Perinatal Anxiety: Less Known, Just as Common
In the media and in general, there is more and more talk about postpartum depression, but there is still little talk about the anxiety experienced during pregnancy or after childbirth. Otherwise, when the subject is discussed, it is done in a way that normalizes the phenomenon.
Becoming a mother is one of the most important transitions in a woman’s life and it can bring some upheaval. This new role brings a lot of meaning to our lives, a lot of positive elements, but it is also very difficult on our mental health! We humans are like that, we don’t like change.
After the birth of a baby, we suddenly have to take care of a fragile little being, learn to guess what his cries mean, make sure he gains weight, sleeps well, doesn’t lack anything. Not to mention all the worrying that goes along with breastfeeding!
If it is “normal” to have fears when you become a parent, know that it is not “normal” to live with intrusive thoughts. If your worries are keeping you from functioning, it’s time to get help. This is true for new moms and it is also true for their spouses.
The way anxiety is portrayed as a societal phenomenon means that many women don’t seek the help they need because they tell themselves that they are not depressed, they are just anxious. But anxiety can be treated too! Just because more and more people are suffering from it doesn’t mean that you have to live with its symptoms.
More and more people are becoming diabetic, but that doesn’t mean that every new case of diabetes shouldn’t be taken seriously and treated with insulin (or the appropriate treatment).
Let’s learn to identify perinatal anxiety and offer tools to those who need them. My team and I are doing just that, thanks to the support of the Montreal General Hospital Foundation.