Pregnancy & Parenting Anxiety

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New Member

Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 9/10/2009 1:30 AM (GMT -6)   
Hey All,
I have been experience anxiety for about 10 years now, and panic attacks for about 3 years. I'm 25 years old and one day hope to be a mother. The problem is I'm sooooo afraid of how I might react once I'm pregnant.

This is a silly comparison, but about 3 years ago I got a dog that I had wanted for a long time. I was soooooo excited, and bringing her home I was SO happy. But a few days after I got her, I was constantly worrying about her and her health. I felt way in over my head and started asking myself why one earth I put myself in that situation!?! I didn't understand how I wanted a dog so badly because this was not what I wanted anymore. I felt trapped, and was really upset with myself. I had my first panic attack and didn't know what to do. In the end, I had to give the dog away which was the hardest thing ever as I am the worlds biggest animal lover. Looking back, I DID want the dog, but I didn't want the panic/anxiety it caused me.

Now, I am so afraid that it will happen again. I will think that I want to have a baby, and start my family and then realize that it's a HUGE mistake afterwards. I am so afraid of how I might react to the situation now. And now I feel doomed, like I won't ever be able to have kids.

Anyone have bad anxiety during pregnancy or afterwards? Were you able to deal with it? Any recommendations?

Thanks a lot!

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 9/10/2009 8:48 AM (GMT -6)   
Good Morning, this is Kitt.  The decision to get pregnant shouldn't be made lightly. You need to factor in all of the mental, physical and emotional requirements you have and address these first.
May I suggest you make an appointment with an OB/GYN Physician and talk through your questions and receive a good medical screening exam at the same time.
I do believe your feelings are very valid as most women have some fears and concerns with becoming pregnant.  It is a big decision that comes with responsibilities.
I think your pretty normal,  eyelashes, so be gentle with yourself and seek the answers first and make an informed consent.  I admire that you are taking the time to work through your issues.
Hugs to you,


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New Member

Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 15
   Posted 9/10/2009 9:30 AM (GMT -6)   
Please think of it in a positive way. I know it is not that easy to cop up with all this in the situation you are in but there is a hell of a difference between love for a dog and your own child, no matter how much you love animals.
I would love to suggest you to go for the family as it is a tremendous feeling and can bring happiness to you ending every thing else that is not good, but yes you should consult an expert at every stage of it.

New Member

Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 15
   Posted 9/10/2009 9:32 AM (GMT -6)   
You have to make this decision for yourself and then face it yourself as well. Pregnancy is a condition that can exaggerate anything be it happiness or be it illness of any kind.

Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 73
   Posted 9/11/2009 7:13 PM (GMT -6)   
I think your feelings and fears are valid, but ultimately, IMO you should make the decision of whether or not to have a family, and then make a plan for dealing with the anxiety.  Because, it can be dealt with.  You can manage your anxiety while pregnant and parenting, as long as you have a plan.
I always had some underlying anxiety that I thought was just "me," but after my first baby, I had a lot of trouble.  That was five years ago, and according to my husband, I had never bounced back from it.  Then I had my second baby last year, and I really, really struggled through the pregnancy.  I was just not myself at all, and it was not good for me or my family.  I finally begged for help before leaving the hospital, and it has changed my life.  Seriously, I'm not being dramatic.  I started taking meds and seeing a therapist, and I can finally cope with life and with motherhood.  I don't feel as panicky or desperate about everything like I used to, and my husband agrees that I'm more myself now.
Meds aren't the answer for everyone, but if you're open to finding a solution that works for you, you might feel more confident about your family planning choices.
Good luck!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 1009
   Posted 9/14/2009 7:57 PM (GMT -6)   
I agree with treester that ultimately you will find a way to deal with anxiety if you decide to have a family someday. You are still very young and have plenty of time to make a decision about it. At 25 I was not ready to start a family either. Having children certainly is a big responsibility, but it is also very rewarding. To be honest with you, having children hasn't increased my anxiety, it's just changed the focus of my anxiety. In lots of ways I'd say I was less anxious because when kids are little they take a lot of your time and energy and there isn't much time left for worrying!

My story? Got married when I was 28. Started having panic attacks they following year and was put on Paxil than Celexa for a couple of years. Around 30 my husband and I decided we wanted to start a family so I weaned off of the meds. My biggest fear was that I would go back to having several panic attacks a day and totally lose it again. I didn't. My anxiety only increased a little bit. During my first pregnancy I was much calmer than I thought I'd be. For me, knowing that there was a little person growing in me that would not benefit from my stress helped me to stay calm. I had a scare early on and was a little panicky then, but all and all I did pretty well. After she was born, I was sleeped deprived for a couple of months and pretty much walking around in a zombie like state. My body definitely felt weird, but not really panicky. There were a few times when I was having "what if" thoughts and worrying that I was just going to drop dead on the floor or something. Most of the time I was fine though :-). Nursing really helped IMO. When you nurse there's a hormone called prolactin that's released and it makes you feel really calm, isn't that cool? During my second pregnancy I was also fine. My toddler was keeping me busy and I didn't have much time to think.
If I were you I would just be careful and don't even worry about having a family right now. You'll know when and if you want a family when the time comes. I have friends that had their first child at 40+ so I hope you're not feeling like your running out of time. Take care.
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