Postpartum Anxiety

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Postpartum Anxiety
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Support group interest

Hello, and Happy New Year!

I am in the process of setting up a virtual support group for expecting and postpartum moms. The Mamas Haven will be it's name and it will be held weekly. You can drop in whenever you need support and connection. Who would be interested in attending? Please comment below if you are interested! I will add you to a list and invite you when the group is up and running!

#PostpartumDisorders #MentalHealth #OtherMentalHealth #PostpartumDepression #PostpartumAnxiety

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This is myself and my ex (we’ll call him D). D and I dated about 2 years ago for about a year and a half (started in 2019). I gave up EVERYTHING for him. I was in a severe mental state, suffering from PPD, PPA, and PTSD as well as untreated Bipolar 2 and ADHD. My ex fiancé (we will call him M) and I had a child in late 2018. We were living with his toxic family, he had total control over my life, I had no job, no license, no real family to go to, he made me completely isolated. Fast forward to early 2019, I met D a long time before that via a “friend” and we stayed in touch minorly over the years. We really started connecting around late 2018. By the time 2019 hit M had given up on me and his family just became more and more toxic. I started meeting up with D in secret. We would just talk, nothing else. But early 2019 I told M I was in love with D, he didn’t even seem to care. In April I ended up going off the deep end, I wanted to kill myself. So I went to the only family I had left and I stayed there for a few days. Over the course of those few days M broke off our engagement, which hurt at first but wasn’t so bad considering we hadn’t loved one another for years but I knew nothing else and was completely dependent on him, so I stayed. I was homeless at that point, I had gotten a job that I worked 18.5 hours a week at and I was spending my nights in D’s car or on his drunk mothers couch which she started charging me $400 a month for. Finally I got an apartment, sorta. M got full legal custody of our son due to my mental state. I was able to take the bus and Uber to my son and work. D would sometimes drive me. Sometime in early 2020 I moved in with D and COVID hit. I couldn’t see my son due to his family having medical issues. My mom was diagnosed with cancer on my birthday and died exactly 2 months later. I was the only one with her when she died. She was at home, I was taking care of her. Giving her meds, changing her diapers, trying to get her to eat. It was horrible and watching her die was traumatic to say the least. We buried her next to her parents and my aunt and I went through her whole apartment. It was so sad and I didn’t know how to handle that. I started going off the deep end again, hurting myself really badly, getting into petty arguments, shutting out work and my son. I ended up in the hospital. In the parking lot D said to me “if you go in there you’ll never get your son back.” I was so numb I didn’t even care. I did my time and got better but as soon as I came home I was depressed again. I packed up my stuff and moved in with a friend for a few months till I got a place of my own. When I came back up here I got back together with D, but he was just using me for sex. He ghosted me after a few months and started seeing someone else. I was heartbroken. After a few months he told me we didn’t work because I had a son and he never wanted to be a parent. I cried. I had never felt a love like I had with D and to this day I still love him. Fast forward to now, D and his girlfriend broke up a few weeks ago. He had rearranged his whole life to be with her, like I somewhat had with him, and now he was lost. He turned to me for comfort. We have a mutual understanding this time that he is solely using me as a crutch till he can figure himself out. But I’m so torn. I still love him but he doesn’t love me. I was so happy with him, I thought, but now I’m not so sure. He’s lost some of his values that we shared. For example: he’s started taking edibles and I and strictly against getting high due to personal reasons. And he used to agree with me on that. He’s cold and detached but then sometimes he seems like the old D I used to know. I don’t want to separate from him again because I want to help him stop hurting, even for a blip. But it’s toxic to me. I know the right answer is to let him go and move on, but I just can’t. I’m not strong enough. I love him and I hate it. #PTSD #Bipolar2Disorder #PostpartumDepression #PostpartumAnxiety #ADHD #ADHDInGirls #toxiclove #toxicrelationship #Abuse

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

During your baby's first years, they will grow trillions of brain-cell connections, called neural synapses. Brain development can continue until age 25, but babies have the most development up to age 9.

The importance of synapses can not be understated & is a ‘use it or lose it’ function. In fact, toddlers have more synapses than an adult! These synapses grow as early as the first couple weeks in utero.

How babies develop has many layers, but studies show interactive activities are a core component. Parents have many activities to pick from: social, artistic, and a popular choice is Baby + Me Yoga classes. Enhancing a baby’s brain power can be found in many components of a baby-specific class and into toddler or, ‘Tot and me’, classes that are offered.

