Meredith's passion for the postpartum space began after experiencing a difficult pregnancy, postpartum, and transition into motherhood.
She realized that there was an abundance of resources for pregnant women, but a significant lack of resources for women in the postpartum phase.
She soon realized her skills as an occupational therapist uniquely suited her to support women in this phase of life.
As an occupational therapist, She helps people accomplish everyday life activities that they both need and want to do.
Being a mother is a role that impacts all areas of our lives, and as mothers, we must continually adjust to changing daily life and routines as our children grow. It can be hard to take care of and prioritize yourself as a mother, and can be isolating to feel like you are the only one struggling with this.
Her special mission is to empower women to take care of themselves while caring for their children and create a source of connection for mothers who are in similar life stages.
Join us as we chat about all things postpartum!
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Trish: [00:00:00] My name is Trish Ware and I am obsessed with all things pregnancy and birth and helping you to navigate with the practical and the magical seasons of this journey called motherhood. I'm an all day coffee sipping mama of seven. I've had the amazing privilege of delivering many babies in my 15 plus year career as a labor and delivery nurse and as a mama of seven.
I'm here to help you take the guesswork out of childbirth so you can make the choices that are right for you and your baby. Quick note, this podcast is for educational purposes only and does not replace your medical advice. Check out our full disclaimer at the bottom of the show notes.
Hello everyone. I am Transcribed so ready to talk about today's topic.
If you guys have [00:01:00] been hanging out with me, then you know that something crazy surprising has come along in my business and in my life. And that is this, just this new Obsession with postpartum because of our postpartum membership. So today's guest is Meredith Wehmeyer, and she has a business called Self Care.
Is it Self Care?
Meredith Waymire: Self Care P L C. I just switched to the P. Oh, jeez. But I'm an occupational therapist, so Self Care O T is like my Instagram title and my kind of catchy title.
Trish: Okay, so there you have it. I knew it was self care, which is a hugely important topic for mamas And so I'm so excited that we have her on here today because we're gonna be talking about something that you may not be focused on right now, especially if you're pregnant because [00:02:00] You are thinking about birth and you're thinking about labor.
And I know it because I hang out with you guys all the time, but I want you right now. To grab a piece of paper, sit down, get a glass of tea, get your raspberry tea, get your date bar, whatever it is you're doing to prep for birth. And I want you to pay attention to what we're talking about because today we're going to be talking about navigating your postpartum emotions and girl, they are.
Big emotions. So welcome, Meredith. Will you tell everyone who you are, what you do, how you landed on what you're doing?
Meredith Waymire: Yes. I am an occupational therapist and I have a perinatal and maternal occupational therapy practice in Chicago Illinois. I want to give a little background about what occupational therapy is, because we're like a little known branch of healthcare that people are, it's often misunderstood.
I like to call us the Original Life Therapist because an occupation [00:03:00] is anything that you do that takes up time and is meaningful to you. Basically everything that you do and all the million mom tasks that you do are occupations. An occupational therapist, we are healthcare practitioners that have training in physical, psychological, and emotional Rehabilitation and my background before moving into maternal health was in working with clients with neurological diagnosis and chronic pain.
And I went through a really difficult pregnancy postpartum and transition into motherhood at 2020 and saw that there was a bunch of gaps in healthcare for maternal care and realized that as an occupational therapist, I would be uniquely suited to help fill some of those gaps. So I started self care, now PLLC and I'm really passionate about working with new moms and helping them with the transition into motherhood.
Trish: I love that. So I obviously as a nurse am familiar with OT and I think it's [00:04:00] Interesting that you've transitioned into this niche because it's so important. It really is so important. And I am so passionate about this topic. Like we were talking before we started recording. I have so many moms in my mama membership that are really struggling right now.
So I want to just dive in and I know that you probably have an even bigger story as to why navigating postpartum emotions is near and dear to your heart. So as we talk about this, I'd love for you to share that as well. So let's just dive in, give us your
Meredith Waymire: wisdom. I've got I've got seven tips.
I've thought about this and wanted to have some practical tips to give moms, but have organized them in I would say, seven key tips. I think the first one for me is understanding what [00:05:00] to expect, especially the first 14 days. My OB, who I literally love and will love her for my entire life, told me anything goes the first 14 days.
