Approximately 6% of pregnant women and 10% of postpartum women develop anxiety. Sometimes they experience anxiety alone, and sometimes they experience it in addition to depression.
The symptoms of anxiety during pregnancy or postpartum might include:
• Constant worry
• Feeling that something bad is going to happen
• Racing thoughts
• Disturbances of sleep and appetite
• Inability to sit still
• Physical symptoms like dizziness, hot flashes, and nausea
Risk factors for perinatal anxiety and panic include a personal or family history of anxiety, previous perinatal depression or anxiety, or thyroid imbalance.
In addition to generalized anxiety, there are some specific forms of anxiety that you should know about. One is Postpartum Panic Disorder. This is a form of anxiety with which the sufferer feels very nervous and has recurring panic attacks. During a panic attack, she may experience shortness of breath, chest pain, claustrophobia, dizziness, heart palpitations, and numbness and tingling in the extremities. Panic attacks seem to go in waves, but it is important to know that they will pass and will not hurt you.
Another form of anxiety is Postpartum Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Learn more about it here.
Postpartum and antepartum anxiety are temporary and treatable with professional help. If you feel you may be suffering from one of these illnesses, know that it is not your fault and you are not to blame. You can use our resource page to reach out now. We understand what you are going through and will connect you to people who understand and can help.