I want to address something that comes up in our prenatal yoga classes a lot, more than people probably realize. Pregnancy is hard, and for some reason our society downplays how hard it is. And we’re made to feel guilty or even ungrateful if we don’t love every single second of it, because it’s been so romanticized. In turn we feel we can’t outwardly communicate what’s going on and how we’re feeling, so we hold it in or just say “I’m fine” or “I’m okay.”
We are suffering in silence which is not okay.
There has been a lot of coverage on the tragedy surrounding Lindsay Clancy in Massachusetts and her children, and my heart goes out to everyone impacted by this. This unfortunately isn’t the first time something like this has happened, but I think part of the reason why people are so taken aback by this particular incident is because for all intents and purposes, this mom “had it all together.” Beautiful healthy children, loving and supporting husband, nice house in the suburbs, great job as a labor and delivery nurse. Someone in her family was quoted as saying that they spoke to her last week and nothing seemed amiss. Another family member said they had a beautiful life.
I think we all need to remember that women of every single culture, race, age group, income level, education level, and marital status develop perinatal mood and anxiety disorders. Whether you breastfeed, formula feed, have healthy babies or those with medical challenges, first time parents, or those with more than one child…there is no exemption. We need to stop thinking “it can’t happen to me.”
If you’re currently pregnant or have had a baby within the past year, please utilize your local resources. Do not suffer in silence. This is especially true for women of color who statistically speaking are at a higher risk of postpartum depression than Caucasian women. We need to let go of this superwoman notion where we feel it’s our responsibility to do everything on our own. Here at Prana Prenatal Yoga we partner with some of the best maternal mental health experts in Westchester County, including Dr. Layne Raskin and Dr. Kira Bartlett. Consider hiring a postpartum doula, even if just for a few weeks. We also have a new moms support group and a toddler parent support group. There’s also The Motherhood Center of New York, Shades of Blue Project, Just Birth Space, Every Mother Counts, Ashe Birthing Services, and The Flourish Fund.
A big takeaway from all of this is that we need to check on our strong friends. Those people in your life who seem to have it all together, the ones you never have to worry about, everything is great and they have everything under control. Those are the ones who almost always are suffering in silence. If someone in your life recently had a baby or is about to have one, gift them a meal. Drop it off on their doorstep or if you don’t live in their area, send them an UberEats gift card. Or better yet, organize a meal train for them. Drive them to an appointment or to run their errands so that they can rest in the backseat with their baby. Be prepared to visit briefly with the baby and spend the bulk of your time there cleaning the house. Or be prepared to hang out with the baby while the mom enjoys a long, hot, uninterrupted shower. Encourage them to use the resources I mentioned and tagged. Actively listen to them. Educate yourself on what baby blues and PMADs are and what some of the signs are. All of that goes a long way, a lot further than we even realize. Because I promise you, every single new mom would beg, borrow, and steal if she had to in order to make sure her baby has diapers, wipes, and nourishment. But at the end of the day, who is holding the mother?
Please follow and share the resources mentioned above, and remember that we cannot continue to suffer in silence. We are not meant to navigate pregnancy and the fourth trimester alone.
By: Prana Practitioners and Other Experts
Experts answer all your questions about pregnancy, birth, motherhood, and beyond.