A needed reminder

As with my last pregnancy I’ve switched from Pilates to prenatal yoga at 30-weeks.  It was getting harder to heave my legs over my head for Pilates and there is something very balancing about yoga that I find comforting at this stage of pregnancy.  The teachers at the studio I go to are also amazing (many are doula’s) so the yoga classes are filled with helpful topics, birthing tips (which came in handy for Syd’s delivery) and more each week.

This week our topic focused on postpartum depression; something which I didn’t admit to having, but looking back probably had with Syd (or at least had a case of the ‘baby blues’ which is also common).  She reminded us that after birth our first priority is ourselves and our baby.  We need to sleep and feed; and leave everything else to everyone else.

I’m the first to admit I didn’t do this well with Syd.  In between our horrible feeding sessions I was doing laundry, washing dishes, changing diapers, washing pump parts getting ready for the next feed.  I felt bad asking Royce and others for help with things so that I could go rest.  I felt like a nag telling people to do things that I could see needed to be done and I could just do myself.  Eventually it all just started to build up and then after 3 weeks; I hit rock bottom and it was hard to dig myself out.

Needless to say I learned from that.  This time around we are hiring a mothers helper to mainly help out with Syd, but to also help with other things around the house.  And thanks to last nights class I’m mentally creating a list to make for the helper (and for people who visit).  This list will be posted so that they can remind themselves (so I don’t have to) of what they can do to help…or if they see me doing these things on the list to tell me to stop and go lay down. It won’t be a glamorous list, but it is a needed list, since last time I found telling people what to do mentally exhausting.

As my teacher said last night the last thing you need help with is holding the baby (which is what most people want to help with).  She reminded us that Mama’s should be holding the baby; it helps release oxytocin which helps prevent PPD and the only times you shouldn’t be holding baby are when you are showering or sleeping.

Got it, noted!  I’m thankful for the much-needed reminder.  I hope to be better about this, I hope I can get past my hesitation to ask people to help doing the mindless tasks I could do, but shouldn’t be doing, in order to hopefully avoid what I (and Royce who had to deal with me) went through the first time around.

Comments

  1. A mother’s helper will be great. Yes, you can’t take care of anyone else if you don’t take good care of yourself 🙂

  2. Excellent plan! Sometimes I feel like we fail to give enough credit to whole experience – the physical toll – that childbirth entails. Care for Mom afterwards, in addition to babe, is so important. Too often I feel that the message we’re given is that having a child is so special in an emotional sense – indeed it is – but there is lack of recognition that it is also this incredible physical experience. Life simply does not return right back to normal afterwards – nor should we expect it. I’m so happy for you that you are planning ahead like this to enable yourself to enjoy, even to be amazed by the event and by baby – and to heal/recover/rest as one should be allowed to afterwards. I love the list you’re making for visitors – ask them all to bring food, too! I started telling people to bring cookies, any kind of cookie….

    • I couldn’t agree with you more Leslie! Everyone wants to help take care of baby but most ignore Mom…she is strong and independent enough to take care of herself right??? ; ) Thankfully I’ve got a great group of ladies here in my neighborhood that will deliver us meals for about a month or two (if I go every other day). It was SO helpful with Sydney. I just had epic failure with the rest of the “heal/recover/rest” process that I didn’t allow myself.

      I hope the list allows me to feel less nag-ish. I know that many ‘wanted’ to help but didn’t know what to do to help and after a certain point you just get tired of being dictator and want someone to tell YOU what to do instead of the other way around. There will also be a rule that over-night guests will not sleep for 8 (or more) consecutive hours at night unless of course Mama and Dada are sleeping for that long too. : D

  3. I’m glad you’re getting help. When Naomi was born my parents stayed for a week to help with Jake and help him transition and of course Satoko was there helping with Jake, the laundry, cooking, etc. I remember feeling that my adjustment and recovery with Naomi was 10 times easier than with Jake. (I’m sure VBAC v. C-section had something to do with that, but the level of help was a huge factor too).

    I was never very good at the stay-in-bed-all-day-with-the-baby thing though. It was May an it was gorgeous, so we were lugging her around everywhere from the time she was 3 days old. Good thing she’s always been mellow!

    I hope all the help you’ll have (and not being cooped up in the house all day long) make this experience 10 times easier for you!

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