Motherhood is an indescribable experience. You aren’t able to understand it until you become a mother. And while it has its incredible ups, motherhood also has its downs. New mothers especially are in for a whirlwind, as there are many mental illnesses that thrive once a baby is born. Last week we opened up dialogue about postpartum depression. And in keeping theme, this week we are diving into the topic of postpartum anxiety. It is not uncommon to become an anxious mother. So keep reading to learn more about this common experience.
You recently welcomed a bundle of joy into your home, and the first few days were magical. However, now that the newborn pixie dust is starting to settle, you’re feeling off. You’ve heard stories of all the woes that come after the baby. And you start to wonder if the same is going to happen to you. What does postpartum depression feel like? What are the symptoms? How do you know if you really have it, or if you’re just exaggerating with your spike in hormones? And if you do, what are your postpartum counseling options?
Postpartum Depression: The Baby Blues
The baby blues include mood swings and feelings of anxiety and sadness that typically emerge 3-5 days after giving birth and dissipate on their own within a few weeks. 70% of new moms experience this temporary change in mood. The baby blues differ from postpartum depression in the length of time in which the symptoms peak as well as the severity of the symptoms.
“There’s societal pressure to feel happy and blissful, so women don’t talk about [the baby blues]. There’s enormous guilt and shame.” – Dr. Samantha Meltzer-Brody
Temper Tantrums: What They Are, What They Mean and How to Manage Them
Temper Tantrums. You’ve been there. A toddler is lying on his back in the middle of the store. He’s screaming at the top of his little lungs and pounding his fists when he didn’t get the Snickers bar in the candy aisle. You’ve heard that child screeching and crying hysterically a few rows back on the plane. Which isn’t great, as you’re already struggling to mentally prepare yourself for Thanksgiving with the in-laws. You’ve seen it. You’ve heard it. And maybe even pitied the humiliated parent who was desperately trying to calm their child mid-meltdown. You might even have been that parent. How confident did you feel in your ability to handle that situation?
Is your baby being affected by Opiates in your pregnancy?
Opiates in pregnancy – with the current overprescribing of opiates in the Pittsburgh area and the United States in general, it is becoming more of an issue for moms to be. Clearly, if you are using or addicted to opiates either in legally or illegally, you need to act to avoid hurting your baby.
It is never an easy decision to separate or divorce. Even as adults it can be a very taxing process in which we lose our identity, friends, family members, and some financial freedoms. Our adult brains can rationalize or even anticipate the changes that will be coming upon us, but what does it mean for the kids? How do they handle the stress of divorce and what does it do to their view of self and family?
Suicidal behavior. Is it a problem? Sadly, suicide is the third leading cause of death in teenagers. Suicide attempts are an extremely serious issue. Yet, the “last straw” events which lead teenagers to attempt suicide are very common. They include situations such as family conflict or a breakup with a boyfriend or girlfriend. Another possibility could be things such as legal problems and school difficulties. The availability of firearms coupled with an increased use of alcohol has been suggested as playing a role in the increased suicide rate. Especially among adolescents who don’t think before they act
Fighting with your ex spouse is all too common in our world today. This is sad because, as a rule, more contact with both parents is better for children. But only if the parents’ conflict is contained. If fighting with your ex is uncontrolled, children may do better to see one parent less — and be exposed to less fighting as a result. More contact with each parent may mean sharing time with the children equally; but that arrangement is the exception, not the rule.
Childhood anxiety is a normal part of growing up. All children will experience anxiety at some point in their development. Different phases of development can lead to temporarily increased levels of anxiety. But sometimes it isn’t just a phase. When do we know if a child needs help with managing anxiety symptoms?