10 Important Warning Signs of Endometriosis

Endometriosis is a condition that affects 1 in 10 women with a uterus, and even some without one.

Despite how common it is, it often goes undiagnosed and ignored, by both women themselves and medical professionals, for years.  That’s why it’s important to recognize the warning signs of endometriosis, document your symptoms and seek the right type of care.  Endometriosis can cause chronic, debilitating pain and no one should have to live that way. 

Here are some important warning signs of endometriosis to watch out for.
10 Important Warning Signs of Endometriosis
*This post contains affiliate and/or paid links which means that if you click on one of these links and buy a product, I may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. Rest assured that I only recommend products that I love from companies that I trust. Furthermore, I am not a medical professional and nothing in this post should be taken as medical advice. I am simply a mother who has been there and lived to tell the tale.

1. Severe Cramping

Since endometriosis is associated with a woman’s menstrual cycle, severe cramping is one of the most common symptoms.  Most women with endometriosis experience symptoms starting with their very first period, so it’s hard to know what is considered normal menstrual cramps if you’ve never had anything but the “severe” ones.

Menstrual cramps are unpleasant no matter what, but here are a few warning signs that it could be endometriosis:

    • Cramping so bad that extra-strength painkillers don’t take the pain away
    • Cramps accompanied by nausea, vomiting or dizziness
    • Cramping pain that radiates from the pelvis to the thighs, lower back and buttocks.
    • Cramps that begin before your period and last longer than a week.

2. Abnormal Bleeding

Again, hard to know what’s considered normal vs. abnormal, as some women are just prone to heavy periods.  But endometriosis isn’t synonymous with just a heavy flow.

Some things to watch out for when it comes to menstrual bleeding with endometriosis:

    • A heavier than normal menstrual flow 
    • A lighter than normal menstrual flow
    • Spotting instead of a regular period
    • Spotting or bleeding in between regular periods
    • Dark brown blood or spotting (that looks like old blood)
    • Menstrual blood containing lots of large clots

If blood is not being properly expelled each month, women can experience cases of abnormal bleeding.  But any of these can also signal a lot of different conditions, and not just endometriosis.  Any menstrual changes should always be documented and discussed with your doctor.  Changes to your menstrual cycle are big red flags that something is going on inside your body. 

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3. Pelvic Pain

Pelvic pain is one of the first symptoms that might cause a woman to seek help from a medical professional.  For women with endometriosis, the pelvic pain might be felt during ovulation, while on their period, or they may experience the pain chronically.  Endometriosis is known to be one of the most excruciatingly painful conditions that exists, so debilitating pelvic pain is a big warning sign.

Where and when a woman experiences pelvic pain can be different, as it all depends on where the endometrial tissue is growing.  Some women with severe endometriosis don’t experience any pelvic pain, while others might have only a few spots, but feel a lot of pain.  The endometrial tissue can also form adhesions, which only cause pain during certain activities like sitting, running, bending over or squatting. 

4. Painful Bowel Movements or Urination

The uterus sits very close to other internal organs, including the bladder, bowel, intestines and rectum.  This means that there is always a chance of endometrial tissue growing on these organs or forming adhesions around them.  If that happens, going to the bathroom can be extremely painful.  The pain can range from slight pressure as the bladder increases, to full out screaming pain during a bowel movement.  It might feel almost impossible to bear down while eliminating, so avoiding constipation is key.  On the other hand, some women experience diarrhea or loose stools during their period, but it’s still just as painful to go. 

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5. Painful Intercourse

If the mere idea of intercourse makes you cringe in pain, it could be a warning sign of endometriosis.  Endometriosis can cause pain during intercourse, even when a women is not currently on her period or experiencing any pain.  This is mostly due to any adhesions that may have formed.  During intercourse, we use our pelvic floor muscles to relax and contract.  But if they are compromised by endometrial tissue or adhesions, this can be extremely painful to do.

Orgasms can also cause a lot of pain in women with endometriosis, which is a sad fact, since they should be able to enjoy them as much as anyone else. But again, the contracting of those pelvic floor muscles can be restricted and cause pain, both in the moment, as well as long afterwards. 

6. Lower Back, Leg or Hip Pain

Endometriosis is regularly associated with pelvic pain, but it commonly causes pain in the lower back, stomach, legs or hips as well.  Endometrial tissue and adhesions can grow practically anywhere, even as far up as the diaphragm and lungs. But endometrial tissue growing on the pelvic organs can affect the function of our pelvic floor muscles, abdominal muscles and hip flexors.  These muscles control our lower back, stomach, hip and leg movements, essentially they are our “core” muscles.  If you’re in pain simply from trying to move around like a normal person, it could signal something such as endometriosis. 

Battling Endometriosis While Suffering From Postpartum Depression
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7. Inflammation

Endometriosis and inflammation go hand in hand.  The lining of the uterus essentially becomes inflamed each month, and the inflammation recedes once that lining is shed.  Therefore, the pain of endometriosis is caused by inflammation from the endometrial tissue growing outside the uterus that is unable to be shed. 

With endometriosis, women may experience inflammation in other parts of their body as well.  This can include pain or swelling in their hands, feet or joints.  Many women also develop symptoms of other inflammatory autoimmune disorders such as chronic fatigue syndrome, thyroid problems, rheumatoid arthritis, vitiligo, lupus and more. 

8. Excessive Bloating

Endo belly as it’s lovingly called, is a major warning sign of endometriosis.  It refers to the excessive bloating that many women with endometriosis experience during a flare up.  If we go back to the last point, this bloating is partly due to the inflammation of the endometrial tissue outside the uterus, and the restriction on the digestive system caused by adhesions.  While bloating is common for many women during their periods, endo belly can make a women look 6 months pregnant in a matter of just a few hours. 

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9. Infertility

Yes, infertility is often associated with endometriosis, and it’s perhaps the most common reason woman actually get a proper diagnosis.  But endometriosis doesn’t always cause infertility, so just because you’ve been able to have children doesn’t instantly mean you don’t have it.  In fact, I personally didn’t start to experience symptoms of endometriosis myself until after the birth of my second child, and I was still able to conceive a third child without any intervention. It all depends on where the endometrial tissue is growing and which organs are affected.  But if you are suffering from infertility, endometriosis could definitely be the culprit. 

