Postpartum Anxiety – Looming Signs, Causes & Proven Treatment

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What is Postpartum Anxiety?

During the prenatal period, women may become vulnerable to mental health disorders. Postpartum anxiety is one of them. Postpartum anxiety, also known as PPA, can occur following childbirth and is common but often overlooked. It includes excessive worrying and tense feelings about the baby. These thoughts can often get out of control. Mothers that suffer from PPA, often have irrational fears or excessive worries about events that are unlikely to happen. Sometimes these thoughts can be related to something that has happened in the past.

Symptoms of Postpartum anxiety

The following are some symptoms of Postpartum Anxiety:

1. Constant worry that can’t be eased.

2. Having feelings of things that may or never happen. (having thoughts of worst case sceniors that would affect you or the baby)

3. Sleep disruption

4. Fatigue

5. Nausea

6. Vomiting

7. Chest pain

8. Shortness of breath

9. Dizziness

10. Increased heart rate

11. Loss of appetite

12. Trouble sitting still

13. Irritability

14. Difficulty focusing or forgetfulness

15. Inability to relax or keep calm.

16. Avoiding certain activities, people and places.

17. Checking things over and over again

18. Being extremely cautious

What causes postpartum anxiety?

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1. A New Feeling Of Responsibility

New parents may find it difficult to talk about these feelings. Moms, by coming out and speaking about these feelings, may feel less of themselves because often, the world can be judgmental. Sometimes, friends and family can cast judgement too. It is natural for any parent to have anxiety about having children especially after having their first child. You must take care of and provide for that little human and let’s be honest, sometimes that’s tough.

2. Lack Of Sleep

 Newborns require a lot of attention. Often, parents operate with very little sleep due to night-time feedings, changing, and comforting. Lack of sleep will introduce stress and often frustration. When we do not get sleep, we are at greater risk for negative moods which can lead to anxiety and depression. Lack of sleep is highly associated with anxiety in new mothers.

3. Stressing Over Things That Cannot Be Controlled

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Mothers that have a problem with breast feeding (latching) or insufficient milk production, may experience uncontrolled stress. Also, if the mother has more than one child, she may be concerned about time management therefore causing unwanted stress.

4. Pregnancy Loss

Previous pregnancy loss or any previous death of a child, this will make anyone anxious. Mothers that have these experiences may suffer from PPA.

5. Hormones

Changes in hormones can also result in PPA.

Treatment

Studies have shown that medication, along with therapy, can help persons that suffer from PPA. So, you can seek a medical professional for advice. Reaching out to other mothers that went through PPA or by joining PPA groups can assist in managing anxiety and stress. You are not alone. Studies have also shown hugging your babies release oxytocin which helps to reduce stress and may assist in easing anxiety. Since sleep deprivation can be one of the causes of Postpartum anxiety, you can take shifts with your spouse or a loved one to look after the baby.

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