Postpartum Depression: There is a Treatment

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Photo by Rahul on Pexels.com

Cordelia Gaffar is an author, speaker and mother of 6. This is her postpartum depression story.

It all started 16 years ago when I went to my six week appointment after my son was born.  feelI complained to my OB/GYN that I was feeling out of sorts. She readily prepared a prescription for antidepressants. 

That was my wake up call. “Did I really need antidepressants to cope with life?” I knew that I had some remaining grief from losing my parents in consecutive years just four years previous. I had also back to back miscarriages. Maybe that is why I gained so much weight during my pregnancy. Then it gripped me…

“I am 30 years old and will be fat forever!!!”

Oh the dread that overcame me. Then all at once, I remembered that I am the “I Can Do It Kid!” I can get through this. I need to find a way. I started to research how to deal with depression naturally and  found studies about the importance of niacin when growing a male child to accommodate the excessive testosterone in the mother’s body. I found foods like cashews, avocado and others with natural good fats could combat depression and later discovered also help with weight loss. I did further research for stress reduction and found exercise. Now I grew up with a dad who was an avid walker so I was not a gym rat. My idea of a good workout was a 5 mile walk. In my search, I found Pilates which I loved and weight training. Both of these options, gave me short targeted workouts to accommodate my new mom schedule.

So between exercise and diet change to support my mood, the hormonal changes in my body of having a boy and nursing, I was able to release all 63 pounds and overcome depression before he was walking. My son was an early walker at about 9 or 10  months.

My biggest issue was not being able to connect with my son. I became very mindful in each moment so that I could slow down and breathe. Then, I would recite prayers to him over and over again as I nursed or walked him. I made the walking and rocking into a dance. It became a healing for me and calmed him down. He wasn’t a good sleeper and loved being held constantly. There was also much reframing my perspective with sweet talk. No matter what was waiting, laundry dishes, my older child, who was 2 or getting to work on time, I created a time warp just for us. Eventually I stopped working for a several months and created more routines to connect while nursing.

People were impressed with my results and asked my advice. Some took it, some laughed at it, some said it is too much write a book. In all cases, that was the beginning of my journey and I did not do any of those things until about nine years later when I was expecting my fifth child.

In 2010, I started a blog to help me cope and give me a real mental reset to prepare for having five children after having established a great system of self-nurturing having four. What I was developing at that point was a journal and record of a duplicatable path…and ultimately the beginnings of my first and second books.

Even then I did not realize that this could be a viable coaching business for me until I had my sixth child and achieved the same results. When she was almost one, I decided to start coaching other moms, complete writing and publish my first book. In 2016, I started promoting my book by creating workshops and seeking speaking opportunities and finally live streaming. I continued to coach women also and refine my one on one coaching, developed group coaching and online courses, beta tested them.

Who knew that the pain of my postpartum depression would give me so much inspiration and life?

My coping mechanism became Workout Around My Day. Now, I am a Holistic Life Coach helping women to heal by building a system of self-nurturing nourishing with wholesome food, energizing with movement and reframing her perspective with sweet talk ultimately eliminating the cause of her health conditions and detox her body. I am also a speaker and travel to conferences.

Don’t let your depression swallow you whole. Live in each moment and look for the light. One day you could inspire someone too.

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Thank you Cordelia, so much for sharing your inspiring story about hope and recovery.

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My Post Baby Bathing Suit Body

I wore a bathing suit for the first time in a long time today. We are on a family trip and I didn’t even bother to pack my bikini because I am so use to being on the sideline with my four month old. After the guys spent two hours in the pool yesterday I realized I wouldn’t get to spend much time with them if I wasn’t willing to get a little wet. So today I went to an overpriced tourist swim shop and purchased a bathing suit. I was pressed for time and they didn’t have a lot in my size so this is what I got. It’s not the most flattering but it covers my ass and that is what I needed.

When I put it on, my kids were so happy. My four year old told me that I looked fancy. Which made me feel special. We went to the beach and I actually got in the water!

I am writing this as a recommitment to myself to do what I want to do and wear what I feel comfortable in. It seems like an obvious thing to do but even I allow my body to limit my activities. So I am happy to say that I’m off the sideline and in the game wearing my not so flattering bathing suit, but my team doesn’t care so I am ok with it.

My Post Baby Body Journey- 3 Months Postpartum

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3 months postpartum

Mind: Mentally, I am doing a lot better. I feel like myself again and thankfully, my hormones have settled out. I have returned to my regular anxieties like, when will I ever have time to get my house together? When will my 4 year old be done with this “butt, butt, fart, fart, fart” phase? When will I be able to go to a movie again? How am I going to say bye to my happy little baby boy when it is time to go back to work? Do I have any clean underwear? You know, the regular mom stuff. My entire family is home for the summer for the first time ever, all day every day so I am still experiencing more stress than usual and I have my good days and my bad. The difference now is that when I have a low day I am able to bounce back the next.

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I  lost my edges!

Body: My body hasn’t changed much from when I was one month postpartum. I think this is the size I am going to be for a while and I’m ok with that. Physically, I feel myself. I am not one hundred percent ready to be as active as I am use to but I have been dancing more with my boys and did hit the gym once. Yes, just once, lol. As always, breastfeeding has become a large part of my life. It really is a job in itself. This time around however, I discovered a lump in my boob that had to be checked out. According to my doctor, due to postpartum hormones, lumps have to be monitored more closely because cancer can spread more quickly. It turns out that my lump was just a milk cyst which was relieving. What is crazy is that I remember that I was in a lot of pain just a few months ago but I can’t remember what that pain felt like. The human body is such an amazing thing! Oh, and I lost my edges. My hairline is not quite what it use to be but I have experienced this before so I am hoping my hair grows back in a timely fashion. 

Soul: My little one is so cute and cuddly and amazing and just the full embodiment of love that he makes me feel like I am floating sometimes. My middle son however, is really struggling emotionally not having as much attention as he did before which makes things challenging to say the least. I just want to do right by all of my kids and I don’t feel like I am doing the best job right now so that is really wearing on my soul.  

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3 months postpartum

Thank you for following my postpartum journey. While I am sure there will be more that I would like to share with you all, this will be the last post of this series. I think I am getting back to a place where I can return to doing my My Post Baby Body Mama photo shoots so stay tuned!