10. Fatigue

Of all the warning signs of endometriosis, I saved this one for last because it seems to have the least impact.  What I mean by that is – who ISN’T tired?  Endometriosis, like many inflammatory diseases, causes severe fatigue.  And not just during flare ups, but all the time.  It’s exhausting fighting pain and inflammation on a regular basis.   If you’re experiencing extreme bouts of fatigue in conjunction with any of these other symptoms, you could be suffering from endometriosis.

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+ Bonus Warning Sign

Another huge red flag that it might be endometriosis is if you’re experiencing excruciating pelvic pain and yet nothing shows up on any diagnostic imaging test.  As a personal testament, I can’t count how many times I’ve gone to the ER in an amount of pain way beyond my tolerance level (and I gave birth three times without drugs) only to be told they didn’t find anything wrong with me.  It is extremely frustrating and almost dehumanizing.

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Suspect you have endometriosis?

The unfortunate news for women who experience these warning signs of endometriosis is that the only way to get a definite diagnosis is via laparoscopy.  I lost my uterus to stage IV endometriosis and yet nothing showed up on an ultrasound, CT Scan or MRI even as recent as a month prior to my surgery. Many women will undergo a hysterectomy in an attempt to treat the endometriosis, but it’s not always the best course of treatment as endometrial tissue can continue to grow, even without a uterus. 

Instead, a technique called excision is the preferred method for treating endometriosis, however only a handful of surgeons currently perform it successfully around the world.  It’s a meticulous surgery that requires the cutting away of endometrial tissue and patients often require more than one surgery to get it all.  Sometimes a hysterectomy needs to be performed in addition to excision of endometrial tissue, depending on how widespread the disease is.

The Tormented Life of a Mother Suffering with Endometriosis
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Since the month of March is known as Endometriosis Awareness Month, it’s especially important to take some time to raise awareness and education about this excruciating condition.  Sadly, the women with this condition will be faced with having to fight for proper medical treatment and will likely be turned away from help several times before finding it.  It is an issue that is near and dear to my heart and my hope is to save as many women from having to go through the same traumatic ordeal that I did


Additional Resources:

Everything You Need to Know About Postpartum Anxiety

Postpartum anxiety is a common mood disorder that affects up to 15% of new mothers.

Postpartum anxiety is just as common, if not more so, than postpartum depression.  It’s seldom discussed and when it is, it’s usually grouped together with postpartum depression as if they’re a package deal.  The truth is, women can get BOTH postpartum depression AND anxiety or they can get one of the two. 

Here’s what all moms need to know about postpartum anxiety.
A New Mom's Guide to Postpartum Anxiety
*This post contains affiliate and/or paid links which means that if you click on one of these links and buy a product, I may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. Rest assured that I only recommend products that I love from companies that I trust. Furthermore, I am not a medical professional and nothing in this post should be taken as medical advice. I am simply a mother who has been there and lived to tell the tale.
A New Mom's Guide to Postpartum Anxiety A New Mom's Guide to Postpartum Anxiety

What is Anxiety?

Basically speaking, anxiety causes a person to worry.  Anxiety, in itself, is a common and natural human reaction.  It’s our body’s instinctive way of protecting us from a possible threat.  For new and expectant mothers, anxiety is almost expected, and seems to be part of the maternal instinct.  We need to worry about our newborn babies in order for them to survive. 

An anxiety disorder, however, is different.  It’s when you lose your natural ability to stop worrying when the threat has passed.  Postpartum anxiety is what it’s called when a women develops an anxiety disorder following the birth of her baby.  Women can also suffer from prenatal anxiety during pregnancy.  A postpartum anxiety disorder can cause a mother to worry so much that it disrupts her life and affects her health and well being. 

Symptoms of Postpartum Anxiety (Generalized Anxiety Disorder)

    • Constant worrying
    • Racing thoughts
    • Intrusive thoughts
    • Paranoia (always feeling like something bad is going to happen)
    • Loss of appetite
    • Insomnia
    • Hyperventilating
    • Perfectionism
    • Needing to be in control of everything
    • Physical manifestations including nausea, excessive sweating, shaking or trembling, heart palpitations or fatigue

While the symptoms themselves might not seem overly concerning, living with postpartum anxiety can be extremely debilitating.  A mother who suffers from postpartum anxiety may suffer from extreme sleep deprivation if she stays up all night worrying or watching her baby breathe.  She might start to avoid leaving the house or socializing with friends.  The constant worrying, paranoia and intrusive thoughts can take a severe toll on her mental and physical health.

Postpartum Anxiety Insomnia 1
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Symptoms of Postpartum OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder)

    • Compulsive and repetitive behavior
    • Scary and intrusive thoughts
    • Going to extreme lengths to avoid bad thoughts from becoming reality
    • Becoming obsessed about things like germs, illnesses, death, accidents, etc.
    • Extreme fearfulness 

Postpartum OCD is a form of anxiety that manifests as compulsive behavior.  It’s similar to other forms of OCD, just in this case, the worries relate to a new baby.  For example, a mother suffering from postpartum OCD may clean, wash or sanitize everything obsessively for fear of the baby getting sick.  Intrusive thoughts are very common in a mother with postpartum OCD and she may rearrange her entire life in order to avoid bad things from happening, even if they seem like a long shot. 

Symptoms of Postpartum Panic Disorder

    • Profuse sweating
    • Feeling light-headed or dizzy
    • Nausea
    • Chest Pain*
    • Racing heart beat
    • Uncontrollable shaking or trembling
    • Chills or hot flashes
    • Numbness or tingling in hands, feet or face
    • Claustrophobia
    • Hyperventilating or shortness of breath

*always seek medical care if you are experiencing any kind of chest pain.

A panic attack can feel so bad that it’s often mistaken for a heart attack.  It’s important to rule that out, especially if it’s your first panic attack.  But if you become prone to panic attacks in the postpartum period, then it’s likely you suffer from a postpartum panic disorder.  This is a more intense form of anxiety that can have several effects on a new mother’s life.  It can often happen when a mother’s fears become severe and she feels like she has no control over what’s happening. 

Intrusive Thoughts
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Are My Worries Postpartum Anxiety?

First of all, having a baby is terrifying.  There is a lot worth worrying about.  Starting from the moment of conception, you will likely worry about your child their entire lives.  So how do you know if your worries are truly postpartum anxiety or just the normal worries that come along with motherhood?

This best way to answer this question is by determining how much your worrying is affecting your life. 
    • Do you avoid leaving the house because you’re worried about your baby getting sick? 
    • Do you lose sleep worrying if your baby is breathing? 
    • Do you avoid driving because you fear getting into an accident with baby?
    • Is your relationship suffering because you don’t trust your partner with the baby?
    • Do you panic when you can’t control absolutely everything?
    • Are you losing weight from worrying so much?

If your entire way of life has changed in order to accommodate your worries, then it could be a sign of a postpartum anxiety disorder.  It’s best to keep a journal or workbook to keep track of your worries.  Seeing it on paper can help you identify if they’re getting out of control. Even if you’re not sure, speak to your healthcare professional about your worries.  If nothing else, they may be able to provide you with some solutions to help ease your anxiety. 

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Postpartum Anxiety Treatment Options

In the same way that mothers can suffer from both postpartum depression and anxiety, they can also suffer from either one to all three forms of postpartum anxiety.  Often, if a general anxiety disorder is not treated in the early stages, it can progressively become worse and worse.  That’s why treatment is essential.

Some popular treatment options include:

There are many treatments available for anxiety, including alternative and natural treatments.  You may not find success until you’ve tried several different ones, or a combination of them.  Even if you have established a proper treatment plan for your postpartum anxiety disorder, you should never ignore it.  Anxiety, like most mental health disorders, is something that can easily be triggered again.

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Self Care for Postpartum Anxiety

Living with anxiety can cause a lot of stress and even lead to bouts of depression or other mental illnesses.  Practicing self care is extremely important to avoid triggers and relapses.  But keep in mind that self care alone may not be enough to eliminate your symptoms.  Instead, it should be used in combination with an anxiety treatment plan.

Remember to:
7 Days of Self Care
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Postpartum Anxiety + Addiction

Just as there are good ways to manage symptoms of anxiety, there are also destructive ways.  Drugs or alcohol can  numb the pain and help you forget your worries, but they only offer temporary relief and do more harm in the long run.  Addiction is something that many people with anxiety struggle with, especially those with OCD, as addiction is a type of compulsive behavior.  For more information and addiction resources, visit Addictions.com/anxiety-disorders.

Talking About Postpartum Anxiety

Anxiety, in general, is one of the most common mental health disorders in the world.  While postpartum anxiety isn’t talked about as often as postpartum depression, that doesn’t mean it isn’t as important or as dangerous to mom and baby’s health. 

If you’re suffering from symptoms of postpartum anxiety, including OCD or a panic disorder, make sure to seek help from a qualified professional and establish a treatment plan.  Speak up about it with other moms too, and I promise you’ll find that you’re not alone.  (If you’re interested in sharing your postpartum anxiety story with us, click here for more info).


Additional Resources:

Healthline | What You Need to Know About Postpartum Anxiety

What to Expect | Postpartum Anxiety

Verywell | Do You Have the Symptoms of Postpartum OCD?

PostpartumDepression.org | Postpartum Panic Disorders

Postpartum Progress | A Toolkit for Postpartum Anxiety & Panic Disorders

Addiction Center | Generalized Anxiety Disorder

The Tapping Solution App | App to Help You Discover EFT 

The Danger of the “Fake it ‘Till You Make it” Advice for Postpartum Depression

Moms have to deal with all kinds of advice when it comes to being a parent.

Many mothers with postpartum depression are told to “fake it ’till you make it” which is a common psychotherapy practice.  And in many cases, it’s a great way of building up a person’s confidence and self esteem.  But it’s not always the best course of action and can actually be more dangerous than good.  There’s a reason why this advice is best given by a licensed therapist and not just anyone on the street.  

Here’s some more information about why the “fake it ’till you make it” advice isn’t always best for managing postpartum depression. 
The Danger of the Fake It Till You Make It Advice for Postpartum Depression
*This post contains affiliate and/or paid links which means that if you click on one of these links and buy a product, I may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. Rest assured that I only recommend products that I love from companies that I trust. Furthermore, I am not a medical professional and nothing in this post should be taken as medical advice. I am simply a mother who has been there and lived to tell the tale.

What does “fake it ’till you make it” really mean?

It’s all about pretending.  Let’s say a new mother is struggling to bond with her baby or feel any emotions other than sadness and despair.  She may be given the advice to “fake it ’till you make it.”  What it means is that she should pretend to be happy.  She should smile and cuddle with her baby as often as possible.  The theory is that acting happy will convince her brain that she actually is happy until eventually she’s not depressed anymore. 

I know, right?  It sounds ridiculous.

But believe it or not, there is some merit behind this advice.  It falls into the same category of things like positive affirmations, self help books, pep talks, or other self esteem building activities.  They all work by building up our confidence and helping us to feel positive, empowered and worthy.  The “fake it ’till you make it” advice basically says that if you want to be happy, you have to do what happy people do. 

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Why it’s not the best advice for postpartum depression.

While the practice of “faking it ’till you make it” does work for many people, it’s not the best thing to say to a woman suffering from postpartum depression.  First of all, it’s dismissive. Telling a new mother simply to “fake it ’till you make it” is kind of like a slap in the face.  It can leave her feeling ignored and neglected and makes light of her suffering.  Postpartum depression is a major mental health disorder and being told to “fake it till you make it” treats it as no big deal.

The “fake it ’till you make it” advice is often misunderstood. 

It’s not at all about faking a state of happiness in front of other people.  But this happens too often, especially among mothers.  When someone asks us how we feel following the birth of our child, we hide all of our pain and suffering and fake a smile. 

Instead, the “fake it ’till you make it” advice should be focused inwards. 

The idea is for mothers to act happy in order to train their own minds and not to convince anyone else.  Smiling in the mirror or dancing and singing to music when no one else is around are ways that we can fake a state of happiness for ourselves and no one else. 

“Faking it” can also make it difficult to gauge whether or not your condition is getting better or worse. 

The lines between real and fake can start to become blurred.  This makes it difficult to tell whether the symptoms of postpartum depression are truly improving or not.  If you’re planning to “fake it ’till you make it” you still need to be honest about how you are feeling in order to determine if it’s working.

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What to try instead.

Boosting your confidence and re-training your brain to focus on the positive are both very important for healing from postpartum depression.  But there are lots of ways to do it.

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Without the help of a trained therapist, it can be all too easy for a mother to get stuck in this “fake” world.  Postpartum depression already has a way of isolating us from the outside world and keeping us apart from our loved ones.  When it comes to mental illness, things can get out of control without warning if left untreated.  If you’re considering using the “fake it ’till you make it” method for boosting your confidence, do so with caution and preferably with the help and support of a medical professional.


Kyleen’s Postpartum Depression Story Part 2: The Struggle to Breastfeed

Continue reading “Kyleen’s Postpartum Depression Story Part 2: The Struggle to Breastfeed”

A Look at Mobile Ultrasounds for the Anxious Mom-To-Be

Mobile ultrasounds are a great way to beat a case of anxiety for expectant mothers.

Many women choose to get non-diagnostic ultrasounds during their pregnancy, where they can view their baby in the womb in 2D, 3D and 4D (video). But thanks to modern technology, a mobile ultrasound is the newest option for expectant moms to view their babies in-utero from the comfort of their own homes.  This helps moms feel more relaxed and at ease during the process. 

With Jess expecting her third baby in February, we thought it would be a great opportunity to test out the mobile ultrasound process for ourselves.  So we collaborated with Prenatal Peek, Winnipeg’s ONLY mobile ultrasound company, and the first mobile ultrasound company in Canada.

Check out some of these awesome features of mobile ultrasounds that can help put anxious moms at ease.
*This is a sponsored post for which I received compensation. As always, the opinions in this post are my own. This post may also contain affiliate and/or paid links. Furthermore, I am not a medical professional and nothing in this post should be taken as medical advice. I am simply a mother who has been there and lived to tell the tale.

Jess elected to have a mobile ultrasound from Prenatal Peek at her home, surrounded by her husband and two girls.  At the time, she was 24 weeks pregnant and they had been told the gender of the baby over the phone by their doctor but wanted to confirm it.  Jess had non-diagnostic ultrasounds with her two prior pregnancies, each at different locations in Winnipeg.  This was her first mobile ultrasound experience. 

Friendly Service

One of the best things about Prenatal Peek‘s mobile ultrasound process is the service.  Owner, Tracy, has been doing mobile ultrasounds for nearly 7 years and as a mother herself, she knows exactly how to make moms feel comfortable and at ease.  She has seen hundreds of babies via ultrasound, but when it was finally time to see Jess’s baby on the screen, she was just as excited as if it was the first time.

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Appointment Scheduling

An amazing benefit of the mobile ultrasound process is the flexible scheduling.  Unlike most elective ultrasound locations, there wasn’t a long wait to get an appointment.  Tracy fit us in on a Saturday afternoon and often works evenings and weekends because she understands what it’s like to be a busy, working parent.  We even had to make a few last minute changes to our appointment time, which she easily accommodated. 

Atmosphere + Environment

One of the biggest factors for an anxious mom-to-be when it comes to an ultrasound is the atmosphere and environment.  For moms who have suffered a pregnancy or infant loss or who have anxiety about hospitals, ultrasounds can make for an unpleasant experience.  This includes siblings and fathers-to-be who might also have a fear of hospitals due to a past trauma.  The option of having the ultrasound done in your own home is a great alternative.

It took almost no time for Tracy to get her equipment set up in Jess’s living room.  In fact, I was surprised at how little equipment was actually needed for the process.  With just a few cables, Tracy was able to link her screen onto the television, making it possible for everyone to view baby.  

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A Family Affair

With the ability to project the screen, a mobile ultrasound would make a fantastic option for a gender reveal party, a baby shower or to include grandparents and other extended family members.  Or, as Jess and her family chose to do it, a private and intimate family affair.  However you decide to host your mobile ultrasound, Prenatal Peek can usually accommodate.  But keep in mind that moms should be relaxed and comfortable in order to get baby to cooperate.  

Great for Siblings

Many children can have a fear of doctor’s offices, hospitals or new places and strangers.  This can make taking siblings along to an ultrasound quite difficult.  But Tracy did a great job of including Jess’s two daughters during the mobile ultrasound process.  The girls felt at ease in their own home and were excited to see the new baby on the television screen.  They each got their own stuffed animal that had a recording of the baby’s heartbeat and it was clearly their favorite part!

One of the most special moments during the mobile ultrasound was when Tracy handed over the controls.  Jess, her husband and her children each took a turn performing the ultrasound themselves.  This was a great way for them to connect with the baby.  And I’m certain it made dad and big sisters feel more involved in the pregnancy.  This unique experience really made mobile ultrasounds stand out among standard ones. 


In the end, we think that the personalized one-on-one service, convenience and comfort make mobile ultrasounds the way to go for moms to be and their families.  It’s a great option for moms suffering from prenatal anxiety or depression as they get all the benefits of seeing baby without the hassle normally associated with elective ultrasounds.  With the variety of different packages available, Prenatal Peek mobile ultrasound is totally affordable and you get to keep the images and video of your ultrasound for no additional cost, regardless of which package you choose! 

For more details and to book your appointment, visit the Prenatal Peek Website (prenatalpeek.ca) or Facebook page

Bonus: Mention that you read our review when you book your mobile ultrasound and get 10% off!

7 Signs You Need to Strengthen Your Pelvic Floor Muscles (and the best way to do it!)

It’s normal for moms to experience weakened pelvic floor muscles.

Pregnancy, labor and delivery weaken our pelvic floor muscles and so it’s especially important to work at strengthening them during the postpartum period and afterwards.  The added weight of pregnancy wears down our pelvic floor muscles and the pressure of labor contractions overworks them.  And then there’s the big deal of pushing a human being right through them.  Women who experience a c-section are not exempt either, as we tend to tense our pelvic floor muscles whenever we feel pain or strain to move after surgery.

How do you know if you have weak pelvic floor muscles?  Check out some of these signs and find out how to strengthen them.
Strengthen Your Pelvic Floor Muscles with Perifit
*This is a sponsored post for which I received compensation. As always, the opinions in this post are my own. This post may also contain affiliate links which means that if you click on one of these links and buy a product, I may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. Rest assured that I only recommend products that I love from companies that I trust. Furthermore, I am not a medical professional and nothing in this post should be taken as medical advice. I am simply a mother who has been there and lived to tell the tale.

You pee when you sneeze.