The most important element of Baby + Me is the parent. Not only are the skills below crucial to childhood development, stress management skills for adults are included as part of a specialized Baby + Me class, and taught from a therapeutic lense. Long-term emotional skills are learned from daily interactions with the parent. Coming to a class is a learning experience for both adult and baby, enabling a parent with tools to use for years to come.

Tailored yoga for your baby or toddler includes the following key ingredients to a healthy baby prime for physical, emotional, and mental development long term. If yoga isn’t for your family, you’ll want to look for these these categories.

Classes that include:

- Emotional resiliency / naming emotions enables less stress growing into the teen years.
- Interactive play shows a child how they can interact with the world, developing social skills.
- Baby massage not only reduces stress and improves sleep, it increases brain size compared to babies who aren’t touched as much.
- Use of funny talk, faces and gestures helps children talk & absorb language. Baby + Me classes add these elements along with nursery rhymes allowing for repetition of information, language, & connection with others.
- Responding to crying seems simple but a parent holding and cuddling, and your day-to-day engagement with your baby, signal emotional security to the brain. You’ll learn tactics to use in and out of the class.
- Being attentive and focused on your child for a period of time each day (throughout the day) builds long-term trust for your baby. Participating in a Baby + Me class allows for that uninterrupted time & short exercises you can do at home.
- Express joy and interest in your baby. Let your body language, your shining eyes, your attentiveness to babbling and baby activities, and your gentle caresses and smiles, validate the deeply lovable nature of your little one.

To learn more about specialized Baby + Me Yoga, or how the parent can improve their own stress & emotional skills for the child’s long term success, you can go to wellandzenyoga . com.

#neuroscience #postpartum #PostpartumAnxiety #mom #MightyMoms #Pregnancy #Stress

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A New Reality in Mom Stress

The postpartum period after delivering a baby is a little over a year, yet we are told often we are supposed to ‘bouncing back’ to normal after 3 months.

The old ways of viewing postpartum causes stress to new moms, with 15% - 20% experiencing debilitating symptoms.

Postpartum stress syndrome is a step below postpartum depression and postpartum anxiety in terms of severity.

“While postpartum stress syndrome can create feelings of anxiety that are unsettling, these feelings do not impede her ability to function or get through the day,”

Yet, the rise of postpartum stress and depression is on the rise, especially since the beginning of the pandemic in 2020.

What is going on, and what can we do about it ?

First, we were doing too much before the pandemic, at least many were. Mothers and caregivers especially felt the stress post COVID 19 with working jobs and then managing childcare or school in the home.

Second, we are adding to the increasing challenges by maintaining the old ways of life and trying to ‘return to normal.” Except, our world isn’t like it was. Women are expected to work as though they don’t have kids, raise children as if they don’t work, and live in a way that resembles a child-free life.

Instead I ask you to honor where you are in your life, especially if you have younger kids under the age of 5. Cut yourself a lot of slack and know this reality isn’t forever.

If you want to “challenge” yourself, ask yourself how you can enjoy moments to yourself, manage your stress, and be present with what is. There are many techniques to help you in 10 minutes or less.

The more we all push back as moms and caretakers, the sooner we can all move towards a new way of being; one where we feel more balanced and not torn in multiple directions.

#postpartum #PostpartumAnxiety #newmom #AutoimmuneDisease #LymeDisease #Stress #Anxiety #PostpartumDepression #mom #MomGuilt #AdrenalFatigue #AddisonsDisease #Pregnancy

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Baby Blues or Postpartum Anxiety ? #postpartum #PerinatalMentalHealth #Anxiety

If you’ve had a baby you have likely filled out a questionnaire at your postpartum appointment. The focus is largely on depression, caused by many factors including the hormones that decrease rapidly after you give birth.

What isn’t talked about is how these hormone levels continue to fall with the largest dip about 3 months postpartum, and may leave you feeling sad, weepy, and overwhelmed. However, these symptoms are mild and only last for a “couple of weeks”. Except it doesn’t. In the United States, many women are returning work at a time when the largest decrease in hormones happens in your body. When the symptoms persist and become debilitating, something else could be going on.

Depression and anxiety oftentimes go hand in hand, yet many perinatal providers often focus on the feelings of depression and how it impacts our daily lives (hint, how we are functioning and able to parent).

So what about postpartum anxiety ?

Mothers experiencing postpartum depression commonly experience symptoms of anxiety, although not all mothers suffering from anxiety are depressed. Establishing the correct diagnosis is important, as women with postpartum anxiety may not respond as well to certain treatments for depression, such as interpersonal psychotherapy or medications (Harvard Health Publishing).

Similiar to depression, postpartum anxiety can peak after childbirth as a result of hormonal shifts. If a mother had anxiety before pregnancy she is also more likely to have PP anxiety.