And I think that's so right because it's like, what, 75, 80 percent of new moms experience the baby blues. And I feel like When you hear baby blues, at least for me, I didn't really understand what that meant. And it's not just blues or depression. It can be irritability, mood changes, anger insomnia, fear, hypervigilance, all of those things can be incorporated into the baby blues, right?
And knowing that, that is normal and that happens to a lot of people, I think is very important. And I feel like It's difficult for moms to talk about that and experience that because there's also this feeling of, I should be so happy my baby's born and he's normal and healthy and everything's fine.
And I feel like in [00:06:00] some ways we don't even allow ourselves to, to experience the negative emotions because we're so focused on trying to have the positive emotions, but I think there's space for both of those things, there's space for. Having the joy, of course, that comes with a newborn baby, but also honoring the other feelings that come up.
Trish: And I think that's so wise because so many times All we see is the ooey gooey, the pictures of this mom, and she's got this look of adoration for her newborn, and, oh, I'm so in love. You don't see the picture of I don't want to hold that baby this disconnect, this feeling of You interrupted everything like you are keeping me up all night you just pooped all over me like I tell my girls all the time like if anyone came to visit you into your [00:07:00] space into your safe space because our home you Really is if we're sick, if we're stressed, if we're having a bad day at work, we want to go home.
And now our home is not what it was. Our home has a little screaming baby. We don't get sleep. We're not getting rest. Our butt is swollen. All these things are going on. And if anyone else invaded our space, we would have all, like you said, a range of emotions, but we're told that we're only going to have the one.
Which is, oh, it's amazing, but it's not always amazing. And it's okay. I love that you're saying
Meredith Waymire: that. Yes. Yeah, I think acceptance of that, acceptance of the fact that, there's a disconnect between what we think we're supposed to feel and what we see people feeling and what people tell us we should feel and what we see on social media.
But. If your baby comes out and you don't have this intense magical moment, that's okay. It's okay if you guys are both really exhausted from everything that just happened, it's okay if, that's great if you do, [00:08:00] amazing experience if you do, but if you don't you're going to have many more magical moments and you're going to have, an amazing journey into motherhood and, Having a rough go of it the first few weeks is normal.
And, accepting that maybe you had a difficult time in pregnancy. Maybe you had a, battle royale of a labor. Maybe you had a difficult time postpartum. Maybe you had life things that came up in pregnancy or your birth plan didn't go as you thought it was going to be. I think that these are all things that we need to kind of process and almost grieve in some ways for the experience we didn't get to have that we thought we were going to have, but accepting, your story and your experience and, how you brought your baby into this world and how it's going.
Right now is really powerful. So I think that, honoring that and, of course, experiencing the joy that comes with it. But there's, it's like the, there's a duality. There's room for both of these experiences. And I think, the other thing that, that you touched on is sleep deprivation and, every, the baby shower jokes are like, never sleep again, but it's so much more real than never sleeping again.
Like sleep deprivation is [00:09:00] torturous and it's no joke. It's no joke. And especially if you're a mom that had a 30 hour battle royale labor, you're entering. New parenthood on empty,
Trish: yeah, and if you, the last weeks of your pregnancy, you were uncomfortable and you, or you were just, your mind like was so on birth and you couldn't sleep well or whatever it was.
But I say this to my mamas all the time, like there's a reason they use sleep deprivation and prisoner of war camps to get you to do whatever they want. It is no joke. It is horrible. It's a horrible
Meredith Waymire: experience. I agree. I agree. And I feel like when people talk about it, it's all like when you're pregnant, it's this lighthearted, get ready to not sleep again.
But nobody's no, seriously, it's it's really bad. It's really bad. And then of course the emotional centers of your brain went to already these intense emotions that we're experiencing, right? All of the like intensity that we're experiencing in the first couple of weeks, [00:10:00] the emotional centers of your brain are like.
60 to 80 percent more active or whatever it is when you're not sleeping. So like mental health symptoms are intensified. So what you're feeling is like even more intense. And
Trish: you might be in pain. Your butt, you might have hemorrhoids, which are no, like I, I say this all the time, everybody's worried about tearing, but hemorrhoids will take you down sister, like you're tired and you have some things sticking out of your butt, couple of them, yeah, no, I always joke, I joke, but I don't joke, so I had my oldest son, When I was a teenager and I will never forget this moment and if you guys haven't seen I have a real I don't know when this is gonna air, but I have a real right now and bless my doulas heart I have a I have two team doulas, but taylor is like game for anything I'm ready to do like I text her and I said taylor I heard this sound that's trending for newborns [00:11:00] where newborns have a blowout Poopy diaper, and I was like, it sounds like gas.