Or cough or squat or bend over to put on your shoes.  Leaking pee (a.k.a. urinary incontinence) is one of the most common signs of weak pelvic floor muscles.  It’s almost become a right of passage for moms, but it doesn’t have to be that way.  

You need to pee all the time.

Another common sign is the urge to pee more frequently.  If you’re feeling the urge to pee and just can’t hold it in, it could be due to the weakened muscles supporting your bladder.  During pregnancy there is added weight on the bladder combined with additional fluid intake so it makes sense that you need to pee more often.  But in the postpartum period, you should be able to go longer periods between bathroom breaks, or at least hold it in until you can get to a bathroom.

You have trouble emptying your bladder or bowels completely.

The inability to empty your bladder or bowels completely is another warning sign to watch out for.  The muscles in your pelvic floor are used for pushing out pee or poop.  They might need strengthening if you really need to strain on the toilet.  If you’ve been using a stool softener but you’re still having trouble pooping, this could be the reason.

9 Reasons Why Mothers Don't Speak Up About Chronic Pain .

Can’t control your farts.

(Oh this just keeps getting better and better, doesn’t it?)  Do you avoid yoga class because you’re worried about farting during downward dog?  Afraid to bend over in public or get up too quickly?  The uncontrollable passing of wind is yet another sign that your pelvic floor muscles are weak, as they should be tight enough to keep those in until you can release them privately. 

Tampons or menstrual cups don’t stay in place.

Inserting tampons or menstrual cups might be easy enough, but if you find that they slip out of place or feel uncomfortable when they’re in, it could be due to your pelvic floor muscles.  You shouldn’t need to try too hard to hold your menstrual products in, as your pelvic floor muscles should automatically keep them in place.  But when they’re weak, they don’t do a great job at that.  

Sex isn’t as enjoyable.

And finally let’s talk about the ways that weak pelvic floor muscles can affect sexual intercourse.  Many moms report that sex isn’t as enjoyable after giving birth and a lot of the time, it’s due to those weakened muscles.  Since these muscles control the vaginal opening, if they are weak then both partners will feel less sensation.  In addition to the uncontrollable peeing and farting, the entire experience may cause a woman to feel stressed out and not be able to enjoy it all.

10 Important Warning Signs of Endometriosis
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There’s a bulge in your pelvic area.

This can be a sign of a pelvic organ prolapse.  Basically, it means that one or more of the organs located within your pelvis falls through the pelvic floor.  It can cause a whole bunch of uncomfortable symptoms, depending on which organs it is.  The most common sign is that you will notice a bulge near the vaginal opening.


How to Strengthen Your Pelvic Floor Muscles

There are specific exercises we can do that target the pelvic floor muscles, including pelvic lifts, squats and perhaps the most famous… Kegels.  But similar to working out our other muscles, it’s hard to remember and/or find time to do them.  And the results are often less impressive than working out a bicep. 

Pelvic floor physiotherapy is helpful in that you get targeted exercises to work the right muscles.   Plus, there are ways for physiotherapists to test your pelvic floor strength and monitor your progress.  But it does have it’s downsides as well.  Besides the costs and time associated with seeing a professional, many women also feel embarrassed talking about it and would prefer a more private solution. 

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Thankfully, there’s a third option. 

It’s called Perifit and it combines the power of pelvic floor exercises with the benefits of professional guidance. Perifit is a small, medical grade silicone device that connects to an app via Bluetooth.  Once inserted, you use your pelvic floor muscles to play games on your smartphone which actually help to strengthen them over time. 

Perifit device in box
Perifit – Strengthen your pelvic floor muscles at home
Yes, you heard me right… you get to play video games with your vagina. 

It sounds a little strange to stick a game controller up your hoo-hah but it’s the only way to test your pelvic floor strength.  Inserting it is similar to inserting a tampon and once it’s in, you don’t even really feel it.


All you do next is get comfy, grab your phone, download the Perifit app and follow the on-screen instructions.  Basically, all you need to do in each game is squeeze and release your pelvic floor muscles.  It feels similar to doing Kegels, but having a purpose for each one keeps you from getting bored and giving up.  Like other games, the levels get harder and harder, so they work to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles over time. 

Perifit app games
Perifit – play games in the app using your pelvic floor muscles

At the end of each session, you get to see how strong your muscles are and track how they have improved.  Perifit also keeps track of how often you are performing the exercises as it should become a regular habit.  Try to incorporate a few minutes into your daily self care routine and you can see results within as little as 2 weeks.  

Perifit app stats
Perifit – track your progress

The thing that surprised me the most while using Perifit was how hard I had to squeeze my pelvic floor muscles to complete some of the levels.  While doing Kegels, I never would have squeezed that hard, which is probably why they didn’t work well enough.  Having a real guideline for how hard to squeeze, and for how long, makes such a difference compared to winging it with Kegels. 


If you are struggling with symptoms of a weak pelvic floor,  Perifit is the best way to strengthen them.  You get the professional guidance of a physical therapist within the convenience and privacy of your own home.  Having weak pelvic floor muscles following pregnancy and childbirth is totally normal and never something you should be embarrassed about.  But that doesn’t mean that you have to live with it forever.

For more information about the benefits of Perifit, visit https://perifit.co/.


Don’t Forget to Enter our Instagram Giveaway!

You could win your very own Perifit pelvic floor exerciser!  Click here to enter.

Perifit Instagram Giveaway
Click here to enter our giveaway on Instagram!

Strengthen Your Pelvic Floor Muscles with Perifit Strengthen Your Pelvic Floor Muscles with Perifit

Strengthen Your Pelvic Floor Muscles with Perifit

Strengthen Your Pelvic Floor Muscles with Perifit

My Third and Last Pregnancy: Thoughts from Jess

So far, I have spent almost 2 years of my life being pregnant.

I am now 22 weeks pregnant with my third baby. Just over halfway there! As a family we have decided that this will be our last baby, and with that comes a roller coaster of emotions. When I was pregnant with my second daughter, I knew we had planned for 3 kids in total, so I feel as though I did not appreciate every moment of that pregnancy.

