How to Overcome Postpartum Anxiety

How to Overcome Postpartum Anxiety

Postpartum anxiety occurs after childbirth, it leads mothers to worry excessively over their newborns.

This type of anxiety goes way beyond the acceptable style of worries mothers have about their children.

Women who go through postpartum anxiety worry constantly about little things like whether their babies are breathing properly or eating well and they panic over such matters most times.

These thoughts consume your entire being since you rarely have the opportunity to think about something else.

In some cases, mothers develop OCD after childbirth because of the intense need to constantly take care of their child.

If you're experiencing this type of anxiety, you'll constantly be in a state of unrest and dissatisfaction over how you care for your child.

It sometimes makes women overly protective of their children and in worst-case scenarios, they don't allow other people to get close to their children.

You may be asking, 'how do I know that I have postpartum anxiety?'

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Signs of Postpartum Anxiety

The constant fear of the unknown about your baby's health

  • The constant fear of the unknown about your baby's health
  • Racing heart ( heart palpitations)
  • Constant and unexplainable fatigue
  • Body tremors
  • Unbalanced sleeping and eating patterns
  • Restlessness
  • Panic attacks
  • Exhaustion/extreme tiredness
  • Nausea
  • Constant Irritability


Apart from the physical signs of postpartum anxiety, you could also note that the person's emotions will become so disrupted that they;

  • They may become too cautious about places that they visit and things that they do with their babies.
  • Hold on to the baby and refuse others from holding the child.
  • They may become overly controlling and stuck up with anything that concerns their baby. 

Causes of Postpartum Anxiety

Having a kid is not a child's play. Looking after children has never been easy. 

When you get pregnant, your hormones become a very active part of your life, and most times, they dictate how you act if you can't control them. Hormones like oxytocin causes a mother and her baby to bond. 

When postpartum anxiety kicks in, the function of oxytocin may turn into something fatal. 

This hormone's function meant for good can turn ugly and cause the mother to obsess over the baby if she has postpartum anxiety. 

While hormones play a significant role in causing postpartum anxiety, other external factors cause it:

  • Taking care of multiple children: This applied to women who have other kids under their care apart from their newborns. Being a caregiver for both older children and your newborn is not an easy task. This imbalance can cause you to develop anxiety which is also known as postpartum anxiety.
  • Lack of sleep: Having a newborn baby changes your sleeping pattern and causes a lack of sleep because babies wake up at odd hours to be cooed or fed. This constant lack of sleep can cause you to develop postpartum anxiety and a terrible sleeping pattern. However, as the child grows older, some of their needs that affect their sleep lessen.
  • Hormones: This plays a vital role in causing postpartum anxiety among women because they change how the woman thinks. If you're not careful, these hormones can override your common sense and cause you to be irrationally anxious.
  • A non-supportive partner: Parenting is a 50/50 affair. When your partner doesn't assist you, there's a high chance of developing postpartum anxiety because of stress.
  • Newborns with health issues: If you give birth to your baby and they have health issues, you'll become naturally inclined to worry about them. Also, if you're not careful, worry will fester into postpartum anxiety.

Treatment for Postpartum Anxiety

Every woman has a unique way of thinking, which affects how they can personally handle postpartum anxiety. 

With this in mind, it is of essence to note that each woman may have what works for her, it is advisable to visit a professional and see what works for you. 

Highlighted below are a few means by which postpartum anxiety is treated.

  • Practicing Aromatherapy: This method works well for several disorders including postpartum anxiety. The calming essence of some scented oils will help to soothe you and reduce the effect of anxiety after childbirth. It is best to visit professionals who can recommend the perfect essential oils for you.
  • Join a Support Group: It is said that no man is an island, there is no exception to this, especially when you're battling postpartum anxiety. Joining a support group involving mothers will help you since you'll get tips on ways to handle motherhood and you'll get to voice your worries in a safe and nontoxic environment.
  • Anti-Anxiety Medications: Medication should be administered by a professional and it is best to avoid self-prescription.
  • Exercise: Keeping your body in shape can positively affect your mind and help you to manage your anxiety. 

How is Postpartum Anxiety Different From Postpartum Depression?

Postpartum anxiety brings about irrational worry over the care of a newborn child.

It makes mothers excessively protective of their babies. 

However, postpartum depression on the other hand causes women to become depressed.

In worst-case scenarios, they neglect their responsibility to their kids and themselves.

Postpartum depression has gained a lot of media attention, whereas postpartum anxiety is still in process of being identified.

Conclusion

It is easy to wave off postpartum anxiety as motherly care of newborns but it is just as dangerous as any other anxiety that is in existence. 

If you notice any symptoms of postpartum anxiety after childbirth, you seek help because there's no shame in that.

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October 7th, 2022