Our expectation of pregnancy and new parenthood is often one of great excitement and joy but what if that’s not always the reality?
We commonly see these experiences portrayed as some of the most blissful and fulfilling times in our lives, and we often feel pressure to act happy or tell others how great things are even if we feel – let’s be real – far less than ecstatic. Between all of the hormonal shifts, internal growth, and lifestyle changes, a lot of intense emotions can come up during this period of immense change.
While it is completely normal to experience some fear and stress during this time, if these feelings become roadblocks to daily living, they can be devitalizing for the whole family.
From a Chinese medicine perspective, pregnancy is all about encouraging circulation to the uterus to promote your baby’s growth. In order to achieve this redirection of resources, some adjusting has to occur in terms of qi and blood supplementation, especially in the Liver (in terms of circulation), Spleen/Stomach (nutrition), and Kidney/Du/Ren (inherited traits or “essence”) meridians. During some pregnancies, this change can be a little bit more difficult to achieve or maintain, leaving the parent feeling tired, listless, anxious, or even just plain sad. During the postpartum period, this can become even more marked as we often lose an extensive amount of blood and qi during the birthing process. Acupuncture can be extremely helpful for rebalancing these resources, and here at Yinova, we offer pregnancy and lactation-safe herbal formulas for support as well, should they be needed.
We want to honor all the different experiences of pregnancy and parenthood that people go through, so if you feel this way, know that you can talk about it and are not alone! In fact, it’s estimated that between 10 and 20% of people develop some form of pregnancy-related mood disorder, and 5% of people experience a major depressive disorder. We are here to support you during these transitions with our aim being to help you feel well and better able to cope with the multitude of emotional, physical, and even spiritual changes happening during this period of your life. We also encourage you to interface with your M.D. to discuss allopathic treatment; when it comes to mental health support, there is no “one size fits all,” so the more resources we have, the better!
Talk About It:
Seek out counseling or local support groups to express your feelings and interface with others who may be going through a similar experience. Here in NYC we are lucky enough to have a plethora of centers for perinatal support such as the Postpartum Resource Center of NY and The Motherhood Center, but if you live outside the area, there are a number of hotlines (such as Postpartum Support International) that can refer you to local care.
Get Some Sleep:
Since blood flow is increased to the lower body in order to support the uterus, there tends to be a less balanced blood supply to the upper body and head, which may cause one to feel more tired, or dizzy. Rest or nap when you feel like it, and reduce your workload when feasible.
Check Your Levels:
Studies show that low vitamin D can be linked as a causative factor to some perinatal depression cases. Check in with your doctor to see how your vitamin D levels are, and supplement according to their suggestions.
Walking or light stretching can help blood flow and energy circulation, so be sure to get in a little bit of gentle movement every day. If you’d like some suggestions on what types of movement may be beneficial for you, your practitioners here at Yinova are happy to help!