Postpartum Anxiety: Frequently Asked Questions

 

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The condition known as postpartum anxiety is a close relative of postpartum depression. The American Pregnancy Association states that 10% of the majority of new moms are affected by it. The typical signs are racing thoughts, feelings of dismay or terror, and extremely worrying. Some worry is pliable. Anxiety is a normal reaction to safeguard one’s newborn, and it is often manifested by hyper-vigilance and over-protectiveness.

This is why, as the Mayo Clinic reported, almost 90% of new parents claim that they are frequently feeling overly anxious with fearful thoughts that their baby might suffocate or slip when they are in the shower or that someone might snatch their baby in the mall. Most doctors agree that many parents experience ‘mental noise’ or chaos of the mind because of these fearful and racing thoughts. When they eventually learn to ignore them, the thoughts stop coming back.

On the contrary, if your anxieties are unreasonable (for example, if you have an extreme fear that your newborn will be harmed if you don’t keep carrying him), and you can’t get them off of your head, you may be experiencing from postpartum anxiety. This usually becomes an issue when it affects daily circumstances, if it disrupts one’s capacity to function, or if panic attacks suddenly arise.

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Below are some answers to frequently asked questions about postpartum anxiety.

 How long does anxiety last after having a baby?

Postpartum anxiety is not synonymous with the baby blues, which usually lasts for only two weeks. This type of anxiety does not often disappear by itself. It is vital to ask for help if anxiety is interfering with sleep or if you are persistently occupied with doubts and worries. In moderate or severe anxiety that is left untreated, postpartum anxiety does not go away and could persist indefinitely.

 Is anxiety normal after having a baby?  

In truth, not all moms are aware that having anxiety or fear or experiencing panic attacks is not uncommon after delivering a baby. About 10% to 15% of new mothers are diagnosed with postpartum anxiety, and approximately 50% of those with postpartum depression will potentially suffer from postpartum anxiety. 

How do you deal with stress after having a baby?  

You can try following these simple tips to help you manage your stress after delivering your baby:

  • Try seeing other people relieve tension and stress.
  • Spend time with family and friends and so something that you enjoy
  • Spend quality time with your spouse
  • Be more expressive – it helps release tension.
  • Find ways to relax
  • Recognize that you need help and learn to accept help from others 

What helps you get over anxiety?  

Some basic steps that you can try to relieve your anxiety include:

  • Eat healthy and well-balanced food.
  • Avoid consuming too much caffeine and alcohol, which further increases your anxious feelings and provokes panic attacks.
  • Take time to enjoy and relax.
  • Get a sufficient amount of sleep.
  • Practice mindfulness and deep breathing
  • Do the best that you can to be better.

How long will anxieties last?

Anxiety typically peaks within ten minutes and seldom persists for more than 30 minutes. However, during this short period, you may go through feel extremely afraid, as if you are out of control or you’re on the verge of dying.

What are the after-effects of anxiety?

Studies are continually being performed regarding the subject. Still, so far, they’ve revealed that some potential long-term after-effects of anxiety include heart diseases, various gastrointestinal problems like irritable bowel syndrome, and a decreased immune system.

How long until your hormones are normal after pregnancy?

Six months after delivering the baby would be an appropriate estimate for when the hormones in your body will return to normal. This would be when a lot of women experience their primary postpartum phase, and that is not an accident. After six months, postpartum hormonal deviations, particularly in progesterone and estrogen, should return to their pre-pregnancy states. 

Can breastfeeding hormones cause anxiety?  

When mothers are breastfeeding, the hormone dopamine is reduced in levels for prolactin levels to increase. Experts suggest that dopamine excessively falls for other women who breastfeed, and the deficit will result in various symptoms, including self-hate, anger, and anxiety. 

How long does it take to feel normal after having a baby?

Complete recovery from getting pregnant and having a baby could take months. Many new moms feel that they recovered in about six to eight weeks, although they reported that it took them longer than eight weeks to feel like themselves again. During this period, you might feel like your entire body has revolted against you. Try not to be very disappointed. 

Can babies sense when Mom is sad?  

