Anxiety During and After Pregnancy: Care Instructions

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Anxiety means feeling worried that something bad may happen. Some anxiety during and after pregnancy is common. You may worry about things like your health or your baby's health. If worrying gets in the way of your daily life, treatment can help. Your doctor may recommend counseling and self-care. You may take medicines.

If you have any of these symptoms during or after pregnancy and they last longer than 2 weeks, you may have anxiety. Talk to your doctor.

Changes in your emotions, including:

  • Not being able to stop worrying.
  • Feeling nervous or on edge.
  • Not being able to concentrate.
  • Feeling irritable or restless.

Physical changes, including:

  • Trouble sleeping.
  • Extreme tiredness (fatigue).
  • Headaches or tense muscles.
  • Nausea or stomach pain.
  • Try to go to all of your counseling sessions.

  • Take your medicines exactly as your doctor tells you.

  • Eat a variety of healthy foods, and get some daily exercise.

  • Find ways to help you relax, such as deep breathing exercises.

  • Get as much rest as possible.

  • Avoid using alcohol, nicotine, and drugs, and talk to your doctor if you need help quitting.

  • Connect with other people, such as friends or a support group. You can also call the Maternal Mental Health Hotline at 1-833-TLC-MAMA (1-833-852-6262) for support.

When should you call for help?

Call 911 anytime you think you may need emergency care. For example, call if:

  • You feel you can't stop from hurting yourself, your baby, or someone else.

Where to get help 24 hours a day, 7 days a week

If you or someone you know talks about suicide, self-harm, a mental health crisis, a substance use crisis, or any other kind of emotional distress, get help right away. You can:

  • Call the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline at 988.
  • Call 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255).
  • Text HOME to 741741 to access the Crisis Text Line.

Call your doctor now or seek immediate medical care if:

  • You are having trouble caring for yourself or your baby.

Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor if:

  • You have new or worse anxiety.
  • You have been feeling sad, depressed, or hopeless or have lost interest in things that you usually enjoy.
  • You have problems with your medicines.

Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.

Where can you learn more?

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The Health Encyclopedia contains general health information. Not all treatments or services described are covered benefits for Kaiser Permanente members or offered as services by Kaiser Permanente. For a list of covered benefits, please refer to your Evidence of Coverage or Summary Plan Description. For recommended treatments, please consult with your health care provider.