Thursday, September 13, 2007

It is not only your girls that need support.

Week 9
You may need support, too! All too often, new mothers spend scads of time hunting for the perfect nursing bra or post-partum clothing, but neglect to find support for the task of new motherhood, including breastfeeding.

So, I went to my hospital's breastfeeding support group yesterday. This is the same group that I attended for the first 13 months after Arun was born - in fact, I made a really, really good friend through the group. In attending that group, I realized how important it was for experienced moms to keep going even after they had breastfeeding down pat in order to support the new moms coming down the pike. I have only been once before with Anjali thus far - it is a little stressful to take Arun. He is so in love with his own "da bay-BEE" that to see even more "da bay-BEEs" is just too much temptation for his grubby fingers. Anyway, attending the group yesterday was awesome. There were a few other mothers there like me from the "Two Under Two" crowd. It was such a relief to hear I am not the only one whose patience is not her virtue. Also, there was another mother there whose baby is a Grazer like Anjali. It has been frustrating because Arun was such a quick eater, I am still not used to the lackadaisical effort Anjali puts into her meals. It takes longer to feed her and I have really fouled up scheduling more than once by not allowing enough time to take care of her nursing needs. Anyway, I am definitely going to be attending the group regularly and it will be easier once Arun begins his nursery school. I specifically put him in Wednesday mornings so I could attend the breastfeeding support group.

Overall, things are going well. Anjali weighs a whopping 12 lbs, 10 oz. It is absolutely awe-inspiring to think that my body magically produced the nutrition for her like that. All I had to do was eat healthily and make the commitment to feed her regularly. I am very grateful for my body in that respect when I see so many other mothers struggle with their milk supply. I try not to take it for granted.

Mood wise, I am doing okay. The past week, I have seen glimpses of my Old Self. The same gal who before this most recent pregnancy was very excited to take on Life. I am still planning on not taking the Zoloft because I feel this is a very mild/moderate depression anyway. I wish I could go into details, but the short version is that some of the side effects coupled with my personal and family history had me concerned. I would rather deal with the demon I can see, rather than one who may or may not show his face.

I want to be clear, very clear, that I am not against Zoloft or any other anti-depressant. If I were to give advice on the topic of post-partum depression, I would only urge you to take it seriously, push back any shame you may feel and to discuss it carefully with your doctor, your partner and yourself. What are your risk factors? How severe is your depression? Do you feel you are at risk for harming yourself or others? And finally, what are you comfortable with facing? I was simply more comfortable facing what I could already see. That's all.


Susan said...

I am so glad that you tried support group again and got so much out of it! Your fellow play-group friends and I, of course, are supportive and good listeners. But we have no idea the stress involved in raising two under two. It had to make you feel so much better to meet others in the same situation. I think you're a marvelous mom and that you're doing an awe-inspiring job of raising those two precious darlings!! And I'll be looking to you for support, chocolate, and wine when it's my turn in April...

Dooneybug said...

So happy that you are doing better and will be going to your bf'ing group! Wish we had something like that here (we don't even have a LLL within 40 miles). We have a new mom group but once your baby is 8 weeks you "graduate". Then you can take the paid classes they offer. Which we do of course! I met a lot of moms through the new mom group when my son was born and we still email and call one another to get together.

You have nursery school for the under 2 crowd? That peeks my interest!