Glamour: Postpartum Anxiety Is More Common Than You Think—Here’s What You Need to Know
Glamour recently interviewed clinical psychologist Eynav Accortt, PhD, director of the Reproductive Psychology Program at Cedars-Sinai, about postpartum anxiety—a perinatal mood and anxiety disorder that occurs during and after pregnancy.
Accortt, assistant professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, told Glamour that 80% of birthing parents feel worried during early parenthood. She said that although anxiety is common, it becomes an issue “when there is interference with functioning.”
Accortt explained that women with perinatal mood and anxiety disorders experience a disruption in their daily activities and family life. “They’ll report tossing and turning, crying and worrying. This is about distress … now we’re talking about postpartum depression or postpartum anxiety,” she told Glamour.
Because postpartum anxiety and postpartum depression are similar, it’s important to talk to a healthcare provider to get an accurate diagnosis and help. Accortt recommends a reproductive psychiatrist or psychologist “who can help you tease these things apart.”
To best treat postpartum anxiety, Accortt said the first step is identifying it. She encouraged parents to recognize their feelings and to develop a strong support system of loved ones.
“Treatment begins with proper education for the birthing parents but also their partner and family members,” Accortt told Glamour. “When you’re in it, when you’re distressed, when you’re overwhelmed, when you’re sleep-deprived, it’s very challenging to really identify your own need for intervention. A lot of women will hide their symptoms—they don’t want [to] worry anyone, or there’s still a stigma.”
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