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Do I Have Postpartum Anxiety

Updated: Apr 25

Navigating Postpartum Anxiety & Shedding Light on a Silent Struggle

Becoming a mother is often depicted as a time of boundless joy and love. However, for many women, the postpartum period can also be marked by overwhelming anxiety, a silent struggle that often goes unrecognized and untreated. In this blog post, we'll explore postpartum anxiety, its manifestations, and the crucial steps toward healing and support.


Understanding Postpartum Anxiety

Postpartum anxiety is a distinct experience characterized by intense worry, fear, and racing thoughts following childbirth. Unlike postpartum depression, which garners more attention, postpartum anxiety can manifest even when a mother feels deeply connected to her baby and isn't exhibiting classic signs of depression, such as constant crying.


Recognizing the Signs

The signs of postpartum anxiety can vary from woman to woman, but common symptoms include:

  • Overwhelming worry about the baby's health and safety

  • Persistent racing thoughts that are difficult to control

  • Physical symptoms like rapid heartbeat, sweating, and dizziness

  • Difficulty sleeping, even when the baby is asleep

  • Avoidance of situations that trigger anxiety


It's essential to recognize that experiencing postpartum anxiety doesn't mean you're a bad mother or incapable of caring for your child. It's a medical condition that requires understanding and support. It is not your fault and you have done nothing wrong.


Types of Postpartum Anxiety

Postpartum anxiety can manifest in different forms, including:

  1. Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD): Persistent and excessive worry about various aspects of life, including the baby's well-being.

  2. Panic Attacks: Sudden, intense episodes of fear or dread, often accompanied by physical symptoms like chest pain and shortness of breath.

  3. Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD): Intrusive, repetitive thoughts or compulsive behaviors related to the baby's safety or cleanliness.

  4. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): Anxiety stemming from a traumatic childbirth experience, such as a difficult delivery or medical complications.


Seeking Support and Healing

If you suspect you're experiencing postpartum anxiety, remember, you're not alone, and help is available. There are some classic forms of help that many turn to such as safe psychiatric medications and perinatal mental health talk therapy as well as more integrative, somatic, and holistic therapy (like what I provide here at One World Empowered). There are additional means of help that can be just as powerful such as healing communities (like the Empowered Mamas Club).


Here are some steps you can take toward healing:

  1. Talk to Your Healthcare Provider: Discuss your symptoms openly with your doctor or midwife. They can provide a proper diagnosis and recommend treatment options, such as therapy or medication.

  2. Reach Out for Support: Don't hesitate to lean on friends, family, or support groups for emotional support and practical assistance.

    1. There are online and in person support groups all around the globe. Here are two great online resources:

    2. Postpartum Support International

    3. 4th Trimester

  3. Practice Self-Care: Prioritize self-care activities that promote relaxation and well-being, such as exercise, mindfulness, and adequate rest.

  4. Consider Therapy: Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and other forms of therapy can help you learn coping strategies and manage anxiety symptoms effectively.


Postpartum anxiety can feel isolating, but remember that there are countless other women who have walked a similar path. By sharing your experiences and seeking support, you not only empower yourself but also contribute to breaking the stigma surrounding maternal mental health.

Whether you're a new mother navigating the challenges of postpartum anxiety or someone supporting a loved one through this journey, remember that understanding, compassion, and support can make all the difference. Together, we can shine a light on postpartum anxiety and ensure that no mother suffers in silence.

If you or someone you know is struggling with postpartum anxiety, don't hesitate to reach out for help. You are deserving of support, understanding, and healing.


Listen to Our Podcast Episode on Postpartum Anxiety


For a deeper dive into understanding postpartum anxiety, tune in to our latest podcast episode, "Do I Have Postpartum Anxiety?." In this episode, we discuss:

  • What exactly Postpartum Anxiety entails

  • The four types of anxiety you may encounter

  • How to differentiate anxiety from other mental health experiences

  • Steps you can take toward healing


Join us as we shed light on this vital topic, arming you with the insights and tools necessary to navigate the postpartum journey with assurance and resilience.


Whether you're a new mother navigating the challenges of postpartum anxiety or someone supporting a loved one through this journey, remember that understanding, compassion, and support can make all the difference. Together, we can shine a light on postpartum anxiety and ensure that no mother suffers in silence.


If you or someone you know is struggling with postpartum anxiety, don't hesitate to reach out for help. You are deserving of support, understanding, and healing.

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