What Is Postpartum Anxiety?
Postpartum anxiety is an anxiety disorder that develops in women after giving birth. It is characterized by intense worry, fear, and nervousness that can significantly disrupt a new mother’s daily life.
While it is natural for new mothers to experience some anxiety, postpartum anxiety goes beyond typical concerns. It becomes excessive and persistent, often interfering with their ability to function and care for themselves and their baby. The condition can manifest in various ways, including constant worrying about the baby’s health and safety, obsessive thoughts, panic attacks, difficulty sleeping, and physical symptoms such as rapid heartbeat and shortness of breath.
Postpartum anxiety is distinct from postpartum depression, although the two can coexist. Recognizing and addressing postpartum anxiety promptly is crucial to ensure the mother’s and her child’s well-being.
Postpartum Depression And Anxiety Causes
The exact causes of postpartum anxiety are not yet fully understood. However, several factors can contribute to the development of this condition.
- Hormonal Changes: After giving birth, there is a significant drop in hormone levels, including estrogen and progesterone. These hormonal fluctuations can disrupt the chemical balance in the brain, potentially triggering anxiety symptoms.
- Personal or Family History of Anxiety: Women with a pre-existing or family history of anxiety disorders may be at a higher risk of experiencing postpartum anxiety.
- Stressful Life Events: Significant life stressors, such as a difficult pregnancy, complications during childbirth, or a lack of social support, can increase the likelihood of developing postpartum anxiety.
- Perfectionism and High Expectations: Women with high standards for themselves, particularly in terms of motherhood and caring for their newborn, may experience increased anxiety due to the pressure to meet these expectations.
- Sleep Deprivation: The demands of caring for a newborn, including frequent feedings and disrupted sleep patterns, can lead to sleep deprivation. Lack of sleep can exacerbate anxiety symptoms and make it challenging to cope with stress.
- High Functioning Anxiety Symptoms, Causes & Treatment
- Alcohol and anxiety, Co-Occurring Disorders, Alcoholism, Symptoms and Anxiety Types & Dual Diagnosis Treatments
- Anxiety Treatment, Therapies, CBT, Medications, Anxiety Disorder Symptoms, Phobia-Related Disorders & Separation Anxiety Disorder
- Co-occurring disorders, Diagnosis, Risk Factors, Mental Health, Substance Abuse & Dual Diagnosis Rehab Washington
- We Level Up WA Mental Health Center
Postpartum anxiety is a complex condition, and a combination of these factors and others can contribute to its onset. Each woman’s experience with postpartum anxiety may vary, and it is essential to approach the condition with understanding and support.
Anxiety Fact Sheet
Your brain and behavior are both impacted by the condition of addiction. Substance addiction makes it unable to resist the impulse to use the drug, regardless of how harmful it may be. The sooner you receive treatment for drug addiction, the better your chances are of avoiding some of the disease’s more serious side effects.
Behavioral: hypervigilance, irritability, or restlessness.
Cognitive: lack of concentration, racing thoughts, or unwanted thoughts.
Whole body: fatigue or sweating.
Also common: anxiety, excessive worry, angor animi, fear, insomnia, nausea, palpitations, or trembling.
- Support group: A place where those pursuing the same disease or objective, such as weight loss or depression, can receive counseling and exchange experiences.
- Cognitive behavioral therapy: A conversation treatment that aims to change the negative attitudes, actions, and feelings connected to psychiatric discomfort.
- Counseling psychology: A subfield of psychology that handles issues with the self that are connected to work, school, family, and social life.
- Anger management: To reduce destructive emotional outbursts, practice mindfulness, coping skills, and trigger avoidance.
- Psychoeducation: Mental health education that also helps individuals feel supported, validated, and empowered
- Family therapy: psychological counseling that improves family communication and conflict resolution.
End the Emotional Pain. Get Your Life Back.
Feeling Depressed, Anxious or Struggling with Mental Health Illness? Get Safe Comfortable Mental Health Dual Diagnosis High-Quality Therapy From Counselors That Care. Begin Your Recovery Now.Hotline (877) 596-3683
It’s critical to understand the distinction between anxiety and depression. Anxiety, in its most basic form, is an excessive feeling of worry, whereas depression, in its most basic form, is an excessive feeling of worthlessness and hopelessness. It is conceivable for someone to experience depression and anxiety simultaneously.
GAD affects 6.8 million adults or 3.1% of the U.S. population, yet only 43.2% receive treatment.
Source: National Institute on Mental Health
19 million adults experience specific phobias, making it America’s most common anxiety disorder.
Source: ADAA, 2020
Major depressive disorder affects approximately 17.3 million American adults, or about 7.1% of the U.S. population aged 18 and older.
Source: National Institute of Mental Health
Get Help. Get Better. Get Your Life Back.
Searching for Accredited Dual Diagnosis Mental Health Centers Near You?
