You feel like no one understands what you are going through.
And guess what? No one does! You are a unique mother (and person for that matter!) and the challenges (and joys) you face are all your own. It is so easy to compare yourself to others or to feel like you “should be” feeling, acting or doing things a certain way. There are lots of people who rush to offer you advice--your friends, your own mother, and about half the random people you pass on the street or stand in front of in the check-out line. It seems like everyone claims to know exactly what you are going through, or they want to tell you all about their experience and (probably) how they had it worse. No one seems to really take the time to listen because they think they know your story. Nope. They don't. Your experience is unique.
I don't know your story.
I don’t know what your particular struggles are as you undertake on the heroic task of parenting a newborn and transforming your life around the arrive of this child. You might be recovering from a traumatic birth, you might be struggling with nursing, you might be feeling abandoned by your partner or desperately lonely and overwhelmed during long hours alone with your baby. You might feel like you’ve got it all together in one moment, and like you are losing your mind the next. You might be thinking about your return to work or your decision to not return to work and how this change will impact your career, your future, your finances. You might be worrying about your body, your sex life, your relationship, or your identity. You might not even know what is wrong, but you know that you need some help.
Your pain is real.
I don’t know your story, not yet at least. But I do know that your pain is real. You deserve to have support. You deserve to have the time to really talk and be truly listened to. You deserve a safe place to cry. And you deserve to know that you can feel better and more in control even when things are incredibly tough. I provide a place for you, as a new mother, to figure out what you need and receive the support and structure that will help you do more than just survive during this transition.
You don't have to fit into a box.
You probably know about Postpartum Depression and Postpartum Anxiety. These are real and important diagnosis, and I'll say more about them in a minute, but first I want to say that many of you will struggle mightily in the first year to two years of motherhood, and you might never relate to the label or the diagnosis of Postpartum Depression or Postpartum Anxiety. You just won't fit into those boxes. And that is just fine. It doesn't mean you are struggling less or that you don't need support. It doesn't mean you are weak, or making things up, or not trying hard enough. I urge you to trust your gut on this one. If you feel like you could use a place to talk about your unique experience of motherhood and what it is that is challenging you, trust that feeling and find that place. If you'd like to learn more about Postpartum Depression and Postpartum Anxiety, read on, and check out the link at the bottom of the page for even more information and amazing resources for Postpartum Depression and Postpartum Anxiety.
Around 15 percent of women experience a clinically diagnosed postpartum depression in the first year after childbirth. Postpartum depression can show up in many different ways (we are all unique remember), but some of the common symptoms are:
- Feelings of anger or irritability
- Lack of interest in the baby
- Changes in eating and sleeping patterns
- Lots of crying and feelings of sadness
- Feelings of guilt, shame or hopelessness
- Loss of interest, joy or pleasure in things you used to enjoy
- Thoughts or fantasies of harming the baby or yourself
Postpartum depression is treatable. However, it requires that we truly allow ourselves to get the support we need. Shifting your mindset from being solely focused on caring for your baby, to taking exquisite care of yourself can be very difficult and counterintuitive. It takes a lot of courage to ask for this help, and it is absolutely the best thing you can do for your baby, yourself, and the other relationships in your life. The right therapist can help you prioritise your needs and assemble a team that will keep you and your baby, and the rest of your family, supported, healthy, and able to grow and develop. Lastly, if you do feel that you are struggling with Postpartum Depression, it is best to begin treatment as soon as possible and begin your journey back to health.
Approximately 6 percent of pregnant women and 10 percent of postpartum women experience clinical levels of anxiety. For some this anxiety is paired with depression, for others the anxiety is experienced without symptoms of pre/postpartum depression.
As with postpartum depression, postpartum anxiety can look differently for different women. Some of the symptoms include:
- Constant worry
- Feeling that something bad is going to happen
- Racing thoughts
- Disturbances of sleep and appetite
- Inability to sit still
- Physical symptoms like dizziness, hot flashes, and nausea
I am not going to reinvent the wheel here by trying to describe all the signs and symptoms of PDD and PDA. This has been done extraordinarily well on THIS PAGE over at www.postpartumprogress.com.
Find the support you are looking for
If you are a new mom in Boulder, Colorado, I would love to hear from you and hear your story. Together we will find a way through your unique transition to motherhood. You don't need to be alone. Reach out today and start discovering your path through to joy and connection.