“While 30 percent of women with a history of depression are at risk for a recurrence during pregnancy or postpartum on average, the study found that that number dropped to 18 percent among those who used mindfulness techniques.” From <https://www.whattoexpect.com/wom/pregnancy/the-big-benefit-of-meditation-and-yoga-for-pregnant-and-postpartum-moms–study-.aspx>
I know so many of us suffer or have suffered from Postpartum Depression at some point after our babies. The adjustment into motherhood is hard and involves a ton of hormones and a lot less sleep. But one way to help ease the symptoms of PPD can be to introduce meditation into your daily life. And you don’t have to mediate hours a day to benefit from it. Just a few minutes a day (or every other day) can make a significant change! Meditation can improve your rest and balance in the early days of motherhood.
And you know how everyone always says “sleep when the baby sleeps?” Well, we all know that easier said than done, so sometimes instead of sleeping I would rest and do a short breathing meditation. I swear I only slept 3 hours total in the first 3 months of my daughter’s life but the “meditation” breaks really helped me to feel more rested than I should have! And in the first few months of our little one’s lives, they sleep A LOT, about 16 to 17 hours a day.
Here are a few of the benefits of meditation :
- Helps to reduce and control anxiety
- Help you sleep better & feel more rested
- Bring peace of mind & calmness
- Helps to relax any tensions you may carry in your body
- Results in better focus
There are so many different ways to meditate. And since it is such a personal experience, it is best to start out simple and try the practices that intrigue you the most.
A very popular and simple form of meditation is to follow your breath. The whole point of meditation is to pay attention and continually bring your attention back to the breath when your mind wanders. Every time you catch your mind wandering, you bring yourself back to the breath. And as you meditate more and follow this practice, the more mindful you will become. There is something so eye-opening about watching and hearing how busy and crazy our minds can get but not letting ourselves to get caught up in the craziness of it. Some days will be better than others but it’s best not to have expectations of what our meditations “should” be like and just take them one moment at a time. This is such a beautiful way to bring mindfulness into your everyday life and enjoying those moments with our new babies as we adjust into motherhood.
Help Offset Postpartum Depression
There is no better time to start practicing a little meditation here and there. Even 5 minutes a day can help to offset postpartum depression. Another little trick I used to do was, I would sometimes save my meditation for bedtime and meditate to sleep! I was amazed at how I was able to fall asleep much easier when I meditated and did my breathing.
If you have never tried meditation and don’t know how or where to begin. I have linked below one of my all time favourite apps! This app is so inspiring and its free! It has hundreds and hundreds of guided meditations, music based meditations and self-guided as well. It can help you to keep track of your daily meditations. And I find it very inspiring that you can also see people all over the world who are meditating too! You can make friends and join groups and ask questions. Check it out, it may inspire you to really dive into the amazing world of meditation: https://insighttimer.com/
You are not Alone….
If you think you are suffering from postpartum depression and feel like you would like to talk or connect with someone who can help, please reach out! You are not alone. An amazing website has been created where you can find support online or in person. Please read below to find out more about Postpartum Support Toronto and check out their website.
“Postpartum Support Toronto (PPSTO) is a not-for-profit that challenges the idealized version of motherhood and speaks truth to the experience of becoming a parent. We do this by offering free online community support and weekly drop-in groups for overwhelmed new parents, as well as educational and therapeutic programming.” https://www.postpartumsupporttoronto.com/our-mission
Sometimes getting outside of our comfort zone is exactly what we need to push through the hard moments in life. So don’t be afraid to ask for help or try something new! You never know where it can take you.