How to Manage Anxiety During Pregnancy After a Previous Loss
Updated: Aug 5, 2019
When you’ve lost a baby, no matter what stage of pregnancy you were in, it can be difficult to go on. It can also make you fearful of having another child. For some women, this leads to a lot of anxiety during pregnancy after a previous loss.
But if you do want to have another baby after experiencing a miscarriage or loss of a child, there are things you can do to manage that anxiety.
Keep in mind that it’s normal to feel this way. Fear, anxiety, and even dread are often expected after a period of grief. But, that doesn’t mean you should give up on the idea of having another child if it’s something you truly want.
What’s important is to be able to move forward in a healthy way. Let’s look at a few ways you can be optimistic about this pregnancy, and manage your symptoms of anxiety.
Be Patient with Your Emotions
Learning you’re pregnant after losing a child isn’t always the joyous occasion it should be. Even if you were actively trying to conceive, learning you’re going to have a baby after losing one can stir up a mixed bag of emotions.
It’s normal not to feel confident or even joyful at the news of your pregnancy. You’ll undoubtedly have moments of that joy and excitement. But, it can also be masked with stress and worry.
If you start to think your emotions or thoughts aren’t “normal,” you’ll add even more stress and anxiety. Be kind and compassionate with your emotions as you go through this process.
Understand That This Pregnancy Is Different
You may be tempted to call your doctor every day with concerns or to make sure your little one is doing fine. On the one hand, you should consult your doctor and express your feelings based on the loss of your previous child. On the other hand, you also need to take control of those concerns by embracing a sense of calmness.
Remember that this baby is not the same as your other one. No two pregnancies are alike. If you had a miscarriage, that doesn’t mean this one will end the same way. If you had an easy pregnancy before, this one may be more difficult, etc. It’s easier said than done, but don’t compare your pregnancies or the potential outcomes.
Take heart in knowing that you will never forget the child you lost. Therefore, allowing this pregnancy and the child it brings into the world to be a separate, new circumstance will be best for both of you.
It’s Okay to Be Attached
You might be afraid to bond with your unborn baby because of what happened before. But, it’s okay to feel attached.
It’s understandable that you want to protect yourself by distancing the attachment you feel. If you do that, though, you’ll miss out on so many amazing emotional experiences throughout your pregnancy.
Allow yourself not only to enjoy the journey of being pregnant but everything that goes with it—decorating a nursery, buying baby clothes, having a baby shower, etc. These things might feel overwhelming at first. But, they can also be an important part of the healing process.
Take Care of Yourself
Taking care of yourself throughout any pregnancy is important. Yet, the more you focus on your emotional and mental health during this pregnancy, the better. Rest when you need it, and listen to your body.
You may also benefit from finding different activities that help to keep you calm. Things like yoga, meditation, or light exercise can often help. Deep breathing exercises can also help to remove you from moments of overwhelming anxiety.
To learn more about how counseling can help experience your pregnancy with more joy and less anxiety, please click here.
For support in your journey, please reach out to me today. I offer a complimentary phone consultation to all potential clients. To schedule yours in a matter of seconds, please check here.
COMING SOON! A workshop for couples who are thinking about or planning to have a baby, who are expecting a baby or who have children already. Based on years of research and experience and developed by the Gottman Institute, this 12 hour workshop is designed to repair communication skills and jump start your relationship with your partner. For more information, please click here.
Jennifer Perera is a mom, spouse and Licensed Clinical Social Worker who has over a decade’s worth of experience in mental health. She has a private practice in New Jersey, with locations in Cranford and Princeton. Her passion is helping new moms and dads find their joy again in parenthood through individual, group and couples counseling. Jennifer specializes in working with parents during the prenatal and postpartum periods and those coping with a pregnancy loss or infertility. Her other passion is travelling to different parts of the world and her goal is to vacation in a different locale every time. She also has a great fondness for cats!