When my first client came to me with postpartum anxiety, I was heartbroken. She was so exhausted and overwhelmed, and she was worried that she couldn’t be a good mother to her baby. I could tell that she was feeling completely alone and helpless.
By listening to her unique story, I first validated her very real feelings. I let her know that she was not alone and that postpartum anxiety is a very common experience. Sharing some practical strategies for coping with postpartum anxiety, such as getting enough sleep, eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and connecting with other mothers, we crafted a plan.
Over the next few weeks, I worked with my client to develop a postpartum support plan that was right for her. I also helped her to find a postpartum support group where she could meet other parents who were going through similar experiences.
Within a few months, my client was feeling much better. She was able to manage her postpartum anxiety and enjoy her new baby. I was so proud of her, and I was so grateful that I had been able to help her.
Symptoms of Postpartum Anxiety
Postpartum anxiety is a common experience. It affects up to 1 in 5 new mothers. Postpartum anxiety can cause a variety of symptoms, including:
- Worrying excessively
- Having trouble sleeping
- Feeling irritable or on edge
- Having difficulty concentrating
- Experiencing panic attacks
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is important to reach out for help. Postpartum anxiety is a treatable condition, and there are many resources available to help you.
Tips for Easing Postpartum Anxiety:
Listed here are some practical strategies for easing postpartum anxiety:
- Open Up: Talking about your feelings is the first and most crucial step. Be honest with what you are feeling. Share your concerns with a trusted friend, Postpartum Doula, compassionate family member, or professional.
- Deep Breathing: Incorporate deep breathing exercises into your daily routine. Deep breaths can calm your mind and reduce physical symptoms of anxiety.
- Self-Care Rituals: Prioritize self-care. Dedicate time for activities that make you feel good and that are AWAY from the baby. A cup of tea, soak in a herbal sitz bath, or spend 15 minutes listening to your fave music with headphones.
- Balanced Nutrition: We know meals are missed as a new mom. Did you know well-balanced meals can have a significant impact on your mood. Nutrient-rich foods can help stabilize your energy levels and emotions.
- Rest and Sleep: Make sleep a priority. For clients that have postpartum anxiety, the first thing we help them get is….SLEEP. As Postpartum doula’s we encourage at least 6 hours of sleep in a 24 hour period. Ask for help from a trusted friend, or family member to watch your baby while you take a nap. Overnight Postpartum Doulas are an option if you don’t have helpers in your life.
- Limit Caffeine and Alcohol: Excessive caffeine or alcohol can exacerbate anxiety. Reduce your intake for a more peaceful mind and swap it out for other coping skills. 20 minute walks, phoning your bestie, listening to guided meditations are all healthier choices for your anxiety.
- Seek Professional Support: When postpartum anxiety is bad…and impacting your life…reach out. Ask a Facebook Moms group if they have any good referrals. A mental health professional is one of the most important ways to get through anxiety. Therapy and counseling can provide valuable tools for managing anxiety.
Getting Support for Your Postpartum Anxiety
There are many avenues of support, and one incredibly valuable resource is a Postpartum Doula. <read 52 Ways a Postpartum Doula Can Support You> These experienced professionals offer a range of services that can ease the burdens of postpartum anxiety and help you navigate this challenging period.
Here’s how a Postpartum Doula can make a significant difference in reducing postpartum anxieties:
- Self-Care and Recovery: You need you time! Postpartum doulas offer much-needed time for self-care, allowing you to rest and recover from childbirth. Hence, this is vital for reducing anxiety and promoting overall well-being.
- Baby Care Guidance: Postpartum Doulas are experts in newborn care, helping you understand baby hunger cues, bathing, diapering, and feeding, enhancing your parenting confidence.
- Feeding Support: Whether you choose breastfeeding, bottle feeding, or pumping, a Postpartum Doula provides guidance and ensures you have the right resources and knowledge.
- Household Assistance: They assist with light housekeeping, running errands, and tackling the laundry, reducing the stress of maintaining a clean and organized home.
- Baby-Wearing Mastery: Postpartum Doulas can help you become proficient in baby-wearing, allowing you to stay close to your baby while keeping your hands free.
- Sibling Transition Support: If you have older children, they offer support to ensure a smooth transition and help siblings adjust to the new family dynamic.
- Emotional Well-Being: Postpartum Doulas bring a listening ear, providing emotional support, screening for mood disorders, and helping you process your birth experience, all while facilitating a positive transition to parenthood.
Postpartum anxiety can be challenging, but remember, you’re not alone in this journey. If you are struggling, please reach out for help. Baby Nest Birth Services is here to support you.
If you’re in the Vancouver, WA, or Portland metro area, and you’re looking for professional support and guidance during your postpartum journey, don’t hesitate to connect with us or click here to schedule a FREE doula consultation! As Postpartum Doulas we here to ensure that your early parenting experience is filled with peace, joy, and support.
Postpartum anxiety can be challenging, but it’s also a path towards self-discovery and resilience. Baby Nest Birth Services has Postpartum Doulas in Vancouver, WA and Portland, OR to help you find your way and experience the beauty of early parenthood, and in times of postpartum anxiety.