Will you help me with a reel? And so I had her do this epidural reel where it's, I, I'm pretending I'm the labor nurse. I'm going to roll her to her side and she has gas. And the whole thing is it's so funny this reel about having gas. And the face she makes is the exact face I made when my labor nurse said to me after I delivered.
She said, Oh, you, it looks like you have a head of cauliflower coming out of your bottom. That was my first time hearing about hemorrhoids. And I was like, a head of what? Coming out of where? What are you talking about? I had no idea. No one prepared me for hemorrhoids. And that was the worst part of my recovery.
Meredith Waymire: So painful. I'm with you. And I think the physical thing I am a woman and I'm a healthcare professional and I had no idea what to [00:12:00] expect postpartum. I thought that I guess I mentally, I had a rough pregnancy for lots of different reasons and lots of physical things happened in my pregnancy, but I was like, okay, it's nine months I can get through nine months, it's fine.
And then I was like, I had no plans or no thoughts as to what was going to happen next. And so I think just like knowing that you're still going to be pregnant for three months and that's like another extension of the pregnancy going in with that mindset is huge. And then my pelvic health PT friend was like, give yourself a year.
And I was like, I'm sorry, a what? A year, give myself a year to feel normal. That little knowing that like normal actually doesn't ever exist again. It's just a new normal, so like having this expectation that. It's going to take some time to stabilize. I won't even say recover, but stabilize, especially if you're a nursing mama, because the hormones with breastfeeding just continue, right?
So it's going to take a long time to feel stable. And I think knowing that ahead of time, not to [00:13:00] scare women, but also just to prepare them, because I was like. just ready to be done. And so it's Oh, I can't wait for this baby to come out. I'm ready to be done. But you're not done. You're just entering another phase.
It's like round two. It's if the marathon that you didn't know you were training for, now you're in a triathlon and you thought you were done.
Trish: Yeah. You just got done with the run part. Now you dove into the water to do the swim
Meredith Waymire: part. Yeah. And you weren't prepared. You don't even know how to swim.
Because nobody told you that there was going to be swimming. Yeah.
Trish: No, I love that. And I love that you said that even for you having this difficult to pregnancy, of course you weren't thinking about the postpartum because you were trying to get through the pregnancy. And at the end of the pregnancy was the birth.
And so that's one thing my team and I, because like I said, this postpartum aspect of my business, I'm a labor nurse. We do not do postpartum labor nurses. If I get floated to postpartum, it's not my favorite thing in the world. Like I keep you for two hours. I pass you to a postpartum nurse. That's my postpartum besides my own postpartum experience, which you and I [00:14:00] both know no one talks about.
So I navigated that on my own. And I didn't know a lot of the things I went through were common until I've had my own postpartum membership. And so this has been a real doozy for us because we're like, how do we tell these mamas you need our membership without scaring the living shit out of
Meredith Waymire: them? Yeah, I think that's why no one talks about it because it's like you don't want to scare you but it's also like it's also like you want to prepare so that you at least have an understanding of what to expect because it's like it's so isolating to feel like you're the Only one struggling with this.
There's like tight lipped phenomenon where moms don't talk about it because they're like no I can do it, too See I could I can do it, too. I'm you know
Trish: And I can post this picture that makes it look like I'm doing it well, just like you did. I'm not going to post the real
Meredith Waymire: picture. So I like talking about I called myself a train wreck and I was like very vocal about it.
And I think that's one of like my gifts to the world is I just live out loud. And so I went to work and I was [00:15:00] like, this is what's happening. Why didn't you guys talk about this? Cause I think it gives. Permission for other mothers to do the same. When we talk about, when you talk about your hemorrhoids looking like a head of cauliflower, that gives women to say permission to say, Hey, me too, and it was really painful and I couldn't sit straight and it made holding my baby a challenge and it was hard to deal with, there's no hemorrhoid sideline pictures on social media.
Trish: Hi. Yes. Fun. Okay. So now that we have spent a lot of time on number one, number
Meredith Waymire: one, number two, what is number two? Cause I'm dying to know when to get help, what to get help for and where to get it. The general rule of thumb is that these intense emotions last for two weeks. Because that corresponds to the huge, like hormonal and emotional shift that's happening.
