April 27, 2018

"If you break your arm, everyone runs over to sign your cast, but if you tell people you're depressed, everyone runs the other way. That's the stigma." Kevin Breel, honest comedian 

We probably all know this impulse, to move away instead of lean in.  I know it.  When I was hit with Postpartum Anxiety and Depression for the third time, and this time actually had the language to understand what was happening to me, I looked back on friendships in my past where I hadn't understood how to be supportive.  Where I'd ran away.  Where I'd been annoyed, even.  I found myself guilty.  

So what can we do instead to support our friends in the swell of hormones and emotion?  This advice is good for standing by any postpartum mother, not just those with PMADs.  Postpartum is the time of great transition, and solid ground may feel elusive as a woman shifts int...

Baby Blues:  Is this a jazz song?  No, no, it is the small name given for the enormous feelings that accompany radical hormone & life change after birth.  

For 9 months a small person grew in our bodies.  Slow, yet quick, our hormones shift to hold on to the baby, to give baby priority of nutrients, to build a placenta.  Later, the baby’s head nuzzles against our cervix initiating contractions, and finally, our cervix ripens.  Pregnancy can feel like a one way train to the tunnel of birth, the only way through it is through it.  And then suddenly, we are through it.  There’s an explosion of oxytocin if we're lucky.  But then, more quickly this time, our body changes again.  Hormones adjust to breastfeed.  Our body is no longer pregnant.  The uterus that grew over 9 months time shrinks significantly in just 24 hours.  Some things in life aren’t meant...

February 16, 2018

There is something I am afraid to tell my clients, an answer to a question often asked that makes me want to hide.  

"Does eating my placenta prevent Postpartum Depression"?

Internally I gasp and externally I bumble.  I feel as if I am supposed to pull a coin from behind your ear and we all laugh wholesomely and skip off into the daisies.

I hate this question because I ingested my placenta after all three of my births and I experienced postpartum anxiety and depression after all three births.  

There is little research into this question, or any other benefits or risks of placentaphagy.  There are no scientific studies to claim placenta encapsulation as a remedy for postpartum mood disorders.  However, many mothers self-report that they felt less depression and more positive energy when they ingested their placenta capsules.  Placenta is used as hormonal therapy in other...

January 27, 2018

When I hear the term “blissful birth” my jaw clenches.  As a doula and birth advocate, with 3 homebirths myself, I feel like I should shout “blissful birth!” from the mountaintops.  Instead, my stomach churns and my breath shortens.  I scan the room for exits.  To state birth as blissful denies the fullness of the experience.  

Pregnant with my first child, glowing, young and ripe, I was committed to a blissful birth.  I was adamant our birth would be unmedicated and at home, and I was convinced that a beautiful birth meant an easy birth.  I was wrong.  What I came to know through this birth was raw power, unnamable fear, a strength that only came from surrendering.  

As the sun rose for the second time in that labor journey, I knew it was only me that could birth this baby.  I stared into my doula’s wide eyes.  My partner pressed into...

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