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Postpartum Anxiety

Postpartum anxiety is a type of anxiety disorder that can affect new mothers after giving birth. It is characterized by excessive worry, fear, and nervousness that can interfere with daily functioning and the ability to care for oneself and the baby. Here are some signs, symptoms, and contributing factors of postpartum anxiety:

Signs and Symptoms:

1. Excessive Worry: Mothers with postpartum anxiety often experience intense and irrational worries about their baby's health, safety, and well-being. This can include fears of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), accidents, or illnesses.

2. Physical Symptoms: These may include restlessness, muscle tension, rapid heartbeat, sweating, and trembling. Some women may experience panic attacks, which can include symptoms like shortness of breath, chest pain, and a feeling of impending doom.

3. Irritability: Feelings of irritability or agitation are common in postpartum anxiety. Mothers may feel on edge, have a short temper, or feel easily frustrated.

4. Difficulty Sleeping: Despite feeling exhausted, some mothers with postpartum anxiety may have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep due to racing thoughts and anxiety.

5. Difficulty Concentrating: It may be hard for mothers with postpartum anxiety to focus or concentrate on tasks, which can make it challenging to complete daily activities.

6. Physical Symptoms: Headaches, stomachaches, and other physical symptoms can be associated with postpartum anxiety.

7. Avoidance of Certain Situations: Some mothers may avoid situations or places that trigger their anxiety, such as crowded places or leaving the house altogether.

Contributing Factors:

1. Hormonal Changes: The dramatic hormonal shifts that occur during pregnancy and in the postpartum period can contribute to mood disorders, including anxiety.

2. Personal or Family History of Anxiety or Depression: Women with a history of anxiety or depression, either during pregnancy or before, are at a higher risk of experiencing postpartum anxiety.

3. Stressful Life Events: Difficult life events, such as a complicated pregnancy, financial stress, or relationship difficulties, can contribute to postpartum anxiety.

4. Lack of Support: A lack of emotional or practical support from partners, family, or friends can increase the risk of developing postpartum anxiety.

5. Traumatic Birth Experience: A traumatic or difficult childbirth experience can be a contributing factor to postpartum anxiety.

6. Sleep Deprivation: The demands of caring for a newborn, which often involves disrupted sleep patterns, can exacerbate anxiety.

7. Perfectionism: Some mothers may put a lot of pressure on themselves to be the "perfect" parent, which can lead to increased anxiety.

It's important to note that postpartum anxiety is a real and treatable condition. If you or someone you know is experiencing these symptoms, it's crucial to seek help from a healthcare provider. Treatment options may include therapy, support groups, and, in some cases, medication. Ashley is accepting new clients and now accepts United Healthcare and Optum Insurance. If you or a loved one you know is experiencing any of theses signs or symptoms please book a session on our website.

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