Postpartum Anxiety

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Postpartum Anxiety
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    Community Voices

    Down Dog & Pass it On: Parental Benefits to Baby & Me Yoga

    <p>Down Dog & Pass it On: Parental Benefits to Baby & Me Yoga</p>
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    A New Reality in Mom Stress

    <p>A New Reality in Mom Stress</p>
    Community Voices
    Community Voices
    Community Voices


    Karen Kleiman

    Speaking Out About Postpartum Depression and Anxiety

    When I knocked on their doors in the late 80s, some medical providers listened to me, but most thought they knew everything they needed to know about postpartum depression and anxiety. They believed symptoms of perinatal distress landed on two ends of the spectrum. Either women had severe symptoms, were unable to care for their children, and were possibly at risk of harming themselves or their babies, or every new mother who presented with symptoms of overwhelming anxiety and tearfulness pretty much characterized our culture’s antiquated expectation that “all new mothers feel this way.” Very few health care providers took the time to learn that there was something deeper going on with new moms’ mental health. Women who risked expressing their fears and vulnerabilities were often met with patronizing hyperboles, or in rare instances, they were shocked to discover that Child Services was called to protect their baby from the perils of misinterpreted maternal emotions. Afraid they would be misunderstood, overreacted to, or underreacted to, many new moms learned to stop telling their providers how they were really feeling. Continuing my pursuit for information and answers, I directed my attention to the moms themselves. I encouraged them to talk to me. I said, “Tell me what you are feeling, what you need, what might help you feel better.” They told me they were scared. They told me they never expected being a mother would feel this way. They told me they were terrified no one would understand some of the thoughts and emotions they were having and they would be judged to be a bad mother, or worse, their baby would be taken away. They told me they loved their babies more than anything in the world and they did not believe they were good moms. They told me they never felt this bad in their entire life. They told me no one was listening. So I listened. And I went back to knocking on doors. Today, more people are listening — but not enough. While there is momentum in the right direction, distress cries still go unnoticed and are often dismissed as par for the course for new motherhood. Perinatal distress pierces the hearts of new mothers, and until our culture takes this seriously, women and babies will continue to die. At least 1 out of every 7 women walking into OBGYN offices experiences clinical depression. This is not the blues, an adjustment disorder, or the transition to motherhood. We are talking about serious symptoms t hat meet diagnostic criteria for a mood or anxiety disorder. You cannot tell a mother has a postpartum disorder by looking at her. You cannot assume if she looks “good” or says what you expect to hear that she is fine. If you do not ask the right questions, you have no idea if she is thinking of killing herself or not. We cannot afford not to listen to new moms. And now more than ever, many new moms are incomprehensibly overworked, overtired, and near their breaking points. In today’s uncertain climate with unprecedented stressors and expectations, our mission to protect the mental health of new moms and dads is more imperative than ever. We must ask the hard questions. We must not judge. We must create a safe environment that enables new parents to trust us. We must listen. We must respond with concrete resources and support. After all, these parents are raising the children who are our future. They should not be doing that alone. Karen Kleiman is an author, an advocate, and the Founding Director of The Postpartum Stress Center, LLC.

    Community Voices

    Interviewing Anxiety

    I've been off work for years raising our toddler. GAD, SAD, Panic Disorder, Postpartum Anxiety... my diagnosis between 2006 & 2022. After working in marketing for 11 years, then having these years at home not working, I have developed a legit, serious fear and uncontrollable anxiety with physical manifestations (nausea, sweating, no focus, etc.) leading up to interviewing and re-entering the job market. I know that I have to use CBT techniques and will meet with my therapist on the 29th; but gosh, this is like hell for me. Before the baby, before our time off, before COVID-19, etc., I never got nervous or anxious like this before an interview. I did really well for the most part. Now, I can't shake this feeling. Help! #AnxietyAttack #Career #jobanxiety #interviewing #PanicAttacks

    Community Voices

    Which type of anxiety do you experience most?

