For a new mom, it is a very usual thing to confront worry and anxiety after the birth of your baby. Some new mothers worry so overwhelmingly that they are diagnosed with postpartum anxiety or postpartum “baby blues.” Postpartum anxiety is a compilation of two words that defines this; the first word, postpartum, refers to a period after the parturition of a baby. The second-word anxiety points to combined feelings of fear, uneasiness, panic, etc.

The postpartum “baby blues” typically comprises crying spells, anxiety, mood swings, and difficulty sleeping. The baby blues generally begin 2 or 3 days after the baby’s birth and can prolong up to two weeks or more. 

It is a worry disorder that is often characterized by affecting new mothers. Because the initial habits of a newborn baby are a very unfamiliar thing for a new mother, and in most cases, this unfamiliarity to the initial and changing patterns of the baby leads to postpartum anxiety. Many mothers describe this anxiety in the sense that it is a persistent or near-persistent worry that can not be alleviated.

Postpartum anxiety is the nervousness that occurs in moms after a baby’s birth. It is an illogical fear or extravagant worry that something is inaccurate and usually involves distressing all day, every day, and many other things. It is common to be stressed and have twitchy feelings after having a baby. It is comparable to chronic anxiety but closely related to having a baby and becoming a parent. While a few amounts of anxiety are average during this phase, postpartum anxiety refers to irresistible anxiety and unmanageable worry that hinders your daily functioning. Beyond postpartum anxiety, You may experience insubmissive thoughts and physical symptoms and find it hard to oversee your baby and yourself.

Many moms are told that depression and sadness after having a baby are ordinary and can turn into postpartum depression or baby blues. But not all new moms know that feeling highly fearful or anxious or even getting panic attacks can be nearly as common. It is unsure exactly how many people experience estimations of this condition range from 4.4% to 18%. One detailed review of 58 studies on postpartum anxiety found a frequency rate of 8.5%.

Seeking opinion and medication will not only help you to recover, but it can hold your baby’s development. It can also keep you entangled in your lifestyle, activities, and relationships that are important for you. 

Like all other anxiety disorders, there is not any declared cause or effect of postpartum anxiety. Additionally, the research on the causes of postpartum anxiety is limited.   

Postpartum Anxiety can arise from desperate hormonal changes to sleep poverty to feeling devastated by the responsibilities of nurturing a new baby. 

Factors Responsible For Developing Postpartum Anxiety 

Neurobiological analysis has found differences and similarities in brain activity between anxiety in different populations and postpartum anxiety. This may demonstrate that there are other sets of reasons for postpartum anxiety. One of the leading causes is

Hormonal changes

Hormonal changes after giving birth_Unlike the concern in the standard population, the hormonal changes related to pregnancy may also contribute to postpartum anxiety. One assumption is that postpartum estrogen evacuation may lead to stress. During pregnancy, estrogen levels rise considerably and quickly drop lower than in pre-pregnancy groups after the baby’s birth through the postpartum period. For some moms, such swings in hormone level may have a massive impact on their entire mood and feeling of stress than for other women.  

The other common reasons are

  • Sleep Deprivation
  • The nervousness of carrying a new, helpless, and tiny baby
  • Social pressure on new mommies and their expectations to be perfect
  • Relationship transformations that can occur after a baby’s birth
  • Having a history of panic attacks or anxiety
  • The earlier miscarriage or stillbirth
  • Types of moms who are “TYPE A,” very sensible, or easily tensed, are more expected to be suffering from postpartum anxiety.
  • Having a baby with health issues or a premature baby
  • Anxiety usually occurs because the brain cannot produce and control two primary neurotransmitters called Serotonin and GABA.
  • Anxiety hormone levels become uplifted, and the brain cannot produce the suitable amounts of serotonin and GABA, which describe the brain to “SLOW DOWN.”
  • The mental problems caused by genetics, excess stress, or poor diet

Unfortunately, stress gets worse time by time as these chemicals become consumed further. Whatever the cause, the main thing to deliver the brain is that which it needs to protect itself against anxiety and remain calm and happy. 

Moms succumbing to postpartum anxiety can confront many symptoms, including the given ones:

  • Racing thoughts
  • Excessive worry about the health and nourishment of the baby
  • Dread or sense of danger
  • A persistent hallucination that something is going wrong
  • Highly exhaustive feelings and insomnia 
  • An overriding burden, concern, and stress of being a good parent
  • Fluctuations in breathing rate, heartbeat, and also chest pain
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Chills or hot flashes 
  • Shaking

These are frequently reported symptoms; however, different persons can feel the same or other additional symptoms. Every sufferer should keenly look upon the indications that he experiences because the pickup of righteous choice leans directly on severity and variations of these indications.

