Postpartum Depression, Anxiety & OCD
Between hormonal fluctuations, lack of sleep, and a crying baby, the first few weeks or months of motherhood can be overwhelming and confusing. Many women experience the “baby blues,” or some feelings of sadness in the first 1 to 2 weeks after childbirth that quickly subside. However, others experience persistent unwanted negative feelings that can often be linked to Postpartum Depression (PPD).
In the United States, PPD is the most common complication associated with childbirth. It is also one of the least talked about conditions because many women feel shame associated with the condition. Furthermore, many women do not recognize that their negative feelings could be PPD. The fact is PPD is extremely common. The CDC says that 1 in 9 women experience PPD.
Women can also experience postpartum anxiety or panic attacks. These women may feel persistently keyed up or on edge, and they may experience extreme worry or doubt about their parenting practices. Although some amount of worry about a new baby is normal, some women experience debilitating anxiety that can make it difficult to perform routine tasks.
Women with PPD or anxiety often experience one or more of the following symptoms:
- Feeling overwhelmed or inadequate
- Excessive preoccupation with baby’s health
- Empty or Void Of Feelings
- Physical Symptoms (racing heart, stomach aches, headaches, insomnia)
Postpartum OCD is the onset of obsessions (repetitive intrusive thoughts) and/or compulsions (repetitive behaviors) around the birth of a baby. Mothers may have unwanted thoughts or images of hurting the baby, either intentionally or inadvertently. In an effort to avoid these thoughts, new mothers may limit the time they spend alone with their babies or may engage in rituals, such as repetitive prayer or excessive checking on the baby.
Postpartum OCD is terrifying for women who experience it. However, it is treatable through cognitive behavioral therapy, mindfulness, and medication. Dr. Julia Vigna Bosson and colleagues bring compassion and experience together with evidence-based approaches to help those suffering with OCD to reduce their suffering and begin enjoying their babies.
For more information about Postpartum OCD, read Dr. Bosson’s blog here.
At Union Square Practice, we help postpartum women suffering from:
- Postpartum Depression (PPD)
- Postpartum Anxiety
- Postpartum OCD
Perinatal Mood Disorders are treatable. At USP, we evaluate each case and develop a treatment plan with the goal of helping you feel your personal best. Depending on the client, we recommend therapy, medication, or a combination of both.