Postpartum Mindset // How to Process Your Birth & Overcome the Baby Blues

– Today, we’re gonna talk about depression or just feeling the blues, feeling low when you’re a parent, and particularly a first-time parent, or a new parent to a newborn. Stick with me until the end so that we can get you back on track, feeling like you’re strong, powerful and happier self. If you’re ready to love parenting and parent from love, click
on that subscribe button and hit the notification bell. Meet me back here same time,
same place, every Monday. (hip hop) – [Voiceover] The Parenting Junkie. – Hi, I’m Avital. I’m a mindful parenting
coach, I have four kids and a community of
thousands across the globe. I call them my global village, because that’s what we’re doing here at the Parenting Junkie, we’re building a village
to help support you reclaim presence, peace
and play for your family so you can say goodbye
to chaos and clutter. Slam on that like button,
and let’s get started. Now, given that I have four kids, I have gone through four births and I am not immune, I am no stranger to the baby blues. That’s what I wanna talk about today, is that very low feeling that we can sometimes get as parents. You might be watching this video having just had a baby, maybe it’s your first, and maybe you’re feeling extremely low. Maybe you’re not feeling
bonded to your child, maybe you’re feeling
teary-eyed, sniffly and sad, but I do wanna say that if you feel that you actually have post-partum depression, certainly you can watch this video but that is not enough. You must get professional help. You must get clinical help. If you feel that you can’t get through day-to-day actions, such as getting out of
bed, getting dressed or if you feel like you
have thoughts of self-harm or harming the baby or anything that might
light a red flag for you that says, “this is really off and I’m feeling actually worse than just a little down,” then please seek clinical help. Please tell any other adult with you that you need the help. So, today we’re just
gonna be talking about general feelings, of feeling low, but if it’s actual depression and you can look up the symptoms online then please make sure you treat that. It’s very serious. I wanna first start just
by normalizing baby blues, or just general feelings of depression. We all have those low days,
sometimes weeks or months, where we’re just not
feeling like ourselves, where we’re not in love with our life, maybe we’re not in love with our children, maybe we regret having them or feel some dark, deep feelings of shame, anger, rage, just deep sadness, anything that just has us
feeling really, really low. Now, if this was ever you in the past, if you had any kind of baby
blues or post-partum depression or just depression on
your parenting journey, please let us know in the comments below. I know it’s a vulnerable topic and it’s not easy to share, but the power of seeing
how many other people have suffered through this
is extremely comforting, knowing that it’s normal
and that we can overcome it. You don’t have to surrender and think that you’re always going to feel this way. Just knowing that it passes,
knowing that it’s normal, is extremely helpful. So if you’ve experienced this, please let others know
in the comments below. I’ll be the first to raise my hand. After every birth, I’ve had moments, and I’m lucky to say that
it hasn’t been prolonged, but I definitely have had low moments. Just moments where I
feel really, really sad, and after this past birth, my fourth, I had a pretty traumatic birth and I think that when you’ve
had a traumatic birth, it’s extremely raw and vulnerable for the first few days, certainly, and even for weeks and months to come. I know friends and clients who have had severe PTSD as a result of birth. They actually were not able to see people who were pregnant, or new-born babies after they had given birth because of the trauma they went through. It triggered an immense
emotional reaction, a panic attack, or an anxiety attack, within them. That’s how severe the trauma was, and so I wanna say birth
trauma is a very real thing and it’s not gonna help any with overcoming your
post-partum depression or your baby blues, and it’s incredibly important that you process your birth trauma, and even if you don’t classify
your birth as traumatic, it’s an incredibly giant experience that you went through, either way, you have a whole host of changes going on, and a lot of hormonal
influx and overwhelm, and not to mention the sleepless nights and the whole massive
overhaul of your identity now as a parent, or as a
parent of more than one, and so there are so many things working to create this very real, very
intense emotional experience. What I found with my past
birth, with this last one, with my fourth baby, was that everything was
in order in my house. My kids were in great shape, everyone was taking to
the baby wonderfully, the baby was doing well! He did have tongue tie, but
he was still doing well, and I was doing well. I was functioning well,
my home was in good order, I was preparing the food, I had some help, but any time anyone mentioned
anything about my birth I got choked up, and I wanted to cry and sometimes I did cry, and I knew that this was because I hadn’t processed the traumatic birth. There were some moments in that birth that were very traumatizing for me, and I hadn’t fully processed it, and so I reached out to a
post-partum doula service. I didn’t have a doula for my birth, I probably should have but I didn’t, but I did invite someone into my home and they could only come a
week or two after the birth, but generally a post-partum
doula is someone who could come and help
you with whatever you need after the birth. Sometimes they’re helping
you with household chores, sometimes they’re helping you with adjusting your older child, sometimes they’re helping
you with physical pain, sometimes they’re going through a post-partum healing process or some kind of ritual, like a closing of the bones ceremony, something to seal off
this time in your life. For me what I needed
was to talk and process and express what was so difficult
for me during the birth, I needed to talk that through with someone who was there to listen, and she did a little
