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Post Natal Anxiety & Depression with Meng Lim

Post Natal Anxiety & Depression with Meng Lim

Blossom & Glow is very proud to be supporting PANDA (Perinatal Anxiety & Depression Australia), and as well as making a donation from each sale to this amazing organisation, we are committed to starting conversations to support the many sufferers of this awful illness.  You can find out more about PANDA and the amazing work they do here.

We were absolutely thrilled when the amazing Meng Lim joined us recently to discuss her experience with PNDA.

Meng Lim

1.     Who calls you mum?
I’m a mama of 3 little munchkins. They are Ethan (7), Charis (5) and baby Enoch (1)! They make my plate full but my heart even fuller.

2.     How would you describe your life as a mum in one sentence?!
I love this quote by Tina Fey and it probably describes my life as a mum to a tee.
” You go through big chunks of time where you’re just thinking, THIS IS IMPOSSIBLE, OH THIS IS IMPOSSIBLE. And then you just keep going and keep going, and you sort of do the impossible!”

3.     When did you first start noticing signs of postnatal depression?
I think for the most part after having my first baby, I didn’t notice the signs. I thought it was just my hormonal imbalance, and it was normal for all mums to have meltdowns and a perpetual sense of doom. I thought it was normal for mums to feel overly anxious over everything related to baby. I was literally obsessed with baby weight and feeding times that the slightest deviations would send me into a bit of a panic. I wasn’t aware those were signs of postnatal depression. It wasn’t widely talked about then.
It wasn’t until my third baby that I realised that the sense of hopelessness and anxiety were signs of PND.

4.     How did your experience with PND impact on your day-to-day?
I love babies. Before I had my own babies, I always thought it would be such a wonderful & loving experience and I would feel all sunshine-y and rainbows about them. But when I had my own, I had dark and stormy thoughts towards them. I had thoughts about the what-ifs. What if, I gave them up for adoption, then I wouldn’t have to take care of them. What if, someone came to take them away, then I can lead my life like I used to again. It was not the way I envisage my first moments of motherhood would be.

The once chirpy, happy, smiley individual became a moody, grumpy, dark clouds looming always woman. I disliked myself mostly when I’m down. But I couldn’t get out of it. And I didn’t want anyone to know about it. I felt like I shouldn’t be feeling the way I did. And was mostly afraid to talk about it.

5.     Where did you seek help?
I didn’t know I could seek professional help. I wished I did. But in my dark (& sometimes desperate) moments, I reached out to friends and simple acts of kindness from them – a hug, a visit and their thoughtful gifts, snapped me out of my dark moments.

6.     Explain what postpartum depression treatment strategies work for you?
Being aware that PND can happen to anyone. And recognising the signs early so intervention can happen.

7.     What’s your advice to others who might be feeling anxious or down during the early stages of parenthood?
Don’t be afraid to reach out. To friends, to the partner or to professional help. Motherhood is a journey not to be walked alone. We need a village – could be your partner, your friends, your parents etc. There are many people who are willing to walk through the dark periods of early parenthood with us. We are not alone in this!

You can follow the amazing Meng here.

by kathryn@blossomandglow.com.au in Uncategorized

Post Natal Anxiety & Depression with Siobhan Rennie

Post Natal Anxiety & Depression with Siobhan Rennie

Blossom & Glow is very proud to be supporting PANDA (Perinatal Anxiety & Depression Australia), and as well as making a donation from each sale to this amazing organisation, we are committed to starting conversations to support the many sufferers of this awful illness.  You can find out more about PANDA and the amazing work they do here.

We were absolutely thrilled when the amazing Siobhan Rennie joined us recently to discuss her experience with PNDA.

1. Who calls you mum?

Harry, 2 (well, 28 months, but I feel like after 2 you don’t say their months out loud as you don’t want to be ‘that’ person haha)

Aoife, 11 months (sniff sniff, where has my baby gone).

2.     How would you describe your life as a mum in one sentence?!

Crazy, hectic, amazing, fulfilling, madness and mind blowing – completely life changing!

