We’ve recently discussed anxiety in pregnancy and the postpartum period in two articles. Anxiety is a very common experience among new and expectant mothers. The good news is that it’s also highly treatable. So, where do you go for help when your worries are negatively impacting your quality of life?
Anxiety Help During Pregnancy or the Postpartum Period
1. Look Online
While we always need to be discerning when it comes to information we find online, there are lots of great resources out in cyberspace. AnxietyBC recently launched a new website targeted at new and expectant moms at perinatal.anxietybc.com. Professional organizations, reputable medical sources and mental health organizations also have good information online about anxiety. The big upside about sourcing information online is that you can do it whenever you want, wherever you want, which is important if you have a small baby and aren’t able to get out of the house easily. This is also a great way to locate and connect with other resources, as many groups have links about where to go for more help. You may find books or support networks that can help you manage your anxiety more effectively.
2. Talk to a Healthcare Provider
For many people, the first point of contact for any health concerns is a healthcare provider. This is true whether we’re talking about your physical health or your mental health. In pregnancy and the postpartum period this could be your midwife, a public health nurse, an obstetrician, or your family doctor. Your healthcare provider will be able to help you evaluate your anxiety, suggest resources, and possibly refer you to someone for more expert help. If the first person you see isn’t able to help, consider seeking another opinion. You deserve help that meets your needs.
3. Attend Support Groups
There are support groups that are designed specifically to help mothers who are struggling with postpartum anxiety or depression, like the Pacific Post Partum Support Society. These groups can help you find the support and resources you need to help you manage your anxiety. It can also be very helpful to meet with other mothers who have similar experiences, who can understand what you’re going through. Even groups that aren’t dedicated to supporting mothers through anxiety or depression can be helpful, as you to build a support network to call on as you undergo the major life transition of welcoming a new baby. Getting outside in a group or exercising are also great ways to help you to manage your anxiety.
4. Connect with Friends and Family
Having a baby is a big change, and the adjustment period can be difficult. It’s no surprise that many women experience anxiety as they go through this life shift. Reaching out to your friends and family can help. It’s not easy to ask others for help, however many people want to be of assistance but just don’t know how. By letting them know that you could really use a hand with grocery shopping, cooking or cleaning, you’re removing tasks from your plate at a time when you’re already overwhelmed, which may help with your anxiety. You’re also maintaining valuable social connections, which is especially important when you’re feeling anxious.
The important thing to know when you’re confronting anxiety is that help is available. Reaching out isn’t easy, but if you do you’ll be rewarded with a better quality of life for yourself and your baby.
This article was sponsored by AnxietyBC. Expectant and new moms often have many questions and worries about motherhood. AnxietyBC’s new website helps address those questions and fears. If you’re pregnant or have a new baby, the website can help. You’ll learn how to recognize anxiety and how it affects your body. You’ll also find self-help tools to help decrease your stress and anxiety, as you learn how to effectively manage anxiety during pregnancy and the postpartum period. If you’re concerned about a friend or family member, you’ll find information on the site about how you can help. Find help online, and take the first steps towards a better quality of life.
Amber Strocel is a writer, aspiring math teacher, suburbanite, wife and mom of two. She believes in the power of the Internet to connect people, and she believes that numbers are the poetry of the universe. You can often find her knitting, sewing, volunteering, working in her garden, and sneaking chocolate when no one's looking. She blogs at Strocel.com and shares her photos on Instagram as @AmberStrocel.