Managing postpartum, family, friends, and sibling relationships

    Managing postpartum, family, friends, and sibling relationships

    Relationships during your postpartum phase can be so tricky. Sometimes we have friends and family members who haven’t experienced this phase in their life just yet, and maybe they never will. They’re not sensitive enough -not with their words, their time, or their actions. Sometimes we encounter those who have experienced postpartum but haven’t necessarily grasped the fact that “every woman’s journey is her own”. They’re too clingy, too helpful, too vocal. Maybe they're not vocal enough, maybe you need to lean on them a little more than they're allowing.

    Often times we juggle so much; loss of sex drive, no time for relationships that don’t involve little people, 37 missed phone calls, depression, anxiety, your partners postpartum side effects and absolutely no way to express how you feel.


    My Sex Drive

    It's normal to have a decreased sex drive after giving birth. This feeling can last for months. In one study of postpartum women, 20 percent had little or no desire for sex three months after delivery, and another 21 percent had a complete loss of desire or aversion to sexual activity.

    “When a woman is pregnant, her reproductive hormones are elevated and after giving birth they crash,” says Julia Arenson, a Brooklyn-based doula. Because of this, your estrogen levels drop and cause; vaginal dryness, low sex drive and more. Julia says, “this may be the body’s way of ensuring that you take time to heal.”


    My Relationship

    Relationships become tricky when you don’t speak up. It’s important to have these conversations months before giving birth so that everyone in your corner has your best interest. Speak up about your feelings with your partner. Some of us have a hard time truly expressing ourselves to others and that’s okay. Create easy and simple signs to communicate with your partner to inform them that you’re not okay. 6 months before my own due date, my husband and I shared with each other that there are times we struggle with letting one another know that we’re not okay. We knew this could affect us negatively during postpartum, so we decided to use our newborn’s stuffed animal as a sign to inform the other of our feelings. If I ever had feelings that were too hard for me to talk about, and I wasn’t okay, I would take her stuffed animal and put it on his nightstand. This way he understood and took action to help me feel secure and be sure I was okay mentally. He was to do the same if he ever felt like he needed support on his end.


    Friends & Family

    Communicating with friends and family will help everyone understand this new person that your little one has changed you into. Communicating to friends and helping them understand that you’re not just nurturing a human being, but also trying to nurture yourself and find you again. That may take time and that may mean a few missed calls and missed outings. Speaking up when your support system is being too supportive or even not being supportive enough will help you keep your sanity. Remembering to think about yourself during this time may seem selfish, but this is the time to take care of you too momma.


    A new sibling can have a big impact on your family. Understand how to prepare your older child, introduce the new baby, and encourage a healthy sibling bond.

    For a child, gaining a sibling may be a positive experience – for example, enhancing their independence – but it can also result in negative reactions, such as: poor or attention- seeking behavior. Start by talking to your older child about the arrival of his or her new sibling. Explain in age-appropriate terms how the baby is growing and ask him or her to help you set up the baby's nursery. Allow them to be a part of this experience every step of the way, so when it comes time he or she is more accepting of this new change in their life. This isn’t only a big change for you but for them too.


    If you or someone you know feel as though you may need to seek help throughout your #postpartum journey, please don’t hesitate to contact the options below:


    Kahdejah E. Stevans: Mental Health Coach



    Servicing the State of Texas

    Daphane JOY Harris: Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist



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