Are you wondering why you just had a baby but are having a difficult time adjusting both emotionally and mentally to the new changes? You look left and right and some other Mom you know seems to have it all together and in your mind you don't. You don't see a way out of this new reality and things seem to be piling up in your mind while you are sleep-deprived because of breastfeeding hours. Whatever your negative feelings might be post-pregnancy, they're there and they're not helping with the new baby. The important thing to know is that you may be undergoing post-partum depression and it's nothing to be ashamed of. Toni Gonzaga-Soriano knows almost exactly how you feel especially after she just gave birth to her baby Seve last year.
In an interview with Magandang Buhay, Toni mentioned her sister Alex was an unconscious trigger for her post-partum. Alex explained how Toni would react when they were both in front of the mirror.
“Pinapatingnan niya sa'kin ‘yung katawan ko… tapos sasabihin niya ‘Tingnan mo 'yung katawan mo pang-dalaga pa. ‘Yung akin, pang-nanay na…' Ang OA talaga, eh nanay naman talaga siya,” Alex quips.
Toni responds and points out, “Siya talaga reason ng post-partum ko,” (She’s actually the cause of my post-partum) while seated beside Alex.
A baby is a bundle of joy resulting from nine months of back-breaking adjustment in terms of your health, hormones, time, and state of mind. Toni Gonzaga-Soriano, celebrity wife of internationally-awarded director Paul Soriano acknowledged that she went through a period of post-partum depression that caused her to often be dissatisfied with herself and easily frustrated. She was thankful though to have her loving husband's support throughout that time.
Toni posted this 2012 throwback photo on Instagram while still dealing with the preggy blues late last year and captioned it "Hello 2012 body. Nakakamiss ka. Sana magkita tayo ulit one day...??"
One increasing detail on Toni's temporary burden was the fact that she gained 36 lbs. during her pregnancy. For a showbiz personality, weight gain is always of great concern especially if you appear on television. Weight gain during pregnancy is normal! After giving birth, Toni's insecurities and doubts set in personally about her appearance and she was affected by the smallest details.
Toni, however, powered through by continuing to rely on her family for support, thinking positively, and continuing to work out even if silly and lovingly sassy sister, Alex, sometimes didn't successfully lighten the mood even if she tried. Alex shared that time on Magandang Buhay that she was merely stating the obvious.
Since then though, Toni has done the fitness work and received her pre-pregnancy body back as a reward.
“‘Yung 36 pounds ko, nawala na, 100 pounds na ako ulit. Yung mga maitim (undereye circles), nawala na. Masaya na ulit ang buhay.”
If you feel like you are going through the post-partum baby blues here are six things that you should know and remember.
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1. Know that you are not alone if you are deep in post-partum baby blues. According to the WHO (World Health Organization), recent analysis reveals that up to 20% of mothers in developing countries experience post-partum depression. It is partly due to the trauma of birth, the period of healing that includes hormonal dips, the lack of sleep due to breastfeeding hours, and the onslaught of new responsibility all at the same time. This is why having a supportive husband or partner at this time is a huge relief for new parents.
2. Stay in touch with your OB doctor frequently after birth so she may assign a therapist if needed. If you are experiencing signs of post-partum depression, don't keep it to yourself. It is important to share the burden with your partner or husband or close family or friends, and act on it, don't stay stagnant. Approach your doctor for advice and assistance, you may need therapy care while you are going through this natural phase. Your baby needs you to be in a healthy state of mind as well.
3. Remind yourself that your preggy blues are no one's fault, neither you nor your baby are to blame. The last thing that helps during a difficult time is blame so take steps to love yourself and your baby even if extra determination is required or the support of another person. You just brought a beautiful human being into the world, give yourself more than a pat on the back.
4. Don't feel pressured to get over your preggy blues immediately, that only makes it worse. Any form of depression requires processing, patience, and tender care and attention. After enduring something so painful and in the end having something so delicate and precious to care for, you need to aid your post-partum healing process by putting less pressure on yourself to get to a better state of mind. Focus on things that delight or make you happy, ask your partner or husband gently for more time and attention because this is really what you need.
5. Communicate your needs, don't bottle them up. One thing that adds weight to depression is when we feel people aren't paying attention and we conclude that they don't care. It's one thing to expect someone to anticipate our every need, but in today's hustle and bustle, if people overlook us it doesn't necessarily mean that they don't care. They also cannot read minds and have things to attend to. Attempt to kindly communicate every now and then what you need or hope for with those around you without shame rather than bitterly anticipate to be noticed 24/7 and be dissapointed.
6. Believe that you aren't less lovely just because you are needy at this time. The body has its own way of coping with trauma and if we remember and think of sadness as just the way of the mind expressing a need or frustration then we needn't reject its existence violently. If you remember from the Pixar film Inside Out, Sadness was there for a reason and can sometimes just be part of the journey to Joy, who was just waiting for her cue.
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Photographs from Instagram.com/celestinegonzaga