What Is Postpartum Anxiety? How To Help
You’ve heard about postpartum depression, but what about postpartum anxiety?
Postpartum depression has become a much more broadly known and discussed topic in recent years, but postpartum anxiety is just as startlingly common among new parents. It’s characterized by symptoms like insomnia, racing heartbeat, racing thoughts, a short fuse, over/under eating and constant worrying to name a few. Many new moms deal with some form of anxiety postpartum but for some, it’s worse.
So what can be done to help deal with and treat postpartum anxiety? How do you overcome that constant fear that something terrible is going to happen to the most precious thing in your life? We’ve come together to give you some suggestions to help you get started. But always remember, there is nothing wrong with seeking professional help.
Take care of your mind
Coping with anxiety on a psychological level can be just as, if not more, difficult than coping on a physical level. Surround yourself with a supportive community. There are so many mom and baby groups out there that you’re sure to find someone that is dealing with the same feelings you are. Speaking to other moms about what you’re going through will probably be one of the most helpful things you can do.
You have to accept your thoughts, not judge them. Let yourself have negative thoughts sometimes. Everyone does. But remember the good things, like the fact you created this magical little human and brought them into the world.
Try to cope on a physical level
The best thing for a new mom struggling with postpartum anxiety to do is to receive help. This can be something as small as your partner taking the baby for 20 minutes so you can go take a shower, or take a nap, or even brush your teeth. Moms who are experiencing anxiety postpartum often find it hard to get proper rest and nutrition, which are essential to helping deal with the anxiety. Proper nutrition may be the last thing on your mind during those first few weeks but your body needs to heal and get the right kind of food is one way to help speed up that process.
If you feel that you’ve been turning away help or trying to do everything by yourself, you need to accept the help from other people. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Babies are hard and when your mind is frazzled, your baby is crying, you haven’t slept in days it’s hard to know what to do to make your baby calm down. These are the times when you need the support most. If you have the resources available to you, have a post-natal doula come around and help you learn some tips and tricks. Have friends or family come around with nutritious home-made meals, or use a meal delivery service.
Never be afraid to ask for help if you’re feeling overwhelmed. Remember, you’re not alone. There is an old anecdote that says it takes a village to raise a child, and it’s only once you become a parent that you realize how true that statement is.
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