Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Biz tells her PND story

Many of you will be familiar with Biz already -  Biz shared her BBB story with us a year or so back and also told us a little about her experience with PND and how she used exercise as one of the main means of getting through it.  Here is Biz's story:

It might sound like an odd thing to say, especially to someone who’s currently going through PND, but for me, getting PND ended up being an absolute blessing. I suffered from PND after the births of both my boys. The first time I put it down to sleep deprivation and the belief that parenting was just hard and not necessarily enjoyable...yet, so I muddled through. How untrue, and what a massive waste of Jack’s first year. 

After the arrival of my second child, Alex, it took no time before I was back at rock bottom; constant tears the inability to think and make decisions, let alone being able to look after two kids. What I did this time though, massively improved my mood, energy (despite sleep deprivation!) and my ability to enjoy parenting. I decided I needed to do whatever it took to feel better so I could see what all the fuss of parenting was about. I started to eat healthier and more regularly, sought my doctor’s advice and went on medication. I also began exercising with Jen at Body Beyond Baby as soon as I’d had my 6 week check up…. this turned out to be the key turning point.

Training with an exercise professional that specialises in post-natal exercise, teaching the importance of safely re-building strength from the inside out, made all the difference. Before long I felt stronger and fitter than I have in years, if not ever. The nannies took care of the kids while I got fresh air, sunshine (also a brilliant cure for depression), increased strength, and social activity with other mums, and a hit of endorphins.
Despite only being able to commit to one session a week, this turned out to be enough to spur me on and provide me tips for doing more exercise on my own throughout the rest of the week. 

Now, almost two years on, I still hold exercise as the most important factor for boosting my mood, my ability to cope and my ability to think clearly. I don’t live in Sydney anymore so can’t train with Jen, but if you do, I couldn’t recommend training with Jen more highly.  She is so passionate about what she does, she practices what she preaches, is genuinely interested in each of the mums and I am still in contact with her despite being interstate.

As someone who's had quite an ongoing history of depression, especially in times of big changes (e.g. moving house/country, changing jobs & having a baby!) I can say with experience that good regular exercise (not just walking) doesn't get the emphasis it should.  Medication or talking to a psychologist, alone, isn't enough. I now know that exercise and nutrition are absolutely vital in truly getting your life turned around for the long term.

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