Episode #13: Finding a silver lining in your postpartum experience

Episode #13: Finding a silver lining in your postpartum experience

For information, tips and support in motherhood follow Tough Mothers on Facebook and Instagram

“Even when I was in the depths of my unwellness I would say to myself: something good is going to come from this. Something beautiful is going to come from this. And it did.”

Your postpartum (or postnatal, depending on where you live) experience will be unique. I say that because when you enter motherhood, or matrescence*, you enter it as your unique self, with your unique biological make-up, your unique previous experiences, your unique neuroscience.
So, you won’t know how postpartum will be for you, until you are in it.

Yes, sometimes there are neurobiological predictors, but often women are surprised when they enter their 4th trimester.

*Matrescence is a developmental transition women go through when we become mothers. It is all encompassing – physical, psychological, emotional and spiritual. Matrescence transforms us, that is why we feel different when we become mothers.

Katie R. was one of these mums. Katie felt a bit down during pregnancy and was worried about postnatal depression. However, what her 4th trimester brought was the exact opposite. Katie was up, not down!

Because Katie experienced bipolar symptoms, and not stock-standard depression or anxiety it took some time for her to get the help she needed.

Today Katie bravely shares with us her postpartum mania experience, and how she found her silver lining by going within herself and bringing out the best in herself. She intuitively turned her postpartum mental health experience, something that society deems terrible and “negative”, into a blessing for herself.

“It’s up to me, I can choose if I’m a victim or I can choose if I’m a survivor”

Hear the full episode. Simply click on your favourite podcast app below.

Or hit the play button below and watch the full episode on YouTube.

Key takeaways from this episode of the Tough Mothers Podcast and Tough Mothers TV:

♥   Depression and anxiety are not the only things we must look out for in postpartum mothers.

   You will know if you don’t feel OK, and you must speak up!

   Your postpartum experience does not need to shape the rest of your life.

   Sometimes wonderful things come from our darkest experiences.

   Mental health is something that affects everyone. There is no shame in it.

Matrescence is a time of great change. You will feel different. It is important to keep an eye out whether your feelings are different to what you would expect for you.

In this episode [podcast, TV]:

[3.00, 2.30]
Katie’s explanation of how she felt different is magnificant. She found that everyone, including postpartum support, family and ourselves, keep an eye out for symptoms of depression and anxiety. But there are other things we must look out for.

Symptoms for postpartum mania include irritability, racing thoughts, decreased sleep, overactivity and grandiose ideas (just to name a few).

Can you see how these can also be viewed as normal in motherhood?

So, it is really important to tune into yourself to see if it feels normal, or not, for you.

[14.25, 13.55]
Katie shares beautifully, and in detail, how postnatal mania feels – the positives and the negatives – and how her postpartum bipolar experience escalated for her, leading to her worst fears coming true!

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms or just don’t feel right in your postpartum journey, please reach out. There are links to services around the world at the bottom of this article.

[21.50, 21.20]
When Katie was diagnosed with postpartum bipolar, she was told what it might be like and what her limitations might be. She asked herself: “am I going to accept that or is there something else I can look into and reclaim for myself?”

Her mind and her language were an integral part in this.

“The words I AM are so powerful. I don’t say I am bipolar. I say I live with bipolar.”

[25.20, 24.50]
Katie shares her tips for mums who are experiencing postnatal bipolar and encourages everyone to share their story.

“Mental health is normal. There’s nothing to be afraid of. Mental health affects all different people from all walks of life.”

“Give your mental health, as much weight as your physical health.
Because it is just as important, if not more”

Who is one person that would benefit from the information in this episode?

Forward it to them! There are icons at the top of this page to make that really easy.

Mentions in this episode:

♥   Katie’s beautiful poem:

Baby cries
And so will I
It is a way of saying
I have a need
I just don’t have words right now
I am trying to treat myself like a newborn
Gently, kindly
With care. With care.

