I’m Not Depressed, I’m Afraid: Postpartum Anxiety

I'm Not Depressed, I'm Afraid: Postpartum Anxiety | Baby Chick

I’m Not Depressed, I’m Afraid: Postpartum Anxiety

Postpartum depression is something that we all tend to hear a lot about, especially if you’ve taken any birthing classes. You and your partner are often aware of it, but what about postpartum anxiety? This is something that is overlooked in our society.

Postpartum Depression vs. Postpartum Anxiety

For my first postpartum OB check and several of my infant checks, I received a questionnaire accessing PPD, the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale. It asks if you’ve thought of harming yourself, if you’ve been unhappy, sad, miserable, blaming yourself and crying for no specific reason, to all of which I answered “no, never.” If you answer “yes” to the two questions that ask about being scared and anxious for no reason, the ones relative to anxiety, the scale will determine that you are not depressed and your doctor will most likely not reach out to help with your postpartum anxiety. Well, that’s because anxiety and depression are two different boats new mothers can be in.

With postpartum depression, you may be feeling overwhelmed, have self-doubt, not feeling a bond with your baby, feel sad, guilty, frustrated, empty, disconnected, hopeless, not sleeping or eating, have thoughts of suicide. However, with postpartum anxiety you often don’t have these dark and sad emotions come over you, instead you are bombarded with worry that something horrible will happen and fear becomes the main emotion controlling your mind. Here are some feelings you may have with postpartum anxiety.

How to Identify Postpartum Anxiety

1. Constant Worry

You are constantly worried that something bad will happen.

READ MORE
Fighting the Baby Blues

Your baby is napping longer than usual, “Is he breathing?”

Your husband typically gets home at 5:00 and it’s 5:15, “Did he get in an accident?”

These fleeting questions are normal. But with postpartum anxiety, these questions soon become detailed thought patterns. Your heart starts racing with each and every single worry, and your mind digs deeper into disturbing “what ifs” that could take your family away from you.

2. Disturbing Deadly Thoughts

You have disturbing thoughts about anything and everything. The coins in the piggy bank that your baby can choke on, the mail sitting on the counter that your baby can get cut with, the awning that may collapse and crush bones, the cement patio that your baby can get a concussion on; ordinary objects turn into horrific death traps in your mind.

3. The Media Becomes a Trigger

The news stories you find are more disturbing than ever, and your reactions are disproportionate. A school shooting? “My child will never go to school.” A murder at the local grocery store? “My child is never going grocery shopping with me.” Even shows you once used to love like Chicago PD will send you into a feeling of dread as you begin to associate your family with the characters touched by death. You constantly feel like something terrible is going to happen.

4. Physical Symptoms

You may even have physical symptoms like stomach cramps or headaches, or you may get a panic attack in the middle of the night and not know how to control your muscle spasms.

READ MORE
A Week-By-Week Guide to C-Section Recovery

Postpartum Anxiety is Real and Help is on the Way

Please seek out help from your doctor. Sure it sounds cliche, but there are so many options you can go over and having someone to talk to makes it a lot easier. It may be medication, it may be psychiatric support, it may just be as simple as taking a vacation to relax and take back control of your mind. Our minds are so much more powerful than we know and instead of allowing fear and anxiety to take control, you need to get yourself to a point where you’re able to take control with strength, and that may take time but please reach out to your significant other and doctor sooner than later. You’ve got this, mama!

About the Author /

Hello readers! My name is Aida (like the opera). I am a wife, first-time mom, and educator with a MA in Sociology. I enjoy capturing moments visually and through writing, and I am thrilled to share with you the experiences of my journey into motherhood.

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Instagram post 17899717765403522 ❤️ How to Help When Visiting a New Mom – Podcast Ep 21 ❤️⁠
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Becoming a new mother, whether it be your first baby or your sixth, is filled with so many emotions. 🎢 Figuring out your new normal can take a minute as you recover from giving birth and get to know your new baby. People will be at your doorstep in no time wanting to congratulate you and meet your baby, but sometimes people aren't necessarily thinking about what they can do for YOU to be helpful. If you know someone who has recently had a baby or if you are currently expecting, today’s podcast episode is for you! ❤️ {Link in bio!}⁠
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Instagram post 17920976449353517 💪 Mom Hacks for Staying Fit After Having Kids⁠
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Going to keep it real here, your fitness game is going to change after having kids. If you were crushing it before having babies, you're going to find that the free time for working out isn't what is used to be.⁠
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Regardless of where you were at, there are things you can do to make your heath a priority and be a good example to your little ones.⁠
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1. Don't rush back. There's no gold star here. Take your time, get the clearance from your OB/midwife and start when you're ready.⁠
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3. Ask for Help. Chances are high that the Mom down the street is looking for some kid free time as well. You take an hour, she takes an hour and we're all better off for it.⁠
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4.  Embrace the little things. Your day will present opportunities to get your butt moving. Find them.⁠
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5. Get a new outfit. Because, duh.⁠
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When you meet your baby(ies) and your whole world changes. 💕
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Speak your partner's love language in postpartum. Send this resource to your loved one so that they can make you feel loved and supported in a meaningful way.⁠
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Instagram post 17934950050319412 EXACTLY! 🙌 I wish more moms knew this and didn't feel pressured to say yes automatically to guests--of course, unless they want to! 😊 But you can always say no and not right now. Take your time to bond with your new baby. If you want people to come over, great! But don't feel bad if you don't and want more time alone with your family. People who love you should understand. ❤️⁠
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We substituted sour cream in these recipes with @stonyfield YoBaby yogurt because it provides not only the calcium they need, but also probiotics, protein and vitamin D! 👍 (Our pediatrician says our little guy needs 2-4 servings of dairy per day!) The yogurt still has that tangy flavor that you’re looking for but with even more benefits! Cheers to full tummies and happy families! 🙌 #ad #stonyfield
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