Supporting Moms with Postpartum Anxiety: Guide for Partners


Postpartum anxiety, like other maternal mental health issues, can have far-reaching effects not just on new moms but on their families as well. When partners are knowledgeable and ready to offer support, they can significantly impact the emotional well-being of the entire family unit. I am dedicated to raising awareness, offering prevention methods, and providing guidance for the treatment of postpartum anxiety and other maternal mental health issues. In this article, I am going to focus on understanding postpartum anxiety and the crucial role partners can play in helping moms cope with this challenging condition.

The arrival of a new baby is a joyous time for families, but it can also bring significant stress and overwhelming emotions. New moms often experience hormonal changes, worry about the health of the baby, sleep deprivation, and the constant demands of caring for their newborns, all of which can contribute to the development of maternal anxiety. Postpartum anxiety can manifest differently in everyone, but common symptoms include excessive worry, racing thoughts, irritability, and feelings of restlessness. Mothers dealing with anxiety can find it difficult to relax and might constantly be on edge, which can greatly impact their own emotional well-being and their ability to care for themselves, their newborns, and their families.

I believe that partners play a pivotal role in helping moms overcome postpartum anxiety. By educating themselves about this condition and providing the right support, they can help new mothers face the challenges of parenthood and build resilience for a better future. In this article, I will discuss practical strategies partners can use to help moms experiencing anxiety, creating a nurturing and supportive environment where everyone can thrive.

Recognizing the Signs of Postpartum Anxiety

The first step in providing support for a partner experiencing postpartum anxiety is recognizing the signs. Being aware of the symptoms allows for early intervention and timely support. While each person’s experience of postpartum anxiety differs, partners should watch out for the following signs:

  1. Excessive worry about the baby’s health and safety
  2. Uncontrollable racing thoughts
  3. Constant feelings of restlessness
  4. Irritability and mood swings
  5. Fatigue and sleep disturbances
  6. Avoidance of social situations
  7. Overwhelming fear of leaving the baby alone

If you notice any of these symptoms in your partner, consider having an open non-judegmental conversation about their feelings and concerns. Encourage them to seek professional help if necessary, as early intervention can lead to better outcomes.

Offering Emotional Support and Understanding

Postpartum anxiety can make new mothers feel isolated and overwhelmed. As a partner, providing emotional support can be invaluable. Here are a few ways you can offer understanding and empathy:

  1. Practice active listening: Give your full attention during conversations and demonstrate that you genuinely care about their thoughts and feelings.
  2. Validate their emotions: Acknowledge that their feelings are real and let them know it’s okay to feel anxious.
  3. Offer reassurance and comfort: Remind your partner they are doing a great job and that it’s normal for new parents to worry or feel overwhelmed.
  4. Encourage self-care: Help your partner prioritize their own well-being by allowing them time for rest, exercise, or hobbies.

Taking on Practical Support Duties

Offering practical support can significantly alleviate stress and anxiety for new mothers. Here are some ways to help:

  1. Share childcare responsibilities: Divide tasks like diaper changes, feedings, and soothing the baby, allowing your partner to take breaks.
  2. Help with household chores: Taking on extra cleaning, laundry, and meal preparation duties can create a more comfortable and supportive environment.
  3. Create a calm atmosphere: Keep the home environment organized and comfortable for both mother and baby, reducing sources of stress.
  4. Offer assistance with baby-related tasks: Offer your partner help with tasks like setting up doctors’ appointments, researching baby products, or running errands.

Encouraging Professional Help if Necessary

Sometimes, personal support alone may not be sufficient to help a partner overcome postpartum anxiety. In such cases, encourage them to seek professional help. Mental health professionals who specialize in maternal mental health can provide the necessary guidance, resources, and treatment to help new mothers manage their anxiety and other mental health concerns effectively. You can help by researching local therapists and support groups specializing in postpartum anxiety or related mental health issues. In my free booklet Guide To Pregnancy & Postpartum Stress, Anxiety & Depression – scroll down the page to download – I share how to chose a therapist to make sure they are eperienced in treating maternal mood disorders as well as self-help strategies that can be very effective.

Communicating Openly and Regularly

Open and honest communication is essential for partners to effectively support new mothers with postpartum anxiety. Creating an environment of trust and understanding can promote healthier coping and help you both navigate the challenges. Here are a few communication tips to consider:

  1. Schedule regular check-ins: Set aside time to discuss feelings, concerns, and progress.
  2. Be patient and gentle: Give them time to express themselves without pressure.
  3. Share your own feelings: Encourage a two-way dialogue by opening up about your own thoughts and emotions.
  4. Discuss expectations: Talk about what you both expect from each other regarding support, helping to clarify any misunderstandings or unspoken needs.


Supporting a partner who is experiencing postpartum anxiety is undoubtedly challenging but by recognizing the signs, offering emotional and practical support, encouraging professional help when necessary, and maintaining open and honest communication, you can help your partner overcome postpartum anxiety and build a strong foundation for your family. Remember that reaching out for help and support is not a sign of weakness but rather a powerful step towards enhanced well-being for both new mothers and their families. 

Contact Dr. Sarah Allen to find out more information about Pregnancy & Postpartum Treatment. She is here to provide specialized therapy for those facing maternal anxiety, and help you and your partner on your parenthood journey.

Dr. Sarah Allen

Dr. Sarah Allen has 25+ years of experience helping women to transition to being the mom they want to be. She is also the Director of the Postpartum Depression Alliance of IL, a non-profit she started 20 years ago that offers information & support to pregnant & postpartum women and their families. She has also published research on postpartum depression and traumatic childbirth and presented at conferences.

