The Importance of Mental Health Postpartum
Is it just the ‘normal’ baby blues that up to 80% of moms experience? Or is it the more serious postpartum depression? PPD can range in severity and some women experience it during pregnancy and even up to a year or more after giving birth.
There are a lot of myths, misconceptions, and truthfully not a lot of focus on postpartum mental health. Mental health is a gigantic part of postpartum care and should be put in line, if not before, physical health.
It’s also a topic most women aren’t warned about and that most healthcare professionals still don’t fully understand and focus on when caring for women during the postpartum period.
You have a baby, and usually two days later leave the hospital, only to be seen by your physician 6 weeks later to make sure everything down there healed properly. It’s rare that a new mom is asked in her 6-week OBGYN visit, how she’s doing mentally.
While there are many experts on the topic of baby blues and postpartum depression, we chatted with one who’s seen and experienced it first hand as a mother of three and in the AMAZING work she does for mothers in Katy.
Liz Ozkan, RN, IBCLC, RLC (International Board Certified Lactation Consultant, Registered Lactation Consultant), and owner of The Mother Baby Bond is so passionate about mental health post baby, after experiencing it herself in different ways and in all three of her pregnancies. She also helps a lot of mamas she works with in breastfeeding seek the help they need. She’s been a shoulder to cry on, a listening ear, and a comfort for mothers who didn’t understand that mental health during and after pregnancy was just as important as their physical health.
Liz recently did a presentation and Q&A session in Katy called “Is it Just Baby Blue,” to try to bring awareness to this topic and remind new and expecting mothers that they’re not alone. Liz’s goal has always been to shed light on this topic and make sure we continue to the conversation and share our own stories with others.
In many cultures the postpartum period is all about celebrating, pampering and cherishing moms, which it should be! After all, she has nurtured and brought forth a new life at great emotional cost physical cost to herself. However, too many moms are not given the care and support they need during the postpartum period; nor do they feel free to express the downside of being a mom. Adjusting to the responsibilities of taking care of a baby is challenging. For some women it can become a struggle that morphs into PPD (Postpartum Depression.)
Experiencing difficulties with breastfeeding can also lead to or exacerbate PPD, which Liz has seen many times in her years as an RN and Lactation Consultant. However, there are many factors that can lead to a struggle in mental health during the postpartum period, many of which are due to hormonal changes and chemical imbalances in the brain. So many factors out of the mothers control can lead down a path of mental health struggles.
If you are struggling we, along with Liz, encourage you to try not to feel ashamed and do not think you are weak, or selfish, or ungrateful. Liz says the best thing you can do if you don’t quite feel like yourself is reach out for help. Don’t let PPD rob you of the joy of being a mom.
We think the best thing we can do as a community of mothers, is to shed light on this topic, continue the conversation, and make it less taboo to discuss openly. Talk about it with brand new moms, expecting moms, and even moms who’ve just had their fifth baby. The key point here being, TALK about mental health. And ASK for help if you’re struggling.
Having a baby is a life changing experience, and like any life changing experience it inevitably will have it’s highs and lows. You are entitled to feel sad, angry and scared. In fact you should know that you are not alone, as 1 in 7 women experience PPD (or PPA Postpartum Anxiety.) Even WE have had our own journeys and struggles with postpartum mental health. It’s OK, the dust will settle, and it’s OK to recognize that you may not be able to do it alone. Medication, therapy, none of it makes you weak. It actually makes you strong…for putting your health first so you can be the best mama to those precious babies.
About the Expert
Liz Ozkan, RN, LCCE, IBCLC, RLC
About The Mother Baby Bond
The Mother Baby Bond is a mother and daughter business that is rooted in serving families and communities both locally and at large. As a mother, wife, RN and IBCLC, Liz’s passion is helping families navigate the journey of birth, breastfeeding and raising babies. Asena, mother to Stella, (she and her husband’s four legged baby,) is the manager. She is involved with, and is passionate about, every aspect of the business. We are both devoted to providing the best in service and products to all of our clients and customers.
All the items we carry are hand picked and curated by us personally; in fact 100% of our customers surveyed said that the quality of our products are superior to other places they’ve shopped.
At The Mother Baby Bond they want you to be comfortable, confident and content from birth to breastfeeding and beyond. They’re here to support and empower you on your journey to and through parenthood.
From lactation consultations to bra fittings to everything in between, The Mother Baby Bond is changing the maternity experience for good!