2805 Butterfield Road, Suite 120, Oak Brook, IL 60523
9631 West 153rd Street, Suite 33, Orland Park, IL 60462
3225 Shallowford Road, Suite 500, Marietta, GA 30062

How Do I Know If I Have Postpartum Anxiety?

How Do I Know If I Have Postpartum Anxiety?

Let’s face it: being a parent is hard. While meaningful, bringing in a new life into this world can result in both anxiety and distress around the unknown and the additional responsibility of caring for the well-being of a newborn. Whether this is your first, second, or third child the postpartum phase is often difficult for parents.

Many new parents try to take each moment and day as they come. The excitement of bringing home a new baby is palpable. However, with that excitement can often come anxiety, stress, and subsequent feelings of sadness. For some parents this experience of anxiety and hopelessness can be impairing and make daily life a struggle.

While it is not talked about often in society, the new chapter of parenthood is often one that is filled with great anxiety. Still, sometimes, you could be experiencing something talked about even less — postpartum anxiety.


What Is Postpartum Anxiety?

The human body undergoes many hormonal and physical changes during pregnancy and after labor. While the body and its chemicals rapidly change during pregnancy to accommodate new life, the aftermath is as profound. After labor, the body does its best to return to its state before pregnancy, causing hormone fluctuations to occur just as rapidly.

The human body is wondrous, but that doesn’t always mean it does things exactly how it should. For many women, their bodies have difficulty trying to return to a more stable state. Hormonal fluctuations paired with a lack of sleep and the pressures of being a parent can result in the development of postpartum anxiety.

How Do I Know If I Have Postpartum Anxiety?

Many women normalize their feelings of significant anxiety as an expected part of the postpartum period. Many women may wait for the anxiety to ameliorate itself on its own or disregard it as a side effect of sleep deprivation.

While each woman who experiences postpartum anxiety will go through it differently on some level, there are some common signs and symptoms to watch out for.

  • Extreme fatigue beyond the normal “new parent stage.”
  • Constantly worrying about everything and anything, not being able to just “turn it off.”
  • Avoidance of places or situations that could potentially cause harm to your baby. Even if it’s as simple as getting in the car to go to the grocery store with them.
  • Constant dread
  • Feeling dizzy
  • Chest pains
  • Extreme nausea
  • Muscle aches and spasms
  • Lack of appetite
  • Easily irritable
  • Constantly feeling restless
  • Racing thoughts
  • Sweating/feeling clammy
  • Constantly feeling on edge or restless
  • Shortness of breath

Real-Life Examples of Postpartum Anxiety

Looking at the list above, you may recognize some of these signs in yourself. However, you might still doubt whether this is what you are truly experiencing. Let’s investigate this in greater detail.

A major sign that you are dealing with postpartum anxiety is if your worries and fears begin to impact your daily life and routine. For example, you might feel you need to stay up all night, even if the baby is sleeping, to check on them 24/7. Or you may be left with a crippling fear that something bad will happen to your child if you leave them for any length of time with someone else or leave the room temporarily.

Sometimes, postpartum anxiety can become so severe that it can prevent a mother from wanting to leave the house at all with her baby. She may think of every worst-case scenario that can happen from the time they step outside the front door.

What To Do

Please know that if you are experiencing postpartum anxiety there is hope. As we mentioned earlier, rapidly changing hormones and fluctuations in the body are often the culprits of many postpartum conditions. Many women struggle with postpartum anxiety, and you are not alone. The clinicians at The OCD & Anxiety Center are trained in evidenced based therapies for anxiety such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. Our clinicians will collaborate with you to develop a treatment plan addressing your specific symptoms with the goal of reclaiming your life from the effects of anxiety. We understand this new chapter is a challenge and are ready to help guide you through it.Reach out today to learn more about treatment that is right for you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

2805 Butterfield Road suite 120
Oak Brook, IL 60523

(630) 522-3124

Got Questions?
Send a Message!

Please be aware that this web form is intended for general information only. No specific medical advice will be given for questions posed through this form.