3.     When did you first start noticing signs of postnatal depression?

I really struggled after Aoife was born as Harry was only 17 months and she had a lot of problems with reflux/not feeding properly. But I thought that was just normal. I pushed through for ages. I felt like something was wrong, but told myself to just ‘suck it up’, that it was probably just because of having them so close together and that I was weak if I admitted anything. It wasn’t until I hit a HUGE wall and started having thoughts about harming myself that I got help – but only because my husband dragged me kicking and screaming up to the hospital. I’ve never been that low before.

Now, I think what I had (and continue to have) is more post natal anxiety than depression – and I think I’ve always had anxiety on some level but didn’t know it. I have always highly stressed, a perfectionist, very organised and very prone to flipping out when things aren’t ‘perfect’.
Siobhan Rennie
4.     How did your experience with PND impact on your day-to-day?

It made everything hard. The daycare run seemed like the hardest thing in the world. On the days I had both kids, I would tell myself over and over again that I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t face it. I felt like I was failing in everything – with them, in my freelance writing work, with my blog. I felt like I was falling apart. Every day it was like there was a big dark cloud hanging over my head that I couldn’t get rid of. I focussed on the little tiny things and it was all SO hard. I couldn’t find the joy in much, even though I was SO proud of and so in love with my children.

5.     Where did you seek help?

One night I was so so low with terrible thoughts that my husband took me to the hospital straight away. From there, the doctors referred me to my local childhood centre and also to my GP. Through seeing both of them, I realised that what I was feeling was NOT normal. They both took one look at me and saw how much I needed help.

6.     Explain what postpartum depression treatment strategies work for you?

After talking to me extensively, my GP prescribed an anti-depressant (as I was diagnosed as severe). I was SO against taking drugs as I thought there was such a stigma associated with them. However, I was that bad that I had to. Bringing myself to take the first tablet was HARD. And I had some not-so-great side effects for the first week. But after that, the world was bright again and I’m so glad I started taking them. The thing is, PND or anxiety is a chemical imbalance that needs to be righted – it’s not ‘all in your head’. It took me a while to see that.
I also decided to just take things off my plate. I decreased my workload. My husband tried to be around more. I stopped my battle with breastfeeding and switching to the bottle was SO much better for all of us. I made exercise a priority, when I could. And I found that as the months went on everything got a lot better.

7.     What’s your advice to others who might be feeling anxious or down during the early stages of parenthood?

Don’t bottle it up – I did, and it did me no favours. Be honest. Get help. You’re completely allowed to feel like you are, it’s doesn’t mean there’s anything ‘wrong’ with you. Don’t just push through it, go talk  to someone.
You can follow the amazing Shiv here.
by kathryn@blossomandglow.com.au in Uncategorized

Post Natal Anxiety & Depression with Elise Raquel

Post Natal Anxiety & Depression with Elise Raquel

Blossom & Glow is very proud to be supporting PANDA (Perinatal Anxiety & Depression Australia), and as well as making a donation from each sale to this amazing organisation, we are committed to starting conversations to support the many sufferers of this awful illness.  You can find out more about PANDA and the amazing work they do here.

We were absolutely thrilled when the amazing Elise Raquel joined us recently to discuss her experience with PNDA.

1. Who calls you Mum?
Two adorable little babes, Peyton who is 3 and Xander who is 17 months.

2. When did you first start noticing signs of postnatal depression?
I had suffered from anxiety and depression before becoming a mother, mostly throughout high school. I knew the warning signs in and out, though when I started experiencing symptoms again post babies I chose not to speak up and instead buried them deep within.

The first time it really hit me was about 6 months after giving birth to Peyton. Whilst I was pregnant with her, I had my heart set on a natural/drug free birth, however after 15 hours drug free during labour I “gave in”. It ended up being your very “typical” hospital birth, intervention after intervention, gas, an epidural, legs up and on my back whilst giving birth. At the time I went with the flow and didn’t give it too much thought. But 6 months later I was in a really bad space about it. I honestly would cry and cry as I recapped her birth in my head. Drugs for me was like giving in, I felt like I wasn’t good enough, like I wasn’t strong enough to do it without drugs and to say no to intervention!

These self doubts played on my mind and before I knew it I was doubting my whole willingness to be a good mother. I kept my PND a secret for a long time. Two years in fact. After giving birth to Xander my parter Sage began working away and the struggles of being a FIFO mum and a mum with PND really took over for a while. When I look back now, I can clearly see all the warning signs, my PND would come and go in waves and to be honest I can’t believe how well I managed mum life without being open about my PND for so long.

