Postpartum anxiety, something most moms don't talk about because it’s not recognized.
I have two girls, Layla and Hannah, and it was just recently that I realized what I had struggled with after Hannah was born, actually had a name.
Before I knew postpartum anxiety was a thing, I just labeled it as having anxious “what if” moments. You can read my story here.
I deal with anxiety from time to time still, it thankfully doesn’t consume my everyday life, and I have amazing natural tools to support my mind and body. I feel lucky to be aware of it.
I had recently been doing some personal development, digging deeper into who I am, my struggles and insecurities and how to learn and grow from them.
I am a true believer that in order to grow and be the better you, you need to be open to learning and growing. That staying where you are, in your struggles, insecurities and sadness, will not help you grow and thrive.
This personal growth kept leading me back to the feelings and struggles I had gone through after having Hannah. So I knew I had to dig a little deeper. Truly understand what it was that I had gone through, why it happened.
How utilizing the tools I used to overcome PPA actually worked and to help support other moms who are struggling.
So I started to research postpartum anxiety. These were a list of signs that fit me to a T
Feelings of dread-check
Lack of concentration-check
Changes in eating and sleeping patterns-check
Postpartum anxiety is a disorder that is a cousin to postpartum depression and according to the American Pregnancy Association it affects about 10 % of new moms. That is massive!
PPA tends to come on in the form of worry. Losing control and balance in your mind. Not feeling calm and always on edge. It’s not talked about often. Most moms don’t even realize that PPA is what they are struggling with and that it is actually a disorder that they can get support for.
For me, PPA started two months prior to having Hannah when my sister gave birth to her daughter. Her daughter had a comfort blanket and I would constantly worry about her suffocating with that thin blanket, to a point that I would have a full on panic attack over it. For some, PPA can start anywhere from birth to the baby’s first birthday.
When we think of anxiety in general, we know a few things that can trigger it. Things like lack of sleep, bad eating habits, caffeine, being indoors too long, drugs/alcohol...add in hormonal changes after having a baby and the constant need to be taking care of a newborn and we are hit with a big list of triggers.
Postpartum anxiety unfortunately doesn't just “go away” like the baby blues. Because a lot of moms don't recognize it as a disorder, they tend to not seek the help needed.
Always talk with your Dr if you feel PPA is something you are struggling with. I am not a Dr, just a mom sharing her experience, research and things that have personally help me along my journey.
I am a firm believer in natural remedies when it comes to our health and wellness. Self help is so important to learn about and helps you become more aware. So here are a few things I suggest trying alongside chatting with your Dr.
Go for a walk. Getting outside every day for at least 15 minutes is important. Breathing in fresh outside air helps increase the oxygen to your body. Oxygen affects serotonin (the happy hormone). Taking a deep breath in through your nose, holding for three seconds and releasing through pierced lips will help boost your body's oxygen which in turn improves the serotonin levels to make you feel happier. You can grab my free guide to grounding here.
Mindful Meditation. Taking the time to sit daily and practice meditation is phenomenal for your brain. It is actually shown to change the structure of your brain! Mindful meditation is something I've recently learned about and am fascinated with. The key is to practice daily, even if it's just for a couple of minutes.
Sit in the sun in the early mornings. The sun has amazing benefits in the early morning. Think about all the things that come to life as the sun comes up, the birds are chirping, the flowers open. When we sit in the early morning sun we ourselves are becoming charged.
Use essential oils. I am a big believer in the benefits of essential oils. They are what truly helped me get started on this journey of my struggles with postpartum anxiety and coming out the other end stronger. I use multiple essential oils that reduce the stress I'm feeling. When I inhale my oils, they calm my mind. They bring me to a sense of control, allow me to be present in the moment and release any worry I may be dealing with. To reassess the situation.
Take your supplements. Our food isn’t what it used to be, so taking supplements is important to stay healthy. For both our bodies and minds. When our body isn't properly nourished, we lose focus on things, we may not feel 100%. We may be holding onto some toxic build up in our body that we don't realize and its could be part of the reason for the anxiety to come on. I encourage you to dive a bit deeper on the gut/brain connection. Here is a fantastic book I recommend.
Eat a balanced, healthy diet. Eating healthy is so important for our mind. When we fill our bodies with junk, our mind is filled with that as well. You may experience headaches, feel foggy, gain weight which spirals you into more depression or anxiety.
All these things are so important to focus on. They help balance out our life and can help reduce the worry in our mind which in turn can lead to less anxiety. You can check out my free resource on finding balance here.
I encourage you, practice meditation daily, be consistent with your food, oils, supplements every day and get outside for some self care in the early morning sun and short walks.
If you're looking for more information and want to become part of a positive community, sharing experiences and natural options to support PPA, click below!