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What to know about about postpartum anxiety

What know about postpartum anxiety
What to know about postpartum anxiety 02:10

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- You've heard about postpartum depression, or baby blues, but there's another medical condition that isn't talked about as much.

It's called postpartum anxiety.

Doctors say after giving birth, some women suffer with postpartum anxiety --  excessive worrying. Experts say it's important to know the warning signs and ways it's treated.

It's normal to feel anxious with a new baby, but when excessive worry spirals out of control.

it can be something else.

"The majority of patients I see have postpartum anxiety at the clinic," Dr. Lara Feldman, a psychiatrist, said. 

Postpartum anxiety can happen alongside postpartum depression. While both conditions share some of the same symptoms, experts say they're different.

Postpartum anxiety is not associated with sadness. It's linked with irrational fears that keep people on edge due to overwhelming, constant concerns.

"The worry can be all-consuming and make you worry all day and night to the point where you may not be able to sleep," Dr. Feldman said. 

Other physical symptoms include increased heart rate, feeling short of breath, muscle tension or stomach aches.

People may also be unable to relax or obsess over things that aren't likely to happen.

"Oftentimes therapy is worth a try but your doctor will know and come up with a plan that's best for you based on your symptoms and the level of severity of your anxiety," Dr. Feldman said. 

Medication can also help, but doctors say they aren't always needed. 

Aside from therapy, people suffering from postpartum anxiety may find relief from their symptoms by talking to someone they trust, like asking for help from family or friends or getting exercise. 

There's not one cause of postpartum anxiety. Doctors say it could be a combination of things, including a change in hormones, lack of sleep, stress and past experiences with anxiety. 

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