3. How did your experience with PND impact on your day-to-day?
Each day seems to be so different. Some days I am in a good head space, the children are bathed and fed, the beds made all before 9am. We get out of the house and I can simply enjoy the little things and laugh with kiddies. Though other days I struggle to even get out of bed. I dread opening my eyes and facing reality. The smallest of tasks seem like a marathon I haven’t ever trained for. The house is sometimes left looking like we have just been robbed because I mentally and physically don’t have the energy or even the drive for that matter to tidy it up. The kids are yelled at far too many times, they don’t deserve it but somehow it comes out uncontrollably.

My relationship has suffered more than anything though. I mean the housework can wait but how far can someone be pushed before they snap? We argue about everything and I find myself subconsciously wanting to start an argument about the smallest of things. My libido is almost non existent and that spark seems to be so dull at times. I love my fiancé, but I just don’t love myself enough to be the best partner I know I can be.

Since speaking up about my PND though, there has been more better days than bad days. They still come, and I’m sure they will for at least a little while longer, but at the moment I’m learning how to deal with it all and find balance in my life, so that gives me hope that tomorrow will be a good day!

4. Where did you seek help?
For such a long time I didn’t really speak about it, as I’m sure many other suffers do as well. I would confine in friends about some things but never the bigger picture. It was only recently that I spoke up about my PND. I finally admitted to my fiancé that I had Post Natal Depression. At first he was very surprised and then very supportive. I was quite shocked that he had no idea, was I really that good a liar? I felt so broken on the inside yet apparently seemed so together from the outside.

After opening up to my partner I decided to take it a step further and open up publicly about it on my Instagram account. I was overcome with support and the insane amount of stories that were oh so similar to mine. Mothers from around the world who were experiencing the exact same feelings as my self. Mothers who too had been hiding their PND for so long! The love and support I gained from that alone boosted my self esteem enormously.

After speaking with many other mums who had also been suffering from PND, I came to the conclusion that there had to be some self love made. Then it was just a matter of figuring out how. Finding things that made me happy and made me feel better about myself seemed hard at first, but after taking a few small steps it seemed to unravel quite naturally. I joined the gym and decided to finally set a goal of loosing that last 10kg of baby weight! I hired a cleaner to help me get on top of things at home and I made sure we got out of the house more often. Slowly but surely things started to improve!

5. Explain what postpartum depression treatment strategies work for you?
The biggest thing for me is simply just talking about it. I am an over thinker and an analyser. So the smallest of things can easily escalade in my head. I have learnt that it is important to talk about things, even if I do think they are small and insignificant. I have a few girlfriends who I confide in, mothers themselves who also feel these same hardships. They normally all have a different opinion, one who is very realistic and tells me how it is and another who is more sympathetic and comforting.

I have also learnt that I need to put myself first! As a mother we are always doing what’s best for our children and we often get lost in what our needs are. I always say, “To look after someone the best we can, we must first look after ourself. And to love someone the best we can, we must first love ourself.” And I find this true even more so now after suffering with PND. It’s perfectly okay to put ourselves first, this doesn’t make us a “bad mum” or selfish in any way. In fact it’s quite the opposite! Since beginning back at the gym and taking time out for myself I’ve noticed a better Elise, a better mum, a better lover, a better daughter and a better friend.

6. What’s your advice to others who might be feeling anxious or down during the early stages of parenthood?
I cannot stress enough to just speak up about it! Most mums think that it’s normal to have these feelings and to an extent it defiantly is. Any mother will tell you how overwhelming and difficult parenting can be at times, especially in the early stages. But sometimes it does go beyond that and things seem to get worse and not better. Speak up, tell someone, tell anyone if there’s any signs that you might be feeling anxious or depressed. Even the smallest things deserve to be spoken about, solving issues before they blow up is a great way to stay on top of things. You often feel very alone and isolated when you suffer from PND. At times it feels like no one could understand what you are going through, but the truth is so many mothers are suffering from the exact same feelings!

Mental health is a very taboo subject, and I hate that more than anything! People who feel isolated and alone are made to feel even more isolated and alone because it’s not “normal” to speak about it! So many of us suffer in silence because there is such a negative approach about PND. But the fact is there are so many positives to come with it, and that’s what should be highlighted in society.