energy healing work with me which was very effective and really helped me just let go, kind of close that chapter
and heal that chapter so that when someone asked
me, “how was your birth?” I could actually tell it to them and feel like I had a
clarity on the story. I knew what had happened to
me, I could make sense of it. It wasn’t flustering me and bringing up all of those emotions bubbling to the surface. I had processed them and I
was able to simply express it in direct terms, which is often a sign that we’ve processed trauma, when we’re able to
chronologically tell the story in a way that makes sense, that it doesn’t get us all
riled up and emotional. So, I want you to find
someone in your life, maybe it’s your partner, a neighbor, maybe it’s a hotline, a
support line that you can call, maybe you have a listening partnership like people do in my
present play membership. We actually team up and
listen to each other. Maybe it’s a mom at the park, or maybe it’s your
mother, your grandmother, your aunt or a professional, a therapist, a counselor, a post partum
doula who can come and listen. It could be on the phone. It could be on Skype, or
it could be in person. You do need someone who
you can off load to. You do need someone who you can express what you’re feeling. That leads into my next point, which is please, don’t hide the fact that you’re having trouble and that you’re feeling sad or emotional. It’s incredibly important and hard to tell the people around you that you’re having a hard time. That you’re not feeling happy. That you’re feeling sad. That you’re feeling a bit depressed. That you have some blues. It’s very important to be able to name it, own it and share it. So that you can let
others in to support you. Asking for help doesn’t
look like attacking someone else, doesn’t look
like complaining to them, It’s not venting and ranting. It’s not angry. It’s vulnerable. And that’s what makes it so brave and so difficult. But turning around and saying, I’m having a hard time. I would love for you to help me. And here’s what help looks like you need to get a little
bit of self awareness and if you’re truly depressed, sometimes you can’t do this, but if you have a little bit
of blues, you may be able to You may be able to have
some self awareness to what help looks like for you right now. What would feel good? Do you want someone just to listen? Do you need someone to touch you? Do you need someone to just let you rest and make sure that you rest? Or to fetch you a glass of water? What does support look like to you? It’s different for each and every person. Help others to help you. Don’t sink deeper into
victim mode, but rather become empowered to help yourself. Help yourself by asking for help. No one can do it alone. We’re not designed to do it alone. We’re social creatures. And if you are alone, my guess is that there are support systems in the infrastructure of your community that can help you. Maybe it’s in your local church, synagogue, or mosk, or other religious institution. It could be in your local
pediatrician’s office. I don’t doubt that someone nearby is there to help. Ready to help. And my guess is that is
might even be free of costs. So, please look for the help become an active helper for yourself. Apropos that there is just a lot of very straight forward wisdom out there to how human beings feel better. How we can snap ourselves out of vicious downward cycles. Take that advice. Think about the things that you do when you’re feeling good and try to put yourself
into that forward motion. Maybe it’s just getting dressed. Getting outside. Taking a shower. I know that sometimes these things can sound like impossible
things for you to do when you’re feeling so upset. But just taking that small one step and then another, the class of water and
then washing the face. Whatever it is that you can do to shift yourself in the direction of
someone who’s showing up and taking care of themselves. Listen, so many new
mothers tell the story of I didn’t have time to shower. And, maybe, in some cases that’s true. But, you need to make
the time to feel good. There is no award for staying in that place. There is no path out of that. There is no light at the end of the tunnel that just comes to you. You need to go towards that light. You need to make it happen. You’re going to need to take some action. And that’s why I say, if you’re in a position that
you can’t take any action, that you’re so depressed
that you can’t do that. That just watching this
video was too much for you. You need to seek professional help, but if you’re not in that place, then you can do this. Get yourself up. Take some action. Wash your face. Open the blinds. Make the bed. Feel like a human being. Yes, you have gone through
a major life change. Yes, you have every excuse as
it were to stay in bed, etc. But, don’t buy in to the cultural
stories that you need to. That you can’t get yourself moving. That you can’t get in to the shower. That you can’t take a walk. I, personally, like to take small, gentle walks outdoors. Even, three or four days post partum. Now, that’s not good for everyone. Many people are still
healing at that point. And they need to be lying down. If you’ve had a c-section or anything that causes
you to need to lie down. But, the other truth about that, is that there are some cultures
where that is not accepted. Where the idea is for women to stay home and rest for a good
month after giving birth. And that’s fine if that’s
what works for you. I, personally, need the fresh air. I need the sunlight. So even if it’s just
sitting out on the porch or by a window, an open window, getting some fresh air, seeing the light of day, having a shower, treating yourself like you can show up for this time in your life. Even post partum. The same goes for getting dressed. Even if you’re staying home full time, and that’s fine if you do, rest is incredibly important. How about just changing
pajamas into fresh pajamas. Just that is already showing yourself that you matter and
feeling good is possible. I want to tell you that
this too shall pass. It feels like it will never pass. It feels like it’s
permanent when you’re in it. I know, but hear it from me, and allow these words to
