Pregnancy and Birth with Generalized Anxiety Disorder

For many women, giving birth causes stress and anxiety. For women with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), the stress of giving birth can trigger panic attacks. The National Institute of Mental Health estimates that about 6.8 million American adults are affected by GAD (USDHHS 2007). Anxiety disorders affect women twice as frequently as men and usually are first diagnosed in early adulthood, which makes their effects relevant when caring for childbearing women.

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About Author: Jennifer Vanderlaan

Jennifer Vanderlaan is a childbirth educator and doula, the author of the Birthing Naturally Web site ( and spends her free time working on a nursing degree.

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