Feeling anxious?

Updated August 16th, 2018

Becoming a new parent can be stressful. New routines, baby care, lack of sleep can make any new parent feel distressed. For some parents, pregnancy and the postpartum period can trigger anxiety. Anxiety can feel bad and interfere with how much you enjoy your new baby. Recognizing the signs can help you know if you are having anxiety.

What is anxiety?

  • Anxiety is a common reaction to a stressful situation. Everyone feels anxious sometimes. Talking in front of a group of people, finances, and relationships can all cause anxiety.
  • Anxiety is part of our survival instinct. It helps tell us if we are in danger and helps us focus on getting things done quickly. The nervousness usually goes away once the stressful situation is over. But if you are feeling anxious all the time it could be an anxiety problem or disorder.
  • Anxiety can occur at any time in a person’s life. New moms, dads, partners, caregivers and grandparents may experience anxiety at this time.

How do I know if I have an anxiety disorder?

If you have been experiencing any of the following talk to your health care provider:

  • Worries or fears that don’t go away
  • Excessive irritability
  • Anger
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Racing thoughts
  • Panic attacks
  • Fear that something terrible might happen to you, your baby or someone else
  • Shortness of breath
  • Heart races or pounds
  • Light-headedness
  • Shaking
  • Sweating or chills
  • Nausea
  • Numbness or tingling
  • Chest and throat feels tight
  • Loss of appetite
  • Diarrhea
  • Tight muscles

When these symptoms happen suddenly and you have an overwhelming sense of fear, it could be a panic attack. See a doctor or other healthcare provider to rule out the possibility of a physical health problem. If you are having panic attacks, a counselor or psychologist can help. They can help you find ways to cope with anxiety and prevent future panic attacks.

Reach out: It can be difficult to stop feeling fearful or worried. Talk to your healthcare provider if anxiety is taking up a lot of your time and energy, or affecting your quality of life.
Note: Some new parents will experience anxiety, postpartum depression, or have both at the same time.

Where to get help

  • Your public health nurse (call 204-926-7000 to find your public health nurse)
  • Your doctor, midwife or other health-care provider . If you do not have a doctor call the Family Doctor Finder at 204-786-7111
  • Check if you have coverage through your employee benefit plan at work. You may have some coverage for a psychologist. You may also have an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) that offers counseling.
  • Your doctor or health care worker can refer you to a psychologist or counselor.

If you are having thoughts of harming yourself or your baby, or are in crisis call:

If you need more information and help finding resources call Health Links-Info Santé at 204-788-8200

Other Resources Online: