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Panic Attacks in Pregnancy

Hi. I’m Joanie. I’ve had some issues through out the years with depression and anxiety. But I’d never had a panic attack or anxiety attack until I found out about being pregnant with twins. All the questions, concerns, and added stresses overloaded my system. I didn’t even know what they were until I went to the doctor. My heart would race, head would pound, and I’d feel short of breath and light headed or shaky.

I thought at first it may be related to my asthma, but my rescue inhaler did nothing or made it worse. (Not fun when you’re already freaking out!) So after three “attacks”, two in one weekend, I decided if I can’t breathe ... neither can the babies, so I went to my doc. She flat out told me what it was; I was in shock. I was not even thinking about stressful things when they happened! Heck, I woke up from a nap the one time and five minutes later, boom. So she put me on a heart monitor to be safe and did routine blood work. All tests were good. Relief ... not so much.

How does a pregnant women treat “attacks” when you can’t take the meds? “Breathe into a paper bag” was the advice given. I ended up in the ER later that week with another “attack.” This time I had gotten upset and emotional about my pregnancy; darn it, the doctor was right. It’s all in my head, consciously or not. So now that I’m more aware of the situation, I’ve been doing better. And I started seeing a therapist to have an objective view on a lot of issues—not just this pregnancy. And it does seem to help ... besides, when talking to people who have no personal feelings or attachments to you, you are more honest! So if any of this happens to you, you’ll now know you’re not alone. Good luck to you all!

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