How to ease anxiety during pregnancy after miscarriage

pregnancy after miscarriage

A pregnancy after miscarriage or loss is entirely different to any pregnancy that came before it.  I felt sad when I realised I would never again be able to naively enjoy pregnancy like I had with my first two boys. 

During the two pregnancies (and eventual miscarriages) I had after losing Orion, I was an anxious mess.  For the ten weeks of both pregnancies I literally felt like I was holding my breath and ‘waiting to see’ if this baby would ‘stick’.  

When I told people that I was pregnant I was almost dismissive of it. Like ‘Oh I’m pregnant but you know my history so I’m trying not to get my hopes up and we’ll just see.’

I know why I was in self-protection mode, but it’s only in hindsight that I can see how negative that was for me.

Here’s the thing. Your body can’t tell the difference between an experience you’re actually having or one that you’re only imagining.  So basically my body was experiencing all of the emotions, anxiety and stress of losing a baby before I even did. 

We have so much power over our minds, but so often we let them run on autopilot. We get so wrapped up in our anxious thoughts that we don’t even realise that we actually have the power to think other ones if we choose to. 


But we can. And I think we have to if we want to ease anxiety during a pregnancy after loss. 

Five practical ways to ease anxiety during a pregnancy after miscarriage

Focus on the positive

I know, I know. You’re probably thinking – ‘How the hell am I meant to do that when I’m drowning in worry about whether my baby is okay or not!’.

Honestly, it’s a choice.

You can either think ‘Oh my god what if there is something wrong, what if I get to the ultrasound and there is no heartbeat, what if I start bleeding, etc etc.’

Or whenever these thoughts come up you can take a deep breath (force yourself if you have to) and repeat a positive affirmation or thought instead. I used – “My body is healthy and strong and is growing a healthy baby.”

No, it’s not going to make the worry go away entirely, but instead of getting caught up in the emotions of the negative thoughts, you’ll be able to flood your body with the positive feelings instead.

Treat yourself with so much self-care

I know I bang on about the importance about self-care for Mums, but honestly, during a pregnancy after miscarriage your self-care dial needs to be turned up to 1000%.

Anxiety always gets worse when you feel overwhelmed, tired and depleted. Make sure you’re getting enough sleep, try not to do too much and top up your tank by doing something nice for yourself, every day.

For me self-care that helped my anxiety was getting to a yoga class, going for walks to the beach, reading novels and catching up with my girlfriends. But it can be whatever your particular flavour of self-care is. Don’t buy into the whole ‘bubble baths and massages’ cliche. Self-care is anything that you enjoy doing and that makes you feel good.

Meditation

Guided meditations can help to give you the mental space to be able to deal with your anxiety, rather than feeling like you’re being swallowed up by it.

Even just ten minutes every other day will make a huge difference. I’ve made one specifically for pregnancy anxiety for you to practice today.

Know your triggers

Take the time to become aware of what triggers your anxiety and what helps relieve it when something sets it off. For me, ultrasounds, certain dates and anniversaries, and being too busy were the biggest triggers for me.

I found journalling, exercise, taking it easy (i.e Netflix marathons) and talking about how I was feeling helped when these triggers sent me into a spiral. I’ve included more ideas for how to manage certain triggers in my Pregnancy Yoga for Anxiety Series if you want more information on this.

Exercise

Moving your body helps to get you out of your head (where anxiety lives) and releases all of those good hormones that help to relieve stress. I know during a pregnancy after miscarriage you can feel too afraid to move at all, but honestly it helps so much. If yoga is your thing – try this class below which is of course, 100% safe to do during pregnancy. It doesn’t really matter what type of exercise you choose to do though. It will all help to ease anxiety, so pick something you actually enjoy doing.

If you feel like you’re really struggling with anxiety and none of these things are helping remember to reach out to someone who can help. A friend, a counsellor, Beyond Blue or even send me an email.

If you’re looking for more resources to help you ease anxiety during your pregnancy, my Yoga for Pregnancy Anxiety program is for you. You can learn more about it here.

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