A common theme I’m running into now that I’m pregnant is that my mental health -specifically my anxiety – is just referred to as a common side effect of my pregnancy. On days when it becomes to overwhelming to keep to myself I find I’m only met with phrases such as “it’s perfectly normal to worry about that, you’re pregnant!” Or “Well… of course your concerned about your baby, you’re a first time mom. My anxieties are simply shrugged off and reduced as being normal and pregnancy related.
I see this everywhere! I know that the language used in these sentences is mostly for the purpose of comfort but I can’t help but wonder what the repercussions are.
I want to clarify a couple common misunderstandings that come to mind.
First, being worried and concerned are NOT the same as being anxious. So, please clarify. Are they similar? Sure, in the way that ponds and lakes are both bodies of water. One is vastly deeper and more intricate than the other.
So, when you tell me of course it’s normal that I worry.. i’m left feeling unseen and unheard, because, I understand that this feeling isn’t just “concern”. The thoughts that play like a broken record in my head for hours at a time (or days), aren’t just me “worrying”.
Secondly, I am still me. Yes, i’m carrying a couple extra pounds, my hormones are a little wacky, literally all of my organs are being squished, and yes this is a first for me. But, I am more than just a pregnant soon to be first time momma.
Don’t get me wrong, I totally understand that it’s normal to worry and have concerns as a new momma, without having severe anxiety. However, I’m a woman who – historically- occasionally has Mental Health Struggles. Please don’t just shrug me off because that’s the “norm”.