by Jennifer Parmelee
It is not uncommon to experience depression after having a child. Everything changes and your baby demands all of your energy. This experience can make one feel alone, scared, vulnerable, angry, and wishing to turn back the hands of time and be the person they were before the bundle of joy arrived.
One of the most important things that anyone can do for themselves is to make sure that their nutrition is clean (organic when possible), green, and filled with vibrant supplements to create balance in the mental, emotional, and physical body. It would be great to work with a naturopath and a nutritionist on this to help create the most supportive fuel for your being. There is so much energy that is expended with a newborn, and if you do not eat the right foods you will not have the energy to deal. Drinking herbal teas are also imperative. Nettle is one of my favorites for removing toxins and supporting the body. Flooding the body with purified H2O also helps to remove impurities that may keep our energy levels low. Try drinking water with a pH level of 8.0 or higher.
Find a meditation practice and practice it in the morning when you first wake, and at night before sleep. The quickest way to get your reserves back is to allow yourself to receive during meditation. Visualize a golden beam of light shining down upon you, piercing through the top of your head and flooding the interior of your being. Feel yourself filled to capacity, and then let the light bubble over and cascade down the exterior of your being. Sit in this healing, golden, bubble and allow yourself to raise the vibration of your being, while you feel the golden light dissolving any darkness or sadness.
It is vitally important to find someone you can share your feelings with. We all get so wound up thinking about work, family, finances, and every other subject on a daily basis, and once baby comes along the emotions that surround these subjects only get exaggerated. If you do not care to hire a therapist then it would benefit you to hire a doula and share your story. Doulas are great listeners for both mothers and fathers, and they can really help parents to navigate through many of the obstacles that come with a newborn. Journaling is also a great remedy for dealing with depression after baby, but you must make it consistent in order for it to help shift your energy.
Make a commitment to be in your body! Your emotions live in your body and if you sit on a couch and watch TV, wishing depression away, chances are not much will change. Walk daily, take up yoga, get massage, and honor your new self by moving your body.
Finally, and most importantly, have patience and compassion with your new role. Allow yourself to cry and mourn the old you. Feel your emotions. If you treat yourself well you will feel better… guaranteed!
About the Author: Jennifer Parmelee has been a devoted practitioner and teacher of yoga for over 25 years and works as part of the Live Well / Stay Well Program at Tournesol Wellness. She is a Certified Dona Doula, Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator, Certified Lactation Counselor, Calm Birth Teacher Trainer, Certified Farm Midwifery Assistant, and Mother. She is the author of Petal by Petal – The Flowering Self: A Healing Chakra Journey, and created the Yoga CD, Sit Within Yourself: A Healing Chakra Guided Meditation. She teaches and attends births in New York City, while facilitating yoga teacher trainings and providing pre-natal, restorative, and chakra-gemstone healing workshops nationally.