Becoming a parent can include a variety of challenges and distress. It"s so important that we take care of ourselves, but often we don"t even know where to start.
Here"s an overview of the symptoms and distress that moms and dads may experience during and after pregnancy.
Burnout changes in your normal mood and behaviors due to limited energy, time, and resources. Examples include increased irritability and conflict, short fuse, lack of humor, increased tension in relationships, zoning out on phone or tv, apathy.
"Mom Guilt" Worry that you are failing, not meeting expectations, or "not doing enough."
"Mom Anxiety" Fears about your child"s safety.
Intrusive Thoughts unwanted thoughts and images of harm that lead to feelings of distress. About 90% of moms and dads experience intrusive thoughts.
Adjustment Disorders Emotions of anxiety and depression that result from a stressor or transition and interfere with our normal level of functioning
Baby Blues moments of sadness, moodiness, irritability and crying mixed with other moments of relief. Baby Blues impacts the first fourteen days after baby"s birth.
Depression a cluster of symptoms that interfere with your functioning. Including symptoms of sadness, hopelessness, worthlessness, loss of energy, loss of motivation to do enjoyable interests, insomnia or excessive sleeping, significant increase or decrease in appetite, restlessness or sluggishness, difficulty concentrating, and may include thoughts of death or the desire to run away. Affects about 15-20% of postpartum moms and 10% of postpartum dads.
Anxiety excessive anxiety or worry that is difficult to control, occurs most days, and disrupts your functioning personally, socially, or vocationally. Including symptoms of restlessness, fatigued easily, difficulty concentrating, irritability, muscle tension, and/or disrupted sleep.
Panic attacks include at least four somatic symptoms of: racing heart, sweating, trembling, shortness of breath, chest pain, nausea, dizziness, chills, numbness, feelings of detachment or unreality, fear of losing control, and/or fear of dying
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) habits, behaviors, and rituals that you do to soothe fear related anxieties
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) traumatic pregnancy or birthing experience that leads to changes in your functioning, memories, thinking and concentration, energy, self-worth, emotions, and sleep
Bipolar Disorder experience of depressive and manic episodes. Mania includes heightened levels of energy, activity, and ideas.
Psychosis beliefs or perceptions that other people do not experience. This is the most lethal and deadly of all postpartum disorders, potentially leading to suicide or homicide. Affects about .1 % of postpartum moms. Bipolar Disorder is the leading predisposition to postpartum psychosis. Get help immediately if you experience any postpartum psychosis.
Find ways to take care of yourself during this transition (and the rest of life). All transitions require more energy from us. Here are some ideas of ways that you can take care of yourself and restore your energy. Find 1 or 2 that you want to focus on. It works better if it"s a skill that you are familiar with and you know has worked well for you in the past.
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