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Anxiety in pregnancy

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Anxiety often occurs with depression in pregnancy or it may occur as a separate anxiety disorder.

About 10-15% of pregnant women develop an anxiety disorder in pregnancy. This is different to depression and does not have the low mood that is seen with depression.

An anxiety disorder is diagnosed when a woman has:

  • Excessive worrying that is not responding to reassurances.
  • Unable to relax.
  • Difficulty sleeping.
  • Obsessive compulsive thoughts.

Anxiety problems can be treated in pregnancy.

As with depression in pregnancy, medication can be used. The risks versus the benefits of this, needs to be assessed by your doctor.

Non-drug treatments can also be very useful and are not of risk to the developing baby. (See Treatment, Medication and Related Conditions sections).

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