Panic Attacks While Pregnant

How to Stop Panic Attacks While Pregnant

Despite feelings of anxiety and stress being perfectly normal for expectant mothers, panic attacks are no fun – especially when you’re already dealing with the challenges and ups and down of pregnancy. Here are the symptoms of panic attacks and a few tips to help you kick them to the curb as quickly as possible.

1. Symptoms of Panic Attacks

The symptoms of panic attacks and anxiety are the same. However, panic attack symptoms are amplified and happen suddenly. Chances are if you’re hit with intense, overwhelming feelings of anxiety for no obvious reason, you are experiencing a panic attack. Unlike anxiety, which may be a constant problem, a panic attack only lasts for up to ten minutes. Some symptoms of panic attacks include:

  • Feeling like you are unable to breathe
  • Shaking, tension or pain in your muscles
  • Feeling scared that your life may be in danger, or something terrible is going to happen
  • Sweating
  • Racing heartbeat
  • Double-vision or dizziness
  • Numbness or tingling sensation in limbs

2. Techniques for Calming Panic Attacks

Stop Panic Attacks While PregnantRemember to breathe

When you’re experiencing a panic attack, one of the first things to focus on is your breathing. Inhale slowly and deeply, and exhale completely. It may help clear your mind faster to count to three during each breath. Breathe with your stomach rather than your chest, so that your stomach moves with each and every breath.

Focus on positive thoughts

Focusing all of your attention to one positive, happy thought or object helps to ease you out of your panic attack. It can be a memory or fantasy, something in the environment, or even something you’re looking forward to in the future.

By directing all of your attention to one specific idea, your mind will stop racing to every worrisome thought and start to calm down. Keep in mind that everyone is different and you need to find what works for you. For example, while some may choose to listen to soothing music to help them with panic attacks, others may need complete silence in order for the episode to pass.

Reassure yourself

During a panic attack, it’s important to remind yourself that you and your baby are going to be okay. Although it may feel like you’re under great physical and mental harm, panic attacks are not dangerous for you or your baby.

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3. Long-Term Techniques for Anxiety/Panic Attacks

Diet and exercise

While it is important to maintain a healthy diet and exercise throughout your whole life as well as while you’re pregnant, it may also help reduce the risk of panic attacks. It is highly recommended that you avoid stimulants such as alcohol, cigarettes and even caffeine while pregnant. Not only are stimulants bad for your baby, but they can also make anxiety issues and panic attacks all that much worse.

Talk to your doctor

Contact your midwife or doctor and let them know that you are experiencing anxiety or panic attacks. Cognitive therapy is designed to help people replace their negative thoughts with realistic, positive ones. Medication under the supervision of a physician may be necessary for women experiencing panic attacks, because they are more likely to struggle with these issues postpartum.

It is so important to try to remember to relax as much as possible during a panic attack. Focus on the fact that you’ll typically start to feel better in just a matter of minutes. Countless mothers-to-be experience panic attacks. Although these attacks are uncomfortable, rest assured they won’t physically harm you or your baby.


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