absorb into your being Know that it will pass. Know that you can trust
yourself and your baby. And trust the millenia of human experience that people do move through this. People have been where you are now. You’re not the first, and you won’t be the last. It’s normal. Healthy. Valid experience. And if you can practice
some level of allowing, of surrender, of trust in the process that this is all part of it. Try to detach any stories you had about the type of mom you were gonna be, the type of baby you were gonna have, the type of experience birth and recovery that you thought you would have. Try to release those. Try to let them go. Release them back to Mother Earth, and accept that wherever
you are right now, is where you’re meant to be. It’s perfect and beautiful
in its imperfection and in its chaos. Its okay. You’re okay. On a truly, deep, rooted
level, you are okay. You are enough. You are worthy. And you’re doing great. There is no one right way to birth, there is no one right way to recover, there is no one right way
to care for a newborn. Whatever you need to do
to feel okay in this time is the right thing. So, trust yourself. Open your heart to this experience. And even, if you can, try to flip your mindset about it. Try to see the beauty in it if you can. I know that’s hard when
you’re in a depressed place. Not always something you wanna hear. But something I heard from
Dr. Shefali a long time, has always stayed with me, she said that what she
took from the newborn stage was that every activity with
a newborn slows you down. It demands you to be
in the present moment. And all of her years of
meditating never added up to what she learned in
those first few months, that fourth trimester time. Nursing a newborn throughout
the night, for example, was her optimal time to meditate. It was a meditation time. She transformed that experience into something so worthwhile
and so meaningful and deep. Every diaper change, every time you breastfeed, or bottle feed, every time you hold your baby or push them in the stroller, every time someone else
cares for your baby and you can rest, Every time you do a
pile of laundry or step over the pile of laundry
that has been there for two weeks solid, untouched. All of the different
activities you are doing or not doing right now, can be viewed with a
light of self-compassion, of surrender, of
acceptance, of mindfulness and of gratitude and joy, and just awe at the incredible miracle of life. And how other wordly it can be. When you step into parenthood suddenly you step into portal into another world. A new world. A new reality. The whole order of your life
gets flipped upsidedown. And as earth shaking as that can be, it’s also fascinating if you
look at it with curiosity. Sometimes curiosity is
the opposite of anger, judgment, and depression. When we judge ourselves
and our experience harshly, we feel sad, depressed and frustrated, we feel trapped. But when we judge, or in
fact, don’t judge at all, but step out of judgment
and just look at it with curiosity like hmm…this
is a new experience. This is strange and weird and wonderful. Oh my goodness, my body
and my life and my baby are doing all these new things. Then we can just start
to calm those stories that lead us to feel pretty awful. And, maybe, even introduce
some stories that can help us to feel empowered. Stories like this too shall pass. I got this. This is normal. I’m
connecting with the billions of other parents across the
network of human experience. So, stories that are more empowering. And finally, try to connect with others. Try to connect with
your friends or family. Don’t have an I got this,
leave me alone attitude. Don’t become a super mom. Don’t say you’ll do it
alone and you’ll do it all. Please, it is so important to
try to create community, to try to create connection, to say vulnerably I would love the help, or I would love the company, or I would just love to chat for a while. Saying to your partner, No,no,
you go straight back to work Or don’t worry about me Or telling your friends that
you don’t need to be visited or you don’t want to be visited yet. It’s all valid. You don’t have to accept
any help, friendship, or comrodary that you don’t want to. I just urge you to consider
some level of connection with others during this time. It is really unnatural
and, often unhealthy, for us mothers to be alone
when we’ve just had a baby. In most cultures throughout human history, that was unheard of. It was absolutely the
wisdom passed from mother to daughter that that is
a time of womanly support, and community, and everybody together is
here to welcome in this baby and make sure that the
mother is well cared for. That is, I think, the deeply
rooted wisdom within all of us. Don’t say no. Instead seek it out. Seek it out from your
pediatrician, your doula, your midwife, your community,
your church, your synagogue. Whatever it is. Your local Facebook mom’s group. Try to find those connections. They are a true vaccination against depression and isolation. Now if this was helpful
for you in any way, and you think it might help other moms or dads who feel a
little depressed at times and having a hard time in their parenting, please, share it with them. I’m sure it could help. And give me a love in the
comments below if this was helpful for you and, please, offer
your words of support to parents who might be
facing depression and blues. And any resources you
have that might help them. It can be a life saver. Literally. I also warmly invite you to
join our Facebook community, Love Parenting with Avital
where you can connect with some of the best
like-minded parents from around the world and
ward off that isolation that is so detrimental. Plus, I have a podcast now. If you’d like me in your earbuds as a support system to you head on over to your podcasts app, anything that you use
to listen or an iTunes and check out the Parenting
Junkie Show podcast version. It’s different from the YouTube
channel but complimentary. And finally, slam on that subscribe button and hit the notification bound. Meet me back here. Same time. Same place next week. Every Monday.

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