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Post-Partum Depression

Updated: Jan 8, 2021

Many years went by before we began to truly understand Post-Partum Depression, with so many left confused about the topic.

What is it really? And why does it happen?

I will delve into my take on all the factors involved in why this occurs to women in the first place, and what we can do about it once we are there!

"For when a child is born, the mother also is born again" - Gilbert Parker

This is a topic so important to talk about especially today, as it is extremely prevalent among modern day women. It is something to discuss and really understand, as its symptomology can leave women feeling incredibly isolated, and their male partners very confused. I feel for many years we didn't talk about this enough, as there was often a lot of shame women felt in admitting all they truly go through during this emotionally-challenging changing time.

So what exactly is Post-Partum Depression, and why does it happen?

I really want to get into two main aspects truly behind it. There are physiological hormonal changes that happen to a women's body during pregnancy and thereafter, and much taxation from a physical health stand point, as well as all of the emotional factors and levels of extreme fatigue that play a significant role in contributing to this "depression" that women experience after birth. These symptoms occur in varying degrees, as it is very personal and unique to each woman depending on her circumstance and health. Delving into this topic has always been important to me, as it was something my mother experienced after 2 of her 3 births. She suffered horrible post-partum symptoms and it was always something she openly spoke about to my sisters and I. This definitely hits home for me, not only for my mother, but for the many women I know that experience this life-changing shift.

I must first focus on the health aspect. Hormonal health is so crucially important to having the most peaceful pregnancy, birth and after-birth experience possible! Having a balanced hormonal system plays such a vital role, and many don't truly understand its importance. Everything about our modern day world destroys our bodies; our hormonal system included. Our lifestyles in fact completely contradict what would foster inner balance and true health for humans. From poor diets, vices, high stress and societal pressures, to radiation from endless exposure to technology, all external chemical additives and environmental toxins that beyond destroy our health.

The modern day woman is at a serious disadvantage health-wise, before even deciding to take on a physically-depleting job such as carrying a child. Most women are unaware of just how taxing and nutrient-depleting being the host of a baby is, and oftentimes don't compensate adequately nutritionally and emotionally for this soon-to-be immense taxation on their bodies. As it is, when the body is preparing for pregnancy, there are many hormonal changes it goes through. These fluxes continue throughout the pregnancy and after as well, as it takes time for the body to re-balance.

It is crucially important to take care of our emotional health and that of our bodies and hormones, before, during, and after pregnancy. Something most modern day women fail to do as our fast-paced lives makes it much harder to. I truly believe that it is oftentimes just more challenging for women today to have healthy, happy pregnancies than ever before. Life is much more stressful and burdensome for so many reasons, and it is just not as simple as it once was. Hence the necessity to prepare adequately beforehand, both emotionally and physically.

Now, besides all the physical aspects that drain our bodies when having children, lies the emotional component as well. Women today have so much on their plates! Many years ago, life looked much different, and the role women played in society also was. Today, women are much more aware of self. We are completely self-sufficient and independent. We feel the exact pressures men feel in terms of providing, as we do fully provide for ourselves most of our lives. No fault to men, as times have changed and life is just far too expensive for most to afford supporting someone else completely along with themselves! As women, we go through what all humans go through today. We grow and learn ourselves over time, continually discovering all of our goals and dreams along the way. Opportunity is everywhere and we can truly do anything we want to.

It is a beautiful thing to be introspective and to learn all that would bring us fulfillment in life. We look inside of ourselves much more profoundly than women ever used to, and discovering all these dreams we want to achieve truly is a wonderful thing. However, this self-awareness and endless opportunity does undoubtedly bring added stress to our plates. We know from young we must find work, support ourselves financially and build some kind of a life, all to foster our ability to achieve those self-set goals. We feel pressures like everyone to provide adequately, to succeed and to move forward in life. This is a lot of already existing stress for us by the time the choice of whether or not to have children comes along. With many women today simply opting not to have, as life has become a seriously tiring juggling act as it is.

In many cases, we are struggling enough with having to look after ourselves without the added responsibility of starting a family. Having children in this day and age is something to seriously commemorate women for! It is challenging, much more so than anyone ever anticipates. Times have changed, and we don't always have the luxury of having enough of a support system around us as once existed for women years ago. Women often don't really understand how much of a life shift it will be for them. Everyone hears the usual facts about fatigue and worry that comes with parenting, but seldom are all the other factors talked about. For most modern day women, having children ends up being a far different picture than originally foreseen.

The pregnancy part is exciting, and women receive much attention and positive reinforcement while pregnant. But it is all that happens to a woman's psyche after the baby is born and this new life of responsibility really sets in, that is often downplayed or simply not discussed enough. Motherhood is a hugely challenging adjustment for most women, as suddenly life just isn't the same anymore.

Women can often have feelings of being lost and isolated, as they simply just don't recognize themselves as the woman they once knew themselves to be. It can seem that who they were is just gone and that some "new self" now exists, with a role they must now fall into. It takes time for the mind and soul to connect with this new-found self and life. On top of that personal inner battle, exists all the previously mentioned regular stresses of life; finances, careers, relationships etc. Parenthood is not as straight forward anymore for both men and women today.

I really wanted to shed light on this subject, as there are many personal struggles and adjustments people experience that are perhaps not fully considered when opting to enter parenthood. However, for all of you women, no matter the challenge or post-partum symptoms you may be experiencing, there are absolutely ways to help minimize them and help yourself back to normalcy more rapidly! Both health and circumstance are really important to consider, and addressing these will go a long way in helping you achieve inner peace much more quickly! Having a good support system is crucial. Everyone needs a partner, friends or family that are on board to help them through; people who can alleviate your actual burden of parental duties, as well as who can be great listening ears for all you are going through.

You can do wonders for your hormonal system by addressing any lifestyle and dietary factors that may be contributing to your overall depletion. Follow as best you can, a hormone-balancing wholefoods-diet, making sure to eat enough and regularly. Adequate nutrition is really key to helping you feel better faster. Of course, resting and sleeping as much as you possibly can is also key, as we all know. Taking relaxing Epsom salt and lavender oil baths and listening to some soothing spa music while deep breathing, can help a lot when feeling overwhelmed. Practice any hobbies and activities you love that you can muster up the energy or time for, such as writing, reading or yoga. Doing things that make you feel like your old-self still, helps tremendously.

Please always know that this is only temporary. The body does re-regulate eventually and this is only a small moment in time of your entire life as a whole. With many heart-warming moments and positive evolvement that family life will bring you. Try and enjoy all the beautiful aspects of being a mother, and don't hate on yourself in those moments you find yourself feeling a little less maternal than you would like! You are still you and always will be, even with all the changes your life's choices will bring. You will fall into place and feel much differently than you do now, very soon. Keep your chin up and always know that you are an amazingly strong woman, always doing the very best you can!

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