When do you get help and how do you get it? I would say if your symptoms are intense even in the first two weeks, talk to your doctor. If they continue after the first two weeks, talk to your doctor. If they're mild or moderate and they're still [00:16:00] present after the first two weeks, talk, just talk to your doctor.
Have an open line of communication with your doctor for what you're experiencing. Depression is routinely screened for, right? But I think that's just like tip of the iceberg. And in my opinion, a lot of the screeners miss the other common conditions that are present. Yeah, so depression is one thing, but I think anxiety is as big if not bigger.
OCD. PTSD, which I love talking about and rage, which I love talking about, because these are things that like that nobody talks about, but they're also incredibly common and you can experience them. Paranoia. Yes. The hypervigilance. These are like the common ones. And then of course there's like some of the more serious, but more uncommon ones, like having a bipolar episode postpartum psychosis where they're more rare, but they do happen and you need to know what to look for and when to get treatment, right?
Trish: And don't let these screeners blow you off. I think that's what I find with my mamas. A lot of times they are sharing[00:17:00] they're taking baby steps to share when they're getting screened and the people doing the screened are not, the screening are not adequately trained and so they're saying things in response like, Oh, that's so normal.
That's normal. And just missing it.
Meredith Waymire: Yeah, I feel like I had a host of of emotions and feelings and I answered every question accurately on those screeners and was never flagged as someone that I had to advocate for what I needed, postpartum, because I was like, this is not okay.
Trish: The terrible thing is you're not in the mental space to advocate for yourself because you like this is what we teach our girls inside of our membership while they're pregnant. We have them set up the help they need. Take the steps while pregnant.
Meredith Waymire: That's tip number six.
Trish: Oh, sorry. But just in case because when you are in a mental space that is not a good mental space, just Doing the easy things so [00:18:00] hard.
Oh my god, so
Meredith Waymire: hard. So hard to it's just overwhelming to even look for a lactation consultant. What do these symptoms look like? Depression I feel like people know what the depression symptoms are. The crying, the sadness, like loss of interest those type of symptoms.
Anxiety can look like the constant worry, the fear the... Disturbing your sleep and appetite and one thing that I wanted to mention is that the physical symptoms of anxiety, I feel like people don't always think about or understand that you can have heart palpitations, dizziness, nausea and they can really, like postpartum, you can have a host of physiological symptoms that are, stemming from anxiety.
Trish: Difficulty catching your
Meredith Waymire: breath. Yes. Yeah I like to talk about PTSD, too, because, I've looked into this, and I think the, they have statistics for all of these things, and I think that they're dramatically not right, they're underreported, underdiagnosed but PTSD in particular, I think Postpartum Support International says it's 9 percent of women, but other studies [00:19:00] say, like, when you have a birth trauma, it can be, like, 30 percent of women.
It's way higher. Yeah,
Trish: I would say it's way higher than that. Just in my own community, because we meet every Thursday night with our postpartum moms. We do a Zoom hangout, and I'm gonna say at least 60 percent of my moms have some form of PTSD, and my girls are well educated and well
Meredith Waymire: supported.
Yeah. Yeah. It's birth is traumatic, right? And trauma can be a real or perceived threat, right? It doesn't have to be, it can be a perceived threat. And so PTSD, the highlights of that are the, you can have flashbacks, you can have intrusive thoughts, you can have triggers that kind of put you back in a space where you're really fearful.
And I think that that's really common. OCD of course is like the, to familiarize people with OCD is like the obsessions and the compulsions, right? Like you have a constant worry or a thought and you might be constantly checking on the baby. And the people who have OCD are extremely hyper vigilant, which is also hyper vigilance is something that is [00:20:00] like a normal experience, right?
And it can become like magnified. And then the other one, I think that gets missed a lot is rage because nobody wants to talk about postpartum rage, right? We're supposed to be I specifically, I remember mentioning RAGE to my son's pediatrician and she stopped the exam for all my son and was like, which was good.
It was a good, it was a good call because she's that's a very strong word. And I was like, yes, it is. And then she was, of course, was like, Do you feel like you're going to hurt yourself with the baby? And I was like, no, not at all. But I have a lot of really intense emotions and rage is the appropriate way to describe them.
I have a lot, I had a lot going on in my life before pregnancy, during pregnancy, postpartum. And I had a lot of really strong, intense emotions where I was easily frustrated. It's like this exaggerated sense of it. And you're
Trish: like, not me or the baby as you look at your partner, not going to hurt me or the baby.
Meredith Waymire: Yeah, just feeling like you're constantly on edge, feeling like you want to swear. I feel like a lot of like rage, I've actually saw a good, there was a good Instagram post this morning from a [00:21:00] psychologist I was following that said 30 percent of new moms experience postpartum rage. That's one in three.
It's a common word and I feel like when you hear the word rage, it sounds so aggressive and it sounds so like scary but it's common and it's just an exaggerated feel, exaggerated emotion. Yeah, gosh,
Trish: rage is a big word, but it's a big
Meredith Waymire: feeling. It's a big feeling. Just so then you reenter this, you reenter big feelings when you get to the paddler years too.
Trish: Yeah. And Toddler Rage is no joke either. We'll have to do another
Meredith Waymire: one on that one. That'll be a whole separate podcast. And then of course the, of course I just want to mention to the bipolar and the postpartum psychosis, obviously very serious. Postpartum psychosis I think is it's like one in two of every thousand births.
And I think the important thing to note is that your women are not usually at risk to harm themselves or the baby, but it is like a serious break from reality, and needs to be treated immediately. And so bipolar disorder [00:22:00] too, it can just look like it can look like severe depression or anxiety, or it can have like more highlight features of not sleeping Rapid speech and grandiose thinking things like that.
So that's what to get help for. Like all of these conditions. How do you get help? I think the 1st line of defense in my opinion is again, call your OB has a 24 hour. Line that you can call in case of emergency. I would rather call and not need it then not call and need it.
So you could talk to your OB. You could talk to your PCP. You could talk to your child's pediatrician. But talk to somebody. There's, a number of hotlines that I found, too, that I think would be really helpful to women, and Postpartum Support International offers one, but it's like a callback service, and they can connect you with mental health therapists in your area And there's a maternal one, too, that's 24 7, a hotline that you can call that's just about maternal health, which I think is We'll have to, we'll have to
Trish: put all those in the show notes.
Yeah. I think that have to
Meredith Waymire: get those from you. Have a good resource. Yeah. And, who, so talk to your doctor, but then who do you actually get help from, [00:23:00] right? It's like a lot of people aren't familiar with the mental health arena, so there's a host of different people you can have for therapy, like social workers, LCSWs is the initials you look for.
Yeah. licensed professional counselors, LPCs, psychologists and Postpartum Support International has a training and I have to look at my notes and see that what the abbreviation is, but I think it's really important because it's like a certification for mental health and it also have the abbreviations PMH C.
So these are the mental health clinicians that are trained in perinatal mental health and who you should be looking for to talk to, right? Who to talk to, I think, is really important. And there are psychiatrists. Psychiatrists are the ones that deal with medication management, right? And of course, when you, if you are, if you do need to take medication it's helpful in combination with therapy.
But I would look for a psychiatrist and or a counselor that have that specific mental maternal mental health training, in my opinion. And
Trish: Just to add this in there because I have a lot of [00:24:00] my mamas who cannot find them in their area that have that specific training. Do not put it off if you can't find them.
You need to go down the list. If you can't find someone who has that training, then go to someone who specializes in trauma.
Meredith Waymire: Yes. Agreed. Agreed. Very good. So yeah, definitely in the show notes, we can put postpartum support international. I think we'll connect you. I wonder, now, since the pandemic gave us the beautiful thing of telehealth, so I would also say yeah, if you can find the right resource to that, get help from somebody and then get connected, like if you can to somebody who specializes in that would be wonderful.
So I 100 percent agree. Don't get help from anybody that don't put it off. Don't put it off. And of course, if it's an emergency 911
Trish: always. Yes. Okay. So let's get hopping and go through the rest of our tips.
Meredith Waymire: Tip number three free yourself with the word matrescence. So I don't know if you've heard this word.
Have you heard it? I love it. I love it. I love the word matrescence. And matrescence is just the process of [00:25:00] becoming a mother, right? So it's the physical, hormonal, emotional, psychological changes that you experience with a massive Shift in role and identity. And, I love this word because I feel like it's freeing and it gives you permission to not be perfect.
