Talking out about Postnatal Depression-The honest version & WIN an Ubuntu Baba Baby Carrier.
I have teamed up with Shannon from Ubuntu Baba to talk about Postnatal Depression. There are so many misleading thoughts and judgments about Postnatal depression and it is often missed and a large amount of women suffer in silence. Me and Shannon both had PND, I am on medication for it. It is nothing to be embarrassed about or scared of, or tho I still get nervous when I talk about it, we have decided to create some awareness. I asked Shannon some questions about her PND and she gave me some very honest answers. I have put together a little video of me talking about my experience because I really want you to understand it and how I feel.
We are also giving you a chance to WIN an Ubuntu Baba Stage 1 baby carrier valued at R1290! This carrier can be used from newborn till 12kg (+- 14 months.). The reason why this GIVEAWAY is being paired with a PND awareness post is because I found that my Ubuntu Baba carrier really helped me immensely with managing my PND and giving me a grip on life, it literally saved my life!
I know you are all excited about the GIVEAWAY! But stick with us here, Read our post, watch my video and share it with your friends because it could actually make a massive difference is some ones life! It could save someone ..
Shannon tells us about her experience with PND….
I asked Shannon some questions that I felt really stood out for me, So here are her answers.
Q- When did you first realize you were depressed, what was it that made you realize it was depression and not just the usual every day unhappiness
A- There were many moments where I knew my feelings weren’t the kinds of feelings that I’d ever experienced before and I knew I should reach out for help, but I didn’t. I was too ashamed that I was feeling that way. Everyone expected me to just get over the birth and get on with my life so I thought that’s what I should try to do.
A distinct moment for me was when my son was around 6 months old, I remember thinking back to his birth (we had a very traumatic experience), and really believing that instead of giving me a c-section, they should have just left me to die. It sounds crazy now in hindsight, but I really believed that at the time. I thought that my son would have been better off without me because I felt like I wasn’t worthy of being his Mom and that he deserved better than me. I had so much guilt inside of me it was consuming every ounce of my being. Thankfully I’d been on a bit of a self-help journey for the past few years before that, so therapy was already my friend and I knew, on that specific day, that I needed to call my therapist.
Q-How did you tell your family or partner about it. was it difficult saying the words “I think I have PND”.
A- I hid it from a lot of my close friends and family to start with. It was my natural instinct to hide my feelings of pain away from everyone, because I thought it wasn’t normal to feel the way I felt. I eventually told my partner that I thought I should go and see someone because I just couldn’t live like that anymore and he was totally supportive of it. I was spending hours crying on the bathroom floor, seriously, like movie style, it was dramatic, and I think he was rather relieved that I had finally made the decision to help myself. It was really tough on him too to see me in that space.
On that note, when you’re pregnant you always hear a bit of chit chat about it and you perhaps come across an advert in the sidebar of your Facebook feed like “Do you have PND, take this quiz and find out…” but you don’t really take it seriously.
I mean just do a Google search on ‘post natal depression’ and see what images come up. It’s almost always a Mom covering her face, or looking away from her baby, like she doesn’t even love it, and it’s like a frowned upon disease of sorts. And that’s totally NOT what PND necessarily has to look like. I loved my baby from the second I saw his little face.
Society has engrained so many beliefs into us that it makes us petrified to admit when we feel like we could be labeled into that group of people. Plus all the other Moms on Facebook seemed to have this motherhood thing waxed, I just couldn’t understand why I was so useless at it?!
After everything I’ve been through and now being in an industry where I’m in touch with new Moms on a day to day basis, I’ve learnt that PND is actually not abnormal, in fact, it’s rather normal and it’s probably the one mental health condition where you really aren’t alone! As soon as I started opening up about how I felt to other Moms, the response I got back the most was “shame honey I know, it’s so hard, I felt exactly the same way, it really does get easier.” Like, what? Wait, WHAT? It actually made me feel bad that I didn’t know that half of my friends went through this too and they didn’t tell me. Haha, great… like I needed another thing to feel guilty about at that point!
Q-Did you seek help from a doctor or any other health professional for it? Were you on medication for it and if yes, did the medication help?
A-Yes I did, like I mentioned, therapy is my friend. I think everyone should have a monthly therapy session in this day and age, it’s so great to have someone who you can tell anything to and they don’t judge you for it. I went to see my therapist that I’d seen for other issues in the past and it was so nice to sit there with her and start to just make sense of everything. She put me on Vitamin B12 for my anxiety to begin with – I’m not sure if it really helped, but to be honest it just felt good to pop some pills every morning!
