If you find yourself newly postpartum, it’s likely you’re experiencing increased worry and perhaps even anxiousness. This is common and to be expected, as bringing life into this world comes with natural worry about the safety and well-being of your child. You are not alone in feeling this way, and worrying about your child simply means you love and care about your baby. But what if that worry is causing you significant strain or impacting your ability to function as you would like? Are you wondering if you have postpartum anxiety?
Postpartum anxiety can occur for a number of reasons and is very common. The difference between worrying about your baby and clinical postpartum anxiety is the severity of symptoms. Women with postpartum anxiety may have some of the following symptoms:
- Feeling nervous, anxious, or frequently on edge
- Difficulty controlling worry
- Inability to let others help with care of baby
- Having intrusive, unwanted thoughts
- Feeling something awful might happen to baby
- Difficulty sleeping
- Feeling scared to leave the house with baby
- Difficulty coping with worry and thoughts that arise
- Increased irritability
- Thoughts of wanting to harm self
While anxiety in postpartum can feel very frightening for moms, it is not permanent and does not mean anything about how you are as a mother. Acknowledging that you have one or more of the above symptoms is a great place to start in caring for yourself and baby. Reaching out to support can also be helpful. There is no shame in asking for help, and gaining the right tools and support can begin to alleviate symptoms and help you better enjoy your time with your baby.
Helpful tools to ensure you are getting the right support can look like:
- Talking to your doctor about your symptoms
- Reaching out to a therapist or counselor who specializes in perinatal and postpartum anxiety/depression
- Considering medication, even short term, if you feel this could be helpful
- Joining a postpartum support group, either virtually or online
- Talking to family/friends about how you’re feeling
- Learning healthy ways to cope and reduce anxiety symptoms
If you or someone you know is struggling with symptoms of increased anxiety in their postpartum journey, help is available and waiting. You do not have to do this alone. Reach out to us today to discuss how we can best support your during this time. For additional information on resources and support groups, please visit: postpartumva.org (for Virginia residents) or postpartum.net (for support internationally).