Sometimes parenting doesn’t turn out the way we planned. We may envision our birth plan unfolding perfectly, followed by days, weeks, months or years of complete happiness as we watch our children grow. But reality can look much different. What happens when our expectations aren’t fulfilled? How can that lead to depression and fears of failure as a new mother?
Delayed Postpartum Depression: Expectations
Please be advised, this transcription was performed by a company independent of New Mommy Media, LLC. As such, translation was required which may alter the accuracy of the transcription.
KRISTEN STRATTON: Before your baby arrives, you envision what kind of parent you would like to be. When your baby is born, you may struggle with the fact that your reality with the baby is not what you thought. Today, we’re continuing our series on delayed postpartum depression by focusing on expectations, how we create them and how to manage them. This is Newbies.
KRISTEN STRATTON: Welcome to Newbies. Newbies is your online on the go support group, guiding new mothers through their baby’s first year. I'm your host, Kristen Stratton, Certified Birth Doula, Postpartum Doula and Owner of In Due Season Doula Services. If you haven’t already, please visit our website at www.newmommymedia.com and subscribe to our weekly newsletter. We’ll send you updates every time a new episode is released. You can also subscribe to our show through iTunes. And while you’re there, please leave us an iTunes review so other parents can find us. Here is Sunny with details on how you can get involved with Newbies.
SUNNY GAULT: All right, so we’re always looking for new moms and even dads. We don’t want to leave out the dads. If you want to get involved with Newbies, there are lots of ways to do so but we would love to have you guys on the show. We know that you guys are listening to us week after week. I love every month when I'm able to log on and see that our download numbers are going up and up which is awesome.
So we want you to be part of the show. The best way to do that is to find out about our tapings. If you go on our website at www.newmommymedia.com, you can basically if you go to a section that’s just focused on parents on how you guys can get involved, there’s an online application that you fill out and we have you do that just to learn a little bit more about you so we can reach out to you if there are topics that might be a good fit for you.
You can also reach out to us. So the best way to do that is exactly on that same page I was just telling you about with that online application form. There’s a link to our Facebook group and that is where we post all of our topics and times, the dates, everything you would need to know about our tapings. And you’ll get an email every time we’re planning a new taping. It’ll list out all of our topics and the different times that we’re going to be recording. And then, it’s super easy to join the conversation.
You basically just need your computer, a strong internet connection and the Google Chrome browser. If you got those things and you're interested in participating, then you can be part of our show. So reach out to us. Let us know you’re interested and we’ll get you involved.
KRISTEN STRATTON: All right. Let’s meet our mammas joining our conversation today. Priya, tell us a little bit about yourself and your family and your experience with today’s topic.
PRIYA NEMBHARD: Sure. So my name is Priya Nembhard. I am co-founder of MomsPumpHere. It’s on an app, moms can download for free to find places to breastfeed and breast pump around the world. I'm a mom of three. I'm happily married. I live in New York and I wanted to be a part of today’s discussion because I actually experience this with my daughter. She’s my second child and she was born back in 2004 right before I got married and it was really, really tough for me.
I had her, I went on a really like extreme diet for two months to lose weight to fit into the dress and then I got married in June and you know, I felt like I was angry all the time after I had her. It is funny because, before this podcast, I was with my husband, he’s like, oh yeah, I remember that.
So I went through a lot of ups and downs both with the pregnancy, my expectations when she was born and then you know, afterward, it was just constantly being upset and angry ups and downs and I thought this is a great topic to be part of today because of my experience with her.
KRISTEN STRATTON: Well, it’s great to have you and Nina?
NINA: I'm from North Carolina. I have a little boy that’s four and a half. I have an infant toddler family specialist that work with children and their families and I go all over where I am in Greensboro and help them in their homes. I had severe postpartum depression and anxiety that was diagnosed when my child was about seven months. And it took about two years honestly to really get on this upward journey. It’s still a journey but I'm so excited that we’re talking about expectations today because I think that that had so much to do with what happens with me and postpartum is I had an emergency C-section and that was not part of the plan and then I couldn’t breastfeed and that was definitely not part of the plan. So I'm glad that we’re talking about expectations today.
KRISTEN STRATTON: Well, thank you so much for coming on the show.
