Anxiety and Motherhood - Bait and SwitchGretchen Placzek, L.C.S.W

support for new postpartum moms

Entering into motherhood or parenthood is a bit of a "bait and switch" situation. The anticipation of being pregnant is exciting. Trying to get pregnant can be a lot of fun. Setting up a nursery and preparing for the joyful arrival can be very fulfilling. Bringing baby home, we are in new parenting bliss. But then . . .

It's important to realize that there are situations that come up every day with our children in which it is appropriate to have an anxious reaction. The biological purpose of anxiety is to keep us safe. On the other hand, there is no end to the amount of worry we can create that can interfere with our lives.

Worry or anxiety is normal when it comes to having and raising children, but what is the right amount?

If anxiety or worry is interfering with your life even in a small way it might be easier than you think to find relief. No matter what your level of anxiety, there are proven treatments that can help ease your anxiety quickly. You do not have to, and should not, suffer in silence. There are many forms of help for anxiety, from self-help books to a support group to guided help from a professional.

Here are a few simple things to try that may help relieve some feelings of stress and anxiety.

Set a timer for five minutes, find a comfortable chair, close your eyes and engage in deep breathing. Focus on listening and feeling yourself breathe.

Find a comfortable chair and play a favorite relaxing song. It also may help to play music or the radio while you are engaging with your baby throughout the day. Music can have a wonderful impact on our moods if chosen correctly. Chose music you know either relaxes you or gives you energy.

Find a picture (either your own or one on the internet) of a vacation destination you can imagine yourself in. Once you have looked at the picture, close your eyes and imagine yourself in that place. Again, it can be helpful to set a timer in order to dedicate a certain amount of time to this exercise. If none of these exercises provides any relief, even for a short amount of time, it may be time to seek professional help. Many therapists offer free consultations and are happy to speak with you about your concerns on the phone.

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For more information and to find out what might work for you contact Gretchen Placzek, L.C.S.W at (925) 878-5616 or visit my website: