Did you know that postpartum anxiety is more common than postpartum depression? Did you know that you can have one and not the other, but you can also have BOTH!? Yes, it's true. As little as postpartum depression is talked but, postpartum anxiety is like it's second cousin no one ever talks about at the family reunions. If you have struggled with anxiety and/or depression in your life before parenthood, it's even more likely that you will experience it postpartum and likely more severe than you ever have before.
Anxiety is a natural response of keeping you and your family safe, it's adaptive! A lot of new parents will have these thoughts and can easily dismiss them and then they slowly stop cropping up as time goes on. But for those who continue to experience these intrusive thoughts, it starts being a problem when it affects every day situations and overshoots reality. It's when you're constantly feeling worried and on edge. The telltale signs of postpartum anxiety are excessive worrying, racing thoughts, and feelings of dread. Are you wondering if you may have (or had) postpartum anxiety? Check the symptoms below:
- Excessive worry
- Feelings of dread
- Racing thoughts
- Lack of concentration
- Changes in eating and sleeping patterns
- Hot flashes
- Rapid heartbeat
The studies show that more parents experience postpartum anxiety than postpartum depression, but it's drastically under diagnosed and treated. Don't let that be you! Read the symptoms above and keep that in mind as you move through pregnancy and postpartum. Keep an eye on your partner and yourself and say something if you're seeing signs of postpartum anxiety.
If you are struggling with postpartum anxiety (or depression), please reach out to our friends at Perinatal Support of Washington here: https://perinatalsupport.org. They have a warm line where you can talk to someone and they will get you resources so you can start feeling like yourself again!