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).