Combating Postpartum Depression: When the Glow is Gone

So here I am! Two months post partum with the twins. They are amazing! My toddler is adjusting so well but I have to admit, not everyday is sunshine and rainbows. I haven’t had to deal with the postpartum monkey jumping on my back like I did with Gabriel but I think I owe that to being a lot more conscious of my thoughts and where I let them take me. You know, that defining moment where you can make the distinction between what you feel and whats real. I am fortunate enough to have a small (and I do mean small) group of people around that are super supportive but I wasn’t always like this. Being pregnant, you lose friends, a little bit of freedom, your body and a little bit of sanity so I wanted to share some ways I have been working toward keeping that glow after pregnancy!

  1. Eating and Sleeping – I never listened to the “sleep when they sleep” advice because I always felt like when the baby sleeps it was my free pass to get things done swiftly and silently. Sounds simple enough right? WRONG. I would squeeze so much into that sleep timeframe that I was tired when the baby woke up and couldn’t interact the way I wanted to – leading to thoughts that I wish would otherwise not be in my head! So make sure you get some sleep and eat as healthy as you can (just don’t get so wrapped up in everyday life that you forget to. Mom needs sustenance too!
  2. Showing gratitude – Yes, I still keep my gratitude journal handy. When life backs me against the wall, it helps to keep a friendly reminder of what I am already fortunate enough to have in my life and to focus my energy on the here and now.
  3. Exercise – Everyday, rain or shine, I throw on my AppleWatch, drop Gabe off at school and I bring the twins to the park for a 3 mile walk or a 2 mile jog. You definitely do not have to do what I do but I am telling you just 15-20 minutes of exercise and even fresh air can elevate your mood and provide incentive to keep at it as you see your body transform.
  4. Don’t be irrational – I bring rationality into things to say that if at all possible. making major life changes and or decisions during and or immediately after having your baby unnecessarily may not be the best idea. It could complicate not only your situation but your thought process. So take as much time as you need to make those BIG decisions and try keeping things as simple and stress free as you possibly can.
  5. Surround yourself with the right energy  I love spending time with my husband and children but I have a few of those awesome friends and family members that remind me of who provide unwavering love, guidance and support so that I do not forget who I am when I’m getting lost in the piles of laundry, tripping over firetrucks and hot wheels cars and walking around in breastmilk stained shirts because I forgot to pump. No judgement. All love. Find your tribe!
  6. Lastly, do be afraid to ask for help and EDUCATE YOURSELF – I am the one who waits until the very last minute to ask for anything at all and because I was very anti-depression meds, doctors had little hope for me and what they called a chemical imbalance in my brain. So I beg you, please do not wait until those overwhelming feelings get ahead of you. If someone is willing to help, allow them to the point in which you feel comfortable (sometimes it really does take a village) and explore all of your options in finding the solution that is best for you! Just don’t lose your glow.

If you find that you really need help or don’t know where to start your own journey to combat the “baby blues” and or postpartum depression/psychosis, here are some helpful links and hotlines to check out:

https://www.marchofdimes.org/pregnancy/postpartum-depression.aspx

https://www.marchofdimes.org/pregnancy/baby-blues-after-pregnancy.aspx

http://www.postpartum.net/get-help/postpartum-psychosis-help/

Thanks so much for reading,

Ash