Postpartum depression and postpartum anxiety are often thought to be the same disorder, but the terms shouldn't be used interchangeably. Postpartum anxiety is very different from postpartum depression and is more common than you may think. But what are the risk factors for postpartum anxiety and is there a way to prevent it?
Like postpartum depression, many women think that their postpartum anxiety is just a funk they need to get out of. A study in the Journal of Affective Disorders found that more than 15 percent of pregnant and postpartum women were affected by anxiety and related disorders, and that the prevalence of postpartum anxiety actually exceeded that of postpartum depression.
According to Parents, postpartum anxiety is known as "the hidden disorder". It often goes undiagnosed, despite it being more common than postpartum depression, and many women are not treated for it. Although most new moms' fears and worries are normal, thoughts that tip into the irrational range, like being afraid to drive your car if your baby's in it or worrying that something tragic will happen to them, are classified as symptoms of postpartum anxiety according to Baby Center.
So how do you prevent yourself from developing postpartum anxiety? Is there a way you can keep yourself from developing this disorder? Knowing these three risk factors for postpartum anxiety can help ease your worries as can talking to a doctor. If you feel, for whatever reason, that you may be suffering from postpartum anxiety or prone to developing it, your healthcare provider can help.