What a week!
Ashley has been busy copy and pasting, validating things and pressing submit to all the platforms for this podcast. We are now available on Spotify, Stitcher and Itunes! All this while she’s finishing up her degree!! Officially she is done. She has submitted the last assignment and completed her final exam! Yahooooo!! I honestly have no idea how she managed all this while I am barely able to make it through a workout class with my son. But, she did and that’s all that matters!!
This week we talk about post-partum and antenatal depression. This is basically, depression that occurs during pregnancy (antenatal) or after birth (post-partum). As a new mom, this is often a hard topic to speak about since everyone is so excited for you and there is so much pressure to do this job well. Depression during and after pregnancy can evoke a lot of really difficult feelings. Sometimes women feel shame, embarrassment and even resentment and anger. These kinds of feelings can be especially confusing during a time that is supposed to be ‘they best time of your life’. (queue countless nights of zero sleep). Ashley gets real about her own experiences and what was unhelpful and helpful for her. Ashley counts herself lucky finding friends that could empathize and normalize the way she was feeling and what she was going through.
We talk about some of the barriers to attending community CBT postpartum groups. Evidence suggests that participating in a CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) can be really helpful in treating symptoms of post-partum depression and anxiety. While this is true we want to address all the barriers that occur in real life that often prevent women from accessing these programs. How do people manage to get there on time with a newborn? What about those without personal transportation? What if you haven’t had more than 3 hours of sleep in 2 months?
While we recognize the value in these programs we found they were not accessible. These programs are funded by the government and had to be delivered in a format that was often unhelpful. Instead of attending those programs Ashley and I found ourselves attending free community mom and baby groups. This is where we were able to connect with other moms and their children. We want to highlight that this is what worked for US. We are not saying this is what will or should work for everyone. We always advocate to follow the advice of your health practitioner.
This episode isn’t about answers but all about actual personal experiences. Pregnancy and parenthood is a blessing for sure, but it doesn’t always feel that way. Building the community you need is how we managed to make it through the first year (and leap 2) not only alive but thriving with some great new friends who we love and cherish.