Lets talk about how to manage post natal anxiety
… anxiety after the birth of their baby. As for men, it’s one in ten new fathers who will also experience postnatal anxiety. Unfortunately, it follows that if you had anxiety pre-birth, you may be at greater risk post-birth of developing a more severe anxiety response.
So here are a few strategies that might help you manage your anxiety:
- Prepare yourself with a network of trusted people you can talk to. If you are a new parent caring for your young baby to the point where you don’t get out, you may feel quite isolated. In turn, if this leads to feelings of feel anxiousness, fear or panic around your baby, having that trusted network to call is vital.
- Keep the contact details of an experienced professional because s/he can listen and tell you what is to be expected and what ‘normal’ is. Having a listening ear can be hugely reassuring especially when you find yourself getting into an anxious state. That person can get you to see the bigger picture and not fret about the smallest details that eat you up.
- If your chest becomes tight or you have palpitations, you can focus on deepening your breathing. To ease your symptoms count to five on breathing in slowly. Do the same again when you breathe out slowly.
- If anxiety affects your sleep, try establishing a helpful nap routine for yourself as well as your baby.
- Put some soothing music on then practice tightening the muscles in your body starting from your feet and working your way up to your head, then consciously relax them, one by one.
- Drinking a small cup of soothing herbal tea.
- If you experience anxiety about taking your baby out of the house, you may need someone who can give you understanding help and support by creating a gradual plan. On the first day, using your deep breathing, you might just hold your baby with the front door open, just for a few minutes. Once you have mastered this over a period of days, then you might feel you could manage to step outside holding your baby. Deep breathing as above. After a few more days, take a few more steps from the front door, no further and stand there breathing in the air. Each time you may go a little further until you feel confident to go down the street. Remember there is no hurry to actually go somewhere so it’s one small step at a time.
If you have thoughts that your baby would be better off without you or have any thoughts of suicide or self-harm, it’s important to talk to a health professional immediately. Your midwife, GP or Health Visitor can help you access the resources that will allow you to gain control of your anxiety symptoms.
And the good news:
Anxiety does tend to subside over time, but given that it’s a common factor in pregnancy, and there are excellent sources of help available, it’s always a good idea to have a conversation with somebody you can trust and see if they can help you find solutions that allow you to enjoy your new baby without the overwhelming feelings of anxiety and stress.
Suzy offers clear guidance around feeding, sleeping, simple soothing techniques and more. With over 30 years of experience caring for newborn babies, Suzy explains the meaning of a baby’s cries, all about his body language too and this reassures anxious parents because they learn how to respond in an effective way. Why not give Suzy a call and see for yourself?