But there’s something different about the last pregnancy: 
    • This will be the last time I will feel those flutters and kicks, so I am trying to stop and really feel every movement. 
    • This will be the last time I grow a life inside of me. 
    • The last time I will wash newborn clothes and prepare a nursery. 
    • The last time I will choose a name for a new person.
My Third and Last Pregnancy: Thoughts from Jess
*This post contains affiliate and/or paid links which means that if you click on one of these links and buy a product, I may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. Rest assured that I only recommend products that I love from companies that I trust. Furthermore, I am not a medical professional and nothing in this post should be taken as medical advice. I am simply a mother who has been there and lived to tell the tale.

I thought maybe I would feel sad about it, but to be honest, I am feeling very at peace about the whole experience. In a way, I feel like this little bonus baby is a gift for my two girls. Both my daughters, who will be 6 & 3 when baby arrives, are beyond excited about the arrival of their new sibling. I think their excitement elevates my own. In a way I think it’s so special that I am growing this little gift for them, who they lovingly refer to as their baby.

Maternity Photo Shoot Ideas 1
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With my first pregnancy, I was so anxious about everything.

I had no idea what to expect. I was your typical first time mom, I read everything, I googled and researched and went to birthing classes. I bought everything brand new, planned fashionable outfits and decorated a beautiful nursery with matching bedding. We spent hours looking for the right stroller and car seat. I thought all the right “things” would be so important. Looking back now, I laugh at myself for putting so much effort into the things that didn’t matter as much.

With my second pregnancy, I worried about the adjustment to having two kids.

I worried about my oldest daughter feeling replaced. I worried about how to care for two lives. I worried about how to love them equally. I worried about the logistics and how to manage being out in public with two kids.  I worried about how I would split my time and attention. I worried so much, I couldn’t sleep. And when she finally arrived, life worked itself out, just like everyone had assured me it would. Her older sister was in love with her, and I learned just what exponential love really was. Just like that, our love had doubled.

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Now with my third, I am excited.

I know that this baby will add another level of love. I have heard from other moms of three (or more) that a second baby is a harder adjustment than a third and I believe it. I am already so busy and I am already used to juggling schedules and attention. After the initial first trimester where I was a pukey nauseous disaster, I am in that second trimester sweet spot. I am still getting sleep, I can eat anything I want and I can walk without waddling. I know that will all end very soon, but for right now, I am enjoying this stage.  And while I am SO excited to meet this baby, I am in no hurry. I am savoring every last minute of this pregnancy… the stretchy maternity pants and all! 

Not First Time Mom to Be Gift Guide
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So while the thought of this being my last pregnancy does feel like the end of an era, it also feels right for me and my family.  I will try my best to keep you updated on this journey with my growing family. I appreciate the outpouring of love I have received as I start my own adventure Running in Triangles.

Jess Sankar | Running in Triangles
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How to Protect Your Sleep During Daylight Savings Time

Daylight savings time can be a mother’s worst nightmare.

Daylight savings time begins on the second Sunday in March and ends on the first Sunday in November.  This all sounds well and good for most people, after all, it’s just a one hour difference.  But if you have little ones on a strict bedtime schedule, or if your mental health suffers from changes in your routine or sleep pattern, it can be a difficult time of the year to manage. 

Here are a few tips on how to protect your sleep during daylight savings time.
How to Protect Your Sleep During Daylight Savings Time
*This post contains affiliate and/or paid links which means that if you click on one of these links and buy a product, I may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. Rest assured that I only recommend products that I love from companies that I trust. Furthermore, I am not a medical professional and nothing in this post should be taken as medical advice. I am simply a mother who has been there and lived to tell the tale.
Daylight Savings Time Infographic

Be Prepared

Yes, it’s just an hour.  For many people, it doesn’t even make a difference in their lives.  But for young children, it can mean some trouble adjusting to the change for a few days, if not longer.  This can disrupt mom’s sleep patterns as well, which is bad news if she suffers from postpartum depression or anxiety.  Sleep deprivation can be a big trigger for those suffering from a mental health disorder. 

If you’re worried about your sleep being disrupted, then try to prepare yourself ahead of time.  Don’t over-schedule yourself the weekend that daylight savings time changes and try to get in some extra rest.  If you’re concerned about your child’s sleeping habits, then consider consulting with a baby sleep training expert for advice.

Go to Bed Early

Technically the time changes at 2 a.m. on a Sunday morning, but it’s a common practice to change all the clocks back before going to bed on Saturday night.  Whether you’re losing or gaining an hour, consider going to bed early that Saturday night to ensure that you get enough sleep no matter what time you wake up.

Take the Weekend Off

Thankfully, daylight savings time changes on a weekend so you don’t need to worry about school or work schedules.  If you can, try to limit any scheduled or time-constricted activities.  It’s a great time to plan a cozy hygge weekend or a family movie marathon where you’re sure to lose track of time anyway.  And who knows, maybe planning a relaxing weekend when the time changes could become a favorite family tradition!

Hygge Lifestyle
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Make the Change Gradually

There is no rule that says the hour has to be changed all at once.  One way to make the daylight savings time change seem less drastic is to change the clocks in smaller increments throughout the weekend.  Start by changing your clocks in 15 minute intervals on Saturday morning and evening and then again on Sunday.  The smaller the change, the less your body and mind will notice it.

Change the Clocks in the Middle of the Afternoon

Another alternative to help protect your sleep is to change the clocks in the middle of the afternoon instead of at bedtime.  This is a great option, especially for children, because the afternoon hours can usually slip by quickly when we’re busy having fun.  This will also ensure less disruption to your child’s bedtime routine and help you sleep better as well. 

Seasonal Affective Disorder
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Try to Embrace it

When it comes to daylight savings time, it’s best to just not make a big deal out of it.  Worrying or focusing too much on it can cause a lot of disruption.  It can cause anxiety for moms who need every bit of undisturbed sleep they can get.  Knowing that daylight savings time is coming can also contribute to symptoms of depression, including seasonal affective disorder.  Instead of worrying about it, try to be mindful of the time change.  Pay close attention to the changes in nature and embrace the opportunity to adjust your routine for the winter season.


Prior to having children or dealing with a perinatal mood or anxiety disorder, you probably never thought much about daylight savings time other than being on time for something important.  With most smartphones automatically updating the time, you may even completely forget about it until you wake up Sunday morning confused about what time it REALLY is.   Often, we don’t experience the repercussions of the time change until after the fact.  So protect your sleep this season and be ready for it! 

15+ Self Care Ideas To Keep You Warm in the Winter

It can be tough to find the motivation for self care in the winter.