    <p>Which type of <a href="" class="tm-embed-link  tm-autolink health-map" data-id="5b23ce5f00553f33fe98d1b4" data-name="anxiety" title="anxiety" target="_blank">anxiety</a> do you experience most?</p>
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    Christina Aldridge

    Molar Pregnancy, Cancer and the Miscarriage That Never Ends

    I have not written a blog since my surgery; I have journaled and that has helped, but that format is very different. I tried to write blogs multiple times, my phone is filled with incomplete sentences and ideas never followed up on; but, I have not been able to write about much in this setting other than this experience. I have been absolutely unable to find any supports online, regarding this specific, rare diagnosis. I will start sharing the basics thus far, the physical stuff, the science behind what is happening, but then I will write about the cloudy areas, the gray areas and the emotional stuff nobody gets. Three months later, I finally do not need weekly blood work. Three months later, I have three more months of getting blood work monthly to ensure no cancer has grown. Three months more and then we can … hopefully … breathe again. The last three months have been one big inhale, waiting for permission to exhale. My body went through, continues to go through, the typical afterbirth process … minus a child. I have had hair loss … I am not comfortable wearing my hair up. I have gained and lost weight, I don’t recognize this body I am existing in. I have been diagnosed with postpartum depression, I have had suicidal ideations unlike anything I have experienced before. I have had postpartum anxiety, I am fearful of even more irrational things than previously. Needless to say, every day, week and month has been some new twist and turn on this roller coaster I did not pay admission for (as Michael would say, “I want to get off of Mr. bones’ wild ride”). So, scientifically, this all makes sense. This is normal, and expected and hormonally explainable. But, as a real living human, this is awful. This sucks, this is unexplainable torment I would not wish upon a single soul on this earth. I took a pregnancy test today. I doubted it would show anything, but I am fearful my hormones are increasing without my knowing. I am fearful cancer is just growing quietly and violently. I have been feeling poorly, emotionally and physically (despite multiple sclerosis (MS) symptoms) and I have not gotten a period (again, my period has always been irregular so this is not indicative of literally anything). But last night I had an overwhelming feeling of nausea and illness and fatigue out of nowhere. It felt similar to when I was pregnant. These unpredictable, unexplainable physical sensations (again MS is not helpful in determining what is the cause) are confusing and overwhelming and fear inducing. So, I took a pregnancy test since my blood work is not due for days yet. It was negative. I should not have taken that … 100% rationally I knew it would be negative, I knew…know I am nowhere near pregnant. But, emotionally, seeing that one line ripped my heart out again and sent a pit in my stomach so deep I felt I had fallen right though the floor. Why did I take a pregnancy test today? That is one example of what I feel, the continued grief and confusion, and the unending anger that unconsciously bubbles over the top when unexpected. I have noticed, more recently, an unusual amount of anger and resentment towards every day life and I feel completely and utterly drained by it. Maybe that is why I am writing this, to help me work through letting it go; or maybe to validate that I am not an absolute “crazy” woman. Either way, I recognize that my molar pregnancy was a loss. A huge loss I am still working to even wrap my head around. Therefore, my doctor was not wrong in calling this the miscarriage that continues. Each time I have a test done I am reminded of the misery. Each time I have a thought, or hear about pregnancy, or have a mood swing, I am reminded of my loss. Each time I feel diminished, invalidated or alone, I am reminded of the fear these last three months have brought to my life. Typical of my blog form, I am seeking a positive note to end this on, I am looking for the silver lining. I am not seeking to produce some one liner, some toxic positivity based mantra that serves to invalidate and clear all thoughts of suffering. In doing so, I am working to recognize that I have space for many emotions and I have room to carry every thought and feeling that arises. Good things do continue to happen to me, I do find joy throughout the moments I am experiencing. I have created a more mindful routine, journaling and yoga-ing more often. I have been a top-notch advocate for what I need professionally, personally, medically and emotionally, and I continue to practice healthy communication and understanding in my marriage and hopefully all of my relationships; especially the one I have with myself. I continue to raise a beast of a fur-baby, clean delicious fall themed meals and try new coffee recipes. And, importantly, I am working on managing and accepting the depression that comes from day to day. Today is a bad day, I know that this is OK. Tomorrow will be good, or bad, and that is OK as well. The most powerful thing that has come from this chaos is my acceptance, or my return to acceptance, of the day-to-day and the small nourishing things I can do when the day-to-day is not what I hope it to be.

    Community Voices

    Hi I started a support group for any mums or dads experiencing postpartum depression or anxiety to discuss how they feel, share stories and feel supported. I recently had my first baby and find each day I am struggling with depression and anxiety and was finding it hard to find a support group or others who were experiencing similar emotions or could relate/understand what I am feeling. I started this group so others could have some where to express there thoughts, feelings or even ask questions. I hope this can help anyone else experiencing postpartum depression or anxiety like I am.

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