Most new moms are screened by their doctor for post-partum depression (PPD) symptoms, but did you know that new mothers can also be affected with post-partum anxiety (PPA)? PPA can begin during pregnancy up to one year after giving birth or even when weaning from breast feeding. Here are a few symtoms or a few things to look for:
- Excessive constant worry – worries that cannot be eased
- Irritability – Tension
- Restlessness – Panic attacks
- Racing thoughts – Insomnia
- Fatigue – Heart palpitations
- Hyperventilation – Muscle tension
- Sweating – Nausea or Vomiting
Most anxieties with a new baby are normal, and eventually the parents are able to dismiss their worries. However, if worries continues and dread comes along with thinking about everyday activities this becomes a problem. Also, panic attacks that come out of the blue and inhibit the parent’s ability to function.
The mothers whom are pre-disposed to get PPA are those whom have a personal or family history of anxiety or depression, some symptoms of PMS such as being weepy or agitated, eating disorders, OCD, women who have had miscarriage or stillbirth. Treatment for PPA is a combination of community support, therapy, and medication. If a mother has PPA, it can be helpful to have someone to talk to or be able to give breaks from baby duties. It can also be helpful working with a therapist that can assist with learning coping skills.