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Anxiety During/After Pregnancy

Anxiety During/After Pregnancy

Having a baby is life-changing: there are so many new huge things that come with bringing a baby home – joy, fear, anxiety, and of course, sleeplessness. These emotions are huge and almost take up all the space in the room.  Do you feel like you’re constantly thinking about your baby’s needs, like you can’t shut off now that the Mom switch has been turned on?  You might feel cut off from your old life, distant, or maybe pregnancy has changed how you feel about your body, your relationships.  All the other moms at the play group, all the other ladies at prenatal yoga are smiling and happy and have it together. Why isn’t it like that for you?  You’re with your baby all the time, why does it feel so lonely?

You are not alone in your anxiety.

Anxiety is common during or after pregnancy, in fact postpartum anxiety is even more common than postpartum depression!  This is the body’s way of helping you stay alert, or in “survival mode.” Your anxiety keeps you ready for whatever the future might bring for you and your infant.

Some of this anxiety is actually quite helpful!  For example, if we didn’t experience some concern or worry when our baby seems ill, we may not go to see the doctor when needed.  In that way, anxiety helps keep your baby safe.

Sometimes a mom’s anxiety gets out of control.  Therapists (like us!) call this perinatal anxiety, which describes anxiety symptoms that happen during or after pregnancy.  Just like perinatal and postpartum depression, postpartum anxiety falls under the umbrella of perinatal mood and anxiety disorders, or PMADs.

Symptoms of Postpartum Anxiety

While it is normal to have anxiety after birth or during pregnancy, sometimes you need a little extra help adjusting to motherhood.

Here are some signs your postpartum anxiety may need professional help:

  • Racing Thoughts
  • Mood Swings
  • Worrying About Too Many Things
  • Difficulty Controlling The Worry
  • Fatigue and Sleep Problems

The Flight or Fight Response:

Our response to Anxiety

Imagine that a wasp has just flown near your head.

Anxiey during and after pregnancy | Perinatal Mood Disorders | Anxiety in Mothers | Postpartum Wellness | Northern Virginia, Fairfax County & Washington DC

You hear its nasty little wings flutter right past you with a buzz and your heart picks up the pace.  If you are like most of us, then that wasp is making you feel stressed and anxious. You are starting to worry.

And when people feel stressed about something, they often do one of two things.

One, they might go after, address, or attack the anxiety-producing stimulus.  You might pick up a rolled-up newspaper or a flyswatter to try and put an end to the wasp.  Two, they might try to avoid the thing that makes them anxious.  You might cover your head or run away from the wasp, for example, which keeps you safe at the moment but leaves the wasp unaddressed.

We call this the fight-or-flight response.

All of us are born with these instincts as a sort of emotional alarm system designed to keep us safe from harm when stressors arise.

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Good Moms Have Scary Thoughts

All of us can agree that the experiences of pregnancy and motherhood come with some stress, such as…

  • Learning how to be a mother

  • Lack of Sleep

  • Coping with miscarriage or death of an infant

  • “Mommy shame” or feeling like you aren’t good enough

  • Physical and hormonal changes

  • Marital issues or conflict with one’s partner

  • Financial issues

  • Employment and “the second shift”

  • Changes in friendships and other relationships

  • Feeling isolated or left out

  • Dealing with medical complications or illnesses

  • And the list goes on!

If it was just one wasp, you might be able to cope just fine.  However, in parenting, it’s never just one wasp. Any one of those stressors involved may trigger your anxiety. if you have more than one on your motherhood journey you might feel overwhelmed. It is no surprise anxiety is common among new moms.

You may have been in survival mode for yourself, your child, and your family for a long time.  Perinatal anxiety keeps women in a persistent state of fight-or-flight, almost as if you were surrounded by wasps 24/7, which is why it can feel so exhausting.

You deserve a break.