It’s in our nature to want to hibernate under the covers all winter long and avoid leaving the house.  But staying isolated and failing to take proper care of ourselves during the winter months can lead to bouts of seasonal depression.  Self care is important year round, so despite the miserable weather, we should always try to make time for it.

Here are a few ideas for self care in the winter that are sure to keep you feeling warm and cozy. 
Self Care Ideas in the Winter
*This post contains affiliate and/or paid links which means that if you click on one of these links and buy a product, I may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. Rest assured that I only recommend products that I love from companies that I trust. Furthermore, I am not a medical professional and nothing in this post should be taken as medical advice. I am simply a mother who has been there and lived to tell the tale.

1. Light a Fire in the Fireplace

There’s no better way to warm up in the winter than sitting by the fireplace.  You can read, write, listen to music, watch your favorite movie or even just sit quietly and enjoy the crackling sound of the flames.  Flickering light is said to have a meditative effect on the mind which helps to reduce stress.  In some parts of the world, firelight is essential to the practice of hygge during the winter.

2. Relax by Candlelight

In the same way, dancing candlelight can help you relax as well.  Stock up on candles over the winter and light them whenever you get the chance.  Light a few in the kitchen while you’re cooking or dine by candlelight.  Keep one on your bedside table while you relax in bed or beside the tub while you soak.  Just remember not to fall asleep while they’re lit or leave them unattended, of course. 

Hygge Lifestyle
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3. Curl Up With a Cozy Blanket

Self care in the winter is all about wrapping yourself in warm, cozy blankets.  You may have several blankets in every room that you use, or maybe you have a favorite one that you practically live in.  The soft touch of a blanket wrapped around us helps us to feel safe and secure.  Being warm is also better for our blood circulation and improves our overall mood. 

4. Take a Hot Bath or Shower

Soaking in a hot bath or standing under a hot shower is a great way to warm up in the winter.  Try adding Epsom salts to the bath water for an added dose of magnesium.  Or throw in a few shower steamers filled with essential oils.  If you find that you prefer hot showers more frequently in the winter, make sure to use all natural products that will keep your hair and skin soft and moisturized without overloading on chemicals. 

5. Visit a Thermal Spa

If you haven’t already, check out a thermal spa in your area.  They are great places to visit in the colder months because you can access the full range of hot and cold.  Natural, mineral hot springs have healing waters that not only warm you up, but can provide relief from muscle and joint pains. 

Thermea by Nordik Spa-Nature
Click here to read more.

6. Get a Hot Stone Massage

Obviously any kind of massage therapy is a great way to practice self care in the winter.  But if you’re not a fan of deep tissue massage, try opting for a hot stone massage instead.  The warm volcanic rocks strategically placed on your body can loosen up tight muscles and reduce inflammation, stress and tension.  P.S. don’t forget to put SpaFinder gift cards on your wish list to use for this! 

7. Warm Up Your Feet

You can warm up your entire body simply by starting with the feet.  Warm feet will help you sleep better but if you’re not comfortable wearing socks to bed, try plugging in a heated mattress pad or blanket just at the foot of your bed.  Invest in a pair of ultra cozy socks or slippers to wear in the winter.  For added benefits, roll some essential oil blends onto the soles of your feet before slipping them into socks to absorb all the goodness.  

8. Sip Some Herbal Tea

Don’t forget to keep warm from the inside too!  Sipping on herbal tea is a great self care activity to do daily.   There are many health benefits of drinking green tea or just plain hot water with lemon.  But you can find herbal teas for almost any ailment these days.  There’s a reason why it’s such an integral part of any ancient culture. 

Warning Signs Your Body is Screaming for a Detox
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9. Visit a Steam Room

Many gyms or indoor pools give you access to a steam room so definitely take advantage of them in the winter.  Steam is a great way to detoxify the body, clean out the pores and help boost our immune systems.  It’s especially helpful to loosen things up when you’re suffering from a stuffy nose or chest congestion.  Just make sure to have a good shower and don’t forget to exfoliate and moisturize afterwards to get rid of all the toxins you’ve just sweat out. 

10. Go for a Run

Staying active is one of the most important self care practices in the winter.  It’s all too easy to neglect our bodies when they’re always covered up.  So bundle up and go for a run around the neighborhood.  You might start off feeling cold, but the longer you go, the warmer you’ll get.  Or run indoors on a treadmill.  It’s important to get your heart rate up at least once a day, which will improve your blood circulation to keep you warm all over. 

11. Do Some Yoga Stretches

Meditative yoga is another great form of self care in the winter.  Despite it’s slow and concentrated movements, you will work up quite a sweat holding those positions.  Stretching daily will help our bones and muscles from getting weak over the winter months, when we might not as be as active.  

Thermea Finlandia Sauna
Click here to read more.

12. Spend Time in a Sauna

Similar to steam rooms, saunas can be found at most gyms, indoor pool areas or spas.  The dry heat of a sauna focuses directly on helping you sweat out toxins in your body.  You can even find places that offer hot yoga, which is a yoga class done entirely in a sauna for added benefits.  Search SpaFinder to see locations near you that offer these specific type of services.  

13. Bake Something Warm and Delicious

Baking is a great winter activity, especially around the holidays.  But don’t do it out of necessity or you’ll just stress yourself out.  Bake just for the fun of it.  Having a warm oven on will heat up the whole house and the delicious smells coming from it are an entirely different form of aromatherapy.  And then go ahead and indulge.  Use the real chocolate and the full fat cream and don’t skimp on the sprinkles.

14. Make a Pot of Soup

Nothing warms you up faster in the winter than a delicious bowl of hot soup.  Soup days are perfect and easy for those dreary days when you’re stuck in the house.  Or have a pot ready to go for when you get in from being outside in the cold all day.  Try making a bone broth from scratch or get the kids to help you make an easy veggie soup.  Soup is a winter time staple but also light and healthy. 

Seasonal Affective Disorder
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15. Knit a Scarf

The winter months are a great time to start a new project.  With all the extra time spent indoors, you’ll need something to keep you occupied or you’ll end up with a bad case of cabin fever.  Knitting a scarf, hat or mittens for yourself, your kids or a loved one is a great place to start.  Or work on some other form of art therapy.  Creating something will give you a sense of pride and boost your confidence.  Depending on how good your skills are, you can even give some away as handmade Christmas presents. 

