Sunday, June 17, 2012

Why am I having these crazy thoughts?

Motherhood brings an array of experiences, but who woulda thought it would make you question your sanity? No, I mean really question it!  With the hormonal changes going on right after birth, life sometimes becomes like a slow moving foreign film you can't quite read the subtitles to.

You might settle into a 'routine' but you begin to find yourself doing things like putting the ice cube tray in the cabinet....or the lotion in the fridge.  Okay, so you are sleep deprived and those things can happen.  But what about really weird doomsday thoughts, those thoughts you don't talk about with your husband or partner?

So much press is given to postpartum depression.  We have all heard the term, seen the stories, and are somewhat familiar with the condition.  Most of us do not want to be 'HER' - the mom with postpartum depression!  This is the thing: we are all 'HER.'  Your babymoon is a tumultuous time for your hormones, body, and psyche.  This is a huge adjustment you are going through, not to mention you are suddenly responsible for keeping another human being alive! New Moms are unable to see and understand their own needs because they have just arrived on unstable ground.  This is new territory for women in our culture. We are strong, confident, & have ourselves and our family (mostly) together - at least we thought we did.

Babymoon anxiety is not always a super extreme situation. It often goes unmentioned because it is not EXTREME.  Do you hear women talking or writing about their weird thoughts?  The question becomes what do you do when things become unmanageable in your head?  How do you reach out without being dismissed and judged.

Babymoon anxiety can be a natural and transitional response to birth for women. "Experts" say 15 - 20% of women experience more significant expressions of anxiety and depression; that is 80% that may still experience anxiety after birth, just not 'significant.'  When it's you and you are experiencing unusual responses to stress and the now unfamiliar world - it feels significant.

Some ways women experience anxiety after birth are mildly obsessive thoughts and fears for everyone's safety.  Due to our culture and media influence many of the themes we see in new mommas are sourced from those influences.  Break-ins might be more on the forefront of your thoughts, or kidnapping, getting locked in or out of the car/house.  All of these can be seen as instinctual  responses to birth - imagine a tiger with her cubs.  She would constantly be on the look out for predators, trying to stay one step ahead of them.
Same response.

Wow glad to hear this happens to other new mommas?  Find others to connect with. Be brave. Talk to your healthcare provider about it.  Find nutritional support.

Here are a couple of suggestions from mommas:
Other resources in Austin, Texas: