Anxiety is a feeling of uneasiness, apprehension or dread and is a normal reaction to stress and can actually help us respond appropriately to real danger helping to motivate us in some situations.
However anxiety can be irrational, with no specific event, object or situation prompting it, and it can be overwhelming. When anxiety interferes with a person’s ability to cope with everyday life, professional help is needed.
Anxiety is a common symptom of PND. For some women with PND, anxiety is their main symptom. Because these women often don’t feel ‘sad’ or ‘depressed’, they can find a diagnosis of PND hard to accept.
Anxiety often goes hand in hand with depression and is more common than depression. Up to 20 to 30% of women experience anxiety in pregnancy and after delivery.
Most new mothers worry about their babies’ health. If you have PND, the anxiety can be overwhelming. You may worry that:
- Your baby is very ill.
- Your baby is not putting on enough weight.
- Your baby is crying too much and you can’t settle him/her.
- Your baby is too quiet and might have stopped breathing.
- You might harm your baby.
- You have a physical illness.
- Your pnd will never get better.
You may be so worried that you are afraid to be left alone with your baby. You may need reassurance from your partner, health visitor or GP.