Therapy for anxiety during or after pregnancy is all about helping you learn to deal with those fears, those wasps, and those stressors in an effective and healthy manner.  Here at Postpartum Wellness, we strive to help women just like you learn to let go of uncontrollable stress, practice self-care strategies that actually work, and find freedom from the worry.  Contact us today to learn how, together, we can get your life back on track.


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Postpartum Anxiety Treatment
at Postpartum Wellness?

We are here for you!

You don’t have to stay stuck of live with constant worry. As a Women’s Counseling Center with offices in Florida, Arlington, VA, Bethesda, MD, and Washington, DC, Postpartum Wellness provides individual therapy for perinatal and postnatal anxiety. We believe in the healing power of connection and want to help you build a strong connection to your infant.  Postpartum counseling is also available online.

Our services are designed to incorporate the latest research while offering relational, compassionate and solution-focused treatment.  Postpartum treatment draws directly from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy as well as Interpersonal Therapy to provide you with a holistic approach to healing.

Each session is completely confidential and held in the comfort of any of our office.  We often work together in collaboration with your primary care physician to ensure your success, as well as to provide medication options for addressing issues with chemical imbalances if relevant.

The initial session is called the “intake interview,” which involves a thorough review of your life story and current situation.  This allows us to accurately pinpoint the problem and collaborate on a plan moving forward.  From there, we meet for regular individual therapy sessions – which is where the real work begins.

Use our appointment request form to schedule your first appointment with an expert counselor!

Benefits of Anxiety Treatment for New Moms

Every mom experiences some anxiety.  But if anxiety is holding you back from really enjoying these first moments of motherhood, anxiety treatment can help.

Your therapist will work with you to come up with an individual treatment plan. We  want to help you meet your goals.  Some of the common things moms learn through anxiety treatment during pregnancy or in the postpartum period include:

  • Understand your fight-or-flight pattern

  • Gain new insight and perspective

  • Reshape unhelpful, anxious ways of thinking

  • Accept life’s uncontrollable stressors

  • Be curious and open

  • Regain a sense of control and confidence

  • Use personally-tailored coping strategies that actually work

We call our practice Postpartum Wellness for a reason.

Modern women face a million different stressors every single day and often don’t have enough support. We started this counseling practice because we are passionate about providing a safe and caring space for women.

We think you deserve someone who understands and can guide you through your motherhood journey.  The silent struggle that many women experience impacts their relationships with self, children, partner, friends, family, colleagues, and the rest of society.  Many women feel ashamed by their stress and anxiety during pregnancy and after the baby arrives.  We want to change the stigma and help all women get the support they deserve!

We serve clients from all over Northern Virginia – Arlington, Alexandria, Fairfax, Vienna, Reston, Herndon, Springfield, Chantilly, and beyond.  We also provide online throughout Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, DC.

If you or a loved one struggle with anxiety and is struggling with work, enjoying the company of others, or functioning as a mother or partner – don’t wait.  Give wellness a chance!  We provide therapy for women from all over Northern Virginia – people just like you – who struggle with perinatal anxiety.

If you are ready to sign up today, or if you’d like to learn more about our practice, contact Postpartum Wellness today.

Postpartum Anxiety Counseling
in Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, DC

Are you constantly worried? Is anxiety keeping you from enjoying your pregnancy or new baby?  It IS possible to get control over your anxious thoughts so you can enjoy being a mom. Postpartum Wellness is here to help you manage the symptoms of postpartum anxiety at each of our Northern Virginia counseling offices. Our skilled counselors can help you navigate this stressful time. Contact us today to learn more.

Other Services at Postpartum Wellness

The skilled therapists at Postpartum Wellness understand that there are many areas new or expecting moms might be dealing with. We help with all aspects of the journey towards parenthood, whether you need counseling or just a little support after birth. Some of our specialties are prenatal massage, birth and postpartum doulas, NICU babies and preemies, military moms, traumatic birth and postpartum depression therapy.

Interested in Counseling?  Let’s Connect!

Interested in hearing more about our practice?

Want to learn more about how we can help?

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