New parent anxiety

There is a lot of research out there regarding postpartum depression, but a lot of parents do not know about the postpartum clinical anxiety.

Some quick facts and figures:

  1. Approximately 75% of women experience postpartum blues (looks like clinical depression, but self-resolves within 2 weeks post birth) after birth.
  2. Of those women, around 20% will go on to experience postpartum depression.
  3. 16% will go on to experience postpartum anxiety (although you do not have to experience postpartum blues beforehand)
  4. Only 20% of OBGYNS screen for postpartum anxiety (which, although related, is different from assessment for postpartum depression)
  5. The majority of OBGYNs first line of treatment are SSRIs, antidepressants, which take 4-6 weeks to BEGIN working
  6. A small majority of OBGYNS recommend CBT (cognitive-behavioral therapy) treatment
    1. CBT treatment for postpartum anxiety and depression is evidence-based and begins to work right away. The effects will also maintain post SSRI treatment completion.

Great sites for finding a CBT therapist, especially ones that can do home visits in the postpartum period are http://www.abct.org and http://www.adaa.org

And if you are in the DC area, our center also does this type of treatment, with home visits (www.washingtonanxietycenter.com)

Remember that a happy mommy and daddy means a happy baby!

Author:

I am a clinical psychologist with approximately 15 years of experience assessing and treating anxiety and depressive disorders in young children, adolescents, young adults, adults and geriatric populations. I completed a 6-year predoctoral training award at the National Institute of Mental Health, and postdoctoral training at the Anxiety Disorders Center at the Institute of Living/Hartford Hospital. From my clinical and research experiences, I have come to see the struggles of many families deciding when to pursue professional help and feeling very lost in the process. I will address several mental health issues that will help educate and empower my readers to make better mental health decisions for themselves. Welcome to my blog! Johanna Kaplan, Ph.D. Disclaimer-This blog is not and cannot be used in replace of formal therapy. This blog is used to inform and educate and is not a form of informal or formal advice.

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