Its amazing how PTSD can change your Postpartum experience. But, it’s something that is finally becoming more openly talked about.
I was sitting across from a mom, talking with her about all of her fears. She had some serious concerns because a previous breastfeeding experience that she struggled with. And in THAT moment, the wheels start turning. THAT is the moment the fear and doubt kicks in.
And its not a bad thing, this is what happens when something so dramatic happens. We are fresh with hormones, we are trying to balance life, motherhood, getting ready to work outside the home. So when our past comes back to haunt us, it can flood us with self doubt, and it can almost traumatize us all over again.
We’ve started to talk about PTSD in birth, and people are understanding that it carries over into Postpartum. It can be anxiety of seeing their OBGYN, or even being around their spouse. There is also another side of Postpartum PTSD that has come to light: sometimes it happens with the perfect birth, sometimes it happens after baby comes. One of things I see as a Postpartum Doula, is that what happens during the Postpartum period can cause different forms of Anxiety, OCD, and depression. The constant worry can decrease milk supply, OCD can cause lack of sleep, or can cause you to over think things, like schedules or baby’s feeding amounts.
All of this can cause different problems for mothers. However, what can cause the most damage, is that mothers themselves may not see it, or they may even be afraid to talk about it.
Self-doubt happens, it’s a normal part of parenting. But the big thing is to not be afraid of it, and don’t discount your choices. Don’t be afraid to talk to someone, and be honest. That is the one thing that is helping my client, she is honest and open. She expressed her concerns from her past breastfeeding experience. And because she opened up about it, she was able to schedule appointments with a Lactation Consultant. It helped give her confidence, to realize that she is doing amazing, but it also addressed some struggles that she still has to overcome.
I hope this helps many mom’s understand to be open and honest.
By Christina Bein, Tina the Postpartum Doula