   You can find out more about Katie and read her amazing poetry at www.compassionpoetry.co.nz and on Instagram

Check out the Tough Mothers Library for more episodes

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You are not alone!

Get amazing motherhood support in our private Facebook village. We would love to have you there.

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Mental Health Support Services

If the topics in this episode are triggering for you, or if you feel you need support, please contact you doctor or local mental health line.

In Australia: www.healthdirect.gov.au
In New Zealand: www.mentalhealth.org.nz
In the USA: www.mhnational.org
In the UK : www.mind.org.uk
In Ireland: www2.hse.ie

In South Africa: www.safmh.org.za

If your country is not listed please search “Mental Health Line” in google in your country.

Episode #12: Mastering Yourself In Motherhood

Episode #12: Mastering Yourself In Motherhood

mastering yourself in motherhood

“It’s your journey. Do it your way.”

Motherhood is tough. Every woman will agree that motherhood, at some point, will throw you some curve balls. There is no right way to do motherhood, you just have to do it your way.

In this episode I have the absolute pleasure of speaking with Tracy Newell, affectionately known as Gwamma. Tracy is a mother of 5 and a grandma, hence the nickname. Today she kindly and very deeply shares her journey through motherhood, and her wisdom of how she mastered herself in motherhood following multiple miscarriages, fertility challenges and very dark times.

After listening to this conversation, you will understand why you need to find your unique way to master yourself in motherhood. Tracy’s tips will no doubt help you along the way.

In this episode of The Tough Mothers Podcast and Tough Mothers TV you will learn:

  • ✓ How to use your challenges to drive positive change in your life.
  • ✓  The grief of losing a child never ends, it just changes.
  • ✓  There is no roadmap to motherhood, but you will find your own way.
  • ✓  How not to lose yourself in motherhood.

For information, tips and support follow Tough Mothers on Facebook and Instagram

Hear the full episode. Simply click on your favourite podcast app below.

Or hit play and watch the full episode on YouTube.

When your mind is not your own – one mother bravely shares her experience with postpartum psychosis
The important take-aways from this episode are:
  • You can fall pregnant when you are breastfeeding. Let’s throw out this old wives’ tale once and for all!
  • Sometimes the medication you get to stop your breastmilk doesn’t work. This was the case for Tracy who was given medication, such as Cabergoline (Dostinex®), to stop her milk supply after her miscarriages Podcast [14.50], TV [14.20]
  • You do not have to take antidepressants! You can if you want to, but do not feel you have to. You have to process your journey your way and choose what is right for you Podcast [16.10], TV [15.40]

“Don’t discriminate others because they make a different choice. There is no right way. You must choose what is best for you.”

  • People will always give you their opinion, judge you and give you their advice when you are a mother, pregnant or trying to conceive. You don’t need to take people’s advice.

“Trust your gut! Listen to your gut.”

  • Tracy’s tips for coping during her dark times, and how she came out the other side. These are amazing! You can use them immediately Podcast [25.20], TV [24.50]
  • Natural ways to conceive – Tracy was given these tips and they worked!!!! Podcast [28.20], TV [27.50]

Photo in the heading is proof 😉. One of Tracy’s favourite photos ever.

  • Tracy’s tips for mastering yourself in motherhood Podcast [32.30], TV [32.00]

There are more tips on Tough Mothers Instagram and Facebook .

“It’s important to work on mastering yourself in motherhood because if you are well, your baby is well. Motherhood brings out something different in all of us, yet we don’t know what that is until we have our baby.”

You are not alone in mastering yourself in motherhood.
For professional support in your transition into, and through, motherhood, visit www.ToughMothers.com/courses.

I would love to hear from you

What insights did you have when you watched this episode?

How could these potentially change your motherhood experience and life?

Leave a comment below and tell us about it! Many mums come here to find support, and your experience or story may help one of them.

Who is one person that would benefit from watching this episode? – Share it with them through the icons at the top of this article 😉

SUBSCRIBE, REVIEW and WIN

Be sure to subscribe to The Tough Mothers Podcast or Tough Mothers TV .

And YOU CAN WIN!

Leave a review for the podcast  or on my YouTube channel, as I draw a random reviewer each month to win an amazing Tough Mothers gift.

YOU ARE NOT ALONE! Get all the motherhood support at our village.

About our guest:
Tracy Newell aka Gwamma, is an extraordinary mum of 5 and a grandmother (hence the nickname ). Tracy’s motherhood journey has been anything but smooth. Yet she has taken her challenges and used them to grow as a woman, not just a mother.

From her tough times she became a successful business owner. Tracy started Gwamma to make natural products for our babies. 100% New Zealand grown is the only wool that is used in any of Gwamma’s knitted creations.

Quilts boast either cotton, bamboo or woollen batting and either cotton or linen fabrics.
Having been the supportive wife of a sheep and beef farmer all her married life Gwamma knows how important natural fibres are against the skin. Please check out Tracy’s products at www.gwamma.co.nz and Facebook https://www.facebook.com/gwammas.

 Tracy, aka Gwamma, with her husband and three daughters on her middle daughter’s wedding day.

Mental Health Support Services

If the topics in this episode are triggering for you, or if you feel you need support, please contact you doctor or local mental health line.

In Australia: www.healthdirect.gov.au
In New Zealand: www.mentalhealth.org.nz
In the USA: www.mhnational.org
In the UK : www.mind.org.uk
In Ireland: www2.hse.ie

In South Africa: www.safmh.org.za

If your country is not listed please search “Mental Health Line” in google in your country.

Want every episode of The Tough Mothers Podcast and Tough Mothers TV straight to your inbox as soon they are released?

Episode #9: When your mind is not your own – One mother bravely shares her experience with Postpartum Psychosis

Episode #9: When your mind is not your own – One mother bravely shares her experience with Postpartum Psychosis

When your mind is not your own – one mother bravely shares her experience with postpartum psychosis

“I felt that my daughter wasn’t actually my daughter”

Right off the bat, I want to let you know that the conversation in this episode of The Tough Mothers Podcast and Tough Mothers TV is different.

On this program we talk about many topics that are taboo, but postpartum/ postnatal psychosis is something we really don’t talk about.

Today Liz, a mum of boy-girl twins, and GP, is going to change that.

Liz very bravely shares with us her experience with postpartum psychosis after her children were born. She delves deep into how it felt and looked for her and why she had to manage her two years of psychosis alone.

I feel incredibly privileged to bring you this conversation. Not only because it is very personal for Liz, but because it gives us a first-hand insight into the mental health struggles mothers can experience, and so often don’t talk about.

I hope we can all take from Liz’s story the reminder that we must look out for ourselves and each other during motherhood. Always.

Please keep asking mothers if they are ok – some mums’ struggles are so internal that we have no idea what is going on inside them.

In this episode of The Tough Mothers Podcast and Tough Mothers TV you will:

  • ✓ Learn about postpartum/ postnatal psychosis and how it can manifest.
  • ✓  Be intimately privy to Liz’s thoughts and feelings during this time.
  • ✓  Discover how to support yourself if you are experiencing postpartum mental health concerns.
  • ✓  Understand how to ask for help, and help others.

Hear the full episode. Simply click on your favourite podcast app below.

Or hit play and watch the full episode on YouTube.

When your mind is not your own – one mother bravely shares her experience with postpartum psychosis
The important take-aways from this episode are:
  • Just because you wanted to a baby doesn’t mean you MUST love being pregnant, or enjoy it Podcast [10.20], TV [9.50]

There is no right way to be or feel during pregnancy. It is what it is for you, and you feel how you feel. And that is OK.

“It is ok to speak up about how you feel in pregnancy, even if it is not what society wants you to say”

  • Ensure you find professionals during pregnancy and motherhood that have your best interests at heart, and truly hear you and your needs Podcast [6.56], TV [6.26]

If the professional you are seeing does not resonate with you, or has different values or beliefs, PLEASE find someone new.

