Thank you Pam! As always, I appreciate your kindness and wisdom. I'm attaching an unsolicited photo of that aforementioned third baby, who you helped us to prepare for, and grow, and birth, and nurse (seriously: your products carried me through the childbearing year like a stalwart companion)! In fact, they've been there for me the entire 12 years we've been on this journey--one of my longest relationships! E.P.
As I was writing my blog about herbs for increasing breastmilk production, I felt guided to address how normal, natural and common it is for women to feel very emotional and feel the need to cry after they've given birth, or at any time postpartum. It became clear that it needed to be a blog post all of its own.
Your body has undergone an enormous upheaval. Your hormones are in chaos after one minute being pregnant and the next minute not. Hormones are being signalled to make milk. There is lots of chaos and craziness going on in there and the hormones and the body tried to re-balance itself after such a monumental event. Add to that sleep deprivation and exhaustion, and perhaps a bit of overwhelm. It would be a miracle to NOT feel emotional and need to cry! One of my wise midwife friends always said, "As the tears flow, so will the breastmilk." I've found that to be very true. When you restrict flow in one area, you restrict flow in all areas.
Be kind to yourself, nurture yourself, cuddle your baby skin to skin, and let yourself cry. You and your baby might both be crying, and that's ok! Just hold eachother and allow the emotion to flow through you. You will NOT cry forever, no matter how much it may feel that way. The tears will be very healing and is all a part of the natural process, trust me. It may even be healing something deep down that you may not consciously be aware of, and that's ok too. And its even ok if you never know what that is. The healing is being done, and that's all that matters.
This is important - Allow others to help you, and seek out help if no one is aware that you need it and offers. Get support from a friend or a new mom's group that you resonate with. (If you don't resonate with one, try another. There are lots of them out there.) This is precious, sacred time. It is a time of immense change. Treat yourself gently and with love and compassion as you process through it. YOU, after all, are being birthed into a new life too.
Sending you much love...
One further note: Some women do slip into postpartum depression, which is deeper than the normal postpartum emotions I've spoken about here. If you suspect you may be one of these women with Postpartum Depression, please do seek professional help. Even if you suspect it, seek help. There are many valuable resources and help available, some of which are listed on our new Find a Practitioner page. Leaders of New Mom's groups can make recommendations, Birth Resource Centers will have recommendations, lactation consultants, midwives, doulas - all of these wonderful resources can guide you so that you can effectively work through it, feel better, and enjoy this magic time with your new one to the fullest. Sending more love!...