5 Things I Wish I Knew About Postpartum Anxiety Before My Diagnosis
Despite being a first-time mom, I took to motherhood quite seamlessly at the beginning.
It was at the six-week mark when the “new mom high” wore off and the immense worry set in. After having strictly fed my daughter breast milk, my supply reduced by more than half from one day to the next.
Then suddenly I couldn’t produce milk at all.
I worried my baby wasn’t getting the nutrients she needed. I worried what people would say if I fed her formula. And mostly, I worried I was turning out to be an unfit mother.
Enter postpartum anxiety.
While there’s a growing amount of information that surrounds postpartum depression (PPD), there’s significantly less information and awareness when it comes to PPA. That’s because PPA doesn’t exist on its own. It sits beside postpartum PTSD and postpartum OCD as a perinatal mood disorder.
While the exact number of postpartum women who develop anxiety is still unclear, a 2016 review of 58 studies found an estimated 8.5 percent of postpartum mothers experience one or more anxiety disorders.
So when I started experiencing nearly all the symptoms associated with PPA, I had little understanding what was happening to me.