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Panic Attacks During Pregnancy

What do you mean by panic attacks?
When you really get scared all of a sudden without any potential cause that is called panic attacks. Panic attacks may result in heart attack, muscle stiffness, losing control over yourself, even if it may cause death.

What is a panic attack in pregnancy?

It is very common in pregnancy. Pregnancy is a very emotional and sensitive issue in every woman’s life and coping up with this is a little difficult especially if you are going to give birth to a baby for the 1st time , then it's a very obvious scenario. You would need the support of your spouse, family members and friends. Don't underestimate yourself. You can do, and most importantly you can overcome these difficulties. You may consult a doctor if you feel like doing so.[1]

Symptoms of panic attacks

  • Anxious all the time
  • Racing heartbeat
  • Chest ache
  • Fainting
  • sweating
  • Worries
  • Restlessness
  • Unable to concentrate
  • Sense of frightfulness
  • Insomnia
  • Irritability
  • Shaking limbs 


What causes you to experience panic attacks?

 There are lots of reason which can lead you to experience panic attacks -

  • Severe depression
  • Incident of mental or physical abuse
  • Episode of panic attacks in the past
  • Use of wrong drugs
  • Financial crisis, relationship issues, social dilemma 
  • Genetic inheritance of panic attack
  • Tokophobia - The fear of giving birth to a baby is called tokophobia , which is the main reason for panic attacks in pregnancy. The reason for this fear may be past miscarriages, neonatal death, painful experience while giving birth to the baby.

How does an episode of panic attacks affect your pregnancy? 

It's nice to have this kind of concern but thoughts like this may further create stress and anxiety which can lead to panic attacks. The worries, anxieties and stresses can affect your baby’s health which is not desirable. Try not to panic, be stable and confident, so that baby’s health doesn’t get compromised. 

What should I do if I have anxiety in pregnancy? 

If you are anxious for more than 2 weeks or so then you should consult a doctor or a psychiatrist, or psychologist. Or you can also talk to your near dear ones and share your thoughts , fears and negative ideas so that they can also help you to cope up with all those problems. Talking to someone helps a lot to erase pains, confusions, fears and other mental issues. Try to socialise these days that is not only good for you but also for your baby.

Treatment options for panic attacks in pregnancy

Consulting with your doctor is the best option for treating this problem. They will assess your problem and suggest appropriate treatment procedures to cure you. You should have an open approach while discussing with your doctor and accept the therapies whatever they are advising. In this phase  you are advised to stay cool and calm. Be supportive with your physician, abide by all the instructions to get most of the treatments.


If this problem left untreated then it may give rise to more threats like 

  • Other phobias
  • Psychological issues
  • Problem in dealing with other people
  • Social withdrawal 
  • Work Life imbalance
  • Indulgence to alcohol or other substance
  • Socio-economic risks [2]

Lifestyle changes one should follow

  • Try socialising be it is your spouse, friends or family members
  • Erase negative emotions, though it's difficult but try 
  • Pamper yourself
  • Do yoga and meditation
  • Try to do free hand light exercises like walking , jogging etc
  • Avoid smoking , drinking
  • Avoid smoking
  • Try therapeutic spas
  • Have a healthy diet
  • Sleep adequately 
  • Do what you love
  • Give time to yourself
  • Love yourself


  1. Tommys.org ,” Anxiety and panic attacks in pregnancy” , ,Tommys.org ,19th october,2018
  2. Mayoclinic.org , “panic attacks and panic disorder”, Mayoclinic.org, 4th may,2018
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