Natalie Telyatnikov is the brains behind the fantastic online program Better Postpartum. She was trained by Rachell Garchi Selgia in the INNATE postpartum care program and is certified in perinatal mood and anxiety disorder support. In this episode of the EBB podcast, Natalie opens up about her own experience dealing with postpartum depression and anxiety, shedding light on how these challenges are addressed in our healthcare system. They dive into the importance of postpartum education, exploring evidence-based insights, and touch on ACOG recommendations. As a bonus, host Rebecca is also sharing some of her own postpartum recovery journey. Tune in for an empowering discussion!

Listen to this episode on Spotify, Apple Podcast, or Google Podcasts or on the podcast app of your choice.

Is this normal? #

Natalie starts by sharing her own experience with postpartum depression and anxiety after giving birth to her first child. She highlights symptoms such as fear of sleeping due to concerns about not hearing the baby and feeling overwhelmed when the baby cries. Notably, Natalie wasn’t initially aware of postpartum mood disorders and believed her experiences were a normal result of sleep deprivation.

Postpartum depression and anxiety #

When her baby started to sleep better around 10 months postpartum, but she herself was still experiencing the same symptoms, she realized that something was off. This is when she started to research postpartum mood disorders and learn more about postpartum.

Shared experiences #

Rebecca and Natalie continue by discussing the most helpful tools for women when preparing for and during postpartum. Natalie’s first recommendation is to share experiences with other women who just had a baby. Discussing topics like the division of tasks, the changing identity, breastfeeding, sleep, and anxiety can be beneficial and help you feel supported.

If you are looking for a postpartum support group, please take a look at the diverse free online support groups provided by Postpartum Support International.

EMBODY #

Natalie then introduces the EMBODY acronym (Exercise, Meditation, Breathing, Outdoors in nature, Dumping, Yoga) as an easy way to prevent and treat difficult experiences. She recommends women to ask themselves: “What can I EMBODY today to help myself?” and “What would bring me pleasure?”.

Therapy #

Something else that can be very helpful is to talk to a psychotherapist during pregnancy and the postpartum period. Natalie stresses the importance of finding someone that is a good fit for you and to make sure the therapist is specialized in pregnancy, birth, and postpartum-related mental health issues. They suggest to ask local doulas and health professionals for recommendations.

Note: If you have experienced mental health issues before, you might be more prone to experiencing them during pregnancy and postpartum. It could be worth it to prepare yourself and make sure you have the needed support system.

Prepare & anticipate #

When preparing for giving birth, you will most likely think about ideal scenarios but also about risks and undesired situations. Research suggests that the same is true for postpartum, as preparation and anticipations for different scenarios, results in better outcomes for the mother. A program review by Health Right International finds that even one hour of training on postpartum mood disorders and its symptoms, can have beneficial outcomes for new mothers.

Better postpartum care #

It is important to be aware of common postpartum mental health issues and make sure to prepare for them. At the same time, not every woman experiences postpartum mood disorders. Some women actually have a blissful postpartum experience. Therefore, preparing for postpartum does not only include mental health challenges but also preparing for other challenges such as breastfeeding, pelvic floor issues and more.

ACOG recommendations #

At the end of the episode, Rebecca and Natalie discuss the 2018 ACOG (American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists) recommendations for postpartum care. They both agree that frequent visits by health professionals might be beneficial during the postpartum period.

Note: Better Postpartum no longer seems to be active. Nevertheless, you can find a lot of useful tips and information by checking out their social media. You can find more information on this episode on the website of Evidence Based Birth.

DISCLAIMER: This information is not medical advice. See womenswise.com/disclaimer for more information.

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