SUNNY GAULT: All right, so before we start our discussion today, we’re going to take a nice little break and talk about an app and hopefully, this app is going to calm all of you and so we start this conversation. It’s actually called Calm. So if it doesn’t calm you, there’s a problem, right? This is actually available on iTunes and Android, I believe Android as well. And so it’s called Calm. It’s brought to you by www.calm.com. There’s a theme here. it helps you meditate, relax, breathe and enjoy life a little bit more which I think we can all use as new moms in everything that we’re going through whether or not you're specifically suffering from some sort of postpartum stress, in you know, mental health condition. I think that all of us can benefit from this.
So the way it works, you download it obviously and the idea is, first of all, it’s very, very suiting. When you first open the app, you hear these calming sounds that I think the default is to take you to this like beach scene and you hear the waves and it’s just very, very relaxing and so, in fact here are the waves and if you guys can hear it. And I'm enjoying that beautiful beach scene right now.
So yeah, so I have the app open now. And the idea is just you can go through a guided meditation or you can just kind of have the sound effects and the scene, whatever scene. You could choose different backgrounds to be able to … Whatever your preference is. There’s a beach. There are clouds. There’s a fireplace, planet earth, summer meadow, foggy, stream, whatever you want, right? The idea is just to take some time and I think there’s a bunch of different times that you could do. Like there’s a three-minute meditation, seven-minute, 10, 15.
And it just kind of guides you through stuff if that’s what you would like. So there’s a free version which is what I downloaded today but there are subscriptions as well and I believe you know, it’s another scenery that you can download. There are other guided meditations that are perhaps a little bit more in depth. And you can purchase either monthly subscription or yearly subscription but again, there is a free version.
If you want to test it out, just kind to see if it works for you. You can also track some stuff within this as well. So anyway, I think this is something, you know, I'm not a very good meditator and I feel like I just don’t have any time to meditate but I do kind of want to try this because I’ve heard one of the awful things about mediation and I feel like it could be a really good thing to start my day off with.
So I just wanted to ask you guys what you think. So Kristen, let’s start with you. What do you think of this app?
KRISTEN STRATTON: Well, not only am I downloading it but my husband is because I obviously have chaos throughout my day. I work from home. I have three kids including a special needs child. My day is just chaos, right? And then so when I'm at the end of the day and I'm like, you know, at the height of my stress and my exhaustion is at its peak and then he’s coming home to that after he’s had a long day. He’s sat in traffic for two hours I think. I think we both need it.
So I'm going to download it on my phone and give it a go. And you know, do that for him as well. Maybe he didn't tune on the way home so that when we reconnect at the end of the day, it’s more peaceful for everybody. So we’ll see. We’ll let you know, how it goes.
SUNNY GAULT: All right, all right, looking forward to that. And Priya, I know you know apps. You have you own apps, so what do you think?
PRIYA NEMBHARD: Well, I just downloaded it and I'm excited to actually try it out because you know, I’ve been trying to meditate for a long time as an entrepreneur. I work 24/7 you know.
SUNNY GAULT: Right.
PRIYA NEMBHARD: I'm always, you know, my mind is always going in and I actually tried an hour ago, hour, a couple days ago but my plan was to do it every day it didn’t happen. So maybe this will help out a little bit, but I like the feature so far. It looks very easy to use and it’s great interface.
SUNNY GAULT: Yeah. It’s very calming. Nina, what do you think?
NINA: I really love the idea of meditating but my mind just wonders and wonders, so I enjoy guided meditation. When I was really, really stressed, it was actually hard for me to do it because it was hard for me to like calm my body and my mind down enough. So I had it out. I was actually trying to find it. It was very similar to this. This one looks a hundred times better than what I had but it helping me because I would focus on listening to the guided medication in say just the sounds and that would help calm me. So I like this app.
SUNNY GAULT: Yeah, I think it’d put together really nicely. The images are beautiful. And you know, I'm with you Nina. I don’t know that I could just meditate by myself that’s why I really like this idea, the guided meditation because I really don’t know what to do. I would start thinking about my grocery list. There’s something like that, right?
PRIYA NEMBHARD: Yeah.
SUNNY GAULT: And so, yeah, the guided meditation is I think is something that could definitely take advantage of. So yeah, so we’ll include a link on our website to this and promote it a little bit so you guys could check it out if you want. It is free initially and then if you want to continue using the service and download some of the other sceneries and stuff like that. The month to month is $9.99 or you can pay a year in advance and it’s $39.99.
