwhelm an individual and triggers anxiety.
Personal triggers are as minor as a smell, place, or even a song that reminds women of negative and discomforting experiences.
If you can identify and understand your triggers, you can work to avoid them and learn to cope with them. You can learn specific coping strategies to handle the triggers when they happen.
Side Note: I have tried and tested various products and services to help with my anxiety and depression. See my top recommendations here, as well as a full list of all products and services our team has tested for various mental health conditions and general wellness.
What are some ways to manage anxiety attacks during labor?
Identify and acknowledge the triggers
The most significant strategy that can be used to control one’s anxiety attacks is by identifying and acknowledging those triggers.
Being able to recognize what makes an individual anxious makes them better equipped to take action.
Even though anxiety attacks can be bought under an individual’s control they cannot be predicted. In such situations, it is necessary that an individual actively carries out relaxation techniques.
These might include meditation, yoga, and deep breathing which helps to reduce the intensity of anxiety within a short period.
Speak about your emotions and feelings
A key to reducing the frequency and intensity of anxiety attacks could be spending time with close family and friends.
The kind of emotional and practical support provided by these social and personal groups help the person feel connected and aid in distracting one’s mind from negative and recurring thoughts that lead to anxiety.
Apart from friends and families, individuals can also consider speaking to groups of people that are experiencing similar problems.
Set realistic goals
When an individual is feeling overwhelmed setting goals and targets keeping in mind priorities can help resolve overwhelming feelings of fear or panic.
Setting goals provides structure and routine to an individual’s life reducing space for uncertainty which can be a major trigger for anxiety attacks in many cases.
An individual’s lifestyle plays a major role in their experience of anxiety attacks. An unhealthy and busy lifestyle usually leads to unhealthy eating, lack of exercise, lack of adequate sleep.
A combination of a well-set diet, exercise, and sleep can help to regulate an individual’s mood and equip them with a favorable coping mechanism.
these coping mechanisms in turn help to get control over once anxiety concerns in a more adaptable manner.
lack of proper diet, sleep, and exercise can make an individual sluggish, dependent, moody, and vulnerable to anxiety attacks.
Making journal entries
Finally having a journal to write down how a person is feeling and thinking when they are anxious helps them to reflect upon their thoughts and feelings.
Putting down one’s thoughts and feelings onto a paper helps to provide a sense of temporary relief.
In the case of journal entry, a person does not even have to fear being judged by another person regarding their thoughts and feelings.
labor pain and childbirth are phenomena that are associated with extreme amounts of discomfort and pain that are considered to be unbearable by humans.
This pain and discomfort during labor might make a woman feel uneasy and lead to feelings of nervousness and anxiety
many times labor stretches for more than 24 hours leaving the woman dwelling on negative thoughts and emotions about the health of the baby, the process of delivery, and their own health.
all these factors can actively contribute to women experiencing a peak in their anxiety attacks making the entire situation even more difficult to handle.
considering not much can be done during the time of labor to control one’s anxiety it is suggested that women take good care of themselves and their babies throughout the pregnancy.
Women must also equip themselves with good coping strategies such as deep breathing exercises that might help them to calm down for a brief period.
What we recommend for curbing Anxiety
Below are some of the services and products we recommend for anxiety
- Online therapy is another thing we should all try. We highly recommend Online therapy with a provider who not only provides therapy but a complete mental health toolbox to help your wellness.
- Anxiety Weighted Blankets are by far the number 1 thing every person who suffers from anxiety should at least try. Anxiety Blankets may improve your sleep, allow you to fall asleep faster and you can even carry them around when chilling at home.
- Amber light therapy from Amber lights could increase the melatonin production in your body and help you sleep better at night. An Amber light lamp helps reduce the amount of time it takes you to fall asleep and increases overall sleep quality.
Frequently asked questions
Is it normal to have an anxiety attack during labor?
It is normal for women to experience anxiety while in labor and giving birth. Many women worry about the baby and their health which leads to feelings of anxiety.
first-time moms might feel the highest amount of anxiety while in labor compared to women who have had prior experience with the process of labor and delivery.
How to cope with childbirth fears?
Some ways to cope with childbirth fears are:
- Identify one’s sources of anxiety
- Avoid waiting until the end minute
- Consider going to therapy
- Equip yourself with some relaxation skills
- Talk about your fears and concerns with friends and family
- Make journal entries about your thoughts and feelings
- Consider having a midwife
- Try to actively push back negative thoughts and stories.
How do you deal with panic attacks during pregnancy?
A pregnant woman usually has great amounts of mood swings due to the changes in hormone levels that they experience during pregnancy.
However, they must equip themselves with good coping strategies to calm themselves down such as participating in mindfulness, deep breathing, and muscle relaxation.
Can anxiety hurt unborn babies?
High levels of anxiety during pregnancy are considered to have negative effects on the baby as well as the mother. Anxiety during early pregnancy usually leads to miscarriage and anxiety during the second or third trimester might lead to decreased birth weight and increased activity of the Hypothalamus -Hypophysis–Adrenal axis.
Can stress and anxiety delay labor?
During early labor increased levels of stress hormones hold the potential to stop labor. When a woman is very fearful of pain during the labor the contractions can become very strong and difficult to handle or more typically they become weaker