The Core Issues of the Postpartum
Preparing for the Phenomena of Postpartum Program
As I have mentioned, becoming a parent is a rite of passage where you are rebirthed into a new person. Like any adjustment, a rebirth period has the potential to have core issues. In the postpartum time we often see new parents struggle to deal with isolation, boredom, overwhelm, loss of self, and identity crisis. This is a topic that's so often overlooked. One that I was not prepared in pregnancy to experience at all.
I remember thinking that I would just bring along my baby to all of my social events..dinner with friends, bellydance class and I would just pump at work...no biggie. Well obviously it didn't go that way especially with a baby who would scream the entire time in the car. So I just stopped going to things that weren't necessary. I mean what's a good mother to do? Put everyone before herself, right? WRONG! Luckily my doula trainer did a masterclass on self-sabotage and martyrdom and cracked me wide open.
What I found really helpful in dealing with these adjustments was to find other mothers who could relate. The picture for this section is from a family hiking group that I facilitated in the past. Weekly us mothers would get together in nature with our kids and have conversations about the reality of becoming a parent.
Often times it is when these core issues don't get resolved that we start to struggle with anxiety or depression. Here are some basic questions to ask yourself when you start to feel down.
Have you gotten enough sleep today?
Have you eaten enough today?
Have you drank enough water today?
Do you need to get some fresh air even if that means opening the windows?
Do you need to connect with others today?
Have you had any gentle movement today?
Do you need to watch or do something that is inspiring?
Have you taken a minute to identify 3 things that you are grateful for?
Avoiding Postpartum Mental Illness and Postnatal Depletion
A note about Postpartum Stress Disorder (Postpartum Stress Adjustment disorder). This terms was recently coined by Karen Kleiman MSW, LCSW and Valerie Raskin, MD. PPSD is the in between on the spectrum of baby blues and Postpartum Depression/Anxiety. As a social worker myself this makes so much sense and I think will help a lot of new parents feel seen and understood. PPSD is characterized by:
Presence of emotional or behavioral symptoms in response to an identifiable stressor (e.g., birth of baby)
Includes feelings of self-doubt accompanied by a desire to be the perfect mother.
Most moms with adjustment disorder can function pretty well and try their best to get through the day even though they may feel awful on inside.
Adjustment disorders like PPSD are usually resolved with time to adjust to the stressor but if you end up finding yourself struggling with symptoms like these or more serious symptoms please reach out to be as soon as possible. There is no shame in experiencing these symptoms but there is concern in not taking action to feel better so that you can be your best self for your new family.
For this section please:
-Watch this Facebook live video I did related to finding your new self in as a parent.
-More on Postpartum Adjustment Disorder here: https://www.instagram.com/p/B3YATB1AtRJ/?igshid=1dob3ikgvcjy8
-View the educational images below by Spirit Y Sol. You can find more of their work at www.spiritysol.com
Remember: If taking in this information becomes uncomfortable for you it is important to shift and move these feelings. Feel them, identify what you need to learn from those feelings, then take action to move those feelings. This could look like free writing in your journal about your feelings, moving your body or expressing your feelings verbally. If you can't get unstuck, reach out to me and we will do a clarity coaching call.