Severe Anxiety Since Having Baby

Updated on March 02, 2009
K.H. asks from Gig Harbor, WA
24 answers

I have been having really bad anxiety for the last five months. since my baby was about three months old. I do suffer from ocd..that also seems worse since having my baby. I deal with my ocd during the day by keeping busy..but everynight my heart starts racing, my mind doesn't shut off and sometimes I get bad heart flutters, that makes me feel like I am falling at first then a quick strong flutter. I have tried everything, long showers, back rub, breathing, I can't stop it from happening. will it ever go away?

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A.H.

answers from Portland on

Do an internet search on EFT (the website is emofree.com, I think). You can get all the information about how to do it for free online. It's going to seem a little strange, but it really, really does work. In some countries it's the #1 way to get rid of post-tramatic-stress-disorder. It works really well for anxiety.

I haven't had one anxious feeling since doing it about a year ago. I had to do it about 20-30 times over a couple of months, each time it got a little better. Now I can get a weird pain in my head, racing heart, etc and not feel like I'm going to die.

I know that it's going to seem odd, but really, it's FREE, so why not try it? It'll just take about 30 minutes to read the info and learn it, then it takes 1-2 minutes, several times a day.

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D.D.

answers from Seattle on

I used to get anxiety attacks from food allergies. I would have them off and on throughout the day for no apparent reason. I discovered my dairy allergy was setting it off, and so was sugar. I also discovered I had a systemic yeast problem that was causing a lot of these symptoms as well. When I got the sugar and dairy out of my diet - voila - the symptoms which also included mood swings, disappeared.

You may want to get yourself checked by a naturopath. Food allergies and Systemic Yeast problems (from too many antibiotics) can cause anxiety attacks.

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M.V.

answers from Seattle on

Hi K.,

I was obsessed with cleaning and have anxiety too. This has been going on since my early twenties and have suffered alone without any professional help or medications. My pride was what kept me from seeking any help and was very self-conscious of what people would think of me.

When I became pregnant it had gotten worse but was too stubborn to get help. Once I gave birth it was so over whelming being a new mom and not having any family out here that I was afraid to be alone with my daughter for fear of all the worst things that could happen while my husband was at work.

My daughter is the most important thing in my life and I wanted to be there for her. I decided to put my pride aside and do whats best for my family and myself. It was the best and wisest thing I have ever done. My family doctor was very supportive and knew exactly what I wanted. I didn't want to be medicated and feel like a zombie or not give my undivided attenton to her needs so I was prescribed sertraline (generic for zoloft). I feel so much confidence and relieved that I am able to get my anxiety under control. Boy! it was like a big weight off my shoulders.

It is not habitual, safe even when I was breastfeeding and depending on your insurance coverage, it cost me $4.00 for a months worth.

With that said. I hope this sheds some light that you are not alone and I am more than happy to share my experiences with you and anyone who is reading this. Please feel free to contact me.

Take care,
Mar

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B.W.

answers from Spokane on

Dear K.,

I was married to a man who had OCD very badly (broke up for other reasons.) After trying every available therapy out there to no avail, he tried homeopathy. This changed his life. It helped his OCD and stopped the anxiety attacks.

The beauty of homeopathy is that it is very simple, easy and completely harmless. There are no dangerous side effects and it doesn't cause more problems than it is trying to fix, like most drugs do.

I live in Canada, so can't recommend anyone to you in WA, but please look around or ask for referrals. It is life changing for many people, especially in areas where traditional medicine fails so dramtically.

Best of luck to you!

B. W

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M.L.

answers from Seattle on

There's so many changes that go along with having a baby! From your description, you need to see a therapist at this point. That doesn't mean you need to be medicated, but a professional can help you find the extra tools to deal with the evening anxiety. Good luck!

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M.F.

answers from Seattle on

K., I have hope to offer you. I have talked to many people who have dealt with anxiety, OCD, and depression difficulties that have found something that is really working that is nutrition not drugs! I can get you information and let you hear directly from others that have been there and been helped so you can ask them questions as well. Email me and we can connect. You will be so encouraged to hear about this! [email protected]____.com

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H.N.

answers from Seattle on

this site has great resources. check request and responses about for previous similar posts as well.

