The postpartum period is the first 6-12 month period following childbirth. It brings a time of profound adjustment and emotional fluctuation for new mothers. Joy and happiness often accompany the arrival of a new baby.
However, it is important to know that this time can also bring about feelings of anxiety and stress. Postpartum anxiety is a common mental health concern that can significantly impact a new mother’s well-being. In fact, one in five women experiences postpartum anxiety.
Postpartum anxiety can occur anytime within the first year of giving birth. It can also impact a mother’s ability to care for her new baby and/or other children. Therapy can offer an effective path to help for dealing with postpartum anxiety. It provides essential support during a very transformative time.
Postpartum anxiety is a mental health condition that is characterized by excessive worry, fear and nervousness. These feelings can start soon after giving birth. While some worry is completely normal for new parents, postpartum anxiety is persistent and can also bring intrusive thoughts. These can interfere with your daily functioning and the ability to care for yourself and your baby. These concerns often revolve around the baby’s health, safety and well-being. They can also involve concerns about your own ability to handle your new role.
Symptoms of postpartum anxiety can include:
Inability to relax
These symptoms can have a significant impact on your mental and emotional state. They can also affect your confidence, mood and overall quality of life.
Postpartum anxiety doesn’t have to keep you in its clutches. The first step to treating the postpartum depression you are experiencing is asking for help. Your healthcare provider or a therapist can help you. Therapy can be a great resource to address postpartum anxiety. Therapy can help you learn the tools you need to manage your worries and regain your sense of control in your life. Other options may be beneficial in helping you, as well. Treatment options for postpartum anxiety may include:
Therapy — For postpartum anxiety, your therapist will help you to recognize and reframe your anxious thoughts. This is done by teaching you coping strategies to help manage your worries more effectively.
Medication — If you are breastfeeding, it is important to discuss the risks and benefits of any medication you may be prescribed to help with your anxiety with your healthcare provider. Some medications are safe for use during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Your provider may prescribe medication to help with the physical symptoms you are experiencing with postpartum anxiety or panic attacks.
Support — A support group of new moms or even a good family and friend support group can be helpful to combat your postpartum anxiety. A support group of new moms can give you a place to share your feelings with people who are in a similar situation as you. Friends and family may have sage advice to help ease your mind and soothe your anxieties with a “been there, done that” perspective.
Exercise — Exercise helps to boost your mood naturally. Practicing yoga or pilates or even taking a 20-minute walk can help you achieve a more relaxed state.
Skin-to-skin contact — Spending time cuddling your baby can help boost the release of oxytocin in your body. This is a natural way that can help lower anxiety levels.
It is important for you, as a new mother, to understand that needing and seeking help does not make you a bad mom. If you are experiencing postpartum anxiety, it is important to seek support as quickly as possible. Friends, family, and healthcare professionals can help provide the support you need.
Healthcare professionals, including mental health professionals, can provide the expertise needed to address the unique challenges you are experiencing with your postpartum anxiety. They can create an individualized treatment plan designed around your specific experiences, concerns, and goals. If therapy is one of those treatments, it can provide you a safe and nonjudgmental space to explore your feelings, learn coping strategies, and work toward improved emotional well-being.
Life is complicated and messy. When it comes to mental health, we believe there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. At Halcyon Therapy Group, we understand just how important you and your unique situation and perspectives are. That’s why we offer a suite of services tailored specifically to you and your needs. You deserve better, and we are here to help.
Book your complimentary consultation today and start living the life you always dreamed of.