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Anxiety in the perinatal period

Anxiety is a feeling of unease, worry or fear that can be mild or severe. Everyone feels anxious sometimes, but some people find it hard to control their worries. Some people with anxiety also have panic attacks, which can be very frightening. Anxiety in pregnancy is very common. 

Signs of anxiety

Typical signs of anxiety include:

  • Persistent, generalised worry, often focused on fears for the health or wellbeing of your baby
  • Sense of dread
  • Feeling restless or irritable
  • Avoidance, reassuring checking behaviours
  • Some people may experience panic attacks (racing heart, palpitations, shortness of breath, shaking or feeling physically ‘detached’ from your surroundings)

Tell your midwife, health visitor or doctor how you feel. Remember that healthcare professionals won’t judge you. They will focus on helping you find the right treatment and support. 

Treatment for anxiety