Postpartum anxiety is different from depression: Watch for symptoms

Postpartum anxiety and depression are different conditions that can affect new moms separately or at the same time.

Postpartum anxiety symptoms are different from those of postpartum depression, and new moms can have one condition and not the other. They also can have both at the same time.

Worrying about a new baby is normal. Is she eating enough? Is he sleeping too much? Germs!

And you’re not going to get enough sleep.

Does the worry consume you? Are you able to sleep when baby sleeps? Are you having panic attacks? Are you fearful something will happen to baby? Do disturbing images pop in your mind?

It’s important not to dismiss postpartum anxiety symptoms or confuse them with the slew of changes your body goes through after birth.

Norton Women’s Mental Health Services

Norton Women’s Mental Health Services provides outpatient women’s mental health services on the Norton Healthcare – St. Matthews campus. We are committed to providing quality mental health care to women across their lifespan.

To get more information or to schedule an appointment, call:

(502) 899-6220

If you feel you are having anxiety-related symptoms that are causing you difficulty, this may be postpartum anxiety.

“Having a baby is a time of transition. Some situational anxiety is not uncommon,” said Amanda B. Hettinger, M.D., psychiatrist with Norton Women’s Mental Health Services. “However, if this is causing more disruption in your daily activities and does not feel like it is getting better, I would highly recommend being evaluated. Treatment can be very helpful.”

Postpartum anxiety symptoms can include:

  • Constant worry or nervousness
  • Insomnia and fatigue
  • Extreme attention to the baby
  • Disrupted appetite
  • Dizziness, hot flashes, vomiting or nausea
  • Thoughts of catastrophic events or worry regarding the future
  • Distraction; inability to concentrate

New moms who have previously experienced mental health symptoms may notice their symptoms worsen after delivery. New anxiety-related symptoms after childbirth could include panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder.

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