When I was pregnant with my oldest daughter in 2013, I had rarely seen baby wearing (beyond romanticized yet racist pictures of mothers from other cultures). But when I read about all the benefits of baby wearing, I knew I wanted to try it!
I bought a few different types of carriers, and I’ll be honest, baby wearing didn’t really work for me at first. But with a little practice, I got better at it, and three children in, I absolutely love baby wearing for all its cuddling opportunities (and convenience)!
Perhaps you’ve heard of the dreaded sleep regression. Or maybe you’ve heard, “the 4 month sleep regression is a myth!” and you want to punch that person in the face because your experience says otherwise and you are TIRED.
Note: The Evidence-Based Mommy’s official stance is against punching people in the face. Even when you really want to.
Regardless, something like this has happened to you: You and your child had gotten into a predictable sleep routine. Maybe he was sleeping all night, maybe he wasn’t (and that’s okay! No, really.), but you at least knew what to expect.
Then all of the sudden, his sleep drastically changes for the worse.
Like many first-time parents, I was totally clueless when I came home with my first baby. I had at least done enough research expect to not get a lot of sleep, but I had no idea what reality would be like. Little did I know our baby would be co sleeping with us!
My husband and I had made a beautiful nursery for our little girl, but we also had a bassinet in our room. We figured she would stay in that little crib for a few weeks and then we’d get her used to sleeping in her own room. Ha!
Congratulations on your new baby! You’ve been home with him or her for a month or two now, and everything has been a hugeadjustment. You might feel sometimes that your heart could explode right out of your chest with the love you have for this new little creature. But right when you start to think you’re getting the hang of life with a baby, something changes. Every evening, your baby won’t stop crying. Like, for hours. You feed her, you change her, you try to get her to sleep but no dice. You try singing, you try bouncing, you try freaking everything, all to no avail. It’s awful.
And let’s be honest, there’s a good chance that your hormones have not shifted back to normal yet, and your emotions are still all over the map. So having a baby cry and scream at you for hours on end can make you frazzled and send you totally over the edge!
I remember this stage with all three of my babies, but I especially remember it with my oldest. My husband and I had no idea what to do. Was this colic? Were we doing something wrong? Were we bad parents?
It turns out, the answer to all three of these questions was a resounding “no.” And by the third child, I had a huge realization that completely changed my outlook on this stage and made it SO much easier! Of course, I’ll share some tips with you on how you might be able to comfort your baby during this stage, but ultimately I want to tell you the perspective shift I had so that it can hopefully help you the way it did me.
So many new mothers deal with postpartum depression and postpartum anxiety. In fact, up to one in seven mothers face postpartum depression after birth. On top of that, seventeen percent of mothers (or more, depending on who you ask) experience postpartum anxiety.
But it’s not enough to just assume, “Well, it’s hormones, I’m supposed to feel this way,” and keep carrying on. Yes, it’s true that most mothers experience “baby blues” during the first few weeks after birth, but postpartum depression and postpartum anxiety go deeper than that, and can occur later.
(By the way: Looking for uplifting reminders that you’ve got this parenting thing? Get your free set of empowering mantra cards. Seriously, I use these pretty much every day myself!)
What do you do when you’re overwhelmed by new motherhood?
If you’re reading this looking for help, you need to get support! I talked to my friend, Dr. Marcy Rowland, about the common emotional difficulties that new mothers face and how to get help. Check out the interview below!
There are several posts on this site about mental health and anxiety, because this is a subject that impacts so many of us, which in turn impacts our children. But we haven’t discussed a part of mental health that is unfortunately more taboo in our society: Antidepressant use. Since I want to focus on one of the more common antidepressants, I’ll focus mostly on Zoloft and breastfeeding.
I’ll be honest, I’m a little nervous to be talking about my own journey with antidepressant use for all the internet to see. But I know that when I was grappling with starting to use one, I would have liked to find an article like this. Plus, the stigma won’t go away if we don’t start to open up. So I’ll start with me.
And to provide you the most helpful information I can, I’ll also add in some of the science of how antidepressants work and how they affect breastfed babies. Heck, I’ll even talk about what it’s like to begin taking an antidepressant. (Side note: I am not a medical doctor. I have a PhD in chemistry and extensive education on people’s exposure to toxic chemicals, but that is not the same thing as a medical doctor and this post is not intended as medical advice.) Here goes…