Postpartum anxiety or postpartum depression- which is it?

It’s natural to stress after the birth of your baby. You wonder, are they eating well? Are they sleeping enough? Are they hitting all the precious milestones? And what about germs? Will I ever sleep again? How did such a lot of laundry pile up?


Perfectly reasonable — not to mention, a symbol of your already existing deep love for your newborn. However, sometimes it’s something more. If you feel your anxiety seems out of control, has you jittery most of the time, or keeps you up in the dark, you can have quite the new-parent jitters.


You’ve probably heard of postpartum depression (PPD). It’s gotten tons of press, and trust us, that’s an honest thing — because postpartum depression is genuine and deserves the eye. But are you conscious of its lesser-known cousin, postpartum anxiety disorder? Let’s take a better look.


Symptoms of postpartum anxiety

Keep in mind that the majority (if not all) new parents experience some worry. But the symptoms of the postpartum anxiety include:

  • racing thoughts

  • constant or near-constant worry that can’t be eased

  • feelings of dread about things you fear can happen

  • sleep disruption (yes, this is often a tough one to select out, since a newborn means your sleep is going to be disrupted even without having anxiety — but consider this as an awakening or having trouble sometimes sleeping when your baby’s sleeping peacefully)


As if all that wasn’t enough, you’ll even have physical symptoms associated with postpartum anxiety, including:

  • heart palpitations

  • fatigue

  • sweating

  • nausea or vomiting

  • hyperventilation

  • shakiness or trembling


There are a few even more specific types of postpartum anxiety — postpartum anxiety disorder and postpartum obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). The symptoms match those of their non-postpartum counterparts, though they may relate more specifically to your role as a replacement parent.


With postpartum OCD, you can have obsessive, recurring thoughts about harm, or maybe death befalling your baby. With a postpartum anxiety disorder, you’ll have sudden panic attacks associated with similar thoughts.


Postpartum anxiety symptoms include:

  • shortness of breath or a feeling that you are choking or unable to breathe

  • chest pain

  • dizziness

  • racing heart


Postpartum anxiety Vs. postpartum depression

  • In one study, a trusted Source that checked out 4,451 women who had recently born, 18 percent self-reported symptoms associated with anxiety. Of those, 35 percent also showed symptoms of postpartum depression. That’s huge — and a big reminder that you’re not alone during this.

  • It shows that you can undoubtedly have PPD and postpartum anxiety at an equivalent time — but you can even have one without the opposite. So, how does one tell them apart?

  • The two can have similar physical symptoms. But with PPD, you sometimes feel overwhelming sadness and should have thoughts about harming yourself or your baby.

  • If you’ve got some or all of the symptoms above — but without intense depression — you can have a postpartum mental disorder.

Causes of postpartum anxiety

  • Let’s be honest: childbirth — especially your first — can easily trigger worry. And when every new product you purchase carries with it warning label about sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), it doesn’t help matters.

  • But why does this happen? For one thing, during the entire trying-to-conceive, pregnancy, and postpartum process, your body’s hormones are going from zero to 60 and back again.

  • But why some women get postpartum maybe a little bit of a mystery, as long as the hormone fluctuations are universal. If you had experienced anxiety before your pregnancy — or if you’ve got relations with it — you’re certainly more in danger . an equivalent goes for the obsessive-compulsive disorder.


Other factors which can up your risk include

  • history of disorder

  • previous pregnancy loss or death of an infant

  • history of more intense mood-related symptoms together with your period

  • One study found that ladies with previous miscarriage or stillbirth were more likely to possess postpartum anxiety.


Treatment for postpartum anxiety

  • The most important process in getting help for postpartum anxiety is to urge diagnosis. It might be even higher, because some women may stay silent about their symptoms.

  • Be sure to travel to your postpartum check-up together with your doctor. It is often usually scheduled within the primary six weeks after delivery. Know that you can — and will — also schedule a follow-up appointment whenever you’ve got worrisome symptoms.

  • Both postpartum anxiety and PPD can have an effect on your bond with your baby. But there’s treatment available.

  • After talking about your symptoms together with your doctor, you can get medications, a referral to a psychological state specialist, or recommendations for supplements or complementary treatments like acupuncture.


Certain activities also can assist you to feel more on top of things, like:

  • exercise

  • relaxation techniques

  • mindfulness


One study of 30 women of childbearing age showed that exercise — especially resistance training — lowered symptoms of generalized mental disorder. Now, these women weren’t within the postpartum stage, but this result bears considering.


Outlook for postpartum anxiety

  • With the proper treatment, you can get over postpartum anxiety and bond together with your sweet baby.

  • You may be tempted to place of treatment thanks to thinking. My anxiety will get away when junior hit a subsequent milestone. But the reality is, anxiety can snowball quickly instead of resolve on its own.

  • The baby blues are quite common, but they typically only last a few weeks. If you’re handling longer-term, severe worry and symptoms that are becoming within the way of life with your baby, tell your doctor — and don’t be afraid to stay bringing it up if it doesn’t recover with initial treatment.

Image Credits: Getty Images

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