I walked into my office today and someone left an article on my desk published by the Hartford Currant on Postpartum Depression (PPD). Many mothers have a hard time adjusting to motherhood and feel guilty because it isn’t all happiness that everyone else seems to have. While hormones play a big part in PPD, societal pressures also contribute to thousands of women suffering from a depression that is more than the ‘baby blues’. Mothers who suffer from PPD cannot get in control of their emotions and crave more support than “an anti-depression pill”. Getting out of the house, connecting with friends, a walk outside or a hot shower can often help.
Birthing a baby takes all the energy a woman’s body can muster and recovery can take up to three months on average, but mothers with PPD suffer from low energy for months, even years. The guilt moms carry is a false guilt since they really haven’t done anything ‘wrong.’ Often mothers simply need to let go and forgive themselves from carry the burden of guilt. And then to forgive others who may not understand, even your own partner. When you can forgive yourself, others and the situation, it literally frees you to simply breathe and find peace.
If you find that you are not able to forgive someone whose unsolicited remark about your mothering skills has crushed you; or someone who doesn’t believe that you could be so depressed after birthing your perfect little bundle, then remember that forgiveness is about YOUR freedom and can only strengthen you. Here are some points to consider:
–Don’t take it personally. When someone has hurt you (even unintentionally) remember that it is about them, not you.
–Refuse to let someone hold you hostage to how they choose to react. It is their issue, not yours.
-If you find you cannot forgive, pray and ask for a change of heart. And create a softness in your heart, meaning choose love over war with others. By responding with love, no matter who has crossed you the wrong way, will soften your heart and this cultivates the ability to forgive.
–Set a boundary. For example, if your critical mother-in-law will not keep her thoughts to herself, limit time with her until you feel stronger. And don’t be alone with her whether on the phone or in person. By setting a boundary, you do not have to be angry or revengeful.
–Seek support. Ask your partner, friends and other family to give you breaks from the baby to take a jog, go to the spa or your favorite gift shop. Do something special for yourself each day.
-Keep a gratitude journal. At the end of each day, say a prayer and write down all the things you are grateful for from the day. Even the smallest thing, like the baby slept an extra hour, can shift you back into more light and away from negative thoughts.
if you are a mom reading this, who has never suffered from this awful depression, reach out and support your sisters who are. Perhaps offer to take the baby for a couple hours, find supportive and inspirational art, music and literature. Ask your friends or church to bring in meals for a few weeks. All of this helps tremendously.
We, at Healthy Mom Happy Baby, are trained to help you and will support those of you who are suffering with PPD. Do not hesitate to reach out to us! Check out our website for more information on our services.
Until next time, stay in the Light and Peace within your hearts.