Infants differ in their sensitivity, and according to several studies, babies, too, feel and respond to their parents’ emotional signals. In general, they pick up on emotions that their moms give off. Other studies state that when infants are merely a few months old, they can distinguish a cheerful expression from a sad one.

Do relationships change after having a baby?  

Ties with family, friends, and significant others are often different after having a child. The changes that happen from only two in the family to three, or perhaps more, could be among the biggest changes you will face when you are a new parent. 

How can I instantly reduce anxiety?

Some effective ways that you can try doing to improve your anxiety right now include:

  • Take deep breaths
  • Evaluate your thoughts
  • Recognize and accept that you are having an anxiety
  • Practice relaxing visualizations
  • Observe without judging
  • Practice self-talk to boost your self-esteem and improve your mood
  • Concentrate on doing something right now

How do I train my brain to stop worrying?

Here are a few ways to train your brain to stop worrying:

  • Be true to yourself
  • Don’t try to solve things on your own
  • Observe self-care
  • Try to accept that sometimes things can be out of your control.
  • Know your intentions and be conscious of them
  • Practice relaxation and mindfulness techniques
  • Be positive

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If you have tried taking anti-anxiety or antidepressant medications before and found them effective, you might want to start taking them again. However, you need to speak with your doctor or mental health professional about how a specific medication may impact your baby.

Lastly, always keep in mind that whether your anxiety is moderate or severe, it is best to find help at the soonest time possible. Remember that caring for yourself is caring for your baby as well.

 

 

Taking Care Of My Mental Health – How It Seems Impossible

Mental health exhaustion has been a popular topic these days. It can instantly catch people’s attention because of the wide range of confusion it contains. As for me, I get to think about it often because I know my everyday experiences are its contributing factors. Since I am a wife, a mother, a daughter, and a friend, I get to experience anxiety, stress, and depression everywhere. I feel like there is no time for me to rest, and that just sucks. I pretty much want to pause for a while from my responsibilities and avoid emotional, physical, and mental torture. Honestly, the issue here is not about what stresses my whole life. Instead, it is about the things I can’t do to maintain well-balanced overall health.

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I Get Exhausted As Well

One of the heartbreaking things I often try to accept is that I am responsible for almost everyone. I sincerely get the idea that as a wife, I need to be there for my husband. I have to become the support that he can lean on every time he thinks that things are falling apart. Also, I understand my duties as a mom. My kids are still learning to get a hold of life, so I know I must be there for them throughout their development. As a daughter, I understand that I still have responsibilities to my parents despite having limited resources. Lastly, I know that social connection with other people requires me to exert an effort as well. With all these in my hand, I can say that I am not one of the lucky individuals who can have moments for themselves. Because unfortunately, I don’t have enough time for me. Don’t get me wrong, I am not complaining about my life, and I understand the value of keeping my responsibilities intact. However, I just want the world to know that I get exhausted too. I feel tired and fed up with stress and pressure all day. Why can I have a break? I simply want to take a deep breath and excuse myself from all the piled up things I need to do, even just for a single day.

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Can I Not Give A Damn About Things?

It is true that the only way I can get through with this mental exhaustion is to not give a damn about everything. However, that is entirely not possible. I can’t just ignore my husband and tell him I don’t want to carry all his desperations and frustrations because I am his wife. I promised to be there for him no matter what. Thus, I have to stick to that promise and take it all in. And to my kids, I can’t vanish and leave them all behind because they won’t be able to handle things on their own. They are too young for stress and more significant responsibilities. I still need to be there for them to teach them everything they have to know and understand. To my parents, I get that I should not have to worry about them anymore since I have got my own family now. But I am still their daughter. There will be times that they will have to contact me for help, and I must be there for them. Because, why not? And to my social connections, I can’t just let go of that. I need them to be there for me, especially when I don’t want to be there for myself. I need people to surround me with positivity so that I can manage to get through. I can’t just ignore these essential things in my life because, without them, I would not have a purpose.

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What Are My Options?

I know, for a fact, that my mental health is essential. That is why I try my best not to allow myself to get drained emotionally and mentally. In fact, I take serious precautions when it comes to my overall health needs. Thus, I engage in routines and a healthy lifestyle that can support that. I exercise regularly by doing an ample amount of chores in the house. I eat healthy foods because I have to put that on the table for my kids. I drink plenty of water because I move my body a lot. And I talk to people often because I continuously rant about all the problems I encounter every day. Unfortunately, that seems not enough.

