postpartum anxiety

Myths of Motherhood: Part 4


Myth Number Four: All Moms Worry

This myth is a tough one to “debunk”. Because the truth is, all moms will worry about their child at some point. This is certainly to be expected. One of my sayings with clients is that “it’s not a problem until it’s a problem”. How I define a problem is when there is a disruption in functioning.   When worry gets in the way of your sleep patterns, affects your appetite, work at home or in your place of employment, or is affecting your relationships, you know there is a disruption in functioning.

Unfortunately this level of worry and anxiety is common, (right now statistics show that Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders affect 20% of mothers) which means that often moms will reach out to their providers, family or friends and are told that this is “normal”. There is a difference between common and normal. So even though this is seen frequently in women, it is NOT normal to worry to excessive levels that impact functioning.

Moms who worry constantly about something bad happening, experiencing obsessive intrusive thoughts, practicing rituals (cleaning, counting, reassurance seeking), racing thoughts, significant sleep and appetite disturbance, and/or panic attacks are suffering from clinical levels of anxiety which requires treatment.

Treatment may include medication, therapy or a combination of both which typical results in the best and quickest rate of recovery. If you or someone you care about are struggling during pregnancy or in the postpartum period , it’s important to get help to improve outcomes for both mom and baby. If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to reach out to me on my contact page.