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What is Postpartum Anxiety (PPA)?

Over 90 percent of moms admit to having thoughts that scare them. These can include thoughts about dropping or hurting your child or thoughts about not wanting to mother anymore. There is a point, though, that some women cross from having normal, worried thoughts to experiencing postpartum anxiety. It is estimated that about 10 percent of postpartum women develop postpartum anxiety. Women can experience postpartum anxiety alone or with postpartum depression.

In this guide you’ll learn:

Risk Factors of Postpartum Anxiety

Cause of Postpartum Anxiety

Symptoms of Postpartum Anxiety

Treatments for Postpartum Anxiety

Risk Factors for Postpartum Anxiety

Any postpartum woman can experience symptoms of postpartum anxiety. There are some difficulties that can raise your risk of developing postpartum anxiety. These include:

  • Personal history of anxiety

  • Family history of anxiety

  • Previous experience with postpartum anxiety or depression

  • Thyroid or hormonal imbalance

Cause of Postpartum Anxiety

There is not a single cause of postpartum anxiety but multiple factors that can contribute to a women experiencing PPA. These contributing factors include:

  • Hormonal changes from pregnancy

  • Nutrient stores depleted from pregnancy

  • Sleep deprived

  • Social Supports

  • Thoughts and mindset

  • Behaviors and actions

Symptoms of Postpartum Anxiety

Symptoms can begin anytime within the first year after having a child. Women can experience a combination of the following symptoms.

  • Constant worry

  • Feeling that something bad is going to happen

  • Racing or intrusive thoughts

  • Disturbances of sleep and appetite

  • Inability to sit still

  • Difficulty making big or small decisions

  • Physical symptoms like dizziness, hot flashes and nausea

Treatment for Postpartum Anxiety

Treatment for postpartum anxiety can include both medication and talk therapy. Studies have found that the most effective treatment is a combination of both. Your OBGYN or primary care physician can provide you with medication. I encourage women to also see a therapist in order to talk about the difficulties she is having. Becoming a mother is the biggest change you will experience in your life. This change does not just occur emotionally but there is also significant physical changes that occur within your brain. You actually have a different perspective on the world. Many women do not realize such a big change occurs and it can be incredibly helpful for a women to discuss these changes with a mental health therapist.

After reading this, if you think you may be experiencing postpartum anxiety, I encourage you to seek help as soon as possible. The earlier you get help, the quicker and fast treatment can take place.

See Also:

What is Postpartum Depression (PPD)?

Sources & Additional Reading:

Good Moms Have Scary Thoughts

Postpartum Support International

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