How long does anxiety last after having a baby? Is anxiety normal after having a baby? Can anxiety get worse after having a baby? Is postpartum OCD temporary?
You can overcome your postpartum anxiety. The stress you are feeling will not last forever. And you will be able to fully enjoy your time with your baby.
You are likely familiar with postpartum depression. But fewer people are also familiar with postpartum anxiety. Though it is even more common, symptoms often go unreported (dismissed as normal new-parent jitters).
After giving birth, you may notice an increase in your stress levels. But initially, you don’t think anything of it. You have a new baby to take care of, so feeling stressed is not surprising.
However, there is a normal level of stress, and there is a point when it should be addressed. You may have low levels of stress that you can rationalize yourself out of, and that subside a few weeks after giving birth. In that case, no further action needs to be taken.
But maybe it’s been weeks, and your anxiety symptoms are only increasing. You’re having persistent irrational thoughts, that you are unable to talk yourself out of. You are unable to relax, and are plagued by feelings of dread. You wake up in the middle of the night, even when your baby is still asleep.
You might even start exhibiting symptoms similar to obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). If you are having obsessive and intrusive thoughts about your baby being hurt or worse, or if you develop compulsive habits, you could have postpartum OCD.
Your instinct may be to say that these thoughts and worries will pass as your child gets older. But left untreated, the effects of postpartum anxiety can go on for years.
You might be especially susceptible if you have a personal or family history of anxiety OCD, or eating disorders, or if you have had a miscarriage in the past. But postpartum anxiety can affect anyone, regardless of history. This is part of why it’s so important to reach out and ask for help as soon as you notice the symptoms.
Be sure to bring up your anxiety when you go to your postpartum checkup, or earlier if you notice the signs long beforehand. Your doctor will be able to advise you of next steps.
Thankfully, postpartum anxiety and OCD are treatable. And the earlier you bring your symptoms to your doctor’s attention, the shorter their duration.
When you have a confirmed diagnosis, treatment can begin. As with most mental health issues, support is key. Family, friends, and therapy can all help provide that.
Working with us, you will develop management techniques for your postpartum anxiety, such as exercise and relaxation methods. Depending on the severity of your symptoms, medication may also be recommended. Your baby’s health will always be taken into account when prescribing antidepressants or similar medication.
If you are open to support, you will be back to normal in time.
And you will be able to fully bond with your new baby.
We will guide you through the process of overcoming your postpartum anxiety, and help you move forward.