Even if therapy failed previously, or are in the middle of a difficult crisis, we stand ready to support you. Our trusted behavioral health specialists will not give up on you. When you feel ready or just want someone to speak to about counseling alternatives to change your life call us. Even if we cannot assist you, we will lead you to wherever you can get support. There is no obligation. Call our hotline today.FREE 24/7 Dual Diagnosis Mental Health Services Hotline
Postpartum Anxiety Symptoms
Postpartum anxiety can manifest in various symptoms, which may differ from person to person. It is important to note that experiencing some of these symptoms does not necessarily mean a woman has postpartum anxiety. Still, if these symptoms persist and interfere with daily functioning, it is advisable to seek professional help. Common symptoms of postpartum anxiety include:
- Excessive Worry: Persistent and overwhelming worry or fear about the baby’s health, safety, or well-being. This may include constant concerns about the baby’s breathing, feeding, or general care.
- Restlessness and Irritability: Feeling on edge, easily agitated, or restless. Small things that usually wouldn’t bother you can trigger irritability or anger.
- Racing Thoughts: Having a constant stream of intrusive thoughts or a racing mind. These thoughts may be repetitive, distressing, or irrational and difficult to control or stop.
- Physical Symptoms: Experiencing physical symptoms such as rapid heartbeat, shortness of breath, dizziness, nausea, chest pain, or headaches. These symptoms may occur even when there is no underlying medical condition.
- Sleep Disturbances: Difficulty falling or staying asleep, even when the baby sleeps. Sleep disturbances can exacerbate anxiety symptoms and contribute to a sense of exhaustion.
- Hyperawareness: Being overly vigilant and constantly monitoring the baby for signs of danger or distress. This hyperawareness can lead to heightened sensitivity to noises, movements, or changes in the baby’s behavior.
- Avoidance Behaviors: Avoiding situations that may trigger anxiety, such as leaving the house, being alone with the baby, or interacting with others. These behaviors can limit social interactions and contribute to feelings of isolation.
- Physical Discomfort: Experiencing physical symptoms such as muscle tension, headaches, stomachaches, or sweating. These physical symptoms can be a manifestation of underlying anxiety.
Remembering postpartum anxiety symptoms can vary in intensity and duration is important. If you or someone you know is experiencing these symptoms, seeking support from healthcare professionals who can provide an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment is essential.
Postpartum Anxiety Quiz
Welcome to the Postpartum Anxiety Quiz! This quiz is a helpful tool to assess potential symptoms of postpartum anxiety. However, it is important to note that it is not a substitute for professional medical advice or an official diagnosis.
Please remember that this postpartum anxiety test is for informational purposes only and should not be considered a definitive diagnosis of postpartum anxiety. Its results should not replace consultation with qualified healthcare professionals.
*By taking this free quiz, you may obtain your results online and in your email box. You’ll have the opportunity to opt-in to learn more about your symptoms, talk to a mental health consultant and join our newsletter. Rest assured your information is private and confidential. Results, consultations and assessment are provided without any cost to you and without any obligation. If you do not wish to provide your contact information, you may omit it during your quiz. Thank you for opting in and participating. To you best of health.
How Long Does Postpartum Anxiety Last?
The duration of postpartum anxiety can vary from woman to woman. For some individuals, postpartum anxiety symptoms may be short-lived and resolve independently within a few weeks or months. However, for others, the anxiety may persist for a more extended period, potentially requiring professional intervention and treatment.
Postpartum anxiety can generally start within the first few weeks after giving birth and may continue for several months. It’s important to note that if the symptoms persist beyond the first six months postpartum or significantly interfere with daily functioning, it may be considered a more chronic condition.
Postpartum anxiety that goes untreated or persists for an extended period can significantly impact a woman’s overall well-being, as well as her ability to bond with her baby and engage in daily activities. Therefore, seeking professional help early on is crucial in addressing and managing postpartum anxiety effectively.
It’s important to remember that every individual’s experience with postpartum anxiety is unique, and the duration and severity of symptoms can vary. Consulting with healthcare professionals experienced in postpartum mental health can provide a more accurate assessment and appropriate guidance regarding the specific duration of postpartum anxiety in a particular case.
First-class Facilities & Amenities
World-class High-Quality Mental Health Services & Behaviroal Health Substance Abuse TreatmentRehab Centers Tour
Renowned Mental Health Centers. Serene Private Facilities. Inpatient Rehab Programs Vary.Mental Health Helpline (877) 596-3683
Proven recovery success experience, backed by a Team w/ History of:
- 15+ Years Experience
- 100s of 5-Star Reviews
- 10K+ Recovery Successes
- Low Patient to Therapist Ratio
- Comprehensive Dual-Diagnosis Treatment
- Complimentary Family & Alumni Programs
- Coaching, Recovery & Development Events
- Comfortable Onsite Medical Detox Center
Postpartum Anxiety Treatment
Treating postpartum anxiety typically involves a combination of approaches tailored to the individual’s needs and the severity of symptoms. Here are some common treatment options:
- Therapy: Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is often the primary therapeutic approach for postpartum anxiety. CBT helps individuals identify and challenge negative thought patterns and develop healthier coping strategies. It may include techniques such as relaxation exercises, mindfulness, and exposure therapy.
