Tips for first trimester anxiety?

Hello! So my husband and I recently found out I’m pregnant. We haven’t had our first appointment yet but we’re guessing we’re due in mid/late [name_u]March[/name_u], maybe [name_f]April[/name_f]. Because I’m pregnant, I’ve had to taper off my anxiety medication, but even before we started lowering the doses, my anxiety has been awful. I’m terrified something is going to happen to my baby, or that there’s something wrong with it.

We’ve nicknamed our baby Sprout. I have no reason to think anything bad is going to happen to Sprout, but I’m scared nonetheless. One of my husband’s old friends had a miscarriage last year, and I think that’s why miscarriage has been on my mind so much lately. It feels so close to home. I know it’s unlikely, but I can’t stop worrying about it. I only have a few pregnancy symptoms, but whenever they’re not so bad I start worrying that it’s a sign that something’s wrong. I’ve taken 6 pregnancy tests in two weeks, including today, just to make sure our baby is still in there.

I feel like things will be easier (hopefully) when I can actually feel Sprout, like when I have a bump and Sprout is moving. Things will hopefully be easier for me when I get to the 12-week mark, and I’m nearly at 7 weeks. I keep fighting the urge to poke my belly and say, “Hey, are you even IN there?”

[name_f]My[/name_f] mom and grandma tell me to stop worrying and to just trust that everything’s okay, but I’ve got an anxiety disorder and I like proof. I don’t want to trust that Sprout is okay, I want to KNOW. But it’s too early!

If you have any tips for calming my nerves, please send them my way. I just love little Sprout so much. I feel like I’m losing my mind a little. Thank you!

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I have an anxiety disorder as well. I was on medication for it before we started trying for my second child, and I had to come off it. It was terribly difficult.

I don’t know where you live and what your health care system is like, but are / were you talking to a therapist about your anxiety? If so, it would probably be good to see them more often, or to schedule another visit. If not, I’d recommend finding one.

Also be sure to tell your obgyn / midwife / health care professional about your anxiety surrounding your pregnancy. Don’t be ashamed to say you need more reassurance than the average person, ask if there’s someone you can call when you’re worried, see if maybe they can schedule extra check-ups etc.

There’s no magic way to get rid of your anxiety, the best you can do is try to live with it, find someone to talk to that cares about you (partner, a friend) and get all the professional available to you.

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Yep I struggle with anxiety as well. And i’d like to tell you there came a time when my pregnancies felt ‘safe’ but the truth is anxiety is just a pain in the butt that never really goes away.

I definitely second what @Rosebeth said in talking to your obgyn and a therapist if thats something thats comfortable. Something else that helps me cope is having a plan of what to do when anxiety becomes overwhelming. For me when my anxiety just gets too much I try to exercise and as Im doing it I mentally imagine all of my anxiety leaving my body. You do not have to exercise, but I would recommend having a coping/calming technique like that. Try a few things you know make you happy and feel safe and just see what works. Talking about it outloud to others even if its not your dr. [name_u]Or[/name_u] therapist is also really helpful for me


I also just want you to know, you’re not alone, you’re ok and you’re doing great! Anxiety is horrible, and it doesnt tell you the truth.

I know how it feels to feel like you’re losing your mind over every little thing. And you feel like you cant trust all those people who keep telling you to relax because they havent read the things you have and dont know the things you do, and cant feel the things you’re feeling. And nothing anyone tells you makes you feel better. And you just want to curl up and cry, or you want someone to guarantee it will all be fine.

If you ever need someone to talk to you feel free to message me!

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I’m right there with you. I am very early in a pregnancy, and have had a miscarriage before, so I know that it doesn’t always turn out as you hope. I think the reality is that early pregnancy in particular is very anxiety-inducing, because you really don’t know what is going on. That uncertainty is pretty awful.

For me, I am trying to stay reasonably busy and do things like eat well and exercise that I know would be good for a pregnancy, or worst case scenario, for me. I am also reminding myself that I can’t change what is/will happen, and although that lack of control is tough it takes some of the feeling of (potential) blame off me. I also finding that when I am feeling extra anxious sending some positive affirmations towards the embryo (“you are strong, you are growing”, things like that) feel good. I am also trying not to read too much into my symptoms, because it is so early and they come and go. I get stressed each morning that my breasts are less tender, but it seems that they are just less tender in the morning and it increases during the day. I also have waves of nausea, but those come and go pretty quickly. And again, for me, I am only 4+2 so that’s not unreasonable.