16. Cuddle With Someone You Love

Finally, the best way to stay warm this winter is to spend lots of time cuddled up with the ones you love.  Whether you’re suffering from a mental illness like postpartum depression or just a case of the winter blues, nothing heals better than a hug.  You’ll stay warm simply by sharing body heat, and you’ll get a mood boost from spending time with others.  So this winter, if you plan to hibernate indoors, make sure you’ve got someone to spend it with and find ways to take care of yourself while still keeping warm.


How to Survive the Holidays with Postpartum Depression

There are several reasons why the holidays aren’t as enjoyable when you have postpartum depression.

In order to get through the holidays with postpartum depression, most women wear a smile for the sake of their families.  After all, celebrating the holidays with our children are some of the happiest memories we’ll ever make.  But it’s also one of the most stressful times, especially for mothers.  They tend to take the lead when it comes to cooking, cleaning, shopping, decorating and wrapping gifts. 

If the thought of getting through the holidays with postpartum depression is already stressing you out, check out some of our tips for making it through unharmed. 

How to Survive the Holidays with Postpartum Depression
*This post contains affiliate and/or paid links which means that if you click on one of these links and buy a product, I may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. Rest assured that I only recommend products that I love from companies that I trust. Furthermore, I am not a medical professional and nothing in this post should be taken as medical advice. I am simply a mother who has been there and lived to tell the tale.
How to Survive the Holidays with Postpartum Depression How to Survive the Holidays with Postpartum Depression

Start Planning in Advance

The holidays have a way of sneaking up on you.  It’s as though you’ve just begun to cope with sending the kids back to school and then suddenly, there are Christmas carols playing on the radio.  Feeling the pressure of time running out can have a big impact on our mental health.  The best way to avoid the added stress of last minute shopping and decorating is to start planning for the holidays well in advance. 

Get your calendar and write out all the important dates.  Mark down family dinners, holiday parties, school or work functions, vacation time and anything else happening over the holidays.  Once you know these dates, you can start planning meals, gifts, outfits, babysitters, etc. Keep your calendar in sight, even if it’s still a month or two away so that you can mentally prepare for what’s coming up.

Start your holiday shopping early.  You always say that you’re going to be one of those people that starts shopping early but end up leaving it until the last minute anyway.  Make a list of everyone you need to shop for and carry it around with you whenever you go out.  You never know when you’ll stumble across something great.   Check out online sales or discount sites like Zulily and sign up for e-mail lists at your favorite stores. 

Having a head start is one way to survive the holidays with postpartum depression.  Making lists and planning in advance can reduce the amount of stress, sleepless nights and anxiety.

12 Ways to Improve Your Mental Health This Year
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Minimize the Holiday Traditions

Special family traditions around the holidays are what makes this time of the year so memorable.  When you think back to holidays as a kid, what were some things that you remember doing every year?  Was it waiting up for Santa, baking cookies with grandma or watching a favorite movie?  These days, there are so many different traditions that you can start with your kids (especially on Pinterest).

But be careful which traditions you choose to start with your family and don’t try to adopt them all.  If you’re not much of a chef, then skip the holiday baking.  Or if crafting isn’t your thing, maybe buy a special ornament each year instead of trying to make one.  And take it from me, the Elf on the Shelf will use up way too much of your time and energy.  (But if you must follow through on this one, here are some adorable ideas using your home security camera!)

Consider sending virtual Christmas cards this year.  Buying cards, signing them all and mailing them out can be time consuming and not something a mother with postpartum depression wants to do.  But sending a paperless card is both easy and good for the environment.  Paperless Post has a huge selection of beautiful holiday cards and invitations, plus you can store all your contact’s e-mail addresses for next year! 

If you plan to survive the holidays with postpartum depression, it will mean downsizing the festivities a bit until your symptoms are under control.  Having one or two special things that you do together over the holidays is more than enough to make it memorable.  Besides, your children would much rather spend time laughing together as a family, than do a bunch of baking and crafts with a stressed out mom. 

Gifts for Mothers with Postpartum Depression
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Set Aside Some “Me” Time

We can’t forget about self care during the holidays.  It’s easy to get so wrapped up in the spirit of giving that we forget about taking care of ourselves. If you want to make it through the holidays with postpartum depression, you need to take a break every once in a while. 

With all the holiday events coming up, book yourself a salon day and get your hair and nails done. If it’s something you splurge on once a year, now is the time to do it.  If you’re not sure where to start, chat with a professional Esthetician and get a free serum personalized for your specific skin care needs at Beauty by Design.  And don’t forget to put a massage or spa day on your wish list.  Winter is also a great time to try out a thermotherapy spa

With the change in seasons, many mothers with postpartum depression can get hit hard with the winter blues (a.k.a seasonal affective disorder).  This makes self care even more important during these colder, shorter days. Make sure that you are getting enough sleep and exposure to sunlight to avoid falling deeper into a depressed state.

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Find a Socializing Buddy

As much as you don’t want to do it, socializing is good for you.  You may be dreading having to answer the annoying questions that everyone asks new moms, like “is the baby sleeping through the night” or “shouldn’t he be walking yet?”  And the thought of having everyone fawning over your baby might be unbearable, even if they are family.  

If you truly want to survive socializing over the holidays with postpartum depression, then what you need is a wing-man (or woman).  Find your person, the one who is going to help you out through all the holiday socializing.  It could be your spouse, sibling, a favorite cousin or friend.  It should be someone that you trust and have a great connection with.  Tell them what you are going through and ask them to help you out at family functions.  If they notice someone annoying you, they can swoop in and save you. 

You should never have to battle postpartum depression alone but that doesn’t mean you need to announce your condition at the dinner table.  Having just one person who understands how hard this is for you can make it so much easier.  And who knows, maybe you’ll even enjoy yourself!

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Don’t Avoid the Fun

Celebrating the holidays with postpartum depression is no fun.  But that doesn’t mean you should hide away or avoid the festivities.  You might think that your presence will just bring everyone down or make others feel awkward and so you decline invitations or leave the party early. 

Even if you don’t think you’re much fun, I assure you that others are glad you’re there.  Your children, especially, are happier when you are there.  So be in the pictures, sit around the fire and join in the dinner conversations, even if you have nothing to say.  It’s hard to remember all the days when our kids are young.  But you’ll remember the holidays, and so will they.