When I hit rock bottom aka extreme exhaustion where my sinus flares up or I can barely be bothered to dress myself and move. I know I need help. Baby girl was dressed and the fam bam was ready to go. I wasn’t. I just wanted to roll back in bed and cry or contemplate on my life. I think the worst of me in those moments and most of all… I want to give up breastfeeding. I don’t know why my mind always goes there when things get hard but I’m guessing it is because breastfeeding takes away me as a person. How hard breastfeeding is doesn’t take away how much I love providing for my baby girl. It doesn’t take away how much I love her. But sometimes when the going gets hard, the first thought is to give up breastfeeding.
After reading articles on breastfeeding. I understand why and where my feelings come from. After giving birth, the body is not only making milk but trying to maintain a good supply of milk to feed your newborn and is just as important at this stage to maintain milk production, thus the body produces high levels of prolactin and oxytocin is called Galactopoiesis.
Both hormones rises when the baby suckles, and oxytocin help the mother form an emotional bond with her baby. Whenever my baby girl suckles, I get a quick hit of damn my life sucks or there is more I should be doing with my life and then it goes away. And I know people do say that oxytocin is the love drug or the sex hormones. However, oxytocin also enhances bonding under certain circumstances, it may also lead to jealousy, suspicion depending on the situation.
my little love bug
It is like a love drug or depressing drug depending on where your head space is at.
So, when you as a mom is exhausted, depleted and feeling gross from not showering the past 3 days. It can actually increase the negative feelings you have inside you about yourself. (Taking a shower is magic! you have no idea what a good head scrub and shower can do!)
“Oxytocin seems to act like a volume dial, turning up and amplifying brain activity related to whatever someone is already experiencing. That’s essentially what a lot of different recent studies are converging on for oxytocin.”
So, this raises my attention to salient cues, both positive or negative. Most noticeable ones were when I was high stress, extremely exhausted and baby seems to express unhappiness, it makes me seek out for more social contacts or triggers disordered thoughts about myself. My body, the traffic and whatever that is not going right that day. But when I am under low stress and everything is under control, oxytocin provides me a sense of well-being.
The way oxytocin has affected me so greatly has really only begun when I started breastfeeding 6 months ago. It has affected my interaction with my environment, my relationships with people around me, my thoughts and especially with staying on the path to breastfeed or not etc.
Truth, is I don’t want to stop breastfeeding.
I have hit my goal of breastfeeding my baby girl until she is 6 months old, and I am very happy about it. The journey from the very beginning was rough but we got here, we are here. And I am finding it hard to stop nursing completely even if I want to because I love the bond and ease both me and my baby girl have with breastfeeding.
As much as I want my body back to myself again, I have never love another human being this unconditionally too. Chances are I will not stop nursing just yet or at least not until my milk dries out.
So in the meantime, I am going to do me and try to take control of my disordered thinking.
I had to change my negative self-talk, to talk nicely to myself, to be gentle and not be soo demanding with myself. I was in the shower the other day (I know. It seems like everyone get their epiphany in the shower) and I heard myself say, I will be 6 months postpartum soon, I SHOULD be…. And then I caught myself and think, wait what. No! I shouldn’t be anything! My postpartum journey will happen for me when the time is right. I just have to put my head down and keep grinding. It isn’t easy for sure. But there is no SHOULD, there is no time frame to follow as to when I will feel 100% like myself. It all will happen for me. I need to change my self-talk to; yes maybe by 6 months postpartum I should try to be able to do 5 unassisted pull ups again. And if I don’t. maybe 3? Alright then…. It is all hard, I know.
And so is raising a tiny human being…
But I’ve learnt that putting unrealistic expectation on things I cannot control is the worst thing we can do for ourselves when it comes to our postpartum recovery and healing. It all takes time. For the longest time even when I was pregnant I kept thinking that by 6 months postpartum I will be like myself again way before I was pregnant and it has honestly taken a toll on my mental health. I find myself sighing and feel a sense of disappointment when I don’t see my abs or my legs still feel chunky etc.
My daughter doesn’t need a a skinny mother, she needs a mother that is strong and alive and thriving in her own body, abs or no abs. By 6 months postpartum I should be more comfortable in my own skin and even if I don’t. I need to appreciate the body for all that it has done for me.
This body has given me a healthy pregnancy, an easy and safe birth and most of all, a healthy baby girl.
Truthfully, hormones are the main driving force that controls our weight gain and weight loss car. Until I balance out my hormones completely. I will not essentially feel like me for a while. My body is to feed my baby, my body is to care and protect my baby. In the meantime, I am going to focus on the things I can do, a workout, a training, a walk, a class and a healthy baby girl and still be able to get up on my feet every day to work.
Here are some tips i follow on the daily to make sure i stay on path.
- Eat a whole food healthy diet
- Take time to breathe. Practice meditation.
- Get more sleep and relax
- Live! Laugh! Play!
- Have healthy snacks ready or bring them with you when you’re on the go
Thank you for reading till the end. You can find me at @ bernsthefitnerd on IG or shoot me an email to chat!
Have an amazing week mamas!