Lets Talk Postpartum

We’re going to talk about the dreaded “10 letter word” – postpartum. So what EXACTLY does postpartum mean? We hear it thrown around time and time again – maybe a few friends, family members, or colleagues have mentioned that they’ve suffered from “a little bit of postpartum.”

Postpartum WHAT exactly?

When we hear the word postpartum, we often associate it with depression. (Or maybe they meant postpartum hemorrhoids, or hair loss, or acne? – oh the joys of new motherhood!)

But the TRUTH is – postpartum is not a noun

From Merriam-Webster:

adjective | post-par-tum | \ˌpōs(t)-ˈpär-təm\

occurring in or being in the period following childbirth

According to this definition – literally EVERY women who gives birth has ‘postpartum’. During this period following childbirth I think it’s safe to say that most postpartum women will occasionally feel overwhelmed, exhausted and frustrated – and that’s completely NORMAL.

Being a new mom is a seriously tough change. Giving birth and becoming a mother involves the deepest transformation of the body and the mind (not to mention the changes that are bound to happen with your partner). So it’s definitely easy to see why new moms thrive best when they’re surrounded by non-judgemental support and a community that helps to lift them up. However – time and time again we hear of mothers that say they feel alone and isolated – that motherhood is lonely.

 “-that motherhood is lonely.”

Motherhood was never meant to be done alone – feeling supported through this time can impact not only the mother’s wellbeing, but mom’s connection with baby, and baby’s wellbeing overall. Approximately 15-20% of new mothers will find themselves struggling with postpartum depression – so it is definitely important to provide support and resources for those struggling. But it is equally as important to create safe spaces for women to come together and share their stories and hear other’s stories as well so they don’t feel so alone.

If you know a new mom who is struggling, reach out and listen to what she has to say. Also let’s be mindful of the way we use the word ‘postpartum,’ as depression is only one aspect of this complex experience that all moms share. The words we use to describe this sometimes tough period of time definitely influences our understanding of life after baby.

All of the practitioners at O WELLNESS are dedicated to helping moms (and babies!) through this postpartum period. There are a tonne of resources available here to take advantage of.

Coming May 13th in conjunction with Mother Nurture and Chatham-Kent Birth Services we will be offering a “what to expect – the 1st month home.” This is a great opportunity for new or expecting moms to come out and join a community of other new moms. You will get the added benefit of learning from two experienced doulas on the hormonal changes and physical healing that takes place during this postpartum period. Bring your baby or your belly to our beautifully redesigned studio and hang out for a few hours with other like-minded moms:)

call the clinic for more information 519 351 5858
or email emily at ckbirthservices@gmail.com

be on the look out for all of the amazing classes (prenatal and mom&baby yoga, stroller bootcamp) and workshops (what to expect, infant massage, & more!) that we’ll be offering at
15 Grand Ave W

Ten Tips to Help Reduce Fear of Childbirth

  1. Do not listen to the “horror” birth stories.  Ask friends, family, and strangers to refrain from sharing negative experiences.  Instead, read about positive birth stories, there’s plenty out there! (ex. Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth- there’s numerous positive birth stories inside the book)
  2. Become Educated.  Learn as much as you possibly can and make sure that it is evidence based research.  Read about the risks and benefits to different procedures, medications, and ways to birth your baby!
  3. Make sure your care provider supports the birth you have envisioned.  If they are not supportive, speak to other care providers and see if it is possible to transfer your care.
  4. Practice relaxation techniques such as meditation, deep breathing, yoga, and visualizations.  These will be vital during your labour.
  5. Create a birth plan.  Knowing your options and voicing your wishes is so important to make you feel like you are in control of your birth!
  6. Be flexible.  Although you have created a birth plan, understand that things may change and do NOT feel defeated if things do not go according to plan.  No matter how you birth your baby, you are still a rockstar and an amazing mother!
  7. Learn to trust your body.  “My body knows how to birth this baby, just as my body knew how to grow this baby”
  8.  Stay active throughout your pregnancy. Exercise increases endorphins and serotonin, which helps to reduce anxiety and pain during pregnancy and birth.  According to the American Pregnancy Association, the fitness level of an expecting mother can result in a shorter labour, fewer medical interventions, and less exhaustion during labour.  The more active you are, the less fear you should have!
  9. Surround yourself with a positive support network.  This includes your partner, your family, and your close friends.  Do not be afraid to ask them for help!
  10. Hire a doula! A doula is a compassionate and professional support person who will come alongside you and your partner to provide you with emotional, physical, and informational support during your pregnancy and birth. She can help to reduce the anxiety that can sometimes be associated with childbirth.