It's a learning experience. And I think new moms struggle with feeling like they need to know how to do everything right away perfectly. And that's really unrealistic because You did not become a fully fledged adult from Teenage hood, right? Like you had to go through this awkward adolescence period.
And I think viewing matrescence like adolescence is really powerful in that it took you a long time to become the adult that you are now. Knowing that it's going to be a period of growth and development to turn into the mother that you want to eventually be, and that's okay. I love
And pouring into yourself as a mother, reading books, learning and growing and allowing yourself grace to make mistakes. So important.
Meredith Waymire: I think that is [00:26:00] the biggest thing. I think there's also this like thing that happens when you become a mother that you lose yourself in a lot of ways, like you lose, there's a major like loss of of identity and and, who you used to be.
And I think that's Something that, again, women don't talk about and it is an okay experience to have and okay to grieve for that person. But knowing that with that comes the opportunity to rebuild your life and that the person that you used to be. Is always going to be a part of you and you're actually going to end up becoming somebody greater than who that was so there's I feel like a lot of people talk about this profound sense of like loss like the old Meredith the old Trish like the old that old person doesn't exist anymore, but they're a part of you
Trish: Yeah, I love that so much.
Okay, let's keep chomping
Meredith Waymire: They get shorter, I think the first two were that were the long important ones Tip number four focus on yourself, right? So Know that your well being is intimately linked to your babies and your [00:27:00] partners, if you have one, and the rest of your families. And that women are already spending so much of their time and energy and attention on their babies.
And I feel like it's difficult for, people to focus on themselves, but the oxygen mask has never been more relevant, right? You can't keep going and going and going and going and take care of your baby if you're not also taking care of yourself. So I think that it's a, you're actually doing a huge disservice to your baby and your family if you don't take care of yourself.
Trish: I love that. Self care is I tell the girls all the time that's something I am very regretful about because I got divorced in 2019. I was married from the time I was a child. I have seven children. I don't know if you know that. And I remember my therapist saying, I want you to picture yourself a year from now and you're at peace and you're doing something you love.
What is that? I could not picture it for the life of me because everything I did [00:28:00] was wrapped around either work or my children. And I started I started this class called Boundaries and I started doing practicing self care. care. And I remember asking my therapist is it okay for me to tell the kids I'm gonna watch a movie by myself in my room?
I really didn't do anything for me. And so I really encourage you guys, and I encourage my mommies in my group, practice that from the beginning, even if it looks like, okay, here's the baby, pass the baby to someone, the baby's gonna be fine. Write from the get go and take 15 minutes, take a cup of tea, take a, like a journal, go sit outside, write down, 10 things you're grateful for, listen to the birds, listen to a song, do something you love.
Meredith Waymire: Exactly. And I think, the thing that the reason I titled my business self care is it's like you have to relearn how to take care of yourself. You really do. You have to relearn how to care for yourself [00:29:00] now with this huge change in role and responsibility. And so one strategy that I've found and that I continue to use is that focusing on moments for yourself.
So instead of you might have, going to the gym for an hour and then getting a massage and then taking a bath and then, doing all of these things. But if you can find moments for yourself in the chaos in the day where it's truly just about you, even if it's five minutes, even if it's 15 minutes but really immerse yourself in doing what it is that you need.
And knowing, I think that self care is a constant re evaluation when you're a mother of knowing what do I need in this moment? Do I need a contact nap on with my baby right now? Or do I need to get up and go take a walk and pass the baby off? Do I need a shower? What is the most important thing that I need right now?
And allowing yourself to have that.
Trish: Yeah. And I, and also freeing yourself from that guilt when you do things from yourself. Or for yourself. It's okay. It's okay to invest in you. It's okay. And it's not going to damage your child. It's going [00:30:00] to benefit your child. Okay, let's move on.
Meredith Waymire: Yes, I agree.
Okay. Tip number five, prepare for other people's emotional reactions to your baby and your experience. I think this is a big one because People are weird about babies. Families are weird about babies. People are weird about life transitions and life events and other people are going to have these intense emotional reactions to your experience and being part of a family and being, having friendships is a really dynamic experience.