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Again, I don’t blame the people in my life for all the responsibilities I need to do for them. I love them, so I don’t regret every hardship and exhaustion or whatever it is that is emotionally, physically, and mentally weighing me down. However, I just have this feeling of wanting to be with myself and away from everyone’s nose. Will that be selfish?

The Realizations In Handling Family Relationships

It is not every day that we come to realize our worth. Most of the time, we are too carried away with all the stress and anxiety from small to vast reasons. As a result, we end up negatively compromising, which somehow strains our mental and emotional health. But we need to stop doing that. We must learn to understand that there are specific ways we can consider to overcome life pressures, especially if it involves our relationship with our family.

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Balance Relationship – They say that blood is thicker than water. It is a statement that signifies family relationships as something we cannot deny. Well, it is, since biologically, we share the same DNA. However, not all family members are deserving of our time, effort, and energy. There are family members that do not contribute to our emotional and mental development. These individuals only bring toxicity. Therefore, it is reasonable to shut them out in our lives. We should not let toxic individuals become our priority when all they bring us is negativity, stress, pressure, and judgment. Remember, any relationship works best if it’s balanced.

Trust And Honesty – Usually, our family can be quite a pain in the ass. Sometimes they feel so entitled to dictate everything about our life. They do that even if that invades our privacy and against our will. Sometimes, they also condemn us when we differ with their opinions. But regardless, we never have to explain ourselves to anyone. Our family should understand that we don’t need to do that. Our family should trust us with all their hearts. But of course, we need to reciprocate their trust with honesty. We should never lie to them because when we do, they won’t help us.

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Free Time – When our family needs us and we keep telling them we are busy, we probably are. But that excuse can negatively progress over time until we become distant to them. Remember, no one is entirely busy, not unless they want to avoid someone. If our family relationship means so much to us, we must know when to have time for them. That way, we can spend a great bond with our loved ones. If in case we need to have some time alone with ourselves, we need to inform our family. We should not leave them confused about our decision in distancing ourselves for a while.

Strong Words – We often think that because they are family, it is okay to hurt them emotionally and physically. Maybe because we somehow know they will forgive us no matter what and eventually forgive what we did. But if we continuously make our loved ones cry, we are also making it hard for ourselves. We are not fair to those people who only wish us better. It is essential to realize that our words hurt more than our actions. Therefore, we need to be mindful in choosing and using certain words.

Silent Treatment – In most instances, silent treatment has become the most used tactic in getting rid of almost any family issues. It works best in avoiding an argument. It also serves as an excuse not to deal with the annoyance of people in the house. Sometimes, it reminds everyone to keep their boundaries. However, this strategy is not always necessary since it can cause a relationship gap between family members. The constant practice of silent-treatment usually ends in negative behavior such as disrespect. With that, we must understand when and how to use silent treatment whenever dealing with a family member.

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Reputation – In a family relationship, everything is related to reputation. Everything we do always affects the people surrounding us. So when we choose to do well to others, our family benefits from our actions as we make them proud. But if we do bad things, they are the first ones to get hurt. They are the ones who get judged, and they are the ones who suffer the consequences of our inappropriate behavior. The next time we make decisions without considering the possible outcome, we need to at least think about how it can affect our family’s reputation.

Commitment – Of course, we know that we commit to our family. We are committed to protect them and always keep them safe and away from any harm. Thus, we need to always be there for them whenever they need us. But those are just minor responsibilities we need to accomplish. As members of the family, we are responsible for their emotional, physical, and mental growth. Thus, we need to care, love, and support them as much as we can.

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Handling a family relationship is not easy, especially when things are not often going the way we are expecting it. But through the challenges we face in life, one thing is sure. Our family will be the ones who will be there for us no matter what.

 

 

Home Gardening With Your Kids During Quarantine

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The COVID-19 pandemic has led us to a “new normal” of practicing physical distancing. As work shifts to remote set-up and children’s education to homeschooling, parents have more time to spend with their kids. That’s why it is now an excellent time to introduce them to new hobbies that they can turn into habits. 

