Postpartum depression is one of, if I'm being brutally honest, many things that occur to mothers after birth. Something to keep in mind is that there is a difference between PP depression and the "baby blues". It is 100% NORMAL to feel sad, overwhelmed, exhausted, lost, angry, etc. after having your little one(s). I do not think there is a mother on this planet who didn't feel that during the first few weeks of their little one's arrival. The amount of hormonal changes a woman goes through is substantial in the first few weeks of PP and this can cause a change in the way women think and mentally process during this time.
The major difference between the "baby blues" and PP depression, is those feelings of overwhelm, anger, sadness, etc. do not go away with PP depression.
Did you know that approximately 1 in 9 women will experience PP depression (Ko JY et.al, 2004, 2008, 2012). There are many factors that can increase these probabilities, but that does not mean there aren't ways to help get past it.
So many mothers are scared to talk about their struggles with postpartum depression. The feelings of judgement for "not being a good mom", or shame for feeling like she "doesn't love her kids". Society has put such a negative spin on mental health and it is very sad to think there are so many people suffering in silence because of the fear of judgement or shame.
My hope, is that anyone reading this blog, who may be struggling with mental health, please do not feel shame! I personally have been there and it has been constant daily work to keep moving forward and past it.
Is it easy? abso-fuckin-lutely not!! (excuse the language there), but I feel like certain topics deserve swear words. Any type of mental struggle fucking sucks. Whether it is depression, anxiety, PTSD, and so on, it SUCKS!!
BUT! There is good news! Psychological resilience can be taught. Talking with a professional who can help a mother work through the feelings she is having and work with that mother about ways to cope with these feelings can make a huge difference (see resources below for a link to BC's 2-1-1 webpage). There is also medication that can help even out the feelings one may be having.
And, of course, a physical exercise program can also be extremely beneficial to fight these as well ;) A physical exercise program will not "fix" the mental struggles you are experiencing, but it can help release hormones that can help conquer feelings of anxiety and depression. It also helps you to strengthen your muscles which can in turn, make you feel more confident in your skin, in your life, and so much more! Never underestimate simply going for a walk outside to get your heartrate up and get some fresh air.
Just know that you are not alone and that there will always be someone there to help you, even when it feels like you are alone.
Love you mammas, we got this!
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Ko JY, Rockhill KM, Tong VT, Morrow B, Farr SL. Trends in Postpartum Depressive Symptoms - 27 states. 2004, 2008, and 2012.
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