Anxiety: During Pregnancy and Postpartum

You want to be excited about pregnancy and a new baby….

But it gets overshadowed by the doubts, irritability, obsessions and fears that suck the fun out of this monumental life experience.

You’ve had anxiety before, but not like this – it’s so much more intense now that you’re responsible for another human’s life. 

You speculate about all the things that could go wrong during the delivery…or after the delivery: you wonder if you’re allowed to have visitors because of COVID-19 restrictions – wait – on second thought you ask yourself “do I really WANT any visitors?” Let’s be real, you’re so tired of people! 

Everyone has a pregnancy or parenting opinion: family members, friends and of course Instagram Moms who look like they have it all together, all telling you what to think. You’re left feeling confused and like you’re doing it all wrong.  

If it’s your first pregnancy you worry about every birthing and parenting scenario possible. And the constant obsessing: which products to buy; where the baby will sleep; who will watch the baby when you go back to work? You contemplate all of the various feeding options – and bottles – and nipples – and pacifiers and the list goes on. 

If you’ve already had a baby, you obsess over what new things could go wrong. You assume what didn’t go wrong the first time will probably go wrong this time. You wonder how you could possibly love another child as much as the first one(s). And what the hell are you going to do with multiple kiddos who won’t sleep through the night?

Even after giving birth, it takes months (sometimes years) to feel like yourself again.

It’s not like the baby gets here and poof – anxiety’s gone. A new wave of hormones kicks in – add those to sleep deprivation. You feel like a zombie who can’t make any decisions other than if it’s time to feed the baby.

Even the most mentally stable mom will feel out of control..

The exhausting GUILT about EVERYTHING

  • “Sleep. I just need to sleep”
  • “I’m not spending enough time with my new baby”
  • “I should be spending more time with my other children so they don’t feel left out”
  • “I need to get back to work.”
  • “I don’t ever want to go back to work because my baby won’t know I’m the mom”

It’s too much. You need a break. 

Irrational thoughts that haunt you….

  • “I’m the mom, it’s ALL my responsibility”
  • “I have to breastfeed or I won’t bond with my baby”
  • “The baby isn’t breathing….oh wait the monitor is just off”
  • “I’m fine. Everything is fine.”

With your body producing a nice cocktail of extra hormones mixed with an already heightened sense of feeling “on edge” from untreated anxiety, it’s a recipe for one very anxious mother. 

You can go from 0-60 in no time. With little warning – the smallest thing like your partner leaves clothes NEXT to the hamper instead of IN the hamper and it’s ON. You’re seeing red and everyone better watch out. 

Not only do I help women in my therapy practice with these issues – I’ve lived it, and been to lots of therapy for this special kind of Mom anxiety. I gave birth twice: both premature babies who needed lots of time in the NICU. Now, ten years after my first daughter was born, I’ve learned so much about being a mother with anxiety – I’m passionate about sharing it with others.

Pregnancy and parenthood is not always as fun and joyous as we thought it would be. 

It can feel like a rude awakening when you realize how difficult pregnancy and raising children is when you suffer from anxiety and all that goes with it.

Healing and Hope with Therapy

  • Anxiety is treatable – I have many tools and methods we can use in and outside of session to help calm the “crazy”
  • Talking to someone who’s been there personally AND has the clinical training helps you to feel understood, validated and supported. 
  • You’re not alone! Lots of women experience pre and postpartum anxiety and are able to heal by talking and sometimes medication (which I can absolutely help you figure out if it’s something you should talk to your doctor about.) This is a very personal decision and we can weigh it out together. 
  • By taking time to heal YOURSELF with therapy – you’re helping to strengthen your relationship with your baby and other loved ones
  • You’ll learn how to process and filter your feelings instead of letting them run your day
  • You’ll get to say all of the “crazy” stuff out loud with zero judgement (don’t worry I’ve probably thought the same things or have heard it from one of my other mom clients.) 

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