Postpartum Depression is something many women suffer from after becoming a mother. Not only can hormones affect a new mother’s mood, but lifestyle changes may cause this feeling, as well. For one woman, motherhood was more difficult to accept than she had anticipated, but through a new support group and a new business, she was able to overcome the depression and find her true identity as a mother.
By Vanessa Coppes
I loved being pregnant. But little did I know that when my son came into the world my life would never be the same. That was the problem. I remember holding him in my arms, crying, feeling like the luckiest woman in the world. But when I laid him down to sleep, I wondered what would become of me. Who would take care of me?
I alienated myself even more from the already small universe I had created after moving from the Dominican Republic. Self sabotage became very comforting. This had nothing to do with my family, but it had everything to do with me. I didn’t know what to call it or how to deal with what was happening to me.
Having talked about my feelings with friends and having gathered the strength to attend a support group of new mothers at my local church, I came to understand that I was suffering from Postpartum Depression.
I had heard of the term but must admit feeling ashamed for a while of accepting the label and the fact that I suffered from it.
Women commonly have mood changes during pregnancy, especially after delivery. These mood changes may be caused by changes in hormone levels, but many non-hormonal factors may also affect your mood during this period:
• Changes in your body from pregnancy and delivery
• Changes in work and social relationships
• Having less time and freedom for yourself
• Lack of sleep
• Worries about your ability as a mother
One morning in June 2009, I reflected on how I was able to cope with feeling the way I did about motherhood and about being homesick. While receiving support from other moms and picking up jewelry making, which I enjoyed doing while my son napped, more and more women became interested in my pieces and my business was born.
I had a new sense of purpose for myself: the opportunity to connect to other women through my art.
These connections and support groups are why I am so passionate about the enV CHICA Movement. A chica carries herself with a caring, hermosa (beautiful), inspiring and can-do attitude. She lives her life trying to do the best that she can. An enV Chica does it all with style.
Although it took me sometime to become comfortable enough to talk about this, I realize now my story needs to be heard because I know now that it’s OK and that I am not alone.
You can change someone’s life. Please join our community by visiting Facebook.com/enVchica, and help us continue spreading the word. We can band together to connect with each other and support one another, one wrist at a time.