But when you're in this different, having a baby is something completely different. You're in an altered state of being, I think that. Setting boundaries and focusing on like knowing that it's okay to focus on what you need and what the baby needs is the number one priority and being okay with setting boundaries, not only physically, but also like emotionally where you are not feeling responsible for how the other person handles the boundary is that could be a whole nother podcast than a masterclass, but something I think to work on.
Trish: Yeah, I know. I love that. I think [00:31:00] that is so good because you're right. It is such a huge part of becoming a parent is that Suddenly everyone has an opinion Everyone has an emotion Everyone has an idea about what you should or shouldn't do and I tell the girls this too like It's okay, they can, but this is your baby, this is your child, and whether you're right or wrong, unless you're causing harm, that's different, but whether you're right or wrong, it's your journey, and you're gonna learn from it, you're gonna make mistakes you'll make mistakes, and that's okay too, but they don't get to make the choices
Meredith Waymire: for you.
Definitely. So boundaries, practice, practice your boundaries. Number six, Trish jumped ahead and it's so wonderful that she did. Put your support systems in place ahead of time. Exactly what you said, Trish, that it is so difficult to do. I am like a very high functioning person and I was [00:32:00] overwhelmed with trying lactation consultant, like postpartum when we were having.
trouble. My son had a tongue tie and a reflux and torticollis and the whole thing. And it was just so hard to find It was so hard to just do that just to like to research that and get somebody out here and figure out insurance and navigate the pandemic was like overwhelming. So I feel like you know in our Western world like the village doesn't exist so you really have to create your own village right and putting those support systems in place ahead of time.
So getting help the first couple of weeks from a friend a family a postpartum doula if that is something that you're able to provide for yourself. Would be huge taking assistance from other people who offer to cook meals and clean your house, like getting the logistics of any kind of help that you can have, take it, don't try to do it all on your own.
Don't, you should be focusing and if you have a partner, they should be focusing on your emotional and your physical needs the first couple of weeks. No,
Trish: I love that so much. And one of the, if. If someone joins one of our birth classes, we do a birth, we do what we call [00:33:00] the empowered birth bundle.
And part of that is they get like a bundle of classes, including our postpartum recovery class. And in that we have a guide of what to set up ahead of time. And that includes the lactation resources. The postpartum recovery sources, the postpartum international resources, the we have them walk through what is my insurance cover?
If I need mental help, who do I call if I start having these signs? What are these signs? What does my partner look out for? And the other thing is. Which of my friends can I be the most real with and which of my friends is going to come over and do a load of laundry, not sit and stare at my baby?
You don't want a friend who's only going to want to come over and snuggle. You want a friend who's going to come over and see a need and fix it.
Meredith Waymire: Yes, exactly. The focus should be on helping you and baby bond and Them helping [00:34:00] out. It's not a time for whoever's helping you out to just hold and snuggle the baby.
Like it is the time for them to say, what do I need to do? . And you be able to, and also direct. Yeah. You be able to ask for that help is, is a skill. Yeah. And
Trish: that's one of the things we teach too. We teach the partners and we teach, like we have like lists. Is that, I don't know about you Meredith, but I know for myself and most of the moms in my group when I'm really struggling and like when I'm really tired or I don't feel well or I'm emotional and my husband or even my family says, how can I help you?
My go to is I don't know. I really don't know. And I find that new moms are the same way. They just really don't know what would actually help them. So we go ahead and put that together. Okay. If she's going through this is what will help her do this,
Meredith Waymire: So that's, I think that's amazing. That's wonderful.
Yeah, definitely. I was going to say bring your partner into it and let them know that it's likely to be intense. Just like you said, putting together your lactation consultants beforehand, I would add to that [00:35:00] if you can research, if there's any mental health providers in your area that specialize in maternal health.
We have all and
Trish: know what your insurance covers, because even just calling your insurance company or your, that's too much. Like you won't do it. You won't take those steps. Yeah.
Meredith Waymire: No, you won't. How can you do that? You're like, you're in survival mode, so you can't really go past the basic needs.
And I'm going to add pelvic floor PT to that list. Pelvic floor PT. I think every woman, this should be like a routine part of postnatal care.
Trish: And I wish it was all covered. That's the. Some of the things I wish I had done was a chiropractor and a pelvic floor specialist anyway, okay That's a whole nother podcast to
Meredith Waymire: Definitely we could have a sub podcast for each of these tips And then we touched on this one tip number seven connect with other mothers, right?
