Licensed clinical social worker Katie Monarch describes the symptoms a woman experiences when dealing with postpartum anxiety.
Katie L. Monarch:
Postpartum anxiety and postpartum depression kind of go hand-in-hand. Sometimes moms will think, “Well, gosh, I am not depressed, but I am anxious. I don’t want to go outside. I don’t want to have anybody come over to see me or the baby. I am more comfortable just staying in my room. I am too anxious to go to the grocery store. When I go to the grocery store I am calling home 10, 15 times, ‘How is the baby, how is the baby, how is the baby?’
I am not able to sleep at night because I am worried what’s going on. I am listening for the baby to make sure the baby is still breathing. I am just not finding the same amount of joy. I might start having panic attacks. I might start feeling that all my blood is rushing to my head. I might start feeling like I am going to pass out. I might start thinking, ‘Oh my gosh, I am having a heart attack.’ I could be having anxiety the baby is going to die, the baby is going to stop breathing, nobody can touch the baby because of germs.” Those are anxious moments, and a lot of moms experience postpartum anxiety without the dark, deep depression. It’s just, “I am in an anxious state all the time, and I can’t function this way.”
About Katie L. Monarch, L.C.S.W.:
Katie Monarch is the Project Director for the Post Partum Depression program at St. Joseph Hospital in Orange, California, where she helped design an education-focused facility. At this hospital all new mothers are screened for postpartum depression through the Bridges for Newborns program using the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS).
Visit Katie L. Monarch at St. Joseph Hospital