Whilst the challenges of managing a new baby or young children is likely to bring some level of stress and anxiety from time to time, generally this will be transient and feelings will pass on their own with time. If however you have ongoing disturbing thoughts and/or feelings of worry and tension that are hard to live with and/or affect your ability to manage from day to day, then you may be experiencing more severe anxiety.
Feelings of fear and worry which begin to ‘take over’ your thinking
Reoccurring worrying thoughts such as that you are not doing things right and/or that something terrible will happen
Feeling irritable, restless, tense or constantly ‘on edge’
Depression during pregnancy and postnatal depression is a common, but debilitating condition that affects up to one in five women. Postnatal depression can also effect any parent or primary care giver including non-biological parents. Unlike the baby blues which passes on its own, depression can be long-lasting, and affect your ability to cope with a baby or young children.
Feeling low or numb – some people describe feeling nothing at all
Loss of confidence, feeling helpless, hopeless and worthless
Lack of interest and/or pleasure in life, yourself and/or the baby
Discovering and coming to terms with the notion that you are having difficulty naturally conceiving can be stressful, and can leave you feeling angry, depressed and anxious. It can also put additional stress on relationships, intimacy and your connection with others.
The experience of IVF can be challenging, intense and overwhelming.
The process of assisted reproduction itself is associated with increased anxiety, depression and stress and can impact on your self-esteem and confidence.
A medical diagnosis of infertility can leave you feeling shocked and in disbelief as you struggle to come to terms with the fact that your hopes and dreams of having a child are threatened or not under your control.
Not only has your role and place in the world changed since becoming a parent, but so has that of other family members who have become grandparents, aunts and uncles and siblings. In turn this can effect relationships with extended family.
Expectations that family members may have about their new role may not align with yours
You and your partner may have differing views about the level of involvement that you both want family to have
You who may hold negative feelings about your own parents or your childhood experiences
The loss of a developing or new baby can lead to strong feelings of sadness and grief. Often, however, these emotions that you may experience are minimised or not well understood by our family, friends or others in the community.
Pregnancy loss can lead you to grieve for not only the pregnancy but also your sense of self and your hopes for the future as a mother or father of that child.
You may wonder how to speak with others about what has happened
You may experience a roller coaster of emotions such as numbness, disbelief, anger, guilt, sadness, depression, anxiety, confusion and difficulty concentrating.
Even the strongest relationships are strained during the transition to parenthood. Lack of sleep, never-ending housework and financial concerns can lead to profound stress and a decline in marital satisfaction. Not surprisingly, research shows 69% of new parents experience conflict, disappointment and hurt feelings.
Difficulties communicating effectively
Arguing over the same things, feeling like arguments get out of hand or constant bickering
Feeling disconnected, resentful, bored or unfulfilled in your relationship
Returning to work after having a baby may be straight forward for some, but for others can be challenging. As you come towards the time you planned to return to work, you may experience a range of different emotions.
Unfortunately, childbirth doesn’t always go as we may have hoped for, or expected. When things don’t go to plan at the birth this leaves many parents feeling depleted, disappointed and in need of support.
You may have found yourself feeling powerless, out of control, or felt that your needs were not met, and that you needed more support than you received.
You may have feared for yours or your baby's life
There may have been complications in the pregnancy or at the time of birth, and/or unplanned medical intervention may have been required.