For new parents, night depicts the concerns like when their baby will go to sleep, how long will their baby sleep, and when will their baby wake up. These apprehensions can be highly irritating and make it challenging to quiet your mind. The quietness and darkness of night make these anxiety feelings worse, and the daylight hours are highlighted as more effective in distracting these disturbing thoughts. According to the words of Silverman, moms tackling postpartum anxiety are mostly agitating and irritable. 

Anxiety Attack Causes and Treatment

The overwhelmed concern of adequately taking care of the baby results in off-balanced sleep during the night and sleep deprivation that typically contributes to drastic hormonal changes. Postpartum anxiety is so commonly affecting mothers that every 1 of the 6 mothers is battling against this. Stress can rapidly grow up in a mother because of inadequate and short sleep that directly impacts her ability to love and care about herself and her power.

People are often seen to confuse postpartum anxiety and postpartum panic attacks as mirror images of each other, but it is not valid. There exists a link between both of the conditions, and many times their symptoms mix up. Both of the two states have their symptoms, causes, treatments, and risk factors too. 

Postpartum Panic Attacks

If you have postpartum panic attacks, you are among those 1 out of 10 new moms who are also experiencing these attacks. Panic attacks are very unpredictable episodes of extreme fear when there is no danger in reality. Postpartum panic attacks can make you feel intensively scared, and they are not life-threatening, but they can prove very life-impacting.

The three most probable fears leading to postpartum panic attacks include fear of losing control, going crazy, and fear of death. And during the postpartum period, these fears directly link to motherhood and the newborn baby. For example, the fear of the new motherhood experience makes you lose control and the fear that the baby will die. The main symptoms that are reported by people suffering from postpartum panic attacks are:

  • Indecisiveness
  • Being easily unfocus
  • Insomnia and fatigue
  • Difficulty focusing and remembering things
  • Inability to calm
  • Loss of appetite
  • Agitation and irritability
  • Suicidal thoughts and feelings
  • Excessive worry and fear
  • Agoraphobia
  • A persistent fear of danger and death

Differences Between Postpartum Anxiety And Postpartum Panic Attacks

The dissimilarity of their indications can identify the first main difference between postpartum anxiety and postpartum panic attacks. Worrying feelings explain the former one while the latter depicts the feelings of fear. 

The subsequent noticeable deviation is the substantial difference between the time duration of both of the conditions. The span of postpartum panic attacks is very concise, and invariably, the symptoms last for 10 to 15 minutes, and usually, the symptoms vanish after the attack is over. In comparison, postpartum anxiety lasts for a continuous period.

The coming difference between the two is their unique and diverging treatments. Based on distinctive symptoms, their treatments also opt accordingly. Both conditions are curable, and therapies, medications, and lifestyle reformations are suggested as effective solutions. 

There is no cut-off time-lapse for postpartum anxiety, but the optimistic news is that it is not irrecoverable and can be treated. Recovery time varies in different moms based on how soon they started taking treatment and preventive measures. However, if the problem is left untreated, its mid-way or taxing symptoms can last forever.

Even experts don’t know precisely how long postpartum anxiety can linger on. But based on a survey made by the review study in 2015, a generalized postpartum anxiety disorder can pertain for six months or more. 

According to statistics revealed by a study in 2018, it was noted that:

  • 35% of the moms tackled anxiety during pregnancy 
  • 17% confronted this immediately after the birth of the baby 
  • 20% developed this during the postpartum period of 6 months after delivery 

Numerous patients likewise noticed satiation in the symptoms after the birth of a baby, while others did not.

Postpartum anxiety is a psychological health condition that results in symptoms that might include tense feelings, worrying thoughts, and physical signs such as a rise in blood pressure. It refers to exaggerated anxiety through the postpartum period, which is the time next to childbirth.

Postpartum anxiety usually lasts for six months or more. On the other hand, some researchers advise that some people may have postpartum anxiety if they have a set of symptoms for one month. 

Postpartum Depression

Postpartum depression(PPD) is an additional type of post-delivery anxiety and mood disorder that women face after giving birth. It is a mental disorder that involves feeling tearful and sad for at least 2 weeks. Symptoms of postpartum depression include irritability, restlessness, fatigue, lack of concern in engaging activities, problems with attentiveness, feeling guilty or useless, alterations in sleeping patterns, and pernicious thoughts.

Postpartum depression first gained therapeutic attention in 1970. Researchers knew much more about PPD than postpartum anxiety, but as stated by a 2021 report, 11-21% of women in the US suffer stress disorders in the perinatal and postpartum periods. One research in 2018 found that 75% of people who have experienced postpartum anxiety will also have expertise in PPD. 

Co-Occurrence Of Postpartum Anxiety And Postpartum Depression 

Some women may develop both postpartum depression and anxiety at the same time. A woman having both disorders feels sad and depressed most of the time and anxious and fearful. This combo can cause reasonable stress for a woman. Luckily, treatments are available, including medication and therapy, that can deliver symptoms of both postpartum anxiety and PPD at the same time.

How postpartum anxiety and postpartum depression are related to one another is not fully understood. But some researchers indicate that postpartum anxiety is more common than postpartum depression. Postpartum anxiety and PPD are not the same, and some appraisals claim that about 20-25% of people with anxiety disorders also suffer postpartum depression in two months after childbirth.

Generally, postpartum anxiety is not as studied as its cousin postpartum depression. Even so, it is assessed that “one in every five women is affected by postpartum anxiety.” 

The great news is that there are numerous cures for moms dealing with postpartum anxiety. You must call your clinical psychologists or a PPA treatment center at the initial signs of extravagant worry after the birth. Tell your baby’s pediatrician or OB-GYN immediately if you begin to feel affected, panicked, or overly worried. Regardless of postpartum anxiety possibly having different causes than stress in the specific population. It ordinarily is treated in the same way. Nevertheless, in selecting the right treatment plan, your doctor should consider your postpartum status, including breastfeeding.

Natural Remedies For PPA

Well-informed anxiety victims have moved to natural remedies for centuries to help balance and substructure their brain and obtain a calm, stress-free state without drugs. These remedies are frequently used to avoid the inconvenience, side effects, and cost of medicinal anxiety drugs. It is crucial always to examine natural remedies and speak with reliable healthcare workers to make knowledgeable decisions about your health.

If you are an anxiety patient interested in natural remedies, it’s a difficult choice to make. There are just so many ingredients and companies.

Some of these are:

  • Eating nutritious food
  • Ravishing time for yourself
  • Getting regular exercise
  • Joining a support group
  • Learning to set attainable expectations

Therapies

Moderate to complex cases are often treated through medications and therapy, most frequently the class of anti-anxiety drugs known as SSRIs and antidepressants. If your PPA symptoms are averting you from doing primary tasks, then you should follow some therapies:

Aromatherapy

Some necessary oils can help soothe anxiety. 

Most research discovered that aromatherapy intercession improved postpartum psychological and physiological health, with doubtless effects on depression, fatigue, distress, anxiety, physical pain, post- cesarean-delivery-nausea, post episiotomy pain, post-cesarean-delivery-pain, post episiotomy, recovery, stress, and sleep quality. 

Interpersonal Psychotherapy

Interpersonal psychotherapy is contemporarily thought to be one of the most efficacious therapy models for postpartum anxiety. Interpersonal therapy is a time-limited remedy(12-16 weeks), and symptom relief is the main target.

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive-behavioral therapy is the first-line diagnosis for moderate and mild PPA. Relaxation techniques and mindfulness training also are beneficial treatments for lowering stress levels and symptoms of PPA. 

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy

Dialectical behavioral therapy began as a therapy for BPT but is now effective in many instances where the pain is prominent. It is effective in the following categories. 

Emotional regulation, distress tolerance, mindfulness, and interpersonal effectiveness. Dialectical behavioral therapy is constantly supported through individual and group therapy and follows a specific guideline for tutoring skills to reduce stress symptoms.

Proving yourself successful new parents is not child’s play because you need to think about every aspect of your newborn. And many times, this excessive contemplation causes the parents to suffer from postpartum anxiety.

Though postpartum anxiety sounds not a deadening thing, the only person undergoing this agony can honestly tell how deadening it is. However, it is not numbing, but it can be overthrown smoothly with appropriate treatment and therapies. So it would be amazing if you will take the remedy as early as feasible so that you can avoid as many harmful effects as possible. Because you need to be physically and mentally fit to take care of yourself and your newborn baby and become successful and ideal parents.

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