Reflux Causes Postnatal Depression, How Do I Help Myself?

pnd reflux silent reflux sleep Jun 01, 2020

Dear Fiona, 

I want to let you know that I hear you, and yes, like you said, you know I too had a pretty shitty time and so I thank you for reaching out to me.

I will share a few things with you... firstly, it took me three years of denial, snappiness, grumpy "I'm-just-tired" remarks, and quite frankly emotional abuse (I lambasted hubby about leaving a packet of wipes open in front of his parents oops) until I was ready to see where I was, and admit that things needed to change.

My daughters reflux took my identity with it.

When I woke up three years later, I found not only was I depressed, I didn't know who I was, what my purpose in life was, or what else I was supposed to do other than get a boob out, sleep with my kids, feed them, clean their arse and then their clothes. Honestly, this didn't help me.

I just battled on without regard for myself... for 3 years... however I don’t feel that’s actually the best way!

You have a lot to process from the last year, knowing that you’re not to blame for any of it, knowing that you couldn’t have done anything differently because you didn’t have different knowledge.

Your happy self is absolutely there, she never left you, and she will start to show herself when you allow her to show up for you.

You can encourage her to come out with little tasks like recognising the amazing mother that you are, looking at yourself in the mirror with compassion, asking your hubby for support and allowing yourself to be vulnerable with him, let him hold you while you sob and release tears for everything. (Or however you guys connect emotionally).

Personally, talking therapies didn't work for me, they never have. I have worked with lots of people over the years and the most powerful one has been when I work with myself.

Do you meditate? Or journal?

Seriously, these can be the best tools on the planet, start observing where you are and showing yourself compassion, deeply. Like you were your own mother, holding you, listening to you, supporting you.

I hope this helps a little.

I will tell you that recognising what is going on is the first step, and I will remind you that you’ve got this.

The reserves of every woman are deeper than we can possibly imagine or comprehend.

You are an amazing woman, wife and mother.

You are still YOU.

We all have the answers when we are brave enough to look inside, to allow ourselves to listen to and trust our inner voices. That's probably why you ended up reading this in the first place, because you are trusting that little voice inside that is telling you the answers you have been given so far aren't the right answers.

So rely on your inner strength.

Know that you can do this.

These little practices can help daily:

  1. Look at your baby and see them, see their gorgeous face, their growing hair, their deep eyes, the wonderment that lies within them. See them without their reflux.
  2. Reframe: They are not a "reflux baby", they are your baby, with reflux. Stop letting reflux define them, it doesn't, be ready to let it go.
  3. Look at yourself in the mirror and tell you that you love you.
  4. Speak to yourself the way you need to be spoken to, with compassion, with kindness, with love.
  5. Cut yourself some slack
  6. Be vulnerable with your partner
  7. Journal (if there is time to do the clothes washing, there is time to journal, look at your priorities) on how you feel, on what you hate about your baby's reflux and what you love about your baby, on what you want your family life to look like.
  8. Sleep. I know, it's easier said than done, however there is phenomenal power in going to sleep as early as your baby, if they are sleeping for a 2 hour stint at any time of the day, you should be too. Try it for 3 evenings and see how you can function and feel. Ask you partner to help and to understand.

And if you want to accelerate all this, then let's get to the underlying cause of your baby's discomfort. There are several ways to get help depending on what is going on for your baby, however, they all start with capturing their reflux symptoms in detail. Use this fee download to do just that.

And remember, you are the most amazing mum for your baby, they chose you because of this, and you have a lifetime ahead of you both.

With love, always

A xx

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