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B.Y.

answers from Seattle on

I am sure you are doing a great job as a mom, but sometimes we just have thoughts that don't want to leave our minds. I call them the "What If's" I find that for myself I talk myself threw the "what if this did happen" and then I look at the best case and worse case. And then I ask myself if I can live with that. This helps me with my panic attacks.
I also find that if I fall asleep listening to music or the tv that it helps my brain to focus on something and shut down.

I would also suggest that you get into counseling. It is normal for Postpartum Depression to set in around 3 months. And this can be handled with meds and/or counseling.

Congrats on the baby.
B.

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A.D.

answers from Portland on

Oh hon, get the on anti-anxiety meds. They will change your life. They have for me.

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W.C.

answers from Seattle on

I hope that you are seeking professional help and working with a support group.

After that the other few things that I suggest would be:

Remember to breathe when you feel scared. Breathe in, and breathe out--deeply. Both with joy and peace.

Remember to live 15 minutes at a time if you have to, when you are scared. If you can do these 15 minutes, you can make through to the next.

Find or create a really safe place for you and your mind to go. Imagine a ladder or plank being stretched out to you for rescue when you are afraid. On the end of that plank is the best part of your life, your baby, your husband, and your home.

But time in meditation visualizing how you want your life.

And also seek professional help.

Blessings, and thank your husband, he seems very supportive.

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W.L.

answers from Seattle on

Hi K.,

Have you ever had your cortisol or DHEA hormone levels tested? They're hormones in your adrenal glands that can get drained from pregnancy and stress, but are essential to your body to help it maintain calmness. If they hormones are low or missing, then your body's last option is release adrenaline, which is the opposite of what it needs.

Unfortunately most insurance companies don't cover the test, but it could be really helpful to know. My naturopath suggested that I take it because I was having similar attacks (seemed like panic attacks), and my levels were almost non-existent. If I'd have let it go too much longer, it could’ve become much more serious.

Just some food for thought. I don't know how up on this test an Allopathic (Western Medicine/MD) doctor will be (I'm not a big fan anyway), but you can ask your doctor to see if they can get a test for you. If this is the case, it would be so much more helpful for your body to take supplements to naturally help your body rebuild the hormones, rather than taking medication to artificially cover up what’s missing, with side-effects.

If you would like to try to see a naturopath, I would highly recommend mine, or you can just look one up in your area. I realize many people are wary of them, thinking that they're just for tree-huggers and can't do all the same stuff as an MD doctor, though in reality they do more in general practice, and will recommend you to specialists just the same when needed. My naturopath is a Mother & Child doctor, which is also nice, since many mom issues are related to things going on with the children (maybe lack of sleep or something similar) and pregnancy. If you’re interested, here’s her info:

Kathleen Allen, ND
Mother & Child Natural Medicine
Woodinville Wellness Center
16818 140th Avenue NE
Woodinville, WA 98072
###-###-####
www.motherchildmedicine.com

Good luck in whatever you decide to do! :o)

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A.G.

answers from Medford on

I tried accupuncture last year. I was amazed at how great I felt after just one treatment. And, you dont have to take any prescription drugs with all those side effects! It was once a week for four weeks, and then every two weeks. I havent been going for 3 months now & i am starting to feel like i need to go back. give it a try, it really works! Good luck!

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A.B.

answers from Seattle on

I totally get what your talking about! I had this bad too! I battled it on my own and it was hard, but I got through it. I would come home from work and freak out because there was a sock in the middle of the floor and it would escalate from there.. I was like totally out of control, and I felt so guilty because I couldn't stop myself from feeling the way I did. I felt like a horrible person. I started serfing the Oprah site and was looking into "self help" books,.. I found this one from her book club list called "The Four Agreements" by Don Miguel Ruiz. It's actually more like a workbook and it opened my eyes, taught me how to see things differently,.. its an easy read too so you wont feel overwhelmed. I highly recomend it, it improved many areas of my life, work especially (I had a co-worker from hell!!)

