Have you ever heard of postpartum rage? Most women I have spoken with say they haven't heard about it, but when they find out what it sounds like and looks like, realize they've actually been through it without knowing there's a name to it!
It sounds so intense and when you feel it, it can feel really intense. Below is a quick graphic showing you some examples of what postpartum rage can sound and look like:
You may not be in a bad mood all the time but something happens and you snap and you just lose it. Maybe you surprise yourself with how angry you sound. And then you wonder what's wrong with YOU for feeling this way.
What is postpartum rage?
Postpartum rage is a very real complication that occurs after you bring baby home. It may show up soon after delivery, whether you go home together or baby is in the NICU or it may show up after baby's homecoming.
There's very little data on postpartum rage but we do know it's a symptom of postpartum depression OR postpartum anxiety (two of the most common complications of childbirth, even moreso than hemorrhage and hypertension). If you experienced a high-risk pregnancy or birth trauma, your risk of PPD and PPA is significantly higher than if you had a low risk pregnancy, no-trauma delivery.
What I want you to know first and foremost
If you experience postpartum rage, you are still a good mother. There is nothing wrong with you. You aren't ungrateful, or undeserving of this baby or motherhood. This is not your fault.
I want to also offer you a different take on postpartum rage as you navigate it and seek support. Don't think of the anger as a symptom but rather a sign - a red flag of sorts. Consider it your body's way of telling you there's a system overload.
Ask yourself: Is there a pattern with your anger outbursts? Are you hungry? Tired? Touched out? Your body is under tremendous stress and when it crosses a certain threshold, for some, it shows up as rage.
The next time you feel the anger boiling up, stop and go back to basics: Food, water, rest. It doesn't have to be fancy or take a long time, but giving your body what it needs will help turn off the stress response in your body and should lessen the frequency of your anger.
Let's talk about this
What questions do you have about postpartum rage? Leave them in the comments below!