What is postpartum anxiety?

Most have us have heard about postpartum depression, but not too many people know about the effects of postpartum anxiety.

Recent research from the University of British Columbia suggests that while postpartum depression tends to get a lot more attention, postpartum anxiety could potentially be diagnosed in up to 17% of new moms compared to 5% for postpartum depression.

Symptoms of postpartum anxiety may include:

  • Worrying all the time

  • Feeling like something bad is going to happen

  • Changes in sleep and appetite

  • Disruption in daily activities

  • Dizziness

  • Hot flashes

  • Nausea

  • Racing thoughts

  • Not being able to sit still

In the past, anxiety was included as a symptom of postpartum depression and is still considered that way by a lot of people, but more research is starting to show how anxiety can occur during and after pregnancy. In fact, not only do pregnant women and new mothers report generalized anxiety, panic attacks and obsessive-compulsive disorder are also common.

If you’re experiencing postpartum anxiety or depression, you know that feelings of guilt and isolation are common. You may worry that people will judge you for the way you are feeling or say that you shouldn’t be feeling this way when having a baby is a joyful experience.

Our hope is that as more people talk about it and share their experiences with postpartum depression, anxiety, panic, and obsessive compulsive disorder, the expectations you have of yourself postpartum will begin to change and you can come to know that you are not alone.

When it comes to postpartum anxiety and depression, talking about it is not always enough and getting support and appropriate treatment is important. Some sources believe that without help, these postpartum conditions could become chronic and won’t go away by themselves. It is important for new moms to know that there are effective treatment options available, including psychotherapy.

Recently, many celebrity moms, and mommy bloggers have been speaking out about postpartum mood disorders. Here’s what one celebrity mom has to say about how she learned to cope with postpartum feelings.

“I deal with postpartum feelings by reaching out to mom friends,” said Alyssa Milano, “I became very close with some of the women in my prenatal yoga class.”

In addition to social support, counselling can help new moms come to terms with their feelings and learn coping mechanisms to help them deal with symptoms of postpartum anxiety. Schedule a free consultation with us to see how we can help.