Postpartum Anxiety 101: 24 Symptoms and Treatment Options 

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Chances are, as a brand new or anticipating mother, you know about child blues and postpartum depression. But do you know that postpartum anxiety and different anxiety-related disorders have an effect on greater than 15% of postpartum women? While every mom worries about their new child and experiences stress, sometimes these concerns can negatively have an effect on their life. Learn extra about its signs, symptoms, causes, and treatment to assist your self or a loved one.  

What Is Postpartum Anxiety? 

It’s instinctual for moms to fret about their newborn’s health, happiness, and care. You might have concerns like, is my child crying too much? Are they feeding and getting sufficient nutrition? Are they breathing normally? But when this anxiety turns into all-consuming, it’s a different concern entirely.  

Postpartum anxiety (PPA) is a type of perinatal temper and anxiety dysfunction that happens after birth. It involves extreme fear that impacts round 1 in 5 women, says Dr. Simas, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology, co-director of the Maternity Center, and medical director of Lifeline4Moms on the University of Massachusetts Medical School/UMass Memorial Health Care. 

18 Symptoms of Postpartum Anxiety 

A mom experiencing postpartum anxiety may expertise a mixture of bodily and emotional indicators and symptoms; 

  1. Persistent undesirable ideas  
  2. Poor sleep  
  3. Fear 
  4. Overwhelm 
  5. Chest pain 
  6. Nausea  
  7. Tension 
  8. Fatigue 
  9. Trembling  
  10. Racing coronary heart  
  11. Panic attacks 
  12. Irritability  
  13. Decreased appetite 
  14. Constant worrying 
  15. Avoidance behaviors 
  16. Trouble relaxing 
  17. Feeling distracted 
  18. Difficulty controlling emotions 

What Causes Postpartum Anxiety? 

Like different anxiety disorders and with the lack of analysis towards PPA, there are solely theories that might make a mom prone to developing the condition; 

  • Hormonal shifts. After giving birth, hormone ranges drop considerably making moms extra delicate to stress, panic, and anxiety.  
  • Natural stress. Normal worries and concerns throughout being pregnant can worsen after birth and make moms extra sensitive. 
  • Biological factors. Past historical past of depression or anxiety can increase the likelihood of experiencing this condition.  

Other risk factors include; 

  • Traumatic childbirth  
  • Premature child  
  • Medical complications  
  • History of miscarriage  
  • Sleep deprivation 
  • Lack of support 
  • Domestic violence 
  • History of trauma or neglect  

Postpartum Anxiety vs. Depression: What’s the Difference? 

Postpartum depression (PPD) is one other type of perinatal temper and anxiety dysfunction that moms can develop post-birth. Some signs include persistent sadness, fatigue, feeling numb, irritability and restlessness, anger, and guilt.  

While many of the signs overlap, the main distinction is with PPD, moms expertise severe sadness, whereas moms with PPA experience extreme worry. Some women may expertise both conditions on the identical time. They might really feel unhappy and overwhelmed one day and expertise extreme fear the next.  

Thankfully, there are treatment choices available to assist moms with both one or each of these disorders.

6 Treatment Options for Postpartum Anxiety

1. Seek support
Asking for assist and receiving support is step one to recovery. Reaching out to household members can present assist to give you time to relax. As a mother, it’s tempting to neglect your self for your baby. You probably don’t have a lot of time, and it can really feel impossible to balance your life post-newborn. But speaking to household and friends will present necessary home windows to bathe your self with love, care, and a much-needed break.  

2. Connect with different mothers
You may really feel like nobody understands what you’re experiencing, however you’re not alone. Postpartum anxiety is common. Connect with different moms through a parent support group or different mom teams to reduce feeling isolated, misunderstood, and overwhelmed. By hearing their experiences, you might discover new methods of thinking, tricks to help, and obtain emotional support from these that perceive greater than anybody else.  

3. Mindfulness
Yoga, meditation, deep breathing, and mindfulness techniques are all methods to reduce your anxiety levels. When your child is napping, roll out your yoga mat and full a few stretches, listen to a guided meditation, or if you’re short on time, full a 3-step mindfulness exercise. 

  • Start by bringing your consideration to how you’re feeling, thinking, and sensing. Notice your ideas and feelings, however attempt to chorus from judging them.  
  • Next, focus in your breath in either six breath intervals or for one minute at a time. As you’re breathing, discover how your physique responds. Be conscious of your chest rising and falling, your ribs expanding, and the temperature of your breath.  
  • After observing your body, focus your consideration in your environment. Notice any shapes, colors, or reflecting lights of any objects round you. Try to take this practice with you anytime you really feel overwhelmed.

4. Self-care
Self-care is greater than bubble baths, face masks, and manis. Spa days are great, however it involves paying consideration to your wants and taking care of yourself. Finding time to make investments in self-care after having a child may really feel challenging. But even 20 minutes a day could make a distinction in your mood. For moms, a few suggestions include; consuming a wholesome meal, exercising, hydrating, hanging out with friends or family, and spending time on a hobby or passion.  

5. Balance duties
You may attempt to do everything alone and really feel responsible for not doing extra – hello, hormones. But sitting down with your partner or partner and dividing the duties can present much-needed relief. Communicate what’s happening and ask them for an additional hand. If this isn’t possible, ask your household members or friends for help, and consider hiring some part-time support.

6. Therapy
Cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) is the gold-standard remedy for treating anxiety. A psychologist or psychiatrist will assist you acknowledge your triggers, change unhealthy ideas and provides you skills to deal with the stress and overwhelm. By studying how your ideas can trigger your anxiety, you’ll have extra positive outcomes that impact the way you view yourself, your relationships, well being and your baby. 

When to Seek Help 

While it’s important to perceive just about all mothers experience anxiety, these with extreme postpartum anxiety ought to contact a doctor. How do you know in case your anxiety is severe? Observe your symptoms, and discover if they’re disrupting your functioning in areas of your health, relationships, and activities. Dig a little deeper, and ask yourself;   

  • Are my signs affecting my ability to deal with and bond with my baby?  
  • Do I have ideas of self-harm or harming my baby?  
  • Are my signs worsening with time?  

If you’re experiencing postpartum anxiety, it’s important so that you can search help. Dr. Simas advises, “Moms ought to flip to their obstetrician, their primary care doc, their therapist (if they’ve one), and their household and friends. She ought to keep reaching out till she will get the assist she needs”.