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Coping with Postpartum Anxiety

Humans are amazing! Our brains work with our bodies and the environment to learn and to survive. It was very helpful a long time ago to have a fight/flight/freeze response ready to go at any hint of danger! It kept us alive to reproduce over and over again and now here we are! More efficient than ever! But wait there’s a problem…

We are perhaps to good at reacting to dangers. Physiologically our bodies react very similarly to both real or perceived danger! That means our bodies and brains may react to speaking in public the same way the brain would to seeing a hungry lion out of the corner of our eye…

Or even a crying baby… Newborns only know to cry. Is it gas or is there danger? Sometimes our bodies can’t tell. Stressors in the environment can activate the danger system in moms with heightened levels of anxiety.

It made a whole lot of sense to have this heightened fear and awareness when running from danger could mean living to reproduce. But now all that left over brain function that was great for keeping all of us and our offspring alive for so long doesn't translate well to the modern world we live in now. It leads to anxiety responses to a lot of stuff that in reality is not very threatening. Our fight and flight responses activate when there is perceived danger or fear. The video below explains one coping strategy to bring your brain out of that danger mode.