Postpartum Anxiety is More Common Than Postpartum Depression, But Rarely Screened

Most people have heard of postpartum depression. With good reason. It affects 1 in 7 new mothers. But what about postpartum anxiety? Most studies document that this “other postpartum” mental health concern is even more common than PPD, with as many as 1 in 5 new moms struggling with postpartum anxiety. 1 in 5!

postpartum anxiety is common but we can make it better

photo credit: sunset girl via unsplash

 

When suddenly a parent for the first time, there is much to worry about. I remember watching my first baby as a newborn sleep at night, worrying she would stop breathing in the middle of the night. And then there is breastfeeding… is baby getting enough milk? Is she gaining enough weight? Does he have a tongue-tie??

Does this inner monologue sound familiar? It is so common. In the postpartum stage, some anxiety is normal, expected and healthy.

“A certain amount of anxiety can motivate and energize us into action. Too much anxiety can get in the way.”


Too much anxiety can make it difficult to bond with a new baby and zap all the joy out of this time. Postpartum anxiety can make it harder to sleep. And we need all the sleep we can get!

Question: If postpartum anxiety is so common, does this mean it is normal?

“Just because postpartum anxiety is normal, we can still make things better.”


But how do you recognize when postpartum anxiety is too much?

  • Do you feel anxious more often than not?
  • Do you  have trouble relaxing?
  • Are you unable to stop or control worrying?
  • Would you like to feel better than you currently do?

 

Brief, short-term therapy can be tremendously helpful in overcoming postpartum anxiety. In my practice in San Diego, I help my clients develop a unique, tailored plan, drawing on their existing strengths and resources. I am well-connected in the community and help facilitate referrals, whether giving a free pass to mom and baby yoga, suggesting a recommended sleep trainer or acupuncturist, or helping make the decision of when to go for an evaluation with a psychiatrist.

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Here are more articles on postpartum anxiety:

The Other Postpartum Problem: Anxiety

Postpartum Anxiety and Depression Are Similar but Not the Same

Anxiety During Pregnancy and Postpartum

 

 

 

About the Author:

Abigail Burd, LCSW is a licensed clinical social worker and psychotherapist practicing in San Diego. (CA lic #LCS26867.) Specialties include maternal mental health, parenting, addiction, depression/anxiety and personal growth. Abby is experienced providing counseling to others in the helping fields, college students, and graduate students.

4 Comments

  1. Joann Woolley August 2, 2014 at 9:00 pm - Reply

    So wonderful to have your resources here in San Diego, Abby. Moms need to know that this is normal and that there is help.

    • Abigail Burd August 3, 2014 at 12:11 am - Reply

      Thank you so much Joann! Yes, it is normal. But it can get better and there should be no shame in asking for help.

  2. […] of pregnancy and postpartum? One in seven women suffer from either postpartum depression, postpartum anxiety or both. Symptoms can start either during the pregnancy, after, or last through both. Despite how […]

  3. […] of pregnancy and postpartum? One in seven women suffer from either postpartum depression, postpartum anxiety or both. Symptoms can start either during the pregnancy, after, or last through both. Despite how […]

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