I’ve experienced the effects of what prescribed anti-depressants can do to a very depressed person in the past, and it wasn’t pretty, so I wasn’t willing to go down that road for myself. I do believe that anti-depressants are the solution in certain cases, but for where I was at the time, the past experience of them was still a little too raw and I didn’t trust myself incase the side effects were dodgy and made me worse than I already was. I also knew that the cause of my PND was related to emotional issues that I needed to address and not a hormonal imbalance which can sometimes be the case.
In the spirit of being honest, I must say that the one thing that really helped me cope with my anxiety levels, was a puff of the good old MJ. Like really. I’m not advocating that you should go out and try it now but for me, it really did the trick (just as a fun fact, it is legally prescribed for treating anxiety in certain countries). It slowed my mind down so that I could actually process my thoughts at a normal level again and it helped me to enjoy the little moments of happiness with my son that I had been missing out on beforehand. I would sit there for ages just watching him play and interact with his environment. I started to realize that it’s these little moments in life that make up our whole life in the end, and I had been missing out on so many of them because I was just engulfed in depression.
I can’t even remember the first 6 months of my son’s life. It makes me so sad saying those words, but it’s true. I’m so grateful for iPhones – if I didn’t have those photos and videos, I would literally have no memories. Our slogan for Ubuntu Baba is #toahappynow – and that’s what I base it on – discovering all your little happy moments along the way to finding yourself as a mama. Keeping Leo close to my heart through babywearing created snapshots of little happy memories along the way for me and for that I am so grateful.
Q-What do you think caused your PND , was it hormone related or do you think something else sparked it.
A-There were a number of contributing factors, but the main ones were definitely my birth experience and the idea that I had in my head of what motherhood would be like for me. I planned to breastfeed for at least 12 months and I only made it to 4 weeks and then my poor little guy spent 5 nights in the hospital being treated for dehydration. It killed me knowing that I wasn’t able to provide my baby boy with what he needed, especially when I had so much milk available, we just couldn’t get the breastfeeding thing down, but that definitely stemmed from me being extremely traumatized by my birth experience. We’ll leave that story for another day
Q-What have you learnt from your experience of PND?
A- In retrospect, it was good for me to be in that dark space and experience how rough it can really be, so that I could gain the perspective I needed to see the light and realize when I was doing okay again. It’s shaped me into the person I am today, which is not to say I’ve got it all figured it out now, I often catch myself slipping backwards, but like I said I have that perspective now, I know the darkness well enough to know that I prefer the light and if I feel myself slipping, I know that all I have to do is get out into nature and play with my kid and everything will be okay. To just let go of whatever else is happening in your world and just be present and have more ‘happy now’ moments!
It has also really helped me to build my business with compassion at the forefront. It’s so easy to judge other Moms when we haven’t been in their shoes, and the whole motherhood scene on social media can be such a bitchy place at times, so it’s really my mission to promote compassionately and do everything from a place of love.
Doing this interview has actually just reminded me of the very first post I wrote on the Ubuntu Baba blog, just over 2 years ago now, and it was entitled “how to enjoy your post natal depression” – it’s a pretty accurate description of what I was going through at the time and how I finally started to see the light again, might be a good read for any Moms reading this who are in that space at the moment.
Now That we have heard from Shannon on her experience, Watch my Video below on how PND made me feel and how I discovered and dealt with it.
GIVEAWAY!!!! HOW TO ENTER HOW IT WILL WORK AND RULES:
- I want you to Join my blogs Facebook GROUP (the group not the page) : Pretty Messy Mellon-Blog, We will have a thread open on there with this post pinned to the top of the group page where we will be discussing PND and Babywearing. I want you to take part in the discussion, even if it is just a comment on what you think of PND or your personal experience with it. The Thread is HERE.
- Everyone that comments on that thread will get assigned a number, the numbers will go into a final draw where I will use Random.org to randomly select a number and that number will be the winner.
- Please only enter if you can use the carrier, If you are pregnant or if you have a child that fits into the newborn to 12kg mark. I will be checking, seriously. I will dis qualify the winner if they turn out to not have a child.
- This giveaway is only open to South African residents as we can not ship out of South Africa.
- The giveaway will run from today 11/04/2017 till Friday the 28th of April at 9am I will close the thread and choose a winner. I am running it long to get the message about Postnatal depression spread so feel free to share this blog post. please
I hope you all enjoyed this post! Thank you to Shannon from Ubuntu Baba for speaking to me about PND and sponsoring the carrier for the giveaway! If you want to buy yourself an amazing Ubuntu Baba carrier (I recommend every mom buys one) then you can check out the website here: Ubuntu Baba