Lastly, congratulations! I hope your pregnancy goes really well and smoothly. Sounds like you will have a [name_u]March[/name_u] due date, you can also go to that due date board for some community if you haven’t!

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In my online donor-conception communities, a lot of single moms worked soooo hard to become pregnant (like myself). So miscarriages seem like such a cruel thing from the universe, when many of us cannot try again. Miscarriages are cruel for everyone, of course. But when you don’t even have a partner to go through it with you… It’s just terrible and something I feared very, very much.

I stayed on my meds during pregnancy. Not sure what you’re on, but a lot of them are safe. I’d talk to your doctor about the tapering.

I wish I had an answer, but my anxiety never went away. I thought I’d feel better after that first ultrasound… when she started kicking… after the anatomy ultrasound… after reaching viability… after she was born… after 1 year post-partum… She’s 18 months and I’m still anxious :face_with_spiral_eyes:

I just take one day at a time. Remind myself where I’m at right now. So back then, I’d say, “The at-home pregnancy test was positive. [name_f]My[/name_f] hcg at the doctor’s office was x. I am pregnant. I’ll see my baby in x days. Today, we are doing well and healthy.”


Congratulations on your pregnancy!

I dont have any anxiety condition so i don’t know if this helps…
Many mothers without anxiety conditions struggle with these concerns the first trimester. I personally hate the first trimester. It is the worst limbo to be in, waiting, hoping each week you are STILL pregnant and obsessing over every tiny symptom. And I was sooo jealous of women who had morning sickness. Crazy right? I had barely any pregnancy symptoms during any of my pregnancies and thus never felt pregnant for real until I had a nice big wiggly baby bump.

Miscarriages do happen, probably more often than you realise since not everyone talks about it. It wasn’t until our first and second pregnancies both ended in missed miscarriages that i was mentioning it, and suddenly, i had all these women around me sharing their own miscarriage experiences, that I saw how overwhelmingly common it is. It really is incredible how much has to go just right for a baby to be born healthy.

I would also advise that sometimes a pregnancy can stop developing and not begin miscarrying immediately, so perhaps for several weeks your body will continue to excrete pregnancy hormones in your urine and thus, a positive pregnancy test. The continued pregnancy testing is false comfort at this point.

I don’t write this to escalate your worries further, but instead to reassure you they are legitimate concerns and i don’t think people telling you to relax and that it will all be fine and to stop worrying would be helpful or comforting or reasonable in this situation. You obviously desperately love little baby sprout and nobody is able to promise you it will all be fine…of course you feel anxious!!

I think it is healthy to have that awareness that sometimes pregnancies dont progress past a certain point because something has messed up along the way and it was never going to result in a healthy baby. If you went into this thinking oh this won’t ever happen to me, and it does, it adds a whole other devastating layer to the grief.

Since you cant do anything about these kinds of miscarriages, i would instead focus on what you can do which is looking after your body. Eat well, get rest, take your prenatal vitamins, gentle exercise, spend time meditating and talking to baby sprout. You want to enjoy being pregnant (for however long or shot that ends up being) not feel stressed the whole time waiting for something to go wrong.

I would say to my babies, even if this doesn’t work out, i am so grateful i have had the opportunity to love you and be your mama this long and that i get to be pregnant with right now in this moment.

I know it is soooo hard to wait for that first scan and then you spend about a day feeling good and then you are counting down the days to the next one. It sounds very normal from peoplei have talked to. I can confirm it does get better when you can feel them move but then you have the worries of: are they moving and kicking enough ect. Congratulations and welcome to this club of parenthood…the worrying never really ends :upside_down_face:.

Something that might help would be to look at some broken down statistics of miscarriage risk week by week and follow along as it drops. This brought me lots of comfort to see each day i was pregnant, was a step towards a better chance of a positive outcome.