If you have an empty plot in your yard or an extra space in your balcony, you can practice home gardening. This activity is an excellent way to keep children occupied while learning something new.

Furthermore, gardening is therapeutic and can provide us emotional comfort amidst the situation that we are all facing. It has a natural calming effect that is beneficial to both physical and mental well-being.

Gardening For Children

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Gardening allows children to learn essential life skills that they don’t often teach at school. It is also a hands-on way to teach about environmental awareness and nature exploring.

As Tchiki Davis, Ph.D. explains, “Getting in nature and under trees can lower cortisol (the stress hormone), lower blood pressure, and boost parasympathetic activity (the rest and digest system).” 

Here are other knowledge skills that children can develop through planting and gardening:

  • Understanding cause and effect in the process of planting
  • Responsibility when caring for plants
  • Creativity in finding ways to grow food
  • Physical activity and productivity
  • Knowledge about food and nutrition
  • Self-confidence from successfully growing a plant
  • Love for nature

Tips For Gardening With Children

If you want to make your quarantine period productive for your kids, this is the right time to introduce gardening! Here are some tips on how you can engage them with the act:

  • Provide A Personal Garden Bed

Give your child a sense of ownership by giving them their separate garden bed. It encourages them to have a sense of responsibility and boost their confidence at the same time. Try to keep it small and make sure that it is the right spot to plant. 

A productive garden bed must have access to good soil and sunlight, and it should be free of weeds and tree roots. You can use containers, pots, ground plots, or raised beds to plant on. If the growing condition is not ideal, it may be better to relocate it.

  • Keep Them Involved

Make sure to keep them involved in the entirety of the gardening project. Children learn best when they understand the reason and context behind the activity. Let them do the preparation, the planting, and the harvesting of their crop.

Keep them engaged by letting them decide on what to plant and ask them for their opinion. And always keep them updated with the progress of the project. By doing this, children will learn that gardening is a fun activity that contributes to sustainability. 

  • Start From The Seeds

By starting with a seed, children will be a part of its growing process. This part is a highly valuable experience for young children, and it boosts their self-esteem and sense of responsibility. Usually, you can start to plant seeds indoors, and once they sprout, you can transplant them into pots and garden beds.

  • Help Behind The Scenes

Depending on your child’s age, they may need some help with the gardening task. You can do these while they are not looking, since they may not be up for the job all the time. As much as possible, try to maintain their sense of ownership of the plot.

  • Give The Right Tools

To make it more realistic, let them use tools that are necessary for the activity. Plastic materials can break easily and frustrate young kids. You can try sawing the handle of huge garden tools like hoe and spade to match their height. It would be best if you can find gardening tools that are especially for children.

  • Show Off Their Work

Give them praise and reward during and after the gardening activity. Take a photo of their garden bed and send it to their friends or their grandparents. Giving them and their work attention can motivate them to continue the project or even come up with new ones.

Conclusion

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As families have more and more time at home, there are many ways to keep children engaged and productive. When starting your gardening journey, it is vital to have a variety of resources to get you started.

It is a guaranteed way for kids to learn new things and have fun while being isolated. It is also an opportunity to have a breath of fresh air from all the stress and anxiety around.

Parenting Tips During The COVID-19 Outbreak

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The COVID-19 pandemic has affected families all around the world. Schools and various establishments remain closed, everyone’s staying at home, and the once crowded cities are now empty streets. As parents, you want to assure your family the safety and warmth they need right now. Your kids may not directly say it, but they may feel confused and also alarmed with the sudden changes in their lives.

It can be hard to navigate family life in the middle of a pandemic. Here are some parenting tips to help you and your family to cope with the new, hopefully temporarily, normal.

Build Stronger Relationships With Your Kids

With the free time that you have right now, it is the perfect opportunity to bring the family closer and build stronger ties. Give them one-on-one attention to make them feel secured and loved.

For young children, you can read stories together, play with their favorite toys, or help with their school work. For teenagers, you can chat with them about pop culture, cook meals, or exercise together. It’s your chance to make up for the lost time and get to know your kids on a deeper level.

