What is Postpartum Anxiety?

Postpartum anxiety is a common condition that affects many new mothers. It can be experienced by women who have had mental health issues in the past, or not. In some cases, it can feel like a panic attack or extreme anxiety. While it's not always related to depression, postpartum anxiety can cause depressive symptoms and vice versa. Treatment will depend on your symptoms, severity and preference

Postpartum anxiety can be treated.

Postpartum anxiety is a problem that can affect any new mother, and it's not your fault. It's important to know that you're not alone and that there are options out there for you.

  • Getting help is not a sign of weakness—it's a sign of strength!
  • Keep going until you find someone who understands what you're going through, even if it takes longer than expected or requires multiple tries.
  • You can get through this together with your partner or family members as long as they support your needs and offer their own support as well.

It can happen to women who have a history of mental health issues, or not.

It can happen to women who have a history of mental health issues, or not.

In fact, studies suggest that postpartum anxiety is more common than you might think. In one report published in the Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic and Neonatal Nursing in 2012, researchers interviewed 397 new mothers about any anxiety symptoms they experienced during pregnancy and in the first year after giving birth. They found that 41 percent had postpartum anxiety during pregnancy and 36 percent still had symptoms later on.

It's very common.

It's very common.

The good news is that postpartum anxiety is commonly experienced, with 1 in 7 women experiencing some form of anxiety while they're pregnant, and 1 in 10 women experiencing depression. And it's not just a new mom thing—postpartum anxiety can affect women who have never had mental health issues before.

For some women, it can feel like a panic attack.

For some women, it can feel like a panic attack. That's because anxiety and panic are closely related (in fact, they're often used interchangeably). A panic attack is characterized by intense feelings of fear or worry that come on suddenly and without warning.

What are the symptoms?

Many women experience symptoms such as:

  • Racing heartbeat
  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing (or both)
  • Trembling hands
  • Nausea and vomiting

Panic attacks are not dangerous; they just feel like they are!

It can come on before the baby is born.

It’s possible to experience anxiety during pregnancy, especially if you're already dealing with anxiety before you get pregnant. This kind of anxiety is called antenatal (before birth) anxiety and can start as early as the first trimester. Anxieties during pregnancy can be caused by stress, hormones and fatigue, or a traumatic birth.

Anxiety can also arise following an unexpected or traumatic event in your life such as: the death of a loved one; losing your job; moving house; having an accident which resulted in injury/hospitalization etc.

Treatment will depend on your symptoms, severity and preference.

The treatment for postpartum anxiety will depend on your symptoms, severity and preference. The most common treatments include talking to your doctor about medication and/or therapy.

Medication can be used to help manage the following symptoms:

  • Anxiety or panic attacks
  • Trouble sleeping (insomnia)
  • Increased heart rate or rapid breathing

It doesn't always come with depression.

Depression is a serious condition that affects millions of people worldwide. Postpartum anxiety and depression are two distinct conditions that both require treatment, but they are not the same thing.

Women who experience postpartum anxiety may also experience symptoms of depression. However, it is important to know that the two conditions are completely separate, and should be treated as such. If you are experiencing anxiety or depression after giving birth, it's important to seek help from a professional so that you can get the right care for your needs.

Medication can help manage symptoms.

Medication can be helpful in managing symptoms of anxiety and depression during the postpartum period. However, it's important to remember that medication is not a cure for postpartum anxiety or depression.

It’s also important to note that while medications are often used as part of treatment plans for these conditions, they work differently on different people. For example, some women may experience relief from their symptoms with one type of medication while others may not respond as well or require different medications altogether in order to manage their symptoms. That being said, some women find that taking an SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor) antidepressant like Zoloft or Lexapro helps with both PTSD-like flashbacks and feelings of hopelessness/hopelessness about being able to care for themselves and others around them during this time period.

There are things you can do to ease your symptoms yourself.

  • Take a deep breath.
  • Relax.
  • Think about something that makes you happy, like your baby or a memory from before he/she was born.
  • Go for a walk, even if it's only around the block.
  • Talk to someone you trust and ask them to keep an eye on you for the next few days. *This may be hard to do with all of the new responsibilities of caring for your new baby.* But getting out and taking care of yourself is important too!
  • Listen to music that makes you feel good, like songs about love or being happy in general (the kind that don't remind you of anything sad).

You're not alone if you have PPA and depression.

You're not alone if you have PPA and depression.

It's okay to seek help. You can get better, and the treatment options are endless. There are community services available, such as the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) or your local mental health provider. You can also talk to your doctor about medication or therapy options that may help you feel better faster than traditional treatment methods would allow for.

It's important to remember that there is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to treating PPA and depression—you should work with a professional who will make sure they understand your specific needs so they can create a plan just for you!

Don't be afraid to ask for help if you need it.

Asking for help is an important part of your recovery. You may want to begin by talking to your healthcare provider, who can help you find the right treatment options and support groups. If you feel comfortable with this option, they will be able to provide a safe space where you can share your feelings without fear of judgment. Your family members and close friends may also be able talk through your experience with anxiety and offer advice on how best to cope.

If these two options don't work for you, consider seeking out a mental health professional such as a therapist or counselor who specializes in postpartum issues; many therapists offer free consults so that they can determine if working together will be beneficial before charging full price for services.


PPA is a common condition that can have a big impact on the lives of women and their families. But it's not something that has to stay with you forever, if you seek treatment for it. If you're worried about your postpartum anxiety symptoms, don't hesitate to reach out for help today.