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The Storm: Post Partum Anxiety and Depression

By Kristen Rickloff-Williams

When I was first asked to write on this subject I actually paused and thought, “Is this a good idea when I am so close to it?” I decided that if now isn’t the time to share my experience and observations, being that this is my third time post partum…when will it be?

I am 10 weeks post partum with our third child at the time of writing this. Every post partum has been a little different after each of my births. There have been the highs and the lows. Each post partum journey has been unique and has had its gifts and its struggles.

There have been days filled with sunshine, sweet baby cuddles and laughter. Then there have been the stormy days filled with tears, hormones crashing, sleep deprivation and feeling shaky from anxiety.

1 in 7 women will go through this.

We can not keep silent. No one should have to suffer through post-partum anxiety and depression or antepartum (it can affect pregnant women and adoptive mothers also) alone. Now is not the time to try and force through it. Now is the time to ask for help in any and every way you need it. There should be no judgement placed on an individual seeking self-care.

After the birth of my first child I wish I had known that you can still experience post-partum anxiey and depression even several years later! I went through some of my rockiest times with anxiety and stress two years after giving birth.

Babywearing and wrapping has been an amazing gift in my post partum times. I have often found myself saying, “babywearing doesn’t just calm the baby; it helps calm the wearer.” I have been incredibly soothed by knowing I can be close to my baby and meet my other children’s needs at the same time.

I think what is incredibly challenging about the post partum period for many Mothers and families is the lack of dialogue and conversation about what the post partum period is like and how can we help hold up and support this Mother, baby and family.

I am thankful for my circle of family and friends that have surrounded me after every birth. Every gesture and offer of help and support is so deeply appreciated. I am still walking through my post partum journey but I know I am not alone. I have had far more days filled with sunshine than stormy ones. There always IS hope.

Resources:

http://www.postpartumprogress.com/can-you-get-postpartum-depression-after-the-first-year

https://www.anxietybc.com/parents/new-moms

http://psychcentral.com/lib/5-damaging-myths-about-postpartum-depression/

http://www.postpartum.net/learn-more/anxiety-during-pregnancy-postpartum/

Kristen Rickloff-Williams is a Certified Babywearing Educator, writer, yogi and Mother to three children. You can follow her on Instagram@Krickloff..

Ankalia respects Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and cultures. We acknowledge past, present and future Traditional Owners of the land that we work on.

DISCLAIMER

Ankalia’s online journal is written and edited by white Australian women. As such, our articles are written from our cultural standpoint.

To understand and improve our knowledge of the practice of babywearing across a varied dynamic, we may seek input from our friends and peers who identify as belonging to culturally and linguistically diverse groups, and groups who are marginalised within our society.

We aim to be insightful, meaningful and respectful of those who identify as belonging to these groups at all times. If we publish something that you feel is inappropriate or offensive, please bring it to our attention promptly. We are still learning and are mindful of our privilege.

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