So thank you Kathryn for doing this series! Being happy and mentally healthy are two of the biggest roles in being a good parent. So striving to have these two things in your life, especially in the early stages of parenthood are essential. Listen to your body and listen to your thoughts, if you feel like you’re struggling, speak up! There is no shame when it comes to mental health issues and especially if you’re a mother! I mean come on, we talk about the colour of our children’s poo, we wipe snot with our bare hands and talk about anything vagina related, so we should be able talk about our mental health right??! Jokes aside, this is a serious issue, and our children deserve the best version of ourselves, so if speaking up does feel overwhelming, then don’t just do it for you, do it for them!

Post Natal Anxiety & Depression with Elise Raquel

Elise is wearing our Medusa Shirt Dress.  You can follow Elise on Instagram here.

by kathryn@blossomandglow.com.au in Blog

The Bump Diaries : Week 22

The Bump Diaries : Week 22

The Bump Diaries : 22 Weeks

It was good news from my morphology scan a few weeks back – everything is on track. Both babes are measuring exactly where they should be if they were just a singleton pregnancy, so I am basically carrying 2 x full sized 22 week old babes around with me.

I’ve found myself getting more tired again this week but I am surprisingly upbeat despite bed time being a lot earlier. I’ve also been finding it hard to get comfortable – my stomach is so hard and tight and my feet/ankles are pretty swollen by the end of the day.

I did a big clean out of Emmy’s room this week – packed away winter clothes and ones that don’t fit and stored all the toys she no longer plays with. The room will soon need to fit 2 cots, so space creation is top of the agenda.

I’ve started to make a list of all essential items for hospital and that first week at home – pads, granny undies, pads, feeding tops, pads, nipple cream, pads, prunes, pads… it’s been 3 years since I packed a hospital bag – is there anything you think is a must have item?

Wearing: The very very flattering Lucy Tee Dress (coming soon!) + Isla Jeggings

The Bump Diaries : 22 Weeks

Thanks to Amy Shipp from Mum Life Project who is currently pregnant with twins, and Jade from Hipster Mumfor collaborating on this amazing project!

by kathryn@blossomandglow.com.au in Uncategorized

The Bump Diaries : Week 18

The Bump Diaries : Week 18

I am a little nervous this week. Our morphology scan is scheduled for today and I always get anxious around the time of big scan. At this stage I’ve been having scans at my OB regularly and growth etc has all been on track, but I can’t help but get slightly worried when a big scan date is looming.

I’ve been feeling emotional this week. I’ve been crying for no reason, especially when it comes to Emmy. I have feelings of guilt about expanding our tribe. I thought one baby would be manageable, but two. TWO BABIES AT THE SAME TIME – how will she cope? How will I cope!? ! I am worried about my relationship with her… How will I divide my time? Can I even love anything as much as I love her?

I am definitely feeling the babies move now, which is good, because I feel like I need that connection with them. I feel like I need to start the bonding process to put some of my fears at ease.

This week has all been all about the tears… and salt and pepper tofu. I can’t just can’t seem to get enough of that. Next stop… morphology scan!

Amy is wearing the Sierra Tee Dress.

amy-16weeks-3217

Thanks to Amy Shipp from Mum Life Project who is currently pregnant with twins, and Jade from Hipster Mumfor collaborating on this amazing project!

by kathryn@blossomandglow.com.au in Uncategorized

The Bump Diaries : Week 17

The Bump Diaries : Week 17

I’ve been more reflective this week for some reason, maybe it’s because I am almost half way. I was so anxious in that first trimester for a variety of reasons. I had a lot of bleeding at the start of my pregnancy and when I went for my dating scan, I had fully prepared myself to be told there was no heartbeat. Instead finding out there was in fact 2 heart beats was a complete shock.

The stats aren’t exactly encouraging either, there was a 1 in 20 chance that one twin wouldn’t make it to 12 weeks, not to mention of all the other complications that come with a twin pregnancy. It was a stressful time, the news of twins, figuring out the financials, constantly thinking about miscarriage and all the things that could go wrong. The weeks moved so slowly, but now, time is flying by and instead of worrying about all the bad things, I am focusing on all the blessings.

