Understanding the different symptoms of the postpartum umbrella


LANSING, Mich. (WLNS)—Danielle Poole, a Medical Scheduler of a physical therapy clinic and recovery project, suffered from severe symptoms of postpartum like, anxiety, panic and rage.

Poole experienced the symptoms after she gave birth to both of her beautiful daughters. However, during her first pregnancy, she didn’t understand what her body was going through. Plus, during her second pregnancy, she was at first in denial regarding her symptoms. Poole tried to believe what she was experiencing was normal, and even set-up a routine around her panic and anxiety.

“You love your baby, and it’s okay you’re crying,” Poole said, “and you’re frustrated, you’re anxious, and can’t breathe… but its just because you just had this baby, and you’re tired.”

During this crucial time of her life, Poole consistently suffered panic attacks and felt her various mood-swings. She says she became extremely meticulous with her daily-tasks. They consist of cleaning, laundry, working, and helping teach her eldest child and even more.

“I think the biggest thing I experienced was the heaviness and the anxiety, the feeling like you can’t breathe and are panicked,” Poole stated, “like the anxiety attack type was the prevalent symptom for me other than the hormones going up and down.”

However, one conversation with a close friend helped guide Poole to talk to a health professional who then prescribed antidepressants.

“Sleep is the number one trigger for perinatal mood and anxiety,” Annie Giupponi, LMSW, PMH-C, licensed-therapist said, “without good sleep nothing else is good.”

Giupponi is the founder of Rooted Counseling in East Lansing, Michigan. She says it is normal to be worried about your baby, but if the thoughts become intrusive and obsessive it could be a sign you’re dealing with postpartum anxiety.

“It can turn into panic, and it can turn into a major depression,” Giupponi exclaimed, “worst-case scenario, suicidal thoughts, so we really want to take it seriously, but we know that it’s not untreatable.”

Giupponi states one aspect overlooked by most people is postpartum rage and says this can change your persona.

“Feeling incredible sadness or hopelessness that’s getting in the way of either feeling like yourself or being able to do day-to-day things the way you used to be able to.” Giupponi stated.

However, Giupponi exclaims the most crucial aspect is the support of a spouse, family, and friends. She recommends they ask questions of how they are feeling, and offering a hand with baby bottles, food, and holding the baby while the mom showers. Poole had the support of her parents and friends who continuously checked up on her well-being. Now, she’s in a brighter place and wants to help support others around her who are struggling.

“Validate what you’re feeling and experiencing even if you think it’s not common, and its okay to not be okay sometimes,” Poole stated.

Giupponi recommends families struggling to take advantage of their local resources. She suggests the Capitol Area Perinatal Wellness Coalition. This group consists of local professionals who support mental health for families during pregnancy and postpartum. They share mental health resources, help increase access to professional care, and promote advocacy.

“Don’t let shame or that feeling of I’m not a good mom what does this mean about me keep you from speaking up.” Giupponi reiterated.“So telling a friend, tell support, tell your doctor ask for some resources there’s a coalition called the capitol perinatal coalition. So it’s filled with training, experience parental health professionals who exist and they just provide support for pregnant women postpartum women, to families, there’s so much health and support available.”

Giupponi also suggests women and men who need extra support can always visit Rooted Counseling. They are a group practice of holistic counselors who offer solid and steady advice in a safe and comfortable atmosphere.

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