Managing Peripartum and Postpartum Anxiety: A Guide to Available Treatments

Peripartum and postpartum anxiety are common, yet often overlooked, conditions that can affect women during pregnancy and after giving birth. As a perinatal psychiatrist, I see many new mothers struggling with these conditions and it is important for them to know that effective treatments are available.

Symptoms of peripartum and postpartum anxiety can include excessive worry, difficulty sleeping, difficulty concentrating, irritability, and muscle tension. These symptoms can be severe and interfere with a woman's ability to care for herself and her baby.

There are several treatment options for peripartum and postpartum anxiety, including therapy, medication, and lifestyle changes. It is important for women to work with their healthcare provider to find the treatment that works best for them.

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a type of therapy that can be effective in treating anxiety. It involves identifying and changing negative thought patterns that contribute to anxiety. CBT can be done individually or in a group setting.

Medication can also be helpful in treating anxiety. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are a type of medication that is commonly used to treat anxiety and have been found to be safe to use during pregnancy and breastfeeding. It is important to work with a healthcare provider to determine the right medication and dosage.

Lifestyle changes can also be helpful in managing anxiety. These can include getting enough rest, eating well, and finding time to do activities that bring joy. It can also be helpful to connect with other mothers who are going through similar experiences.

If you are experiencing symptoms of peripartum or postpartum anxiety, know that you are not alone and that help is available. Don't hesitate to reach out for support.