Getting your first child can be one of the most exciting times in your life. You have been through so much to prepare for this moment and finally, she has arrived! Sadly, many new mothers experience anxiety after having a baby as well, sometimes called postpartum anxiety or postpartum depression depending on how long the symptoms last. For some moms, postpartum anxiety lasts up to three months after birth and gradually improves from there; other moms can suffer from their anxiety for longer than three months, with some women suffering from their symptoms well into the second year after having a baby. If you are experiencing PPA or if you want to know how to help someone with postpartum anxiety please keep reading.
In general, people with postpartum anxiety may experience symptoms similar to those who suffer from generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). This condition involves excessive worry about everyday problems and activities such as work or school performance, family issues, and financial situations. People who suffer from GAD may also experience physical symptoms such as muscle tension, headaches, and gastrointestinal problems. They may avoid social events because they fear they will embarrass themselves by panicking in front of others.
Postpartum Depression vs. Postpartum Anxiety
Postpartum depression and anxiety are two very different conditions, but they both can negatively impact your life. For starters, women who develop postpartum depression experience feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and helplessness after having a baby, while those with postpartum anxiety report feelings of worry, fear, and panic. In some cases, you may experience symptoms of both. Be sure to talk to your doctor if you’re experiencing these feelings so they can determine whether or not you have postpartum depression or postpartum anxiety.
Common signs and symptoms of PPA
Common signs of women with postpartum anxiety include: Not feeling like yourself: You might feel uninterested in your newborn, or feel more irritable than you would expect. Self-doubt about your ability to be a mother: The stress of raising children can be overwhelming, and often triggers self-doubt in new parents. Intense emotions that you don’t understand: New mothers may cry for no reason, or become angry for any little thing (even if it’s not that big of a deal). Disturbed sleep patterns: Sleeping just isn’t as restful anymore because of concerns about baby’s health and well-being.
Tips for helping yourself
The first step to dealing with postpartum anxiety is asking for help. This can be difficult, but you are not alone. There are many resources to help with postpartum anxiety; in fact, there are support groups just for women dealing with postpartum anxiety that exist in every city and town across America. Take advantage of them! To deal with postpartum anxiety at home, it may help to start small by setting some goals and rewards so that you feel good about yourself after finishing a task—even if it’s small like folding one load of laundry or taking out one load of trash per day. Recognizing these small accomplishments will also give you confidence going forward.
Signs you should seek help from a doctor
Don’t put off seeing a doctor if you’re having trouble coping with postpartum anxiety. It can take some time to find help that works for you, but there are resources to help with postpartum anxiety. Some people find relief by speaking with a psychiatrist or therapist about their thoughts and feelings, while others benefit from certain medications. Making sure you take care of yourself and your family is also key when it comes to treating postpartum anxiety. There are lots of ways to cope with postpartum anxiety so don’t be afraid to seek help from a professional when you need it!
Women experience postpartum anxiety after giving birth for many reasons, but there are ways to cope with postpartum anxiety. If you’re anxious, talk to your doctor about how long anxiety lasts after having a baby and how you can handle it in your situation. Talking about your worries and fears may help you feel better and more relaxed. You may also benefit from yoga or joining an online support group.