How To Treat Anxiety During Pregnancy

According to an online poll conducted by the Anxiety Disorders Association of America, over half of women reported increased anxiety or depression during pregnancy. This isn't particularly surprising, given that pregnancy is an emotional time that can be anxiety-provoking even for soon-to-be moms who have never had an anxiety disorder. Unfortunately, there is legitimate concern about whether antidepressants and other medications used to treat anxiety are safe during pregnancy.

SSRIs

SSRIs (which include medications like Prozac and Zoloft) are often used to treat anxiety, and there have been some studies that indicate they may be associated with risks like pre-term delivery, pulmonary hypertension, birth defects, and neonatal irritability. However, there haven't been enough studies to provide conclusive evidence of most of these risks.

The most information has been gathered on Prozac and the tricyclic antidepressants, which have been used for decades and which appear to be relatively safe during pregnancy. Many women do take antidepressants during pregnancy, and most experts agree that the potential risks posed by medications must be weighed again the risks posed by severe anxiety during pregnancy.

Natural Treatments

Non-medication treatments for anxiety are preferred during pregnancy, and there are some steps pregnant women can take to manage symptoms of anxiety without taking prescription or homeopathic medications. These include plenty of sleep, regular exercise, meditation, cognitive-behavioral therapy, relaxation techniques, and avoiding stressful situations and excess stimulation.

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