I really want to focus on the parents behind these children we are feeding. Many of you have reached out telling me you’ve experienced PPD and PPA. I wanted to share some of my personal story.
If you’ve followed me on Instagram you know I’m a mostly full time mum, I also work as an adjunct nutrition professor, and I run my little nutrition business… So I’d like to write a more detailed post in the future, for now I’ve got my story in bullet points below PLUS some nutrition tips for PPD/PPA mamas.
- It wasn’t until my second baby was 5 months old that I was diagnosed with PPD and PPA
- Turns out I’d had it with my first baby, but was never diagnosed
- My best friend encouraged me to seek help after my second baby was born
- The symptoms I experienced included constant crying, feelings of hopelessness, desperation, crippling inability to sleep, constant worrying, feelings of guilt, anger, and sadness (all the time)
- I started “talk therapy” as they call it because I didn’t want to take medication
- The diagnosis actually felt freeing and validating… It made me feel that things were ok in that they were not ok, I believe it also helped my husband understand I wasn’t just being this way
- I was on leave from my job (which had been a huge source of stress and anxiety in the last months of my pregnancy due to some unacceptable office politics relating to my pregnancy and request for parental leave)
- Right around the time I started therapy, I also decided to start my own business (which was initially just an Instagram page while I gained clarity with whom I wanted to help)
- It took several months before I started to feel better
- The stress of going back to work and continuing to run my business (plus look after my children most days by myself) was becoming too much to manage with talk therapy alone. I went back to my psychiatrist and started medication
- I’m not ashamed anymore, I actually recently told my parents-in-law and other family members/friends. It’s a huge relief to not hide my struggles anymore, and it’s empowering because I know SO many people struggle with depression and anxiety in some form (you, my community on social media were instrumental in my shift in mindset to finally talk about it)
- This journey continues and I realize that it doesn’t have to define me, but it is part of me
- Out of the ashes of this struggle I’ve built an audience of mothers (you) with whom I feel so connected. I love helping reduce your stress and anxiety around feeding your children – this is the one area of my life where I feel very at ease because of my education and expertise in dietetics and nutrition
Here are a few nutrition tips to help you in the postpartum period, whether you have depression or not:
- Eat nutrient-dense foods like nuts, nut butters, avocados, whole grain products
- These help you get the energy and nutrients your body needs to heal
- If you’re struggling to gain weight, these are highly nutritious items that also add calories
- Set reminders to eat
- You don’t want to go more than 2-3 hours without eating (unless you’re sleeping!)
- Have your friends and family bring you food!
- Everyone wants to help, let them
- If you cook a meal, try to double the recipe and freeze some
- Perfect for the days you don’t have time or energy to cook
- Buy frozen fruits and vegetables, or even canned/jarred (I have them in my house all the times)
- These are easy and convenient ways to add veggies and nutrients
I hope you found this useful. If you think you’re experiencing PPD or PPA, please go get yourself checked out. It’s so hard and there’s not enough support. Sending love.
If you’re ready to get into the Mini Meals Mindset at snack time, sign up below for my Snack Staples List and join my NIFTY community (NIFTY = Nutrition Info + Feeding Tips for You!)