KRISTEN STRATTON: Newbies is proud to partner with the Postpartum Health Alliance for our new series focusing on delayed postpartum depression. Our expert is Gretchen Mallios, Licensed Clinical Social Worker, and board president of the Postpartum Health Alliance. Thank you for joining us Gretchen and welcome to the show.
GRETCHEN MALLIOS: Thank you so much for having me. I'm so thrilled that we’re going to have this conversation today.
KRISTEN STRATTON: It’s always nice to have you on here. You are such a good information.
GRETCHEN MALLIOS: Oh, thank you.
KRISTEN STRATTON: Well, Gretchen, can you please explain why our expectations surrounding our postpartum time could be related to postpartum depression?
GRETCHEN MALLIOS: Yeah, absolutely, and then actually I was so excited for us to then move the conversation to our guess panelist too because they already have some great comments and thoughts around. There are insights in those experience but in my view, so I work in a practice and I see and work with a lot of pregnant and postpartum parents and what I come to notice over time is that one is the is as you guys have already shared on the last episode, postpartum depression and anxiety is extremely common and many moms aren’t talking about it.
Then, when you add on, when we start to look at well, how do expectations play a role. I think the reason for that is that we have this kind of unspoken idea. Sometimes, it’s spoken but a lot of times, the deeper layers of our expectations of ourselves as parent aren’t really spoken about or known to us, and we can really only have a conversation with ourselves or our partner about something if we’re aware of it.
And so, when we head into parenthood, we look at the expectations of sort of well, which crib are we going to buy? Where is the baby going to sleep? What’s my work schedule going to be? We look at these very external kinds of expectations but there’s a whole internal experience that we can even know we’re going to have, and yet, it plays a role on our satisfaction and so, unidentified expectations when they’re not met because nothing turns out as we expected to be, can really undermine a person’s sense of self. I mean, how many times have you heard parents, say, oh, that birth went exactly as I plan, right? Or never, never, body training has just been right on schedule, right?
KRISTEN STRATTON: Except like on Facebook, you know, on social media. And it’s like everything is perfect for everybody except you.
GRETCHEN MALLIOS: Exactly, exactly, and that truly is, I mean, I hate to say it. I don’t want to be too negative. It’s fiction. So, expectations play a role in that. We have an idea of ourselves before we’ve even stepped into the role, and then, of course, we’re not going to meet that expectation and that can really undermine someone sense of self, sense of confidence, their orientation to the whole experience.
KRISTEN STRATTON: And how do you think most women develop their idea of what parenting is going to look like?
GRETCHEN MALLIOS: Well, I think what I find is that most women have their ideas of what their parenthood will look like through their own experiences when they were growing up, through their family formation. Maybe they have siblings or aunts or uncles or cousins that are having, families or maybe have close friends or relatives that are already raising children.
So I think initially, we sort of form our ideas of what kind of parent we’re going to be either to be in alignment with what we’ve experienced to what we’re seeing or actually in contrast to what we’ve experienced or what we’re seeing. And so, if a parent grew up in that family with a certain approach discipline or food or lifestyle, people either choose that or orient away from that, and that’s often fairly known to people.
I'm going to parent like my mom or I'm not going to parent like my mom. That’s often fairly known to people but what also plays a huge role and we all know this and I think we want to keep talking about this, is that social media, in social media, and the general media, magazine covers, photos glossies, those all really play a heavy role in how we see ourselves as what we’re supposed to be.
KRISTEN STRATTON: Right. Do you think these are conversations that parents are having with each other before their baby comes?
GRETCHEN MALLIOS: I think many parents do talk about their expectations or some part of expectations with one another in advance but like I said before, we can only talk about what we’re aware of. We’re often very aware of the external and then material. Actually, I think that reviewed, the app is a great example. So it’s really, our minds have a much easier time working with something concrete like a grocery list rather than something very un-concrete and sort of inaccessible like an open mind, right? A sort of a calm mind, that’s a concept. That’s a state. That’s not a thing.
So, I think parents talk about the expectation of parenthood together through the very concrete of like, what will our job schedule be, what will our childcare sharing be, would the baby sleep in our room or the other room.
