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After 40 long weeks, you finally get to meet your newborn baby. You’ve been waiting for this moment for months, and you expect nothing but pure joy during those first few weeks. After all, you made this tiny, perfect, little human. How could life be anything but perfect after this?
For many women, postpartum depression becomes the norm after delivery. It’s estimated that approximately 20% of women experience some form of postpartum depression (PPD). That means out of 5 of your friends or relatives who are mothers, at least 1 of them has experienced PPD. The reality is that this estimate could be low; meaning the rate of PPD is most likely somewhat higher than 20%.
So what’s the solution? There isn’t a one-size-fits-all remedy for PPD, education is a big first step in understanding mental health issue.
As a woman who is 31 weeks pregnant, and who has struggled with depression for over 15 years, postpartum depression is definitely on my mind. My strategy at this point is to educate myself about as many aspects of PPD as possible. I feel that if I go into the postpartum period equipped with knowledge and strategies, I will be better prepared to handle the possibility of postpartum depression.
Enter Lauren Cecora, postpartum depression survivor and author of Past Partum: From Shattered to Sane. Lauren was gracious enough to let me review her brand new book about her experience with PPD. I’m beyond excited to share this review with you, so let’s dig in!
Past Partum: From Shattered to Sane Description
Lauren is a military wife and mom-boss. During her husband’s most recent deployment, she gave birth to their daughter and developed Postpartum Depression & Anxiety. Her life in a sense, shattered before her as she was drowning in maintaining her joy and happiness. Through her struggles she developed a series of actions that helped regain her sanity as a mother. Lauren shares with you five of her “Sanity Saving Tips” that will help any mama with balancing life, home, mommy-hood, a career and marriage.
So grab a glass of whatever you’re drinking, put the ear muffs on the kiddos, and get ready to get personal. Lauren holds nothing back as she reveals her heart in this personal story of her Postpartum Depression and how she overcame it.
In reading Past Partum, I felt I was hearing the experience of a friend; someone who knew that her experiences were dark, yet relatable to so many women. How could she keep quiet when she knew that her survival could mean saving another mother?
As a fellow military spouse, I empathized with Lauren’s situation. Her husband was deployed during a part of her pregnancy, birth, and first few months of her daughter’s life. I appreciated her sharing this detail, because I will experience a similar situation with my husband’s schedule. The tips she shared for managing her mental health are invaluable to me, because I know that there will be months where I am parenting on my own.
Lauren holds nothing back as she describes her experience with postpartum depression. Reading her darkest thoughts during the first months of her daughter’s life, I am filled with gratitude. I know this sounds strange, but it’s true. I am grateful that Lauren demonstrated such honesty as she penned her memoir.
We need more women to come forward and say, “I thought the same thing.” Sharing their experiences with this common enemy will move mountains towards creating postpartum resources that are available for the women who need it.
Postpartum depression is an ominous and unforgiving opponent. It makes you think, say, and do things that cause you to lose track of who you are. Lauren makes an important point in Past Partum: postpartum depression is different for every woman. Postpartum isn’t a failure to bond with your baby after delivery (although this may be a symptom). It may manifest for some as anxiety, or obsessive compulsive disorder. You may feel angry or resentful, or even despondent.
The important thing is to recognize what you are feeling is an imbalance of your emotional spectrum. And I say “spectrum” of emotions because we all live within an emotional spectrum (happy to sad to happy to angry to content to blissful to indifferent, etc.). The spectrum is normal. It’s when there is an imbalance that the spectrum requires further examination.
I also loved that Past Partum wasn’t solely focused on the darkest parts of PPD. Lauren provides what she calls Sanity Savers, or simple solutions to staying sane in the postpartum period. These Sanity Savers are simple, and can be easily implemented in any household. The best part about these Sanity Savers is that they are flexible, meaning you can adapt them to fit your unique needs and schedule.
I plan to adapt a few of Lauren’s Sanity Savers to get into an established routine before our little guy arrives. This will help with little things like keeping the house clean after he is born. And with big things like maintaining my mental health and my building up my relationship with my husband.
In conclusion, Past Partum: From Shattered to Sane is a must-read for any new or expecting parents. In all honesty, Past Partum should be recommended reading for the following:
New or expecting moms
Moms who have experienced or are currently experiencing postpartum depression
New or expectant grandparents (to recognize the signs and provide help as soon as possible)
Spouses or partners of new or expecting moms
Close friends and family members that will be providing support during the postpartum period
It cannot be emphasized enough: understanding postpartum depression and recognizing potential symptoms can go a long way in providing support and encouragement for new mothers and their families. Past Partum is one resource in this emerging mental health issue. Educate yourself. Provide kind and compassionate support for yourself during the postpartum period.
And remember: you are loved. You are beautiful. You are strength itself. Reach out for help when you need it AND when you want it.
A Special Offer
As a special thank you to Mama Brilliance readers, Lauren is offering 10% off of Past Partum: From Shattered to Sane from July 10-12, 2017. All you need to do is click this link to get the discount during that period.
Lauren also has an AMAZING Sanity Saver available for new subscribers. I recommend it regardless of if you are a parent or not. Lauren developed several Sanity Savers to help women focus on what they desire most out of life. Should you choose to work with her, you’ll talk about how you want to feel in the day to day. Together you and Lauren will find a balance that works for YOU and your family.
These Sanity Savers aren’t “one size fits all.” They’re meant for you to break down to the bigger picture so you can identify where to focus your time and energy.
You can also connect with Lauren on her Facebook page here. And in her free Facebook Group Sanity Savers Support Network. The network is a private support group for mamas who might be struggling with motherhood. Lauren shares a TON of sanity saving tips in this group.
Thanks so much to Lauren for sharing her story, and her generous discount for Mama Brilliance readers!