My battle with postpartum anxiety (PPA)

I knew I didn’t have postpartum depression (PPD) because I didn’t have the signs and I was over my “baby blues” so what the heck was going on with me? I hid myself and the baby in our living room. I googled how to safeguard my house and I was ordering every possible safety/comfort product out there. I didn’t sleep, I could barely eat, and I constantly thought of all the things that could go wrong. I didn’t know postpartum anxiety (PPA) even existed. It is somewhat the opposite of PPD.

Everyone is different and can have a combination of these symptoms or any other. you know yourself best, so if you feel something is off [no matter how small] please see someone.

PPA on the other hand might look a lot like PPD but its vastly different. You know something is wrong but its not as advocated so many moms don’t even know they have it. I had no idea it even existed. I worried all the time. What if someone hit our car while the baby is in it? What if one day he stops breathing? What if someone climbs into his window and takes him? what if….what if…what if! PPA is as serious as PPD and even though it CAN start to alleviate on its own, it’s not always the case. I cried a LOT thinking of what could happen to my baby. I stayed up all night ‘googling’ everything and anything about SIDS. It is great to be cautious and you know yourself best. If you know you’re going beyond what is your normal, it might fall under the below symptoms: 

  • constantly worrying
  • thinking of variations of possible tragic scenarios
  • racing thoughts
  • feeling that something bad is going to happen
  • finding it hard to sleep and/or eat
  • inability to sit still/relax
  • physical symptoms like dizziness, shortness of breath, nausea…

It is important to talk to someone, anyone. I spoke to my husband a lot and I had a girlfriend who recently had a baby as well. She pointed out that it could be PPA. I looked it up and it was exactly what I was going through.

I was determined to overcome this because I desperately needed my son to have a fulfilling life. At this point, we were both cooped up inside the house all the time. I sat down and made a list of what worried me most. It included, car accidents, the baby crying while I’m driving alone, someone getting him through his window…

I tackled one thing at a time. I realized that the only way to help myself was to be rational, which I definitely have not been. I listed what would help me be more comfortable for each issue. Keep in mind that this was for ME. Maybe you will need to speak to a licensed professional or maybe you need to involve your spouse more. Whatever it might be, don’t be embarrassed or discouraged. Take it as serious as PPD because if you don’t, it could elevate and have a crippling effect on you and your loved ones.

my lists looked like this…

Fear: car accident with baby inside

Pros

  • Car is full of safety features
  • Car seat is one of the best on the market
  • Great coverage on insurance

What I can do to help prevent

  • Do not listen to music in the car with baby
  • Put phone away NO EXCEPTIONS
  • Try to drive during less traffic hours if possible

Fear: going out with baby and he is hungry, fussy…

Pros

  • Husband is great with calming down baby
  • We have a lot of kid friendly options close by
  • Our friends are understanding and great with helping

What I can do to prevent

  • Prepare for anything
  • Make a list of all the things to bring in diaper bag
  • Test toys first to see which baby likes most so I can bring along

I did this for all my fears and some I had to give in to the “crazy”. I switched all my family’s products to nontoxic. I gave in to what a lot of my friends and family considered crazy. Be true to yourself. Listen to what is going on. Most importantly, be honest. If you feel like it’s time to seek professional help, then it’s time.

I’m not a medical professional but feel free to send me a message on the contact link for anything!

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