I’ve sorted through Emmy’s baby clothes and we just paid off our layby for the majority of the big tickets items we needed. It still seems so surreal, but in so many ways I feel less overwhelmed and more in control. I am sure this will ebb and flow throughout my pregnancy; but week 17 – you’ve been a good one.

Amy is wearing the Boho Blouse and Isla Jeggings.

The Bump Diaries : Week 17

Thanks to Amy Shipp from Mum Life Project who is currently pregnant with twins, and Jade from Hipster Mumfor collaborating on this amazing project!

by kathryn@blossomandglow.com.au in Uncategorized

The Bump Diaries : Week 16

The Bump Diaries : Week 17

I am 16 weeks pregnant, but already have a pretty decent sized “bump”. The realisation of just how big I am going to be by the end of this pregnancy is starting to hit home; TWINS – I still can’t believe it.

I am retaining fluid EVERYWHERE and despite exercising 3 times a week and eating WAY healthier than I did when I was pregnant with Emmy – I just seem to be ballooning.

I think I am starting to feel the babies move now which is exciting and this second trimester has brought with it 2 things – itchy skin and a renewed sense of energy. I was SO tired in that first trimester that I once fell asleep in the toilet cubicle at work for 10 minutes. Fun times. Ha!

Amy wears the amazing Cold Shoulder Dress.

The Bump Diaries : Week 17

Thanks to Amy Shipp from Mum Life Project who is currently pregnant with twins, and Jade from Hipster Mumfor collaborating on this amazing project!

by kathryn@blossomandglow.com.au in Uncategorized

The Bump Diaries with Amy Shipp & Hipster Mum

The Bump Diaries

 

I am unbelievably excited to have teamed up with the gorgeous Amy Shipp from Mum Life Project, and Jade from Hipster Mum to bring you the next edition of the Bump Diaries!

Amy is currently pregnant with twins, and will be sharing her thoughts, feelings, and emotions during her pregnancy, and the ever-talented Jade will be capturing her journey wearing all things Blossom & Glow!

Follow along on our blog, Facebook & Instagram!

You can also follow Jade on Instagram here, and Amy here!

 

by kathryn@blossomandglow.com.au in Uncategorized

Dressing for the Fourth Trimester

Guest post by Caitlyn from The Mummy Style Files

So my baby, my second child, was ONE this month! It seems absolutely crazy that I will have a two year old AND a one year old. Technically I will have a 12 month old and a 27 month old, but I wont say that cause no one likes that person…

It seems like just yesterday that my little preemie came rushing into the world at 34 weeks and we were unexpectedly thrust into the unfamiliar world of medical tests, doctors visits and the heartbreak of having our teeny tiny baby stay for weeks in the hospital alone while we would come and go. BUT even though that feels like yesterday, it was in fact a whole year a go and like most* preemies free from complications, he is doing amazingly well. Almost walking, wreaking havoc and breaking hearts with his smile on the daily.

baby-alexander-and-me

Those weeks after he was born were so hard for many reasons and at the risk of sounding terribly superficial, dressing and feeling comfortable was definitely towards the top of the list. The dreaded Fourth Trimester! You know, that awkward in-between stage where you are no longer pregnant (and you want to burn all your maternity clothes) but you also don’t fit into all (or any) of your pre-baby clothes? Yep, that’s the Fourth Trimester.

Most mummy’s leave the hospital still looking 6 months pregnant, more exhausted, sore and emotional then they ever were, even on the worst pregnant days. We also have a whole new body shape thanks to breastfeeding boobs and a very soft and squishy tummy that unfortunately is now ALL ice cream and NO baby. It’s a very weird and awkward stage. So what do you wear?

Well, today thanks to the brilliant online boutique Blossom and Glow, I have you covered. I first discovered Blossom and Glow when I was in the middle of my second pregnancy and I have absolutely fallen in love with the range that Kathryn stocks. Blossom and Glow stock Maternity, Breastfeeding and Post Baby clothes. They are all stylish, affordable and on trend but the best bit is that a lot of the pieces can work for you no matter what stage of the pregnancy / baby journey you are in. I am no longer breastfeeding and I am 12 months post partum with my second, but you will see below that all of the ‘breastfeeding’ and ‘beyond’ clothes still work for me a year on.

