What Every Parent Should Know About Postpartum Anxiety

By Nicole Pajer
Reviewed by Jessie Everts, Ph.D.
March 22, 2023
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As a new parent, it’s expected that you’ll worry. But if your worry or anxious thinking gets to the point where it’s affecting your everyday life, you may have postpartum anxiety.

Postpartum anxiety (PPA) can occur anytime between giving birth and your baby’s first birthday. It can be described as an anxious feeling that can be overwhelming or difficult to control. Michelle DiBlasi, D.O., a psychiatrist at Tufts Medical Center in Boston, describes it as being “worried all the time, then starting to have physical symptoms like trouble sleeping even when the baby is sleeping, nausea, chest palpitations, or muscle tension.”

Postpartum anxiety is more common than you may think, with some studies finding that the condition can affect anywhere from 15% to 20% of birthing people in the first year after giving birth. Left untreated, it can lead to negative impacts on both a parent and baby’s health. Here’s how to spot postpartum anxiety and tips on seeking treatment.