Dealing with postpartum anxiety: my experience

As a mother of two young children, I’ve experienced postpartum anxiety alongside the joy of parenthood. It was a challenge for me to recognize that my anxious feelings were common and normal considering the extreme life shift.

I had a really hard time shaking off feelings of guilt and incredibly low self-worth that accompanied me during those early days as a new parent. Even though I knew logically that these emotions weren’t rational, it was still very challenging to work through them in the moment.

Seeking out professional help was an important part of my journey with postpartum anxiety - talking with someone who understood the challenges and could provide safe space to express what I was going through proved invaluable. A few simple tools for managing anxiety such as deep breathing and mindfulness meditation also made huge differences in how I coped on day-to-day basis.

Most importantly, recognizing that caring for myself meant helping everyone else around me was probably the most effective way to cope with postpartum anxiety. From recognizing when I need to take a break from the chaos to journaling about my feelings, making sure that I look after myself has been an essential part of my process. Without taking care of myself first, my children won’t have access to their already tired mommy at all!

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Thanks for sharing your story - it’s not easy navigating the transition into motherhood and all the emotions that come with it. I get how it can be tough to recognize that what you may be feeling is normal, especially if you don’t have anyone around to talk to who has experienced similar struggles.

Personally, I find therapy really helpful in recognizing my emotions- both good and bad. When things start getting overwhelming, I know that there is someone out there who will listen and provide support, which makes a huge difference in being able to manage those feelings. It can be so helpful being able to express yourself without any judgement or expectations.

I think it’s so important to make sure you’re taking care of yourself first and foremost on this parenting journey. It can be difficult to remember when you’re caught up in day-to-day craziness but finding ways to take care of yourself-- like journaling, deep breathing exercises, or just taking a few minutes each day – can make all the difference.

I understand how challenging it can be to cope with post-partum anxiety. As a 54-year-old mother of two grown adults, I too experienced the challenges that come with being a new mom. While my children were much older than yours, I still struggled to maintain balance between looking after them and taking care of myself.

Having been through it before, I wanted to encourage you on your journey of managing your postpartum anxiety. It sounds like you’re doing great things, asking for help from professionals and utilizing tools such as deep breathing and mindfulness meditation that can help in the moment.

Most importantly, if there’s one thing I’ve learned over the years: take care of yourself first! Just like you said having time where you’re able to take a break and journal are invaluable in helping manage postpartum anxiety. Even though it may seem counter-intuitive in order for us to be effective parents we have to look after ourselves first!