I don’t think they often know especially before their first time parenting, the sort of the inner world and inner identity formation that’s going to come along, and so since they’re not aware of that and they don’t know that that’s going to come on mind, they don’t talk about that as an expectation. You know, what I'm I going to do when I struggle with the conflict between my daughter’s temperament and me. They don’t know that’s going to happen.
KRISTEN STRATTON: No, not at all.
GRETCHEN MALLIOS: So I think they talk about the expectations that they can tangibly see but it’s not possible to talk about the once they can’t foresee unless they’re going to like a guided parent preparation group or workshop to help them start to look at those things.
KRISTEN STRATTON: Right, ask the tough questions, yeah.
GRETCHEN MALLIOS: Yeah, yeah.
KRISTEN STRATTON: And to our parents, before your baby was born, what kind of parent did you envision yourself as?
NINA: I have always loved kids. I was a teacher. I think I just thought oh, I got this. You know, I got to get a crib and I’ve got just exactly what you were saying like all these external preparations and I’ve really just was completely naïve and didn’t have any idea of what was about to happen, and I think like even when people would talk about sleep deprivation and things like you know, emergency C-sections or not being able to breastfeed, I just didn’t want to hear that. I don’t think because I thought oh, when that will happen to me, I’ve got this. Well, I didn’t have that. It was completely different than what I thought it would be and starting with
Starting with them, C-section all the way into the reality of just being a mom, it was not easy and I was not the mom that I wanted to be. That’s was really hard.
PRIYA NEMBHARD: Yeah, so for me, you know, I spoke about my daughter before but my expectation, so I have three children, my oldest son is he is now going to be turning 14 this year but before he was born, you know, you read all the books. You’re getting a lot of advice from people. Everything is so beautiful and great, but during pregnancy with him, I found out that he had a kidney deformity. It’s called hydronephrosis. And he had to have surgery eight months after he was born, and he was on amoxicillin for the whole year. So I had spent a lot of time wondering what was going to happen and then when he was born, all those expectations of course completely went out the door.
And I had to not deal with the child that could possibly extremely sick you know, from this kidney issue that he had but you know, once the surgery was over and he was healing. His immune system will still suffer from the amoxicillin but he healed pretty well. So you know, all that experience from him is really traumatized me.
So when I had my daughter, she actually had traces of the hydronephrosis in her kidney and in utero. You know, I kind of felt like you know, sometimes medicine, it was too much. Yeah, on top of you know, planning the wedding and they thought that she might have down syndrome because of extra water and then they found something with our heart and I came home after finding out all of this. And it was 18 months. I had Jaden and then I got pregnant with Eva. And I had Eva 18 months back to back pretty much.
So it was extremely stressful. You know, I came home and I was crying and saw me at the top of the stairs. Like, you know, all these expectations I had about being a mom and being pregnant and then how beautiful these pregnancies were supposed to be. And now I'm dealing with these life or death situations like, you know, what’s going to happen to my child. How are they going to grow up?
Now, I might have a special needs child on my hands. And then the doctor is telling men when I was six months, you know, we get that needle injection. I forgot the name of it, but they’re like okay, we need to find out. There’s a risk that you might lose the baby. We got the needle. And if we find out that the baby really has down syndrome, you can abort at six months. I'm like, are you crazy? I'm not doing that now.
And I had faith that she should turn out okay. And there’s a poem for children with down syndrome. I don’t know if you guys haven’t heard of it like you expect to land in Italy but instead, you land in Holland. And that whole time, you know, it’s the same thing with the expectation. You expect Italy, but there’s a chance you might land in Holland but you know, she came up perfect. I stock to my guns. I was faithful during the whole time like it should be fine. And she came out perfect, but then, there was all that stress coupled over the last couple of years and that wedding. It was just…
KRISTEN STRATTON: Wow.
PRIYA NEMBHARD: Yeah, so going back to answer question. You know, my expectations how I envision myself was completely different from what I had to experience at the end of the day.
KRISTEN STRATTON: And Gretchen, can you explain the difference between over and cover expectations we may have ourselves and our partners?
GRETCHEN MALLIOS: Yeah, that’s such an important and nuanced question. I really appreciate that because like I was saying earlier, we have a much easier time creating expectations around the concrete, our method of feeding or where we’re going to have our baby. Where we’re going to sleep, etcetera, but as I said, you know, we don’t know how parenting is going to test our identity and our emotional experience until it actually happens.
