Wrangling Your Worry
Is my baby eating enough? Why is she crying? With so many sources of stress, it's no wonder recent research suggests that postpartum anxiety is more common than depression. To keep worry in check, experts suggest:
Beware of "catastrophic" thoughts. If you find you're worrying that your baby might stop breathing, for example, try to ask yourself what the likelihood is that this would happen, advises Amy Wenzel, Ph.D., research assistant professor in the Psychopathology Research Unit at the University of Pennsylvania. "Then challenge yourself to identify the most realistic outcome," she says.
Create a distraction. Divert anxiety by engaging your senses -- listening to music, having a bite of chocolate, or sniffing a favorite fragrance. "These seem like little, superficial things," says Wenzel, "but they do the trick to distance people from their distress and help them get centered to deal with it better."
Tackle tension. A yoga class, stretching, or going for a walk can make a big difference in your emotional well-being.
Talk to your doctor. If you're cleaning excessively, checking on the baby nonstop, or just not feeling like yourself, ask your doctor if counseling might help.