Postpartum anxiety wreaking havoc with your life worn-out mama? You aren’t alone!
According to Postpartum Support International, 10% off postpartum women experience some form of postpartum anxiety. Sounds small but it means that in 2018, 397,849 women had this problem.
What does it feel like?
Your thoughts are spiraling and you build upon one negative idea and branch off from there. You have lost all sense of control with no clue how to get it back. It can feel like the only thing to do is to have a complete mental breakdown and someone else pick up the pieces.
What are some triggers for the anxiety?
Most of the worries that set a new mom off are going to be baby related. Makes sense right?
You’ve just been handed this new human being who cries, eats, sleeps, and poops on their own crazy timeline. You’re sleep cycle is all jacked up which already doesn’t put you in a position to handle emotions very well.
Here’s a couple of things that might be setting you off but everyone is different!
For me, postpartum anxiety was centered around all things breastfeeding. My primary goal was to keep my little guy fed and my life was centered around making that happen.
Anybody messing with my focus on feeding and complicating how I was going to get that done, sent me down the rabbit hole.
- What time does he need to eat next?
- Should I pump now or try to feed him early?
- Do I need to bring him with me or bring my pump instead?
It wasn’t just people though, it was my feelings of inadequacy about breastfeeding too.
- Why aren’t I producing enough?
- What products can I buy and foods can I eat to help increase lactation?
- Why was this so easy for my mom and sister but so difficult for me?
- How do I supplement with formula and not feel like a giant failure?
Just like when you buy a new car and now see cars everywhere like yours, it seems like all the stories you will hear are baby safety related.
As a new mom, I felt like Facebook was the place to share every grief article over babies and provide me with a new worry to focus over. My energy could be spent grieving for a mom I didn’t know and then fixating on how I could protect my own child from that particular trauma.
Again, thoughts spiraling but now over how to bubble wrap their childhood.
- A temperature alert monitor for their room
- A heart monitor for their foot
- Buying the right pajamas
- Checking their breathing throughout the night
What can help the postpartum anxiety?
You know that you have it but you need to figure out what the hell to do with it!
Tell Someone Close
This is the hardest but also the most important. You’re going to struggle to put what you’re feeling into words but you need to say them.
Saying them helps you feel less crazy, promise. There needs to be no shame to what you are feeling so grab a friend who has had a baby or your spouse, maybe even your mom.
If you can’t put anything your feeling to words just yet, start writing in a journal first. Getting your ideas organized might give you the courage to then say them.
My first step was a text to my sister about feeling like I gave birth to an unhappy child a week after I had given birth. It wasn’t the end to my worries and trips down the rabbit hole, but it helped me know I could say what I was thinking.
Avoid Your Triggers
I mentioned Facebook and the horrible articles of loss that would be in my feed daily. Avoiding clicking on the click bait or just staying off of FB is the answer. If someone tries to tell you a horrible story, stop them and tell them you just can’t handle it right now.
Tell people that breastfeeding is important to you and to please not plan things spur-of-the-moment. Let them in on the process your brain goes through to get out the door with breastfeeding being the main focus.
Possibly stop breastfeeding. This ended up being my choice when my supply got super low again and I was stressing about diet and supplements all over again.
Talk to Your Doctor
Researching what might be causing postpartum anxiety can be defeating as a big summary is people don’t know what causes the condition. Most of the articles I came across discussed hormone imbalance.
Talk to your doctor and ask all of the questions you have. They’ve dealt with people in your situation and can have some good advice on things to try.
You may need a prescription to help for a while that is safe for baby or there may be over-the-counter products to try. They may even recommend some regular therapy to continue to talk through what’s triggering your anxiety.
Supplements to Try
I’m not a doctor and I’m not recommending any products ahead of consulting with a physician. If you feel like your anxiety is mostly under control and would like to give some things a shot that have helped others, these ideas are for you!
CBD Oil without THC is what I ended up trying and it worked for me. I had stopped breastfeeding so do some research on that topic if you have a concern.
You just put a dropper under your tongue twice a day and I saw results within a week. It really did return me to a sense of calm and allow me to stop the running thoughts issue.
Being more relaxed again also helped my sex drive return which was a real plus.
I don’t have a brand that I stand behind and just picked a local shop to pick some up. I don’t recommend cherry flavor because it tasted like cough medicine!
If you need another testimonial on how it can help anxiety, checkout this article from Shape Magazine.
Natural Vitality Calm
*The link is provided for your convenience and I receive a small commission, at no cost to you, on any purchases made through the link.
Natural Vitality Calm is a powdered supplement that you can put into a glass of water starting with a teaspoon. The powder is made up of magnesium which is also known to help you sleep as a nice side-effect.
This came recommended to me by a fellow anxiety sufferer who swears by the product. They also stock it at my chiropractor’s office so they must be doing something right!
You can also checkout this review of the product on YouTube which is pretty informative.
Your Postpartum Anxiety Feelings Are Real
Don’t minimize them and say you’re just “being silly” and the feelings will pass. Talk about them with a friend and your doctor. If talking doesn’t solve it, try a prescribed medication to get you back on track or give a supplement a try.
There’s no shame in telling people what you are feeling so that you can get the help you need and let you focus on being the great mama that you are!