We’re going to get into some topics in this episode that not a lot of people are talking about in the space of postpartum, especially in regards to what we know as common sense.
I’m going to be kind of sharing with you some really important misinformation and myths that I strongly feel are really destroying the health and well-being of mothers in the life after birth.
Be sure to screenshot that you listened to this episode, share on social media, tag me with any thoughts or questions, and leave a review!! I’m so honored to be a part of your journey in healing postpartum.
In this episode, I’m sharing with you:
- Important misinformation and myths around postpartum
- The huge increase in women who are experiencing some sort of maternal mental health concern or condition, especially since the start of COVID
- 1994 is when postpartum depression finally became a clinical diagnosis
- The massive gap of knowledge around postpartum and women’s bodies after birth
- Why trying to fit all of these components of our old life without a baby into our new life with one is just plain harmful.
- Massive changes throughout your entire body after having a child
- How I help clients correct different postpartum mental health issues and health problems that were caused by lack of information given to mothers
- Our world right now is not supportive of postpartum women, in the way we need to heal our bodies.
We all get it. Postpartum and the years after having a baby is no walk in the park. But you know what? It isn’t just about depression or anxiety either.
Hey, my friend, I’m Maranda Bower, a homesteading mama with four wild kids. My life passion and education is all about supporting mothers and providers. Understanding the science, the art, and the sacredness of healing after birth. What we know as common sense in the postpartum years has many women feeling just plain awful. It’s time to bring back the truth, get you the tools you need to heal, and thrive in motherhood and beyond.
Welcome to the postpartum circle podcast, my friends. Today is going to be a very deep conversation, and so I just kind of want to prepare you for the fact that we’re going to get into some topics that not a lot of people are talking about in the space of postpartum, especially in regard to what we know as common sense. I’m going to be kind of sharing with you some really important misinformation and myths that I strongly feel are really destroying the health and well-being of mothers in the life after birth.
We want to start by looking at what is going on in postpartum. We can see that the rates of depression during this time are significant. The numbers before Covid were that one in seven were getting postpartum depression. And that was not accounting for anxiety, OCD, psychosis, rage, bipolar, or any other mental health disorder that develops after birth. And to be very clear with you, I had four of those on this very list that I just said. But there’s so many more that I’m not even listing. The statistics for that are significant, especially in the world of COVID that we are currently living in. It’s estimated that one out of every two women are experiencing some sort of maternal mental health concern or condition. And that’s not even considering postpartum autoimmune diseases. This is not something that is being talked about in the least bit.
We have studies that show that women are at a 30% increased risk of having one after giving birth. One in seven women will develop a thyroid disease alone in the postpartum year after having a baby. These numbers are only accounting for those who’ve sought help and have been documented. They are not accounting for the women who live in their pain and silence. In my own personal story, especially with my first, I refused to tell a single soul. I felt so ashamed that I was feeling depressed, and I didn’t want to tell anyone. And to this day, I have no idea how it was not obvious that I was experiencing that. But I think we finally need to admit that something is profoundly wrong with how women are experiencing postpartum.
And to be clear, part of the reason these numbers of depression and anxiety are rising is because our society is finally recognizing that such a problem exists. And even more, one in seven women, that number, that’s very outdated. And it doesn’t speak to the world of COVID. Science is really capturing more and more of that data and what that is. But there’s no surprise in those numbers being really high, especially with isolation, lack of support, overall health care, fear, and so much more. But quite frankly, studies about postpartum depression have only been going on for the last 20 years or so. We’ve only been giving birth since the dawn of time, but it wasn’t even a diagnosis until 1994. Let that sink in for a minute. 1994 is when postpartum depression finally became a clinical diagnosis.
But the other significant part of this monumental problem is that our society has no idea how to support or care for a postpartum woman. When we lack knowledge on how to care for this sacred transition into motherhood, it also means that we completely fail to understand how the body functions after birth.
In this massive gap of zero knowledge about the postpartum body, other information has filled its place because, quite frankly, we’re desperate for this. We women are making up everything we can in order to support ourselves. I can go on Pinterest and Google and type in all things related to postpartum healing, much of which make me cringe. But that’s there because we are so desperate for the answers. We are wanting help. We are needing this so much.
We often hear, “We just had a baby. It’s time to get your body back,” or “Get back into your routine and you’ll just feel better,” or “Start exercising. It’s going to help you lose all that baby weight.” The focus is on getting your body back and losing that baby weight. We’re told to just eat lots of salads and smoothies. “You’ll feel more energy that way. Make sure that your baby is getting all the sleep, sleep, even if it’s not developmentally appropriate.” All of these components, we’re trying to fit our new life with the baby into our old life without one. And all of that is plain harmful.
And if you want to know the truth, your body was never taken away from you to begin with. However, it has changed in ways that will have you feeling as if you don’t recognize anything about yourself, your body, your thoughts, the way you feel. Even your cells are imprinted with that of your baby’s existence. That’s new. Motherhood changes are profound and postpartum is about learning about yourself all over again. The birth of a baby is also the birth of a mother. You’ll never be able to get back into your previous routine. Actually, you’ll burn yourself out trying to fit the demands of infant, baby, and toddler life into your current lifestyle.
