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As a new mom, I wanted to share the being of my mom postpartum journey. I didn’t know that mental health would play such a massive part in my postpartum journey into motherhood. There are resources about how to get and stay pregnant, but nothing about what to do afterward.
In the US, we don’t have significant parental leave policies and mental health services after pregnancy. It’s getting better but not where it should be. What’s even crazier is that if you finally dare to acknowledge that you have postpartum depression or anxiety, resources are out of network. This means you have to come out of pocket to make sure you don’t harm yourself or your child.
This post is about a mom postpartum journey.
A mom postpartum journey to date
I bring this up because, as I’m writing this, I’m currently seven weeks postpartum. I am dealing with levels of postpartum depression and anxiety myself. Trust me, this is a new and scary time for me, but I know exactly where the source originated. You know where it’s coming from as well. Mine stems from a lack of physical support.
I have family and friends that care about me and love me. But no one comes to help me in the way that I need it, which leads me down this path. My huzzband (I know how I spelled it) helps when he can, but he works 14 -16-hour days, which leaves me home, alone, with a newborn, a puppy, and a house to maintain.
I’m grateful for everything that I have and don’t take it for granted, but I’m struggling with this whole motherhood thing. There was so much that I wish I knew before getting pregnant. Sometimes the saying “just do it” doesn’t apply when you are family planning.
Most of my friends and family don’t have children, so how the hell was I supposed to know that, for example, you can have a colicky baby or that a baby’s stool should be yellowish. I thought, “like what is colic anyway, and he is only two days old, how do you know?”
My son, baby Noah
With Noah, every few days, I felt like we were getting hit with something. Noah went almost a whole day without eating when he was first born (like the first day out of the vagina). Why? Because no one told my huzzband and me that it could take days for my breastmilk to come in. DAYS!!
I thought once you stuck the baby on the titty, they were right. NOPE! I had my baby at a birthing center, but it still wasn’t 100% explained how it would go. And from there, things just started to get worse. We later discovered he has a cow’s milk allergy. So breastfeeding was a done deal since it was stressing me out anyway. Click here to read more about why I thought breastfeeding is hard.
Now that I’m in week 7 of mom postpartum things with Noah regarding his wellbeing have gotten better. He is on a formula that allows him to get what he needs, and he is a happier baby. I am still struggling to make sure he gets what he needs to be a happy baby. Every mom goes through a period of “baby blues,” which happens the first few weeks after childbirth, which is inevitable.
That’s when the body and hormones realize that you have given birth. Your body starts to make the adjustments to get you back to where you need to be before pregnancy. It comes out of nowhere, and most of the time, you don’t even know why you are crying or spazzing out. Once that period ends, then you start to enter the postpartum territory.
It’s crazy to say this, but I feel alone during this process. When you are by yourself all day every day taking care of a newborn, it can be very taxing. Not sure about you, but my family lives in another state, and my huzzband;s family isn’t close by, so I have to do this alone, which is very hard.
If you are a new parent, YOU NEED HELP! You may get help in the first couple of weeks because people are so excited to see the baby and be nosey, and I’m not talking about those weeks. I’m talking about five weeks, four days help when the newness wears off, and you are taking care of a newborn. That is when you need help.
GETTING ANGRY QUICKLY
Let’s face it, you are tired, hungry, healing, and the baby is continuously crying. You aren’t operating at full capacity. You’re home alone, or when people are at your place, you must “entertain them” so you don’t have time to rest the mind or body, and you feel like you are about to explode!
Or when you are lying in bed, and your partner/family/friend keeps asking you questions about what to do, what not to do, and you want them to listen the first time and stop asking questions so that you can finally rest. Here is another sign that you might be in the postpartum depression or anxiety realm.
Anxiety is something that you will notice right away because others will make you aware of your behavior. After all, it affects them also. If you find that your patience is running thin, this is when you need to reach out to get help since it escalates quickly to harming yourself, your baby, or others.
Noticing Changes in Appetite
After you have a baby, you immediately drop 20-25 pounds, which was the weight of the baby. After that, the rest remains is your weight, and you will notice quickly; it doesn’t come off as easy as you think. If you are like me and had to stop breastfeeding or expressing, then your uterus will not contract as fast.
Which can lead to dangerous eating behavior to try and get back down to your pre-pregnancy weight? You must still maintain a healthy diet to keep the energy needed to care for the baby.
Trust me, I thought that because of my smaller frame, I would be able to lose weight more effortlessly, but the mid-section is proving to be a challenge just like many other women. I must work on it, which can lead to depression and anxiety as well.
Sometimes you notice other women who bounce back immediately. You get discouraged because you think you are supposed to be like that. Still, they are the exception and not the rule, and it’s ok that it may take you six months or longer to get your body back.
There are many more side effects to look out for, but these are the ones that I find are the first red flags of heading down the path of postpartum depression and anxiety and the ones that I struggle with the most.
Every day that goes by makes it harder to dig out of these feelings and emotions. Being a parent is the only job where you read the manuals it won’t 100% apply to your life or your baby.
This post was about a mom postpartum journey.
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