So, for instance, I work with many parents who eventually become very committed and active and promoting your child sense of security. So after the baby is here and as the baby starts to kind of move into that five, six, eight month old, one year old, they start to be really focused particularly for moms on whether or not they’re child is feeling secure in the world, whether or not they’re feeling validated and heard and listen to. And I think without getting too political, I think there’s a real reason that moms go through this and I think it has to do with the way women are raised and treated in our society between the mother and the father.
There’s a far greater likelihood that the mother is going to be concerned about problems of not being heard or validated, right? Women are much more likely to have had experience as it being silence or invalidated than men. So here is this covered or unconscious experience that no woman would’ve anticipated it until she has a baby in the world and starts looking at every one of her transactions with the baby. Did I make that baby feel secure and connected because he knows I love him? You know, was I good enough? Was I'm caring enough? And yet, we have to set limits with our babies.
So we’re trying to make and feel validated and connected and yet, we’re keeping them safe and we’re saying no and we’re sort of putting up barriers and boundaries and it’s just real dilemma. So I think the over and the cover is really about my expectation of how I'm going to live, what car seat I'm going to use.
How well, oh, I'm not going to work or going to work, etcetera like I said before, and then the cover is this identity development that comes online as the baby starts to mature and a parent is put in a role of creating a child’s identity and not causes them to go back and take a look at their own identity and their own story. So that’s what I really think is at the heart of the difference between over and cover. Does that make sense? Does that feel like it…
PRIYA NEMBHARD: Yeah, that makes a lot of sense.
KRISTEN STRATTON: What happens when those expectations go unmet? I know it’s a tough question.
GRETCHEN MALLIOS: Yeah, it’s so important. My mind is flooding right now with the stories and the image of the moms that I work with.
KRISTEN STRATTON: Right.
GRETCHEN MALLIOS: Who suffering deeply and looking at me with these sad eyes and it takes some time for us to uncover is how much self-criticism she’s living under. How much pain she’s living under and she doesn’t know why. And as we develop that relationship when we give space, she eventually can feel safe enough to name, how much of a disappointment she used to herself. And I'm looking at this remarkable committed her sin and seen how you rational but disappointment is but that’s not relevant. It’s her experience.
KRISTEN STRATTON: Right.
GRETCHEN MALLIOS: So what I find happens when we had expectations of ourselves that we cannot meet. Let’s say breastfeeding didn’t work. Let’s say we had a financial crisis in in our job security change, and we had to go back or we had to use group care instead of a nanny or it turns out our partner really believes in a different way of limit setting than we do and there’s a real straight at home.
When we can’t create the environment that we unconsciously thought we are going to create, it creates a real sense of confusion and if there’s no space to work that out, that can really begin to erode another sense of confidence and clarity, and either, she’s going to kind of go sadly in that or become agitated and angry and possibly anxious in that if it doesn’t move itself out.
So you know, if I can’t meet my own expectations, I'm going to start getting rigid with the world to make sure that I can force it to be what I needed to be, and that creates tension or she directs the suffering or the disappointment towards herself and she erodes herself, and either way, it’s uncomfortable and it undermines her real value as a mother. It undermines her sense of really accepting herself on being compassion saying, hey, I can’t do what I thought I was going to do but what am I doing? What am I doing right? How remarkable is my ability to adopt? Wow, look what I did when I couldn’t put my baby into how nanny, come to home and I had to go into group care, look how I handle that? And I look for the really good environment. And look how much I troubleshoot it? That isn’t available to her when she’s suffering. I think it’s only available to her when she’s with someone who can reflect that to her.
KRISTEN STRATTON: Well, thank you for that. I know we’re going to touch on mom when we get back from our break. So when we come back, we will continue our discussion about postpartum parenting and postpartum expectations. We’ll be right back.
KRISTEN STRATTON: Welcome back to the show. We are talking with licensed clinical social worker Gretchen Mallios. Gretchen, what are some of the inherent setups which may lead a mom to feeling and so she may have failed and feeling that mom guilt.
