Don’t forget to read the previous part, “Perinatal Anxiety in Men and Women.”
Each person is unique and has ways to deal with their vulnerabilities. You also have to take care of yourself to be able to care for your child, partner, friends and family. During the perinatal period, each parent has to work on themselves from day one. They have to be as well as possible, with good hygiene, the time to sleep, maintain a healthy mind and body, try to reduce daily stress, exercise, and take time to think about potential anxiety symptoms. It’s also important to have information during the prenatal, perinatal and postpartum period to understand what is coming and get personalised support if needed.
- Get personalised support for the transition to becoming parents, for example. This can help people handle this specific period.
- Get help at home after the baby’s arrival. You need to feel supported, helped, surrounded by friends and family. You need to feel comfortable and supported during this stage filled with new things.
- Write a daily journal to keep your observations. This can help recognise unpleasant emotions and understand when they appear. You will have hints and power over what you can quickly do instead of letting the impacts worsen over time.
- Help is available in CIUSSS, private services, community services, professional orders that can refer you to professionals in your region. Research teams in universities can often provide free or low-cost services.
You can consult professionals (doctors, psychiatrists, psychologists) who will provide you with a full evaluation and an action plan and therapy to deal with underlying factors, not just the symptoms.
For example, it could be a cognitive-behavioural approach, where the changes they will suggest will significantly improve people’s lives.
There’s no magical cure to heal all life’s pains, but actions taken can mean that life can be better and easier on a day-to-day basis for yourself and with your family and in society.
To conclude, experiencing anxiety is living with anxiety. We can’t change people and their temperament, but we can help them live with an acceptable level of anxiety using different strategies. This will lessen the problems it creates and you will feel better day after day.
Don’t forget, as we saw in this article, anxiety can take on different forms when causing the difficult thoughts and behaviours you experience. Becoming aware of this can help you identify what you’re experiencing and act accordingly. Recognising anxiety from the start is a big step towards personal well-being. Because once you have recognised it, you can learn to tolerate things at any age.
It’s important to remember that the way you react to anxiety during different stages of life is for the most part already learned. Ways of dealing with vulnerabilities, such as intolerance and uncertainty, are also already learned. On the other hand, we can learn to lower our anxiety, or at least better tolerate uncertainty. You can do it!
We will experience uncertainty, question ourselves and even have anxiety during this period when we become parents. However, this in no way makes you bad parents!
The Baby Expert