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November 03, 2021

Prenatal & Postpartum depression - Opening up before & after baby

It’s really sad to me that for years we have been conditioned to bottle up how we are feeling basically so we can make everyone else feel comfortable. Because you know the second people start feeling uncomfortable things shift and people on average do not do well with change so it has always just been best to bottle it up. But you know after a while that bottling up does no good and can start to transform and change a person into someone else, a new person, a person nobody including THAT person recognizes. So we start to talk about mental health and depression, anxiety, postpartum depression etc and then things start to feel like WELL maybe these feelings are good to talk about. The hard part is we go years without talking about how we are feeling and that is just how we do things and then we start to recognize little things like “I am sad everyday it’s fine I am always sad” and that just feels NORMAL. So basically we have spent YEARS bottling up how we feel to make others comfortable and to just make ourselves comfortable then you throw in hormones during and after pregnancy and the sadness just amplifies so then what how do we fix/change that.


Well you can’t. BUT you can recognize how you are feeling and recognize patterns and find ways to work with someone and yourself to make those behaviors better. When you recognize postpartum anxiety and depression the majority of the time it is worsened by preexisting depression in life because the feelings and behaviors/triggers have always been there you just throw a bunch of hormones at it and it makes it worse. I always like to talk with people about how important it is to talk about how you are feeling EVEN IF YOU AREN’T pregnant or just had a baby because your feelings are valid regardless and when there is major life shift such as childbirth you are more aware of feelings and emotions.


The most important thing during pregnancy and the postpartum period is having people in your life or A person in your life that you feel safe and comfortable talking with about what is going on with you. That is the first step is having that person that you know you can always talk to and the second step is taking charge of what to do about those feelings and that includes talking to a medical professional / therapist about what is going on so you can get the help you need. Because you can slip into it and NOT even realize it then it feels normal and although it is common it isn’t, normal. You want to feel your best you want to be your best but sometimes becoming aware of signs and symptoms can make a dramatic change in your overall recovery. 


There has always been this “Stigma” around mental health and if I am being completely honest EVERYONE could use someone to talk to because we get trapped inside of our own minds often and that can create a toxic environment within ourselves. I have had depression since my teen years I know exactly when I am feeling those triggers and emotions and sometimes it is easier for me to pull myself out of that. BUT I am not going to lie there have been times in my life where I just simply cannot pull myself out and I have noticed it is always like that after childbirth.


The postpartum period can be such a lonely period because you have just spent 9 months incubating a human then you give birth to this human and while it is GREAT that the attention is on the baby, people tend to forget about the person who delivered the baby. That person can feel isolated, sad, struggling with lactation or recovery or feelings and that tends to get brushed under the rug and that is mostly because that person just doesn’t want to feel a burden on others. That is what happened to me with my second pregnancy I KNEW something was off, I just didn’t know what it was. So I continued just going day by day and things just simply got worse for me, I felt sad, I didn’t want to bond with my baby and my oldest had already been 4 and I just was like okay go do your thing and let me be. After a while I just didn’t want to do anything and that lasted for weeks until I started having intrusive thoughts and then I realized you know, I don’t think these thoughts are normal.


I chose to open up and saw my doctor and explained to him how I was feeling. NOBODY ever talked to me about mental health and postpartum depression before and there weren’t really people who focused on that as a career. So when we talked and he explained to me what was going on I was like WOW so many people feel this way, THIS HAS TO CHANGE.


It has gotten better however, I won’t ever be quiet about depression and postpartum depression because people need to know what to expect, you MAY feel this way or that way and it is OKAY to open up and talk to someone because the last thing you want is to just give up. Trust me I have been there…feeling like wanting to give up with or without pregnancy and the important thing is you WANT to become aware of these feelings and open up to people so you can get help so you can better you because you are INCREDIBLY important and valuable. Having a steady person to talk to during and after pregnancy can make a HUGE difference. I let people know all the time HEY I am HERE just reach out, you are not alone. Opening up is the BEST thing you can do for yourself and helps TREMENDOUSLY with self growth and healing. 

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