Always seek help if you feel you may have PP anxiety or depression. Postpartum Support International is a great resource.

What else can I do if I suspect I have PP anxiety?

- Do your best to add physical exercise daily (even if that’s dancing around the living room with your baby )

-Eat! It sounds simple but keep your blood sugar consistent.

- Find a community of mamas or new mamas.

- Cuddle your baby for that dose of oxytocin.

- Aim for one, four hour stretch of sleep every night (coupled with, ask for help!)

-Don’t be afraid of medication & professional help.

- Prepare as much as you can before birth. Make meals in the freezer, stock up on groceries, and buy restaurant or Door Dash gift cards in advance to use after you bring baby home.

-Communicate your postpartum health plan with your partner or a support person. (I personally did this with my spouse).
Your partner should know your doctors information, how to contact your therapist, or another professional should you be unable to mentally cope well after you return home. What is your plan? What signs does he or she look for? Talk once a day about how your feeling and what you need. I can’t stress this enough.

The postpartum period of time lasts one year but you truly don’t need to go it alone.

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Postpartum Stress, after 6 months #postpartum #PostpartumAnxiety #newmom #MightyMoms #Stress #PostpartumDisorders

From the outside the postpartum journey looks like baby cuddles and pure joy. Family and friends see the photos on social media full of delicate baby faces and even some smiles.

What isn’t seen is the lack of sleep and deprivation that comes with having a baby, especially a first child. The depletion of being “on” 24/7” over time has a significant impact on the caretakers and mothers.

When the lack of sleep, enough food, sometimes support all come together it creates a perfect storm, initially staved off by the adrenaline.

I remember waking every hour and a half to feed and I promise, nothing can prepare a new parent for that reality.

What’s talked about even less is postpartum anxiety and especially postpartum anxiety after the first six months of baby’s life. I was waking every hour or two, but I couldn’t always sleep in between feedings. I’d be anxious about the baby waking and then I’d be pulled out of a deep sleep in a panic. It’s not uncommon for parents to also check on baby to make sure baby is breathing, or sometimes you’re stressed and feel the need to check just because. That’s if baby is sleeping at night and on a new sleep rhythm!

This is the reality for new moms.

After months of having a baby, the worry is still there. The questions and concerns grow.

Is baby sleeping enough ? Do I sleep training ? Do I have the right kind of support ? What about daycare? Can I continue to breastfeed? How do I manage work and being a parent ? How do I know I’m a good mom? Why do I feel shame about staying at home?

The pressures of motherhood begin to look like a mountain that needs climbing.

I had a good handle on my generalized anxiety and life stresses before pregnancy. The hormones threw me off, especially after birth and even more so after baby had been in the world for a few months. What’s not talked about is how this manifests physically and what you can do for support.

First - always seek help from a mental health provider. Postpartum Support International can be a great place to start talking to someone or be referred to a licensed professional counselor or a medical doctor who can prescribe medications.

Second - when those moments of pure anxiety build up, don’t run away from the anxiety. Often times anxious women feel the need to run from their feelings. Breathe into the discomfort. You can take conscious inhales and longer exhales. This is a technique that can be used anytime and in the moment.

Third - surround yourself with community and support. It truly does “take a village” to raise children. Grant yourself permission to only be around others who are helpful and not causing more stress.

Fourth - always speak to a medical professional if you start to notice physical signs of stress such as headaches, chronic pain, and increased blood pressure.

The stresses of parenthood will continue over time and one challenge will be replaced with another. The new normal is fresh and it takes a lot of time to adjust past that initial three month postpartum phase. Know you aren’t alone and help is out there.

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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

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Which type of anxiety do you experience most?

Do you ever feel like you’re on your own anxious island? The condition can be lonely and isolating for those who live it day in and day out. This is complicated by how many types of anxiety actually exist.

Which type do you experience most? Choose one or more from the list below:

💭 Generalized anxiety disorder
😩 Panic disorder
👥 Social anxiety disorder
🕸️ Specific phobia
🏡 Agoraphobia
⛓️ Separation anxiety
🏥 Health/medical anxiety
Anxiety related to OCD
😭 Anxiety related to PTSD/trauma
🍼 Postpartum anxiety

P.S. If you’re looking for a helpful read today, here’s a really excellent article from our Mighty archives that you might like and relate to:

#Anxiety #AnxietyAttack #HealthAnxiety #MentalHealth #PanicDisorder #SocialAnxiety #ObsessiveCompulsiveDisorder #PTSD #BirthTrauma #PostpartumAnxiety