Your body isn’t ready for even major exercise routines until at least nine months postpartum. Gentle yoga isn’t even recommended until around the three-month postpartum mark. It can actually kill your core and break the basic foundations of your physiological body and its healing. And I just want to throw in here: Let’s be really honest. Because carrying around your baby all day, the walking, the swaying, the bouncing, not to mention carrying car seats, diaper bags, you really are working out all day long anyway. Let’s acknowledge that.
And let’s talk about food. Because eating in postpartum and the months after having a baby are the surefire way to make or break your healing. Salads and smoothies are the very reason why so many moms are experiencing gut health issues like gas, bloating, and IBS. That extends to hormone imbalances, exhaustion, yeast overgrowth, and even autoimmune diseases. Because what’s happening is, if we’re not able to get the nutrients that we need from food because of the shifts and changes that have happened to our body after giving birth, we’re going to be depleted. We’re only going to add to that depletion. Nutrients run every single process in the body, including your hormones, including helping you get better sleep, including your immune system, everything. So when you’re not digesting your foods because you’ve had a baby, your gut changes, and the way you digest foods shifts, those salads and smoothies are not doing you any service whatsoever.
A postpartum body, I will tell you, has very few enzymes necessary to break down your food. So when you eat, your food is kind of left, like I generally say, “rotting in your gut”, causing these long-term health issues, not to mention that it affects breastfeeding. These are all but small examples of misunderstandings that I hear every single day as a postpartum bliss coach. And when these things I’m sharing with you are corrected, when you have an opportunity to use those as a means of healing, your chances of postpartum depression, anxiety, as well as autoimmune diseases, drop tremendously. I see this in my work nearly every single day.
Most women will never hear about these concepts until they’re a few years in and they’re still struggling and they’re looking for the answers. Almost all the women that I have worked with in my personal one-on-one coaching program have gone off medications for postpartum depression or have, you know, mysteriously corrected a thyroid or hormone imbalance and have gone on feeling better than they have before their pregnancy. And of course, we do this with their providers. But the good news is that you can do that. It can be done, and almost all of my clients are not even in the initial six-week, what we consider, the postpartum period.
There are two, three, four years post-birth and struggling, and are able to correct these with sleep, with the right foods, with hormone balance. So, although much of postpartum mental health issues and health problems can be completely prevented, it’s also not too late to heal yourself deeply and repair your body from what you didn’t know. From what our society does not teach women, what we don’t share with women.
So if you’re listening to this, chances are you’ve had a baby in the last year or two. Maybe you are supporting women who are having babies and maybe you aren’t feeling well or you’re just plain feeling like you’re surviving motherhood. Your gut health is off, you’re exhausted, and your hormones feel completely out of balance. Your body is begging you for attention. These are symptoms. These are your warning signs. It’s asking for you to pay attention and to tell you that there are ways that you could do this. Your body wants those ways. It wants those tools to heal so that you can do so without overwhelm, without difficulty.
And of course, this is hard to do when you don’t have support handy. And if you are pregnant or you have a brand new little one, I want you to do yourself a favor. Don’t use “common sense” to prep for your postpartum period. It very well may save your life because what we’re doing in our world right now is not supportive of postpartum women. In order to heal our bodies, in order to heal our women, in order to heal our communities and our children, we have to go back to the very basics and the foundations of help. And the very foundations of healing our body in the months that is postpartum.
If you are not sure where to even begin doing something like that, I implore you, reach out to me. You can get in touch with me at my website. I’ll have the link in the show notes, MarandaBower.com/contact. Get in touch with me. I will hand you some resources, whether it’s from me or from someone else who can help you and support you even better. The important thing is that you get the support that you need to make that happen for yourself. So reach out, know that you have a team member on your side, and that you can heal your body.
Thanks for tuning in and taking the time to learn about how to support your body in deep healing. We don’t do this work just for us or for you. Your healing impacts your children, your relationships, and your community. We do this work because the health and vibrancy of our world begin with its mothers. I hope you have taken some valuable information today and applied it to your own life.
If you aren’t sure where to begin, reach out about working together one-on-one or at minimum learning about my postpartum nutrition plan, which is where I start every single one of my clients. And you can do that by going to MarandaBower.com. Hope you enjoyed this episode. Let us know by leaving a review and we will see you next time.
- Grab your FREE Provider's Postpartum Nutrition Toolkit
18 pages of PDF handouts that serve as your comprehensive resource for delivering whole-body nutrition care and achieving better health outcomes for the families you support.
- Learn what your symptoms really mean with our Postpartum Health Assessment
Postpartum depression, anxiety, depletion, and autoimmune issues have become a new normal.
Take the most comprehensive postpartum assessment to discover what your symptoms are telling you and even more importantly, what you can do to fix it for good.
- Get started on the path to holistic recovery with the Postpartum Nutrition Repletion Plan
- Come hang out with us on Instagram!
Feeling inspired and ready to learn more about how you can actively revolutionize postpartum care?
- Learn about the Postpartum University Professional Membership
- Stay in the loop about the Postpartum Nutrition Certification Program
- Check out our courses in Postpartum Mental Health, Postpartum Nutrition, and Herbal Care