Maintain A Positive Attitude

Staying at home means that you’re going to be with your kids 24/7. They may drive you crazy now as much as before, but you have to stay calm and positive. It’s crucial to maintain a positive attitude at this particular time, even when painful. Praising your kids when they did something right will likely encourage them to do it again. It will reassure them that you’re noticing their good acts and you care.

Use positive and respectful words when telling your kids what to do. Provide clear instructions and consequences for their actions. Level your expectations as well as what their abilities are. Don’t expect them to do their school work all day long without feeling bored and tired, they’re kids, and they need to play as well.

As much as you’re grappling with the hardships of the pandemic, your kids may get anxious when they know you’re worrying too. Avoid adding to the anxiousness of your kids, speak to them calmly and understandably. Help your kids to stay connected with their friends online. Communication in trying times like this can help with managing stress and anxiety.

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Handling Conflicts

When conflicts and tension arise while your family is in quarantine, encourage timeout and space for everyone to unwind and spend some time alone. Lead your family in establishing boundaries and leveling each other’s expectations. Leon Hoffman, M.D., says, “During times of stress, anger and irritability are common emotions in everyone.” You have to understand that there will be frustrations, but as family, you have to solve issues together. Most importantly, right now, when the world is experiencing a crisis.

Due to your children’s incapacity to leave the house, they may display troublesome behavior. It’s relatively healthy since the normalcy in their lives was disrupted. As parents, comfort and discuss with them their emotions and struggles.

Create a schedule and chores so that everyone will take part and ownership of the responsibility at home. This process can also ensure every member of the family working and bonding together. Parents should remain calm and avoid conflicts as well, as their children are looking upon them for guidance in times of uncertainties like this. Children model their behavior to their parents.

Juggling Work At Home

If you’re working from home, it can be hard to keep your children busy and meet work requirements at the same time. If it’s possible, address your challenges to your employer and ask for flexibility. Most notably, if you have younger kids, they may need more attention and time with you.

Share the workload with your partner. Since there are no schools, divide the responsibility of homeschooling to your children. Introduce new activities to your kids to keep them occupied, such as gardening or painting. Maintain a suitable workspace at home, and don’t forget to take care of yourself as well. Your family needs you to be strong and healthy right now.

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Create A Routine Schedule

To make children feel secured and better behaved, create an organized but flexible schedule that they can follow. Assemble a consistent daily routine like fun activities and school timetables. In this way, they can look forward to doing something every day while at quarantine. It’s better to include exercise to stay healthy and manage stress while at home.

Silence and secrets do not protect children. They already know and feel that something is happening in your community. Answer their questions truthfully and be supportive of their feelings. Check your children if they’re okay and let them understand the COVID-19 pandemic.

How To Spice Things Up In A Marriage

Intimacy is essential in every marriage. In fact, it is considered as one of the key ingredients to a successful marital union. People who are married need to do develop and nurture intimacy all throughout their relationship. Without romance and intimacy, couples have a high tendency of getting a divorce or growing apart from each other. This is why it is significant to focus on your romantic life if you want to keep your marriage healthy. Here are some of the tips on how to do it:

 

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Is It Time To Get A Divorce?

Being married to the love of your life is one of the best experiences that you could have in this lifetime. It feels good to settle down with someone who sweeps you off your feet. Consider yourself lucky if you can find that one person who makes you feel happy and contented with everything in your life. Indeed, falling in love with the right man is a rare opportunity that you must grab immediately. However, just because you have found your soul mate does not mean that you will not go through the pain and emotional suffering.

 

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Finding The Balance Between Romance And Kids

Many factors can affect the success of a marriage, one of which is romance. When a lovely couple has been married for a long time already, there is a high tendency that each of them becomes complacent. Sometimes, they become too comfortable in the relationship to the point that they will no longer care about romance. This is wrong because, without romance in a marriage, the marital union is undoubtedly bound to go down the drain.

 

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How To Survive Motherhood With Your Husband

Once you become a mother, there is no turning back. You have to accept the fact that having a baby will change a lot of things in your life. Being a mother can be stressful, particularly at times when you have no idea what to do next. There will be several challenges and problems, but you can get through this if you learn how to seek help from your husband. The most important thing you need to keep in mind is that you cannot do everything on your own. There is a great need to ask for some support and assistance from your partner.

 

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