"This is the season of receiving.” This being new motherhood, the postpartum year, or I would stretch it throughout the years of early childhood. I heard this phrase from Chris Reines, a UNC nurse specializing in maternal mental health.
How opposite are these words to what we are actually told? How many mamas actually think “This is the season of giving. So let me give, give, give until I have nothing left in me, then give some more and feel guilty that I don’t have even more to give.”? We are TOLD this is the season of giving.
But we were told wrong. This is the season of receiving.
When young babies are at home, it is the time to let others support us (community, grandparents, partners, doulas). In pregnancy and birth a woman give her greatest physical output. And then she is in near constant support of that output through nursing, feeding, tend...
A friend asked me recently when I struggled most with postpartum depression. This is a friend I have known since my oldest child was a few months old. And she didn’t know. Many of my friends didn’t know, maybe still don’t. They didn’t know because I didn’t know.
They didn’t know because I was afraid to use the words postpartum depression. I believed the stigma that postpartum depression only happens to moms that don’t love their babies, moms that don’t take care of themselves naturally, moms that aren’t me. I believed that postpartum depressions was only postpartum psychosis. I didn’t know it included social anxiety, anger, and obsessive thoughts. I didn’t know that I wasn’t alone.
They didn’t know how I struggled because I wasn’t able to name my pain. It felt too multilayered to pin it down as “sad”. I had no idea how to explain the social anxiety that took over my us...
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...
After birth, a new mama may find herself famished. The birth journey, coming after possibly months of discomfort and limited eating, combined with a new nursling takes a lot of energy. Regardless of blood loss, birthing a baby is the largest energy out put a woman has in her life. In traditional cultures, warming foods are said to heal and stabilize a new mama's body.
When I am pregnant, a significant part of my nesting revolves around food. I make lists of food to store in the freezer. Near the end I double almost everything I make in order to have extra meals after birth. I even tell my husband "This is the first thing I want to eat after birth. And then, this ...". The meal preparation in advance also minimizes my day-to-day expectations for a time. A meal train is a great way to get family and friends on board, and to offer them a way to help tha...