Postpartum depression is the umbrella term to refer to any of the postpartum mood disorders experienced by moms and dads
Did you know that dads and adoptive parents can also experience postpartum mood disorders? So it is not just about the chemicals and hormones.
Our conversation today is about postpartum anxiety.
There are not necessarily clear lines between postpartum depression and postpartum anxiety, but what I can tell you from my work with thousands of women, anxiety is a primary symptom experienced by many moms.
They worry. They worry a lot. And they worry about everything.
It can be confusing to understand what is typical new mom worry and what is potentially postpartum anxiety that requires additional help and support.
Postpartum anxiety that is a concern interferes with a moms ability to enjoy her life. Her anxiety impacts her sleep (“I can’t shut my brain off when I lay down even though I am exhausted”), it impacts her appetite (“my stomach is always in knots and I have no appetite”) and it impacts her coping (“I worry about everything and it all just seems too much”).
Postpartum anxiety creates stress for moms, robs them of their ability to enjoy being at home with their baby and it can impact the couple relationship.
The anxiety can also lead to increased irritability. It is hard to feel relaxed and calm when your brain is on over-drive seeing potential danger at every corner.
If you suffer from postpartum anxiety, support is available. This doesn’t usually get better on its own and there are strategies you can learn to manage the anxiety so that it doesn’t manage you.