I also want to warn you about those anxiety meds,.. I would try alternative medication first (teas, natural remedies, walks etc,..) Xanax is HIGHLY addictive meant for very short term use, actually my co-worker from hell that I meantioned before? She was HOOKED on the stuff, messed her up! She couldn't stop taking the stuff, it was sick. I advise you to read up on and perscription drugs before you take them, Xanax and other anxiety drugs are on the high rise, some of the most abused drugs out there. Please please read up on it. You cant just stop taking Xanax either,.. you have to wean yourself off of it so you don't experience strong withdrawls, the drug is that strong. This drug,.. is anything BUT mild!

You can beat anxiety without having to resort to drugs,.. If you don't teach your self and your body to calm itself down, you aren't learning anything. I see you have a new little baby,.. my co-worker use to try to get me to take some pills home,.. I had a new little one just like you at the time, and she would tell me,.. "Just make sure your husband is going to take care of the baby for the night, because it's going to knock you out you wont wake up or hear a thing!" I couldn't do it even if I wanted to, I couldn't imagine my baby crying and me not being able to help/hear him. The thought just made me sick.

I just have to say, it kind of sickens me to see all the responses for telling you to go get on drugs,.. its such a major problem in society. Anytime anyone has issues or have a problem they are prescribed something! It really makes me sick,.. no offense everyone,..but really it does. I have seen so many, too many loved ones enter and reenter drug rehanbs and fail them due to drugs, perscription drugs,.. many of them took Xanax and drugs like it,.. its a problem,.. its a big problem.. And I personally don't think ANY drug is safe to take while breast feeding.. Use you're head,.. if god didn't make it to put in your body, DONT PUT IT IN YOUR BABY!

Just remember you CAN stop yourself,.. You just have to keep trying..

Sorry for the long message,.. as you can tell I feel very strong about this!

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A.F.

answers from Seattle on

I had post partum anxiety due to my changing hormone levels after my first and second children. After my third, I was prescribed Xanax and I didn't experience any of the symptoms of the anxiety attacks. The first two I just suffered through, did some acupuncture, and my MD told me to 'drink a lot of cocoa' - but the feelings were so strong and scary. I'm so sorry you have to go through this, but for me it did go away once my hormones rebalanced. I agree with some of the ladies below - talk to your OB and see what s/he says. Xanax (while I hate being on any drugs) is safe to take while breastfeeding and is very mild. Best of luck to you - I hope this passes quickly.

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J.W.

answers from Seattle on

Go see your doctor. Hormonal changes can accentuate OCD and with a blood test they can check things out, to help balance things out. A new born can bring on a whole new set of worries and concerns, a long list of 'what if's' to wonder about. So take time for yourself and go see your ob-gyn or your primary care doc and get a physical. Tell them everything, and I do mean everything. That's the only way they'll be able to recommend an effective treatment. I wish you well. Enjoy that baby girl!!!

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L.G.

answers from Seattle on

Hi K.,
I am Mental Health RN. I would suggest you see your primary care MD to make sure there is nothing physiological causing your anxiety. Then, if it were me, I would seek out a therapist who works with anxiety and try to sort out what is causing your anxiety. Yoga and yogic breathing techniques can be really helpful too. I'm so sorry your struggling with this. I know how disabling severe anxiety can be. Are you currently being treated for OCD?
Good luck and take good care of yourself,
L.

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A.D.

answers from Portland on

i would go see your doctor. they can either refer you a therapist for cognitive therapy (which helps you change your thinking) or get you on a medication for anxiety, like zoloft. mental illness isn't something you have to battle on your own, ever.

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G.B.

answers from Portland on

I really understand what you are going through.

Here is a great program that makes a really big difference.

