Saturday, January 30, 2010

Postpartum Depression

According to the Encyclopedia of Mental Disorders, “postpartum depression is a depression that can range from mild to suicidal and can occur anytime after delivery up to one year later.” The initial onset begins in the first 4 weeks after delivery. Common symptoms include: agitation and irritability, feelings of worthlessness or guilt, feeling withdrawn, socially isolated or unconnected, negative thoughts toward the baby and thoughts of death or suicide. The underlying cause of postpartum depression is changes in hormone levels which is normally followed by mood changes and typical for the mother following the birth of a child. There is also the “postpartum blues” which is less severe than postpartum depression as it has similar symptoms but is short lived. Treatment involves medication, therapy or a combination of both. There is no single method of prevention but certain factors can help like having a support system. The best thing to do if you feel that you have this disorder is to get early detection and seek help. Don’t be ashamed or deny these symptoms if you are experiencing them because it is the smartest thing you can do for yourself, your newborn and your family. I know from experience so I can attest to the benefits of counseling as treatment for postpartum depression.

I believe I began feelings of depression while in the hospital the day after my daughter was born. I was fine one minute but then I was a “basket case” the next. I would cry just looking at my daughter. I felt like an emotional wreck and I wanted it to just stop so I could go on with my new and exciting life as a mother. I didn’t realize I was in for a very bumpy ride as my depression lasted up to a year after my daughter was born. It was extremely difficult as I felt that I had no control over my feelings and thoughts. Simultaneously, I was sad, happy, afraid, and angry. One thing I did know was that I didn’t want to harm my child. I think I was moreso severely paranoid that I would do something wrong that would lead to her being harmed. Becoming a mother for the first time is scary because you have this little person who cannot talk that totally depends on you for everything. I immediately thought that maybe I was just having a small bout with the “baby blues” but my symptoms seemed to last longer than I believed was capable. I just talked to my husband, some of my family members and friends about it which helped slightly but it wasn’t until my daughter was 8 or 9 months old that I finally decided that I needed to seek some counseling which was one of the best decisions I could have ever made. It is a shame that going to counseling is so taboo in our society because I think that many people will benefit greatly from it whether they are depressed or not. It is very therapeutic as it opened the door for a lot of other issues to be revealed and I was forced to face them. A breakthrough occurred as a result of my counseling sessions. I began to see things differently and realized that the solution was in me all along. I did not need any medication to relieve myself of this depression which so abruptly took over my body and mind. I personally do not believe in medication for depression and many other illnesses and disorders. I think that a holistic approach is more suiting as medications put you at risk for additional problems such as dependency and adverse effects which will in turn lead to further illnesses. This defeats the whole purpose in seeking help in my opinion so I hope that this information was helpful for those who were misinformed or knew nothing about postpartum depression because we need to increase awareness as many women suffer from this disorder and do not seek the proper attention for it as they either deny it or simply don’t know that it is something common which can also be treated.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

It's about Confidence not Cockiness!

Coming from someone who's been mistaken by ignorant people for being stuck up or conceited I can say that most of my life even if I didn't feel good about myself I walked with my head held high because I wanted to ;-) I refused to walk around with my head held down just because I didn't want to be mistaken for "thinking I'm cute" or "all of that" as many would accuse me of acting based on my confident walk...LOL...I laugh about it now but back then I would get so angry and tell people off but I digress...Ladies, no matter how bad you are feeling we should walk with confidence every where we go. I'm not saying that we should over do it by putting too much swing in the hip area but you know what I mean. Never let people see you sweat and then maybe they won't make stupid comments that make you feel worse than you already feel. This applies to any situation. If you carry yourself with confidence and "swag" of course you'll attract haters but it comes with the territory of being haute ;-) Shrug them off and keep it movin' but first thing's first. Let's explore ways that we can discover the inner hauteness that I speak so highly of. From my experience, these steps have worked for me:

