Have you ever stopped to consider how much change a mother is going through in the course of an entire pregnancy? If we did more often, we might be less shocked to realize how many moms struggle with postpartum anxiety or depression.
In this Voices of Motherhood episode, I invited my friend Katie Van Dyke to talk about the profound impact becoming a mother has had on her well-being. Emotionally, you learn to love more than you ever thought possible while you become the most vulnerable to fear you’ve ever been. Physically, your body is developing everything needed to sustain life over the course of nine-plus months. This is a lot of change! The impact of all this change at once can feel impossible to prepare for.
Katie shares how she learned to spot the signs of postpartum anxiety, how she is using natural tools to thrive as a mom, as well as some of her best tips for new parents.
Katie is a beautiful mother with a beautiful story and I’m so excited to share this episode with you!
Moments You Don’t Want to Miss
[5:36] Learn what lights Katie up about working as a hairstylist
[12:25] Find out how Katie was able to navigate extreme morning sickness with a very new husband
[19:26] Find out why Lydia's birth did not go as expected but was empowering all the same
[33:11] Discover some of the tools Katie has in her belt to battle anxiety these days
[36:37] Check out Katie’s two bits of wisdom that we could all be encouraged by
Experiencing Postpartum Anxiety After Her First Birth
Katie’s birth with her daughter Lydia went much different than planned. Katie lost a lot of blood after Lydia was born which took quite a toll on her body and hormones. By four weeks postpartum, Katie found herself having serious brain fog and panic attacks. Needless to say, this was not the postpartum journey she was anticipating or ready for!
That’s when she realized she needed help. She reached out to her sister and found out that she wasn’t alone. She learned how common postpartum anxiety actually is and started getting connected with the tools and community she needed to get through it.
She also found new levels of grace from her husband and realized that this struggle was a gift that could allow her to help other women walking through the same thing.
Gaining New Tools To Overcome Postpartum Anxiety
Katie has come a long way since that postpartum season with Lydia! She’s now 6 months postpartum with her son Wrigley and has learned the importance of her own self-care.
If Katie has thirty minutes to herself, she makes a point to move her body and exercise. That simple act has a huge impact on her own mental wellbeing and how she shows up as a momma and wife every day.
She’s also discovered that the food she eats impacts how she feels and how much energy she brings to each day. She’s made it a priority to replace processed food with real, whole food that’s nourishing for her and her family. And it’s made a world of difference!
What Katie Would Tell Other New Parents & Parents-To-Be
There’s a really beautiful part of our conversation where Katie shares a simple truth that’s profound, and that more couples need to hear. And that is the fact that you are the exact parents your kids need.
Some days parenting can feel impossible and we just want to pull our hair out. But the simple truth is we and our kids are meant for each other. It’s not a mistake that they're ours. And we both grow into the whole, powerful, beautiful human beings we’re both meant to be as we grow together in family.
A Few Closing Thoughts From Our Conversation
When you hear another mama whom you look up to share their struggle with something like postpartum anxiety, it can be incredibly encouraging to know you are not alone. It is also super easy to know how to encourage that mom to extend more grace to herself. And yet isn’t that hard to do when we find ourselves in the same vulnerable state?
So if you are finding yourself overwhelmed with any part of this postpartum journey, I challenge you to think: what would I say to a dear friend if she were in my shoes? Those words- as hard as they are to hear -are the words I want you to practice speaking to yourself. Then I want you to reach out and say the hard things. Tell just one person how much you are struggling. If you don’t know who that could be, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org so we can gather around you.
More From Katie Van Dyke
Katie is a full-time mom, wife, sister-in-Christ. She and her husband have two sweet children who are 2.5 and 6 months old. They love to farm, fix up houses, and work with horses. Katie’s a hairstylist by trade but she loves learning new skills and holistic living tips.
Holistic Beauty and Wellness - & HHT2883 for discount on professional organic hair products!
Links & Resources Mentioned
Postpartum Hotline (Call or Text) 1-800-944-4773
Suicide Prevention Hotline 1-800-273-8255
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December 2, 2021