In the morning get up and eat a good breakfast. Take a really good multiple vitamins, 2000mg Vit C, 100mg of B complex plus 100 to 250 mg of B1. Have a calmag-c drink. (website below)

Bundle the baby up, put her in a stroller and take a nice walk. Try to walk different ways each morning. Notice the trees, flowers, and houses, really look at the things around you.

When you get back home play with your daughter. When she goes down for a nap have a nice hot bath and relax, read a good book.

Be productive during the day, clean the house, sort your photos, exercise, write to old friends, or further your education (the library is a great source of information). Find things to do that make you feel good about yourself. Play with your baby, talk to you baby.

Go to the park, library, or mall, anyplace other mothers hang out with their little ones. Make a new friend.

If you feel a mid day slump have 100 to 250mg of B1. Take another walk.

In the evening try relaxing without the TV or any other electronics. Try a good book. Have another calmag-c drink and 100 to 250mg of B1 before bedtime.

I have had fantastic success with this. The B1 and Calmag-C are very important to the success of this routine. In order to take the B1 it must be balanced with the other vitamins. Never take B complex in the evening it will keep you awake. You must take the Vitamin C to balance the B1 or you create an imbalance and your teeth will hurt.

I do not get a commission of any sort but have found the following to be a good reliable source of an inexpensive calcium magnesium drink.

Let me know how it goes.

G.

Instant CalMag-C has been formulated with the correct 2:1 ratio of calcium to magnesium and with ascorbic and citric acids to create the correct pH balance for optimum absorption.

Helping Hands Life Improvement Center
USA: Toll-Free: 1-877-700-7717 or local ###-###-####
South Africa: 011-452-8892/93
www.calmag-c.com

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A.W.

answers from Seattle on

Best to probably go to the doctor and get help. I suffered from extreme anxiety also and it overwhelmed me immensely. My doctor prescribed Xanax and it has made a world of difference for me. I only take it when I feel that way and it really has made me feel like a better mom.

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D.A.

answers from Portland on

Contact www.babybluesconnection.org. They are a support group designed to help women experiencing postpartum depression/anxiety. I have heard great things about them.

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J.R.

answers from Portland on

Hormones can trigger intense anxiety which usually abates shortly after giving birth but for many it doesn't. Do seek help. Be neither shamed away from taking medications nor turn to them as the first response. Work with a good team (counselor, MD, naturopath) and find a treatment that will work for you. It's miserable to feel that type of anxiety but you don't have to feel that way for long with the right help.

As for one comment in particular below, though we as a society are highly overmedicated, there our circumstances when our mental health is at stake and medications can make a huge difference in people's lives. Each person must make that decision for themselves and not judge others for seeking help when they feel desperate. Many people don't get the medial help they need because they are made to feel ashamed for taking medication. When you're suffering from anxiety, you don't need others adding to that stress.

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L.T.

answers from Seattle on

As a SAHM and past counselor it honestly sounds to me like you might be having anxiety attacks. I would recommend meeting with a counselor mommy. You might need meds or maybe just a professional to talk to...Best of luck to you.

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C.R.

answers from Portland on

Hi K.,

I also suffer from anxiety and my heart goes out to you. My LO is 10 months old, and I know that it is extra scary because you are a new mother with a lot of new responsibility! Are you breastfeeding? What sort of child rearing practices are you following? These are important questions to answer before I can help you further.

C.

C.S.

answers from Medford on

I have very severe anxiety after my second child (may 07). For 8 months i suffered. I lost my dad tragically when I was 4 1/2 months pregnant. I thought that the stress of having a new born, a 2 1/2 year old and dealing with the sudden death of my father, plus returning to work was the cause. Then I got tired of everyone telling me that I was just a busy working mom. There are millions of working mom's out there that dont feel like this. So, I went to the doctor. Turns out I have graves disease (hyperthyroid). With medication I have returned to my self again. After I was diagnosed, i talked to my sister-in-law who I found out was also hyper-thyroid after her 2nd child, hers was post-pardum though and worked itself out by the time her daughter turned 2. I woudl suggest having it checked out. It never hurts to check. Good luck! from one OCD mom to another.

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