Monday, February 2, 2015

courage to be real

Did you know that according to the American Academy of Pediatrics,  almost ALL mothers experience some symptoms of the baby blues?

Did you know that 1 in 10 moms will experience the more intense symptoms of postpartum depression?

During our January MOPS meeting, we talked about the courage to be real. To speak up about what you're feeling. To ask for help. To listen to other mamas without judging their "realness." 

Being honest & real is not always something that comes easily for women. The female culture encourages anything BUT real, from our nails to our hair to our Spanx to our surgical "tweaks." Society often pressures us mothers to be fine, to pray it away, to not admit weakness. 

We're particularly vulnerable during the early childhood years, when your hormones are off-kilter, your world has shifted with the birth of a new baby, & you may be more socially isolated than before. Your inner voice says "You should be thankful. You should feel blessed. Suck it up." 

Our goal for Anderson MOPS is to create a place where it's ok to be real, & it's ok to ask for help. So what better way to kick off 2015 than with our January speaker, Donna Tingle?! Donna is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) with one of our MOPS sponsors, Anmed Health. She spoke briefly about postpartum blues, depression & anxiety, & then opened up the floor for questions... & there were LOTS of questions!

THE BABY BLUES

Most moms experience at least a few symptoms of the baby blues after the birth of a child. Usually these issues will go away within 2-4 weeks after your baby is born. Signs of the baby blues include:
  • some good days & some hard days
  • trouble sleeping
  • mood swings &/or irritability
  • crying for no reason
  • feeling very anxious for no apparent reason
  • hopelessness &/or sadness that you can't explain
  • difficulty concentrating

POSTPARTUM DEPRESSION

Out of the moms who experience the baby blues (described above), 1 in 10 will have more intense & prolonged symptoms of postpartum depression. If you have these symptoms, you should call your doctor to talk through it. Please don't think you're broken or screwed up... you're one of MANY moms who just need help finding their balance again.  
  • mostly hard days
  • feel completely overwhelmed
  • having trouble sleeping or sleeping too much
  • mood swings, irritability, impatience, or even uncontrollable anger
  • crying for no reason
  • feeling very anxious for no apparent reason; your thoughts are racing &/or you can't sit still or relax
  • hopelessness &/or sadness that you can't explain; feeling like you'll never feel better or back to normal
  • difficulty concentrating, or making a decision; feeling like you're in a fog.
  • feelings of guilt that you're not doing a better job or that you're not thankful enough
  • feeling detached & disconnected, like you're just going through the motions


Do you have a friend who you think may be struggling? You might be wondering how you can help. Tell her that you're worried about her & that you care about her. Make time to sit with her & listen. Be available to really hear what she's saying. Don't be afraid to suggest seeing a doctor or a counselor. If she's worried about logistics -- childcare, finances, insurance -- offer to help her figure it out. 

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