The chance at week 8 verses week 10 of healthy pregnancy might be X then it rapidly decreases down to Y. But if you tease apart that number, you have women under 30 verses over 30 in that figure. It includes women with a history of prior miscarriages, and ones with health conditions and ones who smoke and drink and play extreme sports. Your own risk is likely lower than the generalised figures.

Focus on the positives. A 5% chance of miscarriage at 7 weeks sounds scary but that can also be read as a 95% of everything being well.

If you are very impatient, Consider asking for a ‘dating scan’ which is an early scan usually done at 8 weeks. [name_u]Chance[/name_u] of miscarriage at 8 weeks is some figure, but the figures are lower with conformation of a healthy heartbeat seen on ultrasound. Keep in mind though that even if you could get a good ultrasound at 8 weeks , miscarriages could still occur between then and the next ultrasound at 12 weeks. And also, that an ultrasound too soon could cause unnecessary concern if it is too early and no heartbeat can be found at that appointment. Not that anything is wrong but hearing no heartbeat is scary any way you cut it even if it is reasonable when baby is that tiny.

Sounds like you know that things are likely to all be fine, however nothing i say will replace the reassurance of actually seeing that promising 12 week ultrasound. The first trimester is a whole third of your pregnancy but sometimes it feels much longer! I can understand everything you are feeling. Fingers crossed the weeks go quickly for you until you can find out and have piece of mind

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I have bipolar disorder, so lots of anxiety and depression there. For my first pregnancy and half of my second I went off the medications as they weren’t pregnancy-safe. Halfway through though it was actually advised by my doctor that I consider a pregnancy-safe option as I was struggling so much. I have been on these medications with my last two pregnancies as well and continue to take them and all of my children are thriving–so that might be an option for you. As for the anxiety, imo it never goes away really. It just manifests into different areas. You worry as a parent and it starts early, unfortunately. After baby is here there will always be something and to me, that’s a sign that you’re a good parent, as even the thought “am I enough for them? Am I doing enough for them? I can’t get the time back, did I use it well enough? Are they having good childhoods?” etc. (etc. etc. etc.) will keep you up at night. In my experience you adapt to it and it becomes second nature. But I’m also medicated, so take what I say with a grain of salt <3

I would make these anxieties known to your provider, so they can support you better. I think many women worry about miscarriage and all of the potential what-ifs of pregnancy and delivery. When you’re protective of baby and working with a certain level of loss of control, I think that makes sense. You can do everything you can and it can still not work out as planned and that’s a lot to take in. Be gentle with yourself. Most of these things never happen, but I can’t promise you that none will. These are real risks and valid concerns. But working with your provider, maybe a dating scan will put you at ease, or extra appointments to hear the heartbeat. Once baby starts moving you’ll fret over whether they’re moving “enough” and that’s also okay. I found myself in L&D a few times wanting to check on baby and I never felt as if I was being unreasonable to request a check. If it makes you feel calmer, then maybe it’s worth pursuing.

I wish you the best of luck as you navigate this and I hope things get easier for you. There is a lovely community here that you can also reach out to and bond with over your shared experiences, so that might also make you feel less alone with all you’re dealing with. I definitely was active in the forums here during most of my pregnancies.

Take care of yourself. <3

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I am currently 18 weeks. [name_u]Early[/name_u] on I liked checking this website to see the actual risk of miscarriage/actual likelihood the baby would be fine. Miscarriage Probability Chart

Also once I called the National Maternal Mental Health Hotline, when it was 4:00am & I hadn’t been able to fall asleep because of how anxious I felt. Gave me someone to talk to and that really helped. Info is here:

In addition to all the great ideas here, I really recommend looking for providers who have training and experience with perinatal mental health. Untreated or under treated anxiety is typically viewed as a bigger concern than taking some kinds of anti-anxiety medications (SSRIs primarily) and you deserve a provider who can go through the options with you. Therapists trained in perinatal work are important too, if you have access. If you are in [name_u]North[/name_u] [name_u]America[/name_u], I recommend seeing if Postpartum Support International has any listings for providers in your area. They may sound like they are for postpartum only, but really people who treat postpartum emotional complications also cover the full perinatal period.

Might edit and drop in coping skills ideas later as well.