1) Relax your mind and as they said in one of my favorite movies 'Something New' "Let go and let flow". If you are the type that tends to overanalyze and usually walk around in a pessimistic state of mind try to make a conscious effort not to because the more negative energy you put out the more negativity you will attract. It never fails. Just take a moment and think about this if you doubt it because it's true. For example, I'm afraid of large bodies of water and for several years I always feared swimming lessons and just simply getting into the pool. I was never optimistic about it at all. I would always say "I can't do it!" and until this day I have not learned how to swim! I plan to conquer this fear before I leave this earth but that's another story. My point is that if you continue to think negatively about something you are going to continuously attract like thoughts and this way of thinking leads you nowhere. The Law of Attraction confirms this notion as it argues that "conscious and unconscious thoughts can affect things outside the head". Basically, "if you really want something and truly believe its possible, you'll get it," but if you focus primarily on what you don't want you can get that too. So, relax and focus on obtaining whatever it is that you want in life and you're sure to get it but your thoughts can be polluted by outside influences so beware because negative outside influences will surely hold you back which leads me to the next step.

2) Surround yourself with positivity. It may seem difficult to do especially if the negativity comes from your closest friends and family. Ever heard the term "you are the company you keep"? Self-explanatory. If you hang around losers more than likely you will become a loser as well. No one intentionally wants to be a loser so if you want to see your life take off in a positive direction keep people in your circle who have your best interests at heart. If you have to omit certain people from your life than do so. As far as family is concerned sometimes we have to "bite the bullet" as my father would say. In short , meet anguish with strength and courage. We have to deal with some people in our lives and those individuals are not always pleasant to be around to say the least so keep it short as you can with them and then keep it movin'. You will be amazed at how easier life will get once you begin this simple task. It will be as if you lived your life surrounded by a foggy haze that gradually clears up the sooner you relieve yourself of those negative influences in the form of people. So, you've thought about it and you've removed most of the poison from your life (that which is obvious because it can and will come in all forms of disguise) You're ready for your next move.

3) Put your thoughts to action. Now that you have omitted negative thoughts and people from your life you can think more clearly. *singing "I can see clearly now the rain is gone"* Believe me. It works. Try to focus on that dream that you once had when you were a kid to be a doctor or a lawyer etc. or a goal that you once thought was unobtainable and think of ways you can begin to accomplish them. Now as mothers we think "I have to wait a few more years because I have to focus on the kids"...A happy parent makes a happy child so whatever it is you have to do to achieve happiness as an individual start thinking about how to pursue it and take the steps to accomplishing it. Everyone has something that they are passionate about outside of your family. It's that one thing that you would do if you didn't have to worry about paying bills and other responsibilities that cause us to have to accept certain jobs in order to make ends meet whether we like them or not. Go out and make it happen.

These "steps" are my own which you can modify to suit yourself. I am no expert on life by any means. I'm just sharing my experiences and what worked for me in hopes that it will yield similar results for you as well. Ultimately, you will discover your inner hauteness through learning about capabilities you never knew or believed you had. Haute doesn't have to only describe your sense of fashion as a mother but your overall elegance!

A Haute Introduction


I know you all have heard of the term "haute mama" which means "fashionably elegant mama". The fashionable aspect does not mean that you have to fit in someone else's category of what "fashionable" is to them. We all have our own style and many of us can express our individuality pretty well through our style of dress. It doesn't mean that you have to wear expensive name brand clothes, have a fully made up face with MAC products or go to the best hair salon in town to keep your hair looking good. This blog is all about celebrating the mamas who manage motherhood, marriage, careers, and anything else that comes there way with style! There is nothing better than seeing a mother with her child/children keeping them under control and managing to look her best at the same time! Love it! This is my inspiration for this blog. I want to celebrate the beauty of motherhood and help others who may be in a "mommy rut" discover their inner hauteness by inspiring them with stories of real life mamas out here doing their thing! I have had the pleasure of meeting and growing up with some incredible women who I consider haute mamas and I plan to share their stories and pics with you soon! In addition to inspirational stories I plan to include tips on fashion, beauty, exercise, total body health and wellness, music, and much more!!! Keep checking in for updates! I also accept your suggestions on what would be helpful to you in hopes that it may help other readers as well!