One expectant mother was left feeling discouraged and unheard after her doctor told her to ‘just relax’ after she opened up about her acute anxiety.
The mother-to-be opened up on Reddit about her experience under the pseudonym Bloodybutunbowed. She reveals that she suffered with anxiety even before her pregnancy, but when she felt her anxiousness increasing during her pregnancy, her doctor didn’t take her seriously.
“I had general anxiety disorder since before I was pregnant,” she wrote in her post, which has since gone viral. “When I mentioned at my confirmation appointment that I was having a lot of anxiety, the [nurse practitioner] told me to ‘just try to relax.’ And my heart broke. It took a lot for me to speak up, and I was met with a confirmation that nothing would be done to help.”
When the Reddit user later had an appointment with her OB-GYN for the first time, she couldn’t help but recount the negative experience she’d recently had. Luckily, this doctor’s reaction was different than the first ones.
“I have not enjoyed anything about being pregnant EXCEPT seeing the baby,” Bloodybutunbowed wrote. “I have no excitement, just planning, just staying the course, just one day at a time. I've been sick with no energy, and just generally miserable. And my anxiety is clawing at me.”
Her doctor reassured her that she wasn’t the only pregnant mother-to-be dealing with heightening anxiety. She recalled her doctor saying, “We can help that. We just had another woman with the same issues, let me go read up on how we helped her, because she is 6 weeks [postpartum] and has avoided [postpartum depression]."
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В нас розпочався 38 тиждень! . Почуваю себе чудово, печія ще не зникла, животик високо, відчуваю себе колобком, особливо під час ходи, малюк активно товче ніжками в ребра. Тренувальні перейми почастішали! Стало дуже важко спати, перевертатися та й взагалі вже все важко дається. . Ім'я ще не придумала горе батьки🙈 Сумки в пологовий складено (в третій і, надіюсь, останній раз). З лікарем домовились! До зустрічі з сином вже все готово (залишилось попрасувати і одягнути постіль в ліжечко) . Чи готова я народжувати? Так, на 100%! Чи боюсь? Ні, вже проходила це, знаю що чекати, налаштовуюсь на позитив! Таке відчуття, що перейми почнуться вночі (вже пару раз програвала сценарій, як починаю будити чоловіка і ми їдемо в пологовий). Старшого сина родила в 10 вечора, і не уявляю, як можна народжувати вдень😂 . Матусі, які були страхи, хвилювання у вас перед пологами? Чи відходили води? В який час доби народили своїх малюків?
The Redditor said she and her doctor were able to come up with a plan to help treat her anxiety and now she’s feeling better than before. “It was hard to get the words out, and one of the best things was just to be believed and have someone jump on my side willing to help,” she wrote. “She ended the appointment by telling me, ‘You know, if you tell us, we can help, and you could enjoy your pregnancy. You should enjoy your pregnancy. It’s a wonderful time.’ For the first time I feel like it could be.”
Anxiety is common, whether you’re pregnant or not. According to What to Expect, 40 million people in the U.S. alone struggled with anxiety disorders. Given how stressful and overwhelming pregnancy can be, such a stressor may only heighten one’s anxiety.
As such, it’s important to speak up to your medical practitioner if you feel that you’re struggling with your anxiety or mental health. Unfortunately, there are some people who may tell you to just ‘relax,’ like this woman experienced. If that’s the case, then it’s important to seek a second (or even third opinion) until your concerns are taken seriously. There’s no shame in having anxiety or other mental health problems, and there are treatment options available.