When you become a new mom, everything is perfect, right? When the baby is placed on your chest and your eyes connect for the first time, it’s love at first sight. When you spend those first few days with your baby, everyone is always happy and you could cuddle forever. Caring for your baby and feeding your baby came without issues, right? You know exactly what you’re doing as a mom and you’ve got it all together, right? Well… maybe all that was true for you. But maybe, probably, it wasn’t. These days, there is A LOT of pressure on moms to have it all together and to be in a solid place emotionally in their perfect home with their perfect new baby. But the truth of new motherhood is that it’s messy more often than not. Nevertheless, if new moms get real with their feelings and share the rawness of their emotions, they are often judged or considered weak by most of society. Most moms don’t want to admit that they might feel sad, irritable, or have trouble sleeping – but the fact is that 80% of new moms actually do have these feelings, known as the baby blues, during the first few weeks postpartum.
Many moms are able to move past the instability of the baby blues with time. But what about the one in seven moms who experience overwhelming fatigue, bothersome anxiety, sleepless nights while still exhausted, hopelessness, or even thoughts about harming themselves or their babies? What about these moms? One out of every seven mothers experiences a perinatal mood or anxiety disorder. The combination of hormones changing, and psychological, social, and biological stressors contributes to this condition.
So, what should you do if you feel like you could be one of the one in seven? You should reach out as soon as you can to someone who is supportive and informed. This might look like reaching out to your doula for extra resources or talking to your doctor or midwife for support. We have the pleasure of knowing Enjonae Anderson, a licensed counselor who specializes in working with women who have perinatal mood and anxiety disorders. She is incredible for any mom with depression or anxiety or even to talk through and process a traumatic birth experience. I was recently at a training where Enjonae was presenting and she shared that postpartum mood and anxiety disorders truly can be overcome with the right support in place. Moms need:
If you feel like you need help, you are not alone. You do not need to walk on this road of motherhood alone. We would love to talk to you anytime and there are resources and people who can help you! If you don’t know about new parenting classes and groups, ask us. For counseling, we highly recommend Enjonae! Check her out online.