A while back, an OBGYN reached out to me to ask about resources to cope with miscarriage anxiety during pregnancy. With miscarriage rates as high as 1 in 4, so many women are afraid of experiencing that life-altering heartbreak again. It reminded me a woman I worked with a while back while on hospital bed rest. Her nurse had advised her to stop working with her therapist after noticing preterm contractions spiked every time she had a session. This woman contacted me instead, knowing I had the clinical background but a different approach to pregnancya anxiety, hoping the experience would be different. The 1st time we talked, her nurse watching the monitor like a hawk, ready to pull the plug on our call if contractions picked up. Not only did they not increase but they actually DECREASED while I guided my client through exercises. The nurse's eyes bugged out of her head!
It's not in your head Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a well-known, well-researched mental health treatment for anxiety & anxiety-related disorders. But it's limitations shine through during pregnancy. Your anxiety about miscarrying is not in your head. Your worry about the future is not in your head. Your thoughts are not the problem, as negative & hopeless as they might be. Pregnancy, loss, fertility treatment are all extremely physical experiences & the triggers, memories & the tension reside deep in your body. CBT in pregnancy is like Tylenol for a fever - great for symptom reduction but with no or short-lasting results that don't address the root. (See my post with the stool image for more details) Should you try CBT during pregnancy? If it's your only option, yes with the right therapist. But if you have choices, I highly recommend somatic/body work to help you release anxiety from your body as you grow your little miracle.
Need some resources?
Some of my favorite somatic resources for pregnancy are in the appendices of Pregnancy Brain. For support in your area, reach out to providers who specialize in somatic work during pregnancy. These can be acupuncturists, chiropractors, massage therapists or mind-body health specialists like myself.
If you'd like to work together, check out my private programs and apply if they feel like a good fit!