So the pandemic is ending slash over and now we have the luxury of going in person But also I think a nice thing that the pandemic gave us is the beautiful beauty of Virtual groups and virtual communities. So you have a choice now, whether you can [00:36:00] go to in person to something like a new mommy and me group or if you want to join a community online.
Even if you don't feel like participating in a group, there's like lots of communities. Like you said, you have a, you guys have a a community for. new mothers and pregnant women. There's tons of them out there. Find which one is, most aligns with your experience. Are you someone that's having a lot of mood changes postpartum?
Or do you want to join a walking group? Or, what do you want to do? Center it around something that's going on and is important in your life. And I think the other big part of this for me is not just connecting with new moms because that is incredibly important and what everybody thinks to do.
Get to know your veteran moms because veteran moms will talk to you like new moms sometimes don't feel like again There's like that tight lip phenomenon We're like we don't really want to talk about how hard it is but veteran moms once you're like past that experience women are Now look back.
Oh, yeah, I had postpartum anxiety. I had postpartum depression. I struggled. It was really hard for me. Once they've gotten through this experience, we all want to talk about it. Finding the moms that are willing to talk to you about that, normalize what you're going through. But also, [00:37:00] they know how to do everything.
They, you're learning how to take care of a baby for the first time. And, I don't know about... Everybody else, but I didn't know very much about babies. So your friends that you can call and say, okay, this is what's happening. Is this, what would you do? Is this okay? Is this normal? And veteran moms just, they've raised an infant so they know how to, they know how to guide you.
Trish: That's one thing I love about our mama membership. The postpartum side is that we have our VBAC lab students combined with our calm labor students, which are calm labor students. So we have a lot of, second to fifth time mamas, because we cater to all, but our VVAC lab students are moms who have had a cesarean who now want a vaginal delivery.
So some of them, I've got one mom right now that is pregnant with like her fifth, I don't know, lots of babies, but they come all come together in the postpartum membership and you're right. It's been our mamas who are veteran mamas that have. Broken the ice, so to say, about some of the big topics, because they're not scared to talk [00:38:00] about it.
And then our new moms now have the freedom to say whatever the hell they want. What I found about the virtual community that I didn't realize was going to happen, is that you're not as nervous to say real things, because they're not the real people. Life people that you're seeing every day and also you don't have your kids running in between your feet And you're not having to run and make a sippy cup and you're not having To do all the things you would have to do if you're meeting your friends at a park or in a coffee shop or what?
Have you're just focused on the group and so it gives you a little more freedom to talk about the real things
Meredith Waymire: Yeah, that's what I find Yeah, I think that there's, I think that, for me, I was a pandemic mom and I was like so zoomed out. But you're right. There's such a, there's such a gift to like having that in person connection or having there's benefits to having the virtual, both of them or whatever you need, again, reevaluating what you need in that moment, yeah, I
Trish: think, I think there's a value to both because you do need in person someone who can lay eyes on you, see you, who [00:39:00] knows you. And knows when they see you, but there's also a real beauty. Like I love my mama membership. These girls are just amazing. Thank you so much for coming today. Meredith, can you tell everyone where they can find you, where you're hanging out and they can find your content?
Meredith Waymire: Yes. Thank you for having me. I was so excited to meet with you today and talk about this. I am. Available online. My website is www.selfcareot.com, s e L F C A R E O ot.com. And I'm in on Instagram at at selfcare ot. I, in the state of Illinois, I do occupational therapy perinatal and maternal occupational therapy services, but I also have one to one support that I can offer moms all
Trish: over the place.
I love it. Thank you so much for coming today and you have an amazing day. Thanks, Trish. All right. Let me stop that. Thank you so much for [00:40:00] being patient. I'm real, I had to keep my mind. That's okay. No, it's no, it's great. I think it's going to be a great podcast. I have no idea when it will air because we have I would say probably four to five months from now, but it could be sooner.
It just depends. So we have a lot of recordings. Sometimes we move it around.
Meredith Waymire: Today's
Trish: episode is a really important topic and I want you guys to really listen to what we talked about and take it to heart because postpartum is so difficult at times and I want you to get prepared. So we would love to have you guys join us inside of our community. We would love to journey with you and nurture you and support you and just be [00:41:00] there if you need us.
But one way or the other, get prepared for your postpartum experience. As always, we'll see you again next Friday. Bye for now.