I’ve selected a little capsule wardrobe that can be mixed and match a million ways, will be super comfy and breastfeeding friendly for you. So it’s perfect for mamas straight after giving birth but as you start to get your groove back, you can style these pieces up and have some fun with accessories and layers too.

So let’s get into it.

Firstly we have the ‘Comfy-At-Home-But-Can-Go-To-A-Café-Outfit

pic-two

I’m wearing the Jersey Harem Pants in Grey and the Jayla Knit in Black. Both these items are so comfy and cosy, which is exactly what you need straight after having a baby (or even in the hospital). These pants can be worn during pregnancy as well; they have a loose enough waistband to wear either above or below your belly depending on how you carry, and what you feel comfortable with. Breastfeeding? Just layer your favourite nursing tank underneath the jumper and you are good to go. When you are feeling up to venturing out, throw on your white kicks and you’ve got an easy sports luxe look.

Next is the, ‘I’m-ready-to-wear-jeans-again-but-they-need-to-be-really-stretchy-oh-and-I’m-breastfeeding’-outfit

 

Havana Skinny Jean

I’m wearing the Havana Skinny Jean, the Stripe Cotton Shirt, and the Willow Hooded Cardigan.  No matter what kind of pregnancy or labour you have, there comes a point and time that everyone is ready to BURN their maternity jeans. These jeans are suuuuuppper stretchy and feel great on. If you have JUST given birth you may need to go up a size but it will still feel great to not have an elastic waistband pulled up all the way to your boobs. A button down shirt is the perfect breastfeeding friendly staple that will still have you looking chic while allowing that all important ‘access’ for your little babe. I don’t think I need to say much about this cardigan; it’s cosy, beautiful and will go with every item in your wardrobe. If you are breastfeeding, it can also give you a little extra coverage when feeding out and about.

And finally we have the, ‘Help! -I-need-to-wear-a-dress-what-the-hell-do-I-wear’– outfit.

 

pic-ten

I’m wearing the Ally Shirt Dress and the Willow Hooded Cardigan. So maybe you are just a dress kinda gal, or maybe you aren’t but you need to wear a dress to an upcoming function or party? Either way, this dress is for you. It’s the classic ‘Little Black Dress’ made practical. The buttons down the front make it breastfeeding friendly while the tie at the waist allows you to cinch the dress in or wear looser, depending on your style. I’ve layered it with the Willow Hooded cardigan, tights and some ankle boots but in warmer weather you can just wear as is and dress up with heels or pair it back with sneakers!

So there you have it! Six great items that are comfy, practical and stylish to help you get through that awkward Fourth Trimester and then well beyond as well. Have fun and mix them up, you can wear the Shirt over the Dress, the Jumper with the Jeans, the Cardigan with…well, everything!  But mostly importantly, just make sure you look after YOURSELF during this time and soak up all that precious Newborn goodness, cause I know it sounds clichéd but it DOES fly by and then you’ll find yourself with a 27 month old and a 12 month old thinking where the hell did that time go??

 

by kathryn@blossomandglow.com.au in Guest Post

The Bump Diaries : 24 Weeks

The Bump Diaries : 24 Weeks

“This month my husband left his job to start his own business – there are so many new beginnings in my house! – and I’ve found myself living on adrenaline and afternoon naps to get things done.

When I take a moment to lie down, I feel the baby kick and flip, like he’s coughing or hiccuping or swearing at me uncontrollably!

This week is the first time I actually don’t fit into ANY of my normal clothes anymore. Lucky I found this ah-mazing collared Hamptons Shirt. I wear it as a dress, pop on some overly bright lipstick and suddenly everything is do-able in the world again.”

 

Following the pregnancy of the incredibly beautiful Nikki Fletcher; Jade from Hipster Mum and I will aim to document Nikki’s journey, including the highs and lows of pregnancy, and of course, how to style the bump in chic, practical and ridiculously comfy maternity gear that every mama-to-be needs.  They say that pregnancy is the happiest reason to feel crap, but when you’re decked out in Blossom & Glow, at least you’ll never look it!

24weeks-6040 24weeks-6070 24weeks-6104-2

by kathryn@blossomandglow.com.au in Uncategorized

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