“She said: It was my own fault I had postnatal depression”

  • Mental health is as important (if not more important!) as physical health Podcast [13.13], TV [12.43]
  • Liz felt a slight onset of postpartum psychosis almost as soon as she brought her children home Podcast [18.10], TV [17.40]

“I still loved my daughter… I had very mixed feelings in me”

Psychosis is defined as losing touch with reality.

Postpartum psychosis is: a severe mental illness. It usually starts within the first 2-4 weeks after having a baby. Symptoms vary, and can change. They can include high mood, depression, confusion, irritability, decreased need for sleep, hallucinations and delusions. There are very effective treatments available.

Postpartum psychosis is not: a mother who has become crazy or “psycho”. Or is running around the streets wielding a knife, or any other such nonsense.

  • You don’t have to be in the grips of psychosis to have thoughts about harming your baby Podcast [23.10], TV [22.40]

Many mothers can relate to fleeting thoughts about doing something that will just “stop the noise”, but would never act on it.

  • Sometimes pharmaceutical medication is the first thing you need to get you on a path to wellness Podcast [24.30], TV [24.00

There is incredible stigma associated with pharmaceutical medications in motherhood. However, in situations like Liz’s, and other severe cases, finding a suitable medication is an excellent first step. If the mother is OK with it.

“Suddenly everything changed. It was like a magic pill”

  • The importance of speaking up and sharing your thoughts and feelings with family, friends or professionals Podcast [27.25], TV [26.55]

Speaking up is a major part in supporting yourself through your motherhood journey, and also to allow others to support you.

“I really wish I had told someone about it years ago”

  • Liz shares her advice for mothers who may be struggling with abnormal thinking or feelings they don’t want to share with anyone Podcast [31.50], TV [31.20]

Liz tells us how she brings up the topic in her practice with mothers who are struggling. And how this is a way anyone can bring up a topic with mothers too.

liz-harding-holding-baby

  • Liz reveals her silver linings of going through her difficult time Podcast [34.40], TV [34.10]

Hint: there are many!

  • We must start motherhood conversations. We must be the first to say how we truly feel Podcast [37.59], TV [37.29]

We must squash the taboo around mental health in motherhood.

“We are afraid that our thoughts and feelings will label us as a bad mother”

If you have concerns about your mental health, or are just not feeling yourself, please speak up.
Please please please!

I would love to hear from you

What insights did you have when you watched this episode?

How could these potentially change your motherhood experience and life?

Leave a comment below and tell us about it! Many mums come here to find support, and your experience or story may help one of them.

Who is one person that would benefit from watching this episode? – Share it with them through the icons at the top of this article 😉

SUBSCRIBE, REVIEW and WIN

Be sure to subscribe to The Tough Mothers Podcast or Tough Mothers TV .

And YOU CAN WIN!

Leave a review for the podcast  or on my YouTube channel, as I draw a random reviewer each month to win an amazing Tough Mothers gift.

YOU ARE NOT ALONE! Get all the motherhood support at our village.

Mentions In This Episode

For neuropsychological support to thrive in motherhood check out Dr Jen’s personalised courses.

Liz is a keen and very accomplished long-distance runner. Our conversation started on a long training run and I am so honoured Liz shared her story with me, and now with you.

Starting conversations about our journeys in, and through, motherhood are of utmost importance to squash the motherhood taboos, and support each other.
Thank you, Liz!

 

Mental Health Support Services

If the topics in this episode are triggering for you, or if you feel you need support, please contact you doctor or local mental health line.

In Australia: www.healthdirect.gov.au
In New Zealand: www.mentalhealth.org.nz
In the USA: www.mhnational.org
In the UK : www.mind.org.uk
In Ireland: www2.hse.ie

In South Africa: www.safmh.org.za

If your country is not listed please search “Mental Health Line” in google in your country.

Want every episode of The Tough Mothers Podcast and Tough Mothers TV straight to your inbox as soon they are released?