How I dealt with Postpartum Anxiety

We are so grateful to have this thoughtful, open and raw guest post by Cynthia from We are the Jaquezes today sharing her journey and tips on Postpartum Anxiety. If you have other helpful tips that you know of we would love to create a discussion to support other suffering Moms in the comments.

By Cynthia:Screen Shot 2016-01-25 at 8.01.37 PM

“Johnny!!! Get him! Get him now!”

“Babe, what’s wrong?”

“I am not sure. I feel ants crawling all over me and I just envisioned myself launching Oliver across the room.”

3 a.m. and I was a sobbing mess telling my husband that I had just envisioned, and had to contain myself from, launching my 2-month-old across the room. I didn’t know why this was happening. It was such a scary and dark time that was filled with guilt for feeling the way I did. All I wanted to do was nurse my baby, but every time he would latch on, this anxious feeling would come over me. It did not take long for me to realize that I was dealing with anxiety and a visit to my midwife and doctor confirmed what I already knew.

When women become mothers, they enter this new chapter of life with many unknowns. No one really tells us that, not only will our bodies change, but so will our hormones, health, and emotions. It isn’t always a negative thing, but for many women it can be. After having Oliver, I started to develop anxiety. I’d heard people talk about how crippling anxiety could be but I had never really experienced that kind of anxiety, but in all honesty I really just thought, why can’t they just fix their thoughts on Jesus and choose to be happy? After experiencing anxiety, I learned that it really isn’t something that we can just choose to turn on or off. Luckily I was able to recognize that I was dealing with anxiety and leaned on a community of women who’ve walked this path into motherhood before me. I received so much support and direction.

Mamas out there, I want you to know that what you are feeling is real. You are not exaggerating, and you aren’t doing anyone any favors by ignoring it. Get help, speak, reach out. There are many women/professionals out there willing to help you overcome this. In my opinion, anxiety is not generally something you want to treat with prescription medication. It’s not that prescription medications are bad necessarily, but there are several side effects and addiction risk that make them less than ideal. In many cases, the problem is not resolved and you are just left with more problems.

Here are a few of the things I did to deal with anxiety.

  • Prayer, lots and lots of prayer. Find your quiet time and allow your mind to slow down and pray.
  • CALM POWDER. Magnesium plays an important role in our overall health. Magnesium is found in leafy greens and many of us simply don’t get enough greens in our diet and therefore are deficient in magnesium.
  • Essential Oils. Yes I know that many of you are probably rolling your eyes but I am only sharing what worked for me. I used these therapeutic grade essential oils from Young Living; joy, valor, white-angelica, cedarwood, frankincense, and lavender. If you have any questions regarding the use of them please connect with me, as I am happy to chat.
  • Get moving and your brain will start producing happy hormones. Seriously anything is better than nothing, so even if its just 5 minutes a day, get moving.
  • Lots of healthy fats, gut healing foods, pastured meats (1-2x wk), supplements, lots of water, and just treating food as a form of self-love.

Sweet sisters, I pray that you find a community that supports you as you deal with this. I want you to know that what you are feeling is real. You are not over-exaggerating and there is light and hope! You will feel like yourself again and soon you’ll start to see the beauty and joy that your sweet baby has brought into this world.

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Comments

  1. alli:
    on January 26, 2016 at 3:17 pm said:

    Part of what makes it so hard is that husbands just really don’t get it! A lot goes through a new mama’s mind. I wouldn’t say I ever had severe postpartum anxiety, but for the first 6 months of both of my kids’ lives, I would wake up often, frantic in the middle of the night thinking that the baby was suffocating under our covers….my babies never even slept in my bed with me! It’s hard when you feel like you are going crazy.

  2. on January 26, 2016 at 6:07 pm said:

    I dealt with Postpartum Anxiety + Postpartum OCD. What a ton of bricks it was, hitting me hard. I feel incredibly blessed, though, to have a husband who was patient & as understanding as much as he could… he never tried to talk me out of my feelings, rather he just helped me through the thoughts. My mother had also expressed to me that she went through very similar feelings, so I was able to talk to her. This + time. I’m so thankful to be on the other side, today.

  3. Christine S.:
    on January 27, 2016 at 10:35 am said:

    I commend this mama for her courage in talking about her experience with postpartum anxiety, which many people don’t realize is just as common and debilitating as postpartum depression. I’m so glad to hear she found her way through it! I would like to add that anti-anxiety medications absolutely can be an essential component of treatment, and their side effects and possibility of addiction should be discussed thoroughly with a doctor. When talking about such a sensitive and stigmatized subject, we need to be careful not to cast judgment on the many ways that women can find to support themselves, whether it be through spiritual beliefs, alternative treatments, or evidence-based medications and psychotherapy. Postpartum Support International has a great list of resources, both online and in-person: http://www.postpartum.net/get-help/locations/

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