Why do I feel like I can’t breathe and my chest is so tight?

I had severe postpartum anxiety after my second son. I self-diagnosed after sitting with the feelings that come from it and realizing that my body’s reaction wasn’t matching with my reality.

For instance, I would think to myself, I am just playing with my sons, why do I feel like I can’t breathe and my chest is so tight? I would break into tears watching a commercial on tv and think, that is not something I would do before I had the baby.

The tipping point was when a terrible daycare situation pushed all of the amped-up guilt and fear over the edge. I finally just quit taking him there because it was too difficult for both of us.

Luckily I was able to get back into the wonderful daycare where my first son went. I also talked to my doctor and am now taking medication. I was fortunate that my husband helped to point out that he has known me for 15 years and has never seen me like that.

I have had to reassess everything in my life, knowing that my sensitivity is at a high level already made me realize I have to be careful about what I consume as it is affecting me and I was taking it on. I have to be careful what books, articles and television shows I watch as I go through this. I have had to set clear boundaries on toxic or negative people in my life professionally as well as personally. It has made things so much better even though it was difficult to do.

I hope that if you are struggling with postpartum anxiety you are able to realize it and get the help you need. It is a real thing and thankfully there are real solutions out there. I needed to get better to be able to be a mom who is present and happy during these early parenting years and I hope that others can do the same.

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