When I was pregnant with my first baby everyone gave me advice on baby gear. Everyone assured me how great I would be at being a mom. They gushed at how cute I looked and gave us an abundance of baby clothes and books.
However, no one told me how sore my body would be for weeks after delivery. No one told me my mental state would be in one of its most fragile places ever. Within 24 hours of our son’s birth, I had sobbed uncontrollably for hours. We had to stay an extra night in the hospital which nearly brought me into a puddle on the ground.
I was an absolute train wreck. I thought I would feel better once we finally got home, but the anxiety and fatigue of mothering and my impending return to work was overwhelming. I suffered severely from postpartum depression before my loving husband told me I needed to get help.
What is postpartum depression?
As your body changes after giving birth you go through a lot of hormonal fluctuations as well. This period of moodiness, stress, or meltdowns is referred to as the baby blues. This typically passes after 2 weeks. A mother with postpartum depression (PPD) will experience these same symptoms, but more severely and they will last longer.
Ways to deal with postpartum depression:
- Set Boundaries
- Mom Friends/Support Groups
I started therapy 3 months after my son was born. If you have been feeling anxious or depressed for an extended period of time, don’t wait another minute. Find a therapist and make an appointment ASAP!
After my second child was born my PPD spiraled out of control. Therapy was no longer enough and my OBGYN prescribed me anxiety medication. 3 years later I am still on this medication and thriving as a mother!
If visitors are overwhelming you tell them to stop coming. If breastfeeding is overwhelming cut back or stop doing it. Don’t be afraid to make big changes even if other people don’t like that decision.
Going for a walk daily with your baby will drastically change your mental health for the better!
Your mission is to love, nurture, and care for your babies! You can’t do this to the best of your ability if your cup is empty. Hire a babysitter or have a family come over so you can go get coffee, go for walk, or whatever is going to help you not only survive motherhood but thrive!
Mom Friends/Support Groups
Having friends or even being a part of an online support group can make the journey of motherhood feel less alone. It’s great to have women who can give you advice, help you through the hard stuff, and help you stay positive!
Know Your Triggers
Understanding what is going to push you over the edge is essential to overcoming your PPD. Your therapist can help you figure out techniques to help you out during the most overwhelming moments.
Some ideas include:
- Deep breaths
- 5 senses: Naming something from each of your senses to help keep you grounded in the current moment and not spiraling about what-ifs
One of my biggest triggers was when my babies would cry excessively. My kids loved their newborn pacifier, but the newborn pacifier keeps falling out! We tried Wubbanubs and a pacifier clip, but I would constantly get frustrated with having to put the infant pacifier back in.
I wish I would have had the Ingy Bingy Band when I had my first son! This pacifier wristband helps your baby to self-soothe from as early as 4 months old. This pacifier bracelet velcros around baby’s wrist so their infant pacifier is always right where they need it whenever they need it.
Having the Ingy Bingy Band, a pacifier wristband wouldn’t have cured my postpartum depression, but it certainly would have helped my mental health immensely!