Postpartum depression and anxiety or otherwise known as the Baby Blues, even though not commonly talked about, is a huge problem for many women all over the world from many different walks of life after the birth of their baby.
Unfortunately as like most things associated with depression it has become very much a tabou or misconceived subject. Which hasn't helped the increasing number of new moms suffering with it.
Fortunately for us in Montreal the Motherwit organisation, developed by Lesley Everest has started a new group. She felt the need to start a place for new moms to share their stories and ultimately relieve their pain.
So what exactly is postpartum depression or postpartum anxiety, and how does it make you feel?
Unfortunately there isn't one simple answer and everyone suffers in their unique and individual way. Even so there are common symptoms you should look out for if you had a child in the last 12 months, such as the points to follow:
- You feel overwhelmed to the point you question why you became a mom
- You feel bad because you feel you should be a better mom
- You feel distant from your baby and not a strong bond
- You feel confused and scared as you don't understand how you are feeling
- You feel irritated, angry and have no patience
- You feel emptiness and numbness
- You feel sadness and often can't stop crying
- You feel hopeless like the situation will never get better
- You feel like you can no longer eat or you overeat your emotions
- You feel tired and find it hard to sleep
- You feel like you can't concentrate
- You feel disconnected like you are alone and nobody understands you
- You feel like running away and leaving your family
- You feel like this is your new reality and you have lost your old self forever
- You are afraid to reach out to people
- You feel unattractive and often no longer want to be touched
- You feel like you can't quite your mind, with your thoughts racing
- You feel like you are constantly busy and racing around
- You feel extremely worried
- You feel and think disturbing thoughts
- You feel you shouldn't be left alone with your baby due to your disturbing thoughts and worries
- You feel you need to check things constantly and verify what you have done
- You feel physical symptoms like stomach cramp, headaches shakiness or nausea
- You feel restless and stuck in your own home
- You feel so so tired and just can't sleep
- You feel a sense of dried, like something terrible is going to happen
- You feel like you going crazy and something is wrong
- You feel you have lost your identity and this is your new reality
- You are afraid to reach out to people
It is important to understand that if you are going through the symptoms mentioned above that you are not alone. Not only are you one of many new moms going through the same thing, but Motherwit is now here in Montreal to support and be there for you. Also be aware that you may be suffering from the same similar symptoms during your pregnancy, and again this is perfectly normal and just a question of reaching out for help.
What is fantastic about Motherwit is that you will have support from women who have been, or are going through the same thing. The group is essentially run by doula's. Which are woman who promote the crucial bonding between Mother and Baby as well as the relationship with the rest of the family. She does so by anticipating the needs of each individual woman and her child.
As described on the Motherwit website, "In many cultures, when a woman gives birth, she spends her pospartum period of about six weeks sequestered with her newborn from the rest of her community, cared for by other women. She is fed special foods, often massaged daily, is prescribed strengthening herbs, and is made to rest as much as possible. After this time, fully healed from the physical and emotional challenges of the childbearing year, the mother is again integrated into society with her baby."
Unfortunately western culture and the modern world is currently completely the opposite and actually rewards and encourages women who are able to multitask. Society puts at lot of pressure on moms to be able to get back into shape, look after their children, get back to work and into society. These often are extremely unrealistic and therefore causing women to feel down and a failure.
So whatever your situation and symptoms are, reach out and remember Motherwit are now here to help. And even if you aren't a mom, look out for the signs in your loved ones and friends as they might be crying out for help, but just not able to actually do anything about it.