If you would like to work with Sarah, please phone her at 847 791-7722 or on the form below.

If you would like to read more about me and my areas of specialty,  please visit Dr. Sarah Allen Bio. Dr. Allen’s professional license only allows her to work with clients who live in IL & FL & the UK and unfortunately does not allow her to give personalized advice via email to people who are not her clients. 

    What Can I Read That Helps Me While I Am Waiting For My First Appointment With Sarah?

    If you feel that you may be experiencing pregnancy or postpartum mood disorder, or worry that you may be at risk of developing it, please download my free booklets below.

    See each specific webpage to download one or many.

    As featured in

    Warm & Knowledgeable.

    I highly recommend Dr. Allen! She is warm and so easy to talk to. She has lots of knowledge about women’s health.

    Kathryn Gardner, LCSW

    Excellent Therapist!

    Dr. Allen is a colleague of mine and she is an excellent therapist. She is warm, caring, and exceptional at her work. I refer clients to Dr. Allen and I highly recommend her if you are looking for a top notch therapist.

    Jodi Petchenik, LCSW

    Sarah Transformed Our Family’s Sleep and Sanity

    My baby didn’t sleep. She wouldn’t sleep more than a couple of hours at night and no more than 30 minutes during the day. I was completely overwhelmed and my husband and I were at each other’s throats. I was supposed to be going back to work but was barely functioning. Sarah helped us to learn how to get our baby sleeping and then she supported me in my transition back to work. She also helped my husband and I navigate how to share childcare and running the house fairly. She is a very knowledgeable therapist and has really helped us.

    Pam. L.

    Dr. Allen Helped Me to Feel More Empowered

    Dr. Allen has really helped me find my own voice. When I began therapy I would swing between being passive and doing whatever other people wanted me to do to being angry and frustrated. I have been on antidepressants for quite a few years but it wasn’t really working. Through therapy I have learned to listen to my own needs and to speak up. I used to worry that people wouldn’t like me if I didn’t agree with them but when Dr. Allen gave me the support I needed I challenged my fears. I spend a lot less time feeling angry and depressed now and I have really widened my social network. This is how I have always wanted to be but didn’t know how to get there. Dr. Allen has a very reassuring manner and makes you challenge yourself but by using small steps so you feel ready to do it. I have really come out of my shell and would recommend anyone who is feeling depressed to come and talk with her.

    Rebecca F.

    Trusted & Knowledgeable Therapist.

    When I need to refer any of my patients for talk therapy I immediately think of Dr. Allen as she is wonderful at helping people with severe and complex issues really get to the root of their problems. She is very caring and knowledgeable and I have found her extensive experience really helps people to change their lives for the better.

    Dr. Teresa Poprawski

    Dr. Allen is an expert in treating perinatal mood disorders.

    I refer as many patients as I can to Dr. Allen. She is an expert in treating perinatal mood disorders, and a well-trained and experienced therapist who is committed to working with her clients to develop a treatment plan designed for each individual. She exhibits genuine warmth, kindness and compassion for each of her clients. Dr. Allen has been a colleague of mine for more than 20 years, and I have great confidence when I refer patients to her.

    Leslie Lowell Stoutenburg

    I become empowered and a happier person.

    I began seeing Dr. Allen when my first child was around a year old. I had experienced a very traumatic birth, after a difficult pregnancy where I was on bed rest for a good portion of the time. The first year of my son’s life was spent worrying constantly. I also experienced flashbacks to the birth, which was an emergency C-section under general anesthesia. My son was in the NICU for several days following his birth, and I was not given very much information as to why. I remember thinking that he would die, or that something awful was going to happen.

    I experienced a great deal of anxiety that first year, and I thought that it was due to being a new mom. I wasn’t sleeping, I wasn’t eating as normal, and I remember being worried about leaving the house or taking my baby with me anywhere. I worried constantly about illness, germs, etc.

    The first day that I saw Dr. Allen, she gave me some questionnaires to fill out before we started talking. Then we sat down and talked about my experiences with my son’s birth and the early days of his life, and the year or so since then. I remember to this day the relief that I felt when she looked at me and said that I had PPD and PTSD, which was a result of the trauma I experienced during and immediately after the birth of my son. She explained how my brain had reacted to the stress of these events, and related it to why I was feeling the way that I felt. It made so much sense. Then, she described ways that I could get over the trauma, work through the feelings, and recover from PTSD and PPD. I felt so empowered, and so happy that the way I felt had a name, and that it was treatable. It also made me feel so validated in the ways that I had felt and reacted following my son’s birth. I wasn’t going crazy. My reaction was normal and natural. And with the help of Dr. Allen, and the type of therapy that she uses, I knew I could recover.

    It is over five years since that first visit with Dr. Allen, and I still use the tools that she taught me today to deal with stress. I credit her with helping me to become a more empowered, happier person.


    Overcoming PPD with Dr. Sarah’s Support

    When I had my first baby I had what I now know was postpartum depression but I didn’t get any help. It did go away after about 18mths but it was a miserable way to begin motherhood.  When I was pregnant with my second child I started to become depressed again and this time told my OB/GYN how I was feeling and she referred me to Sarah. By starting to deal with how I felt and change the way I was handling the stresses in my life, I was in a much better place when my baby was born. The second time round my PPD was much less severe and didn’t last as long. 

    Sarah was also really helpful in teaching me ways to make the transition of becoming a big sister easier for my oldest one too.   My husband came with me for some sessions and that really helped our relationship and we started working on parenting issues together.  Sarah’s counsel and support really helped our family transition to the good place we are all in today.

    Sarah C.

    If you are thinking about getting counseling and you’d like to talk to someone about the things that are troubling you, I am happy to help.