GRETCHEN MALLIOS: So that’s a great question. I find that the inherent setups are often to do with the sort of gap between the story she told herself she was going to be … And which often aligns with kind of what she has seen out in the world like, oh, look at those moms, they had a C-section but now, they’re out of their exercise group and they’re doing just fine, so that’s what I should be doing or, you know, particularly parents with special needs or sensitivities, there’s many more children in the world these days that had special needs and nuances and I think it has to do with like some ones that are really in medicine, or ability to identify things. Regardless, most importantly, parenting is not smooth. We don’t picture ourselves parenting a strong world child. We picture that parenting at also sweet complaint.
So when we’re the one, and I can be latest, when we’re the one at the parent gathering or the little mom sing along, and we’re the one with the child who just is screaming bloody murder. That feels bad, and because that is not in the Facebook post and on the magazine covers. So I think the real inherent setup is a gap between the image in our head and the reality and the blame we put on ourselves that I must be doing something. It’s not that we’re doing something wrong. It’s just our reality is different than what we expected.
KRISTEN STRATTON: And to our parents, do you recall any specific instances where you felt that mom guilt?
PRIYA NEMBHARD: I’ve had quite a number of years of mom guilt in different ways and it’s funny because you know when my kids were small in all the situations that we went through with them. I’ve been a lot entrepreneur for a long time, so after planning the wedding and starting businesses and stuff like that, I had a lot of mom guilt because there might have been times where … So my oldest has ADHD. Did I cause him to be like that with all my planning and all the business I was doing and I have to be out of the house and like thankfully, my husband was helping me. Was he failing in school because I was not as present as I should’ve been, or even to this day when his report card is not that great and yesterday, we actually got it back? What isn’t my fault; it’s still my fault at this point.
We’ve tried all the things that we’ve could’ve done for him. You go through different stages of mom’s guilt. I definitely have been through the wringer with my kids. It doesn’t stop. I don’t think mom guilt stops. It continues until to get older.
KRISTEN STRATTON: No, and you know what? I really appreciate you being so candid about It because, to be honest, I mean, I feel the same way and a lot of the time is single parents because my husband is in the military, he’s gone a lot. We have three very high needs children. I have an ADHD child and I also have very special needs with both mental and physical issues. It’s really hard to be the primary care provider or sometimes, the only care provider and the pressure of making these people into functional human beings is tremendous and to be the only person, the majority who’s trying that’s influencing that. It’s just really scary to go to bed with yourself at the end of the night and go wow I really screwed that today.
PRIYA NEMBHARD: But you're doing the best you can.
KRISTEN STRATTON: Yeah, it’s really hard not to do that. Nina, do you want to share?
NINA: For me, I think it started like I said an emergency C-section. I had this perfect birth plan that other people just don’t even make a birth plan, and then I was able to breastfeed and I was absolutely going to breastfeed. That was going to happen. We ended up getting know and then be able to feed eventually. But I think that that started it, and then with the C-section, I didn’t quite understand the fact that I have had abdominal surgery.
Now, would cry and I would jump because I need to go to my baby, that’s what I'm supposed to do. That was a really bad idea. The recovery from the C-section was longer and it should’ve been because I would try to be super mom. I think that it just kept going like that. I would cry constantly in my car and that couldn’t tell anybody because I already thought that I was really a bad mom and a failure and all those things.
I didn’t want other people to think that too. I thought I was the only person that ever in the whole lot world thought these thoughts.
KRISTEN STRATTON: Gretchen, what are some of the personal risk factors or environmental risk factors for expectations leading to a perinatal mood disorder or delayed postpartum depression?
GRETCHEN MALLIOS: In my experience, and granted, I'm coming from this perspective of seeing people in therapeutic settings. So there’s probably much milder scenarios that can contribute to this, but I'm just going to talk about what I often see. Is that many of the moms who have a deep sense of pain or struggle around this often grew up in families where they felt criticized or sometimes were made to feel afraid or somehow learned that they were responsible for other people’s feelings.
These are the fixers, and even if they came from a very supportive family, these are people who often are just very in tune with other people’s need. Their expectations of themselves to meet other people’s needs at all times and particularly a newborn can become very demanding. And so since we’re not going to be able to meet all of our preconceived ideas and expectations at some point, it starts to erode their sense of self in their worth and their expectations.
So, it’s the reason that I love and recommend if you haven’t already listened to them. People like Reni Brown, Glennon of Momastery Fame and Christian Naff, these folks who talk about self-compassion and kindness towards ourselves, so that they try to lower the harshness that we direct towards ourselves as a mom so it’s not such a painful experience.
