Postpartum depression (PPD) has been highlighted regularly in recent years, and to the benefit of pregnant women. Now moms-to-be are guaranteed to get an informational pamphlet and their doctors will conduct regular screenings. Unfortunately, this is not the case for postpartum anxiety (PPA). Although it's starting to get more attention, there's more work to be done to prepare expectant mothers. That's why moms like me want pregnant women to know about postpartum anxiety.
I have a history of depression, so postpartum depression was very much on my radar. When I got pregnant I met with my psychiatrist and we decided that staying on my anti-depressant was the best choice. We hoped it might inoculate me against PPD, and to that end, it worked. Postpartum anxiety, however, I never saw coming. I was constantly worried that something terrible was going to happen to my baby and found myself unable to quiet my mind. My obsessive compulsive tendencies went into warp drive until I finally sent up my bat signal with friends and family and got help.
During pregnancy, it's natural to fantasize about how amazing life will be with this new little person to care for. It may well be, but I for one think it's worthwhile to prepare yourself just in case it's not. If you're pregnant, you should know the following about PPA: