Even Princesses Get the Baby Blues: Postpartum Depression and the Shame Spiral
Motherhood is a joyous and beautiful time, but it isn’t easy and it may kick up feelings you hadn’t expected; feelings that completely contradict those sweet and precious maternal vibes. Not getting enough sleep really sucks. You miss your independence. You’re going stir crazy!!!
Experiencing mild mood swings after your baby is born is typical in most new moms and is known to last from a couple of days to a few weeks. The term “baby blues” is cute, but left unchecked, these blues can spiral out. Hopelessness, rage, memory problems, doubting your ability to care for your baby, and oversleeping or insomnia are just some of the symptoms of post-partum depression, according to the National Institute for Mental Health.
The Duchess of Sussex, Megan Markle, makes being a new mother look elegant and nearly effortless—she and baby Archie couldn’t possibly have a bad day, could they? Well, I’m here to tell you that even princesses get the blues.
The reality is that baby blues and post-partum depression can strike any woman, no matter how royal her blood may be or how much support and money she may have, because—hormonal changes!
The female body experiences dramatic hormonal shifts from pregnancy through nursing that affect the chemicals released in the brain and, in turn, affect a woman’s moods. So, scientifically speaking, these negative feelings and mood swings are not your fault, but you can do something about them.
Of course, being a princess couldn’t hurt.
Reach out to other moms and talk about it. When feelings are allowed to fester in isolation, they grow larger and are compounded by more negative thoughts and feelings about your negative thoughts and feelings. Why do I feel this way? I shouldn’t be feeling this way. Am I a bad mother for feeling this way? Welcome to the shame spiral.
If we can share our story with someone who responds with empathy and understanding, shame can’t survive. –Brene Brown
Vulnerability and connection to others is the antidote to isolation and shame—shining a light on dark emotions, we take away their power to oppress us. You may be surprised to find out that you’re not alone and your fellow moms will be relieved that you actually said it.
Despite the fact that you can get anything delivered, find a reason to step out. I know getting yourself and baby ready is a hassle and you’re resisting leaving your apartment, but I promise you will feel better later.
To hold yourself accountable, agree to meet another new mom at DeVoy playground in Forest Park, then stroll over Edie’s Sweet Shop and treat yourself like a princess by indulging in a treat with your favorite toppings.
Take whatever action you can, and If reaching out to friends and other moms isn’t enough, you can always seek professional help—talk to your doctor or speak to a licensed mental health practitioner about treatment options.