KRISTEN STRATTON: What are some of the changes our listeners can make to live with baby, to make it more enjoyable and to be present with their children?
GRETCHEN MALLIOS: Honestly and this is why I'm so grateful for what New Mommy Media is doing. I hope simply by hearing this conversation. It affirms some of their experience and they’ll be able to start to self-asses a little, wow, am I judging myself that thing shouldn’t go the way I picture they were going to go. So I really hope that simply these kinds of conversations and the articles that are getting shared around social media that are more compassionate about the motherhood experience will start them to start directing a little more gentleness and awareness towards themselves.
But something that was said earlier and I think it comes up repeatedly because there’s no way to know that we’re going to have different birth than we expected or we’re going to have a different breastfeeding experience, etcetera since we can’t possibly know that it’s going to turn out that way. And quite honestly, if you anticipate it, I bet everything is going to go wrong, that’s its own diagnostic problem.
If you’re anticipating motherhood and you see the whole thing going badly, that’s its own formal suffering, so we’re not making a mistake by not expecting that it’s going to be difficult but because we can’t tell where the difficulties are going to be, I highly recommend finding online or in person mother communities so that we can stay connected and have a place a sounding board to say what’s been hard, to say what’s working, to hear another person’s experience so that we can have a place where we ride the storm.
Despite trying to do that, it doesn’t work and we’re really kind of sleeping under. I think it’s really important to talk with the professional to make sure there’s not something more intense going on that’s going to get in your way.
KRISTEN STRATTON: Well, thank you so much Gretchen and our wonderful parents for participating in our second installment of delayed postpartum depression expectations. For our Newbies Club members, our conversation will continue after the end of the show, as Gretchen will share how our birth experience is can challenge our idea of ourselves as parents and how to heal from these wounds when our expectations go unmet. For more information about the Newbies Club, please visit our website at www.newmommymedia.com.
SUNNY GAULT: Okay, so before we wrap up our conversation for today, we do like to read mail and we don’t get physical mail, right? That’s like million years ago, email that you guys send us or if you happen to post something on our Facebook page or if you twit us or something like that, I like to share those on the show because we really do appreciate it. We’d love hearing from the listeners. This was a comment that was made on our Facebook page and it was from mamma, her name is Alison Bone. What I love about this, every time we release a new episode, I always promote it on our Facebook page. This was actually commented that she made after listening to our episode that we released on Newbies about your first period or first couple of periods I guess I should say after having a baby.
This is what Alison wrote. She said, “This is a very helpful episode as I'm about eight weeks from my due date. I think having this information in mind will help me to be less anxious about the timing of everything as well as knowing that each woman is different”. That’s kind of what we talked about in the episode, was that hey, can vary for everybody, you know. We talked a little bit about how breastfeeding impacts, all of that as well. And so, we had parents that had very different experiences and I think that that’s really what Alison is talking about there.
So, Alison thanks so much for posting about this again. We just love to hear that we’re doing good and we’re impacting moms at a positive way. If you guys have a comment about an episode, you can certainly email us or again, on our Facebook page. If you haven’t liked the Newbies Facebook page then place do that and then you'll get all of our updates. When you like something, share it with friends, send us little note, all of that does wonders in helping us produce more of these shows for you guys.
KRISTEN STRATTON: That wraps up our show for today. We appreciate you listening to Newbies.
Don’t forget to check out our sister show:
• Preggie Pals for expecting parents
• Parent Savers for parents with infants and toddlers
• Twin Talks for parents with multiples.
• Boob Group for moms who breastfeed
This is Preggie Pals, your pregnancy your way.
This has been a New Mommy Media production. The information and material contained in this episode are presented for educational purposes only. Statements and opinions expressed in this episode are not necessarily those of New Mommy Media and should not be considered facts. While such information and materials are believed to be accurate, it is not intended to replace or substitute for professional, medical advice or care and should not be used for diagnosing or treating health care problem or disease or prescribing any medications. If you have questions or concerns regarding your physical or mental health or the health of your baby, please seek assistance from a qualified healthcare provider.
SUNNY GAULT: New Mommy Media is expanding our line-up of shows for new and expecting parents. If you have an idea for a new series, or if you’re a business, or organization interested in joining our network of shows through a co-branded podcast, visit www.NewMommyMedia.com.
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