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Pregnancy

"I had the Postpartum"

"I had the Postpartum"

In the United States, I have found that we have a big secret. Everyone tells pregnant women what to expect during pregnancy, what they think the birth will be like, and maybe even how to care for a newborn. What we DON'T talk about so much is what physical and emotional changes a new parent may experience. So I'm going to talk about it here!

"Postpartum"

When I say "postpartum" what most people think of is the myriad of mood disorders that may be present during the postpartum period, such as postpartum depression, postpartum anxiety, the baby blues, and postpartum psychosis. The word "postpartum" literally means "after birth" and describes the first 6 or so weeks after a baby is born. So a woman can be "postpartum" and not have a postpartum mood disorder. They're two separate terms.

I'm not going to presume to tell someone what they will experience after the birth of a baby, but I do want to bring awareness to the very wide variety of emotional and physical responses that are possible. Here are some words women I know have used to describe how they felt during their first 6 weeks after having their babies:

Raw, vulnerable, leaky

On edge, soggy, sleepy, in awe

Mighty - for delivering naturally. I was on a high!

Dazed. Sleep deprived.

Alone, isolated, exhausted, invisible

Happy but fatigued. Swollen. Uncomfortable and uneasy. Unorganized.

Consumed

Exhausted, overwhelmed, underprepared

In love, happy, engorged, like a mammal, beastly, like I can conquer all.

Depression, defeat, migraines, withdrawn, alone

Exhausted, invincible, overwhelmed, grateful

Elated, powerful, proud, exposed, dependent, naive, and wild (I had extreme and mixed emotional responses)

Dreamland (I'm a mom???), scared, sad, exhausted, worried about everything

Overwhelmed, elated, alone, disappointed (not in my child), amazed, in love, chaotic, drowning, handicapped, helpless, primal. Tons of conflict in my mind and heart and extreme feelings working against one another.

Strong, in love, exhausted, emotional

As you can see, there are some words that pop up frequently (exhausted, much?) but there are also some very diverse descriptions there! There's no right or wrong way to experience these first few weeks. It's a losing game to compare yourself with any other model you see - tv shows, celebrities, or even your family and friends! Some women are packing up their babies and going to the park within the first week, and some don't put real clothes on and leave the house for a solid month or more. It's important to do what feels right for you and your family.

Ask your postpartum doula for local resources for new parents. This might include feeding support groups, meal services, play groups, counselors, massage therapists, cleaning services, placenta encapsulation specialists, etc. If you are concerned about your mental health, or if the feelings of sadness and weepiness do not get better little by little, contact a mental health care professional who specializes in postpartum care. And pass along your experiences so postpartum won't be a secret anymore!

FAQ Series Part 3: Is Hypnosis Compatible with my Faith?

FAQ Series Part 3: Is Hypnosis Compatible with my Faith?

One of the main issues I had to work through when I began my journey to becoming a Hypnobabies instructor was whether or not my faith allowed for the use of hypnosis. I had been told all my life that hypnosis was an invitation for evil spirits to take over one's mind.

However, once I began to understand what hypnosis really is - and isn't - and I studied what the scriptures actually say about it, it became clear to me that hypnosis is a wonderful tool that works beautifully with my faith.

My personal faith encourages me to constantly purify my thoughts. Hypnosis is one way to do this intentionally. My faith also urges me to "fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise." (source). Again, I can do all of these intently and resolutely through self-hypnosis.

I find that most of the resistance to hypnosis stems from a misunderstanding of what hypnosis actually is. Hypnosis is NOT handing over control of one's mind to someone else. Hypnosis IS using a relaxed state of mind and body (such as what one experiences daily through activities like falling asleep, driving a car, praying, and watching television) to affect positive and purposeful change in one's belief system, leading to positive outcomes. 

Hypnosis is very similar to meditation, and most religions recognize and promote the practice of meditation - without reservation. If someone feels that their faith prohibits hypnosis, he or she should never watch tv, listen to the radio, read books, pray, daydream, or meditate, because these activities all induce an "altered" state of mind, which is actually measurable through EEG machines.

In Hypnobabies, we learn to recognize and release the negative beliefs we have about childbirth, then replace those beliefs with more positive ones. This leads to a more enjoyable pregnancy and birth, and has even been life-changing for some students! Contact me at amy@batonrougebirth.com or (225) 364-9180 if you have more questions about how Hypnobabies can work with your faith!

FAQ Series Part 1: When Should I Take Hypnobabies?

FAQ Series Part 2: Does my Partner Need to Come to Class?

FAQ Series Part 4: Can Hypnobabies Help me with Anxiety?

FAQ Series Part 1: When Should I take Hypnobabies?

FAQ Series Part 1: When Should I take Hypnobabies?

I often get asked what is the ideal time to take our group Hypnobabies classes. Ideally, the 6 week class series should be finished by the 36th week of pregnancy, but there's really no such thing as taking the class "too early." I've had students register for class as soon as they got a positive pregnancy test! It just means they get more time to practice and enjoy the relaxing hypnosis tracks, which can make for a more comfortable pregnancy as well as birthing.

For those who register for Hypnobabies after July 21, 2016, our group class price will be increasing. We have three upcoming class series currently open for enrollment, perfect for babies due this fall or winter:

July 28 - September 1

September 8 - October 13

October 20 - December 1

With Hypnobabies, as soon as you register and submit the class deposit, you get to start enjoying some of the tracks right away while you wait for your class series to begin. Reserve your space now, and lock in your price before it increases!

 

FAQ Series Part 2: Does My Partner Need to Come to Class?

FAQ Series Part 3: Is Hypnosis Compatible with my Faith?

FAQ Series Part 4: Can Hypnobabies Help me with Anxiety?

10 Things to Do When You've Passed Your Due Date

10 Things to Do When You've Passed Your Due Date

  1. Breakfast pizza in bed
  2. Lunch pizza. Also in bed.
  3. Stare at the ceiling and cry
  4. Look deep inside yourself for the determination to get out of bed and dressed
  5. Cry again because none of your “maternity” clothes fit your gloriously large belly
  6. Decide that now would be a great time to rearrange all of the books on your bookshelves by color. Everyone needs a little rainbow in their lives.
  7. Get out of breath just looking at the bookshelves 
  8. Have a popsicle instead
  9. Gilmore girls marathon. Gotta get ready for the revival episodes!
  10. Text your doula, who will tell you exactly what you need to hear to make it through these last few days before your baby is born!

Have you hired your doula yet? It’s never too early or late!