- Postpartum Anxiety Medication: In some cases, healthcare professionals may prescribe medication to help manage postpartum anxiety symptoms. Antidepressants, specifically selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), are commonly prescribed. It’s important to consult with a healthcare provider who can discuss the medication’s potential benefits and risks while considering breastfeeding, if applicable.
- Support Groups: Participating in support groups specifically designed for postpartum women can be beneficial. Sharing experiences with others who understand and receive emotional support can help reduce feelings of isolation and provide reassurance.
- Lifestyle Changes: Making positive lifestyle adjustments can contribute to managing postpartum anxiety. This may include prioritizing self-care, getting adequate rest and sleep, engaging in regular physical exercise, maintaining a balanced diet, and seeking help with baby care when needed.
World-class, Accredited, 5-Star Reviewed, Effective Mental Health Dual Diagnosis Programs. Complete Integrated Inpatient Rehab with Free Post Discharge Therapy Planning.CALL (877) 596-3683
End the Emotional Pain Rollercoaster. Gain Stability & Happiness Through Recovery Treatment. Start Mental Health Counseling Today. Get Free No-obligation Guidance by Behaviroal Health Specialists Who Understand Mental Health Recovery.
Popular Postpartum Anxiety FAQs
Is Zoloft For Postpartum Anxiety?
Yes, Zoloft (generic name: sertraline) is commonly prescribed as a medication for postpartum anxiety. It is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) that helps increase serotonin levels in the brain, which can improve mood and alleviate anxiety symptoms.
Zoloft has been extensively studied and found to be effective in treating various anxiety disorders, including postpartum anxiety. It is considered one of the preferred antidepressants for breastfeeding mothers due to its relatively low transfer levels into breast milk.
Anxiety Disorder Facts & Treatment Programs That Can Help You Informative Video
Anxiety disorders are highly prevalent in mental health, impacting many individuals. According to data from the National Institute of Mental Health, approximately 31.1% of Americans have encountered some form of anxiety disorder. Although anxiety is a natural response to stress that everyone experiences, individuals with anxiety disorders consistently confront excessive, persistent, and overwhelming worries about everyday situations.
These feelings of anxiety and panic disrupt daily functioning and present significant challenges in terms of management. Furthermore, these concerns often surpass the actual threat level and continue long after the triggering event has concluded. As a result, individuals may develop avoidance behaviors, actively avoiding situations or individuals they perceive as potential triggers. Symptoms of anxiety can arise during childhood or adolescence and persist into adulthood.
Anxiety activates the body’s stress response, commonly called the fight, flight or freeze response. This innate survival mechanism rapidly mobilizes the body in emergency situations, exerting pressure on various bodily systems.
Experience Transformative Recovery at the We Level Up Treatment Center.
See our authentic success stories. Get inspired. Get the help you deserve.
Start a New Life
Begin with a free call to a behavioral health treatment advisor. Learn more about our dual-diagnosis programs. The We Level Up treatment center network delivers recovery programs that vary by each treatment facility. Call to learn more.
- Personalized Care
- Caring Accountable Staff
- World-class Amenities
- Licensed & Accredited
- Renowned w/ 5-Star Reviews
We’ll Call You
Search We Level Up WA Mental Health Topics & Resources
- National Institute of Mental Health – “Anxiety Disorders” Link: https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/anxiety-disorders/index.shtml
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) – “Mental Health – Anxiety and Depression” Link: https://www.cdc.gov/mentalhealth/learn/index.htm
- National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute – “Coping With Stress and Anxiety” Link: https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health-topics/coping-with-stress-and-anxiety
- MedlinePlus – “Anxiety” Link: https://medlineplus.gov/anxiety.html
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) – “Anxiety Disorders” Link: https://www.samhsa.gov/conditions/anxiety-disorders
- National Institute on Aging – “Anxiety Disorders in Older Adults” Link: https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/anxiety-disorders-older-adults
- Office on Women’s Health – “Anxiety Disorders” Link: https://www.womenshealth.gov/mental-health/mental-health-conditions/anxiety-disorders
- National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health – “Anxiety” Link: https://www.nccih.nih.gov/health/anxiety-at-a-glance
- U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs – “Anxiety Disorders” Link: https://www.mentalhealth.va.gov/anxiety.asp
- National Library of Medicine – “Anxiety” Link: https://medlineplus.gov/anxiety.html