After giving birth, new moms deal with out-of-whack hormones. Postpartum depression has become more broadly understood as a startlingly common experience for new parents. But something that's just as common—if not more common—is postpartum anxiety.
Characterized by symptoms like rapid heartbeat, racing thoughts, a short fuse, worrying, insomnia, lack of appetite, or overeating, many moms deal with anxiety shortly after the arrival of a new baby. "So many moms feel anxious and out of control, there is a ton of information these days," says yoga and Pilates instructor Kristin McGee, who gave birth to twins less than a year ago. "Hormones are all over the place, and we can't control our babies no matter what we do, so it can be very anxiety-producing."
According to holistic psychiatrist and mbg class instructor Ellen Vora, M.D., anxiety can be a component of postpartum depression, but it also occurs on its own. "Even when someone doesn't meet diagnostic criteria for one of these disorders, there can be significant shifts in mood and anxiety levels in the post-natal period," she explains.
So, how can new moms deal with and treat postpartum anxiety? While you should never hesitate to seek professional help, here are Vora's suggestions to help you get started.