There are moments in postpartum where we will feel scared, helpless and defeated. As mothers - we are never alone in experiencing these types of feelings and can be there for each other in community and collective understanding that yes - these days are overwhelming and they are hard but we can make changes to help us through them and it is up to each of us voice our need for support.
It can be easy to throw around the word 'community' and I want to acknowledge that community is a coming together of people that looks different for each of us. Your community should provide you with a felt sense of safety, a space of nonjudgmental conversation and serve as your personal, foundational source of refuge. I became proactive during my pregnancy at building a community I could trust and feel safe to call in and lean on. Friends, family, care providers...it takes work to find your people but you are essentially investing time and energy into a support network that will ensure you are well cared for and who will be able to validate your transition into motherhood.
Without this community, my postpartum recovery would have felt and looked a lot different - the difficult days would have been harder and my mental and emotional health would not have been as sound.
Preparation for our immediate postpartum period (a reminder that as mothers, we forever continue living in a postpartum state) should be just as important during our time of pregnancy as any prenatal class (if not even more important). Once we arrive in those first few weeks of the newborn world - it can be very hard to find the energy, the time and the capacity to reach out for the help we need. And the first step is understanding what type of help we might need before our acceptance of it and actions to seek it.
There is such a stigma around postpartum mental health and most mothers don't feel they are deserving of asking for and receiving support. There is that underlying fear that the help we are in need of may be too much to ask of someone or that we may be creating a burden. We are in such a raw and vulnerable time of our lives that this can feel like a huge conversation to have because normally, talking about how we are feeling and what we may need can bring a lot of emotions to the surface and that can be something that is understandably, too scary for most of us to face during a time that is completely devoted to our newborns. So, in a sense it's 'easier' for us as new mothers to put off seeking help and to just hope that the feelings, emotions, tough days will pass.
We need to understand that our body holds on to so much and unless addressed, we will continue to carry with us in our bodily tissues, in our bones, our experiences and our suppressed emotions. Our body does keep the score and has a powerful way of ultimately manifesting what it needs to release from within, doing so through symptoms of dis-ease and illness (mental or physical).
We cannot cheat our way into thinking that we are healed from any impactful life experience by ignoring it in hopes that it will be forgotten. We cannot recover from the miracle of birth without having the opportunity to talk through its process, find understanding and closure and ultimately by doing so - support our body in releasing it so as we can move forward as mothers.
Sometimes we may only need to have one conversation. But more often than not it is likely that conversation is missed.
Healing is a process not a procedure that continues to create regenerative healing every time we bring presence and active awareness to it.
I hold this space, while sharing professional guidance to help you to find a compassionate sense of closure for your unique, lived journey of birth and postpartum.