It's not uncommon for a new mom to struggle with long bouts of sadness and anxiety related to childbirth. These feelings are often attributed to mood disorders, such as postpartum depression (PPD), and its lesser known counterpart, postpartum anxiety (PPA). Although no one knows for sure how their body and mind will react to having a baby, experts may be able to predict a mom's odds of struggling with a mood disorder by looking at some postpartum anxiety risk factors you probably didn't know about.
Postpartum anxiety affects many new moms. According to Postpartum Support International, six percent of pregnant women and 10 percent of postpartum women will develop anxiety. Symptoms of PPA include: constant or excessive worry, the feeling that something bad is going to happen, racing thoughts, problems sleeping, changes in appetite, the inability to sit still, dizziness, hot flashes, and nausea.
Because some amount of stress and anxiety is expected when bringing home a new baby, many moms struggle with these kinds of symptoms for weeks or even months without consulting with a healthcare professional. Parents noted that postpartum anxiety is referred to as the "hidden disorder" because it often goes unrecognized and undiagnosed.
Here are some factors for postpartum anxiety that may put you at increased risk.