9 Gift Ideas to Buy for a Mama with PPA

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We are smack-dab in the middle of December now…have you started your holiday shopping yet? Maybe you are scratching your head on what to gift your BFF, girlfriend, or wife that is struggling with postpartum anxiety. Don’t worry, I have you covered. I reached out to a fellow mama friend that is going through her very own PPA struggle; I wanted to get her input on what she would enjoy getting as a gift this year.

 

The result? She gave me some kick-ass ideas and I just have to share them with you.

 

Read about managing your postpartum anxiety this holiday season.

 

 

The holidays are already stressful. Add in having PPA, and it can be kicked up a few notches. Before I give my gift ideas, personally, I’d suggest skipping any gifts centered around birth and/or motherhood. That person is already living the life of motherhood and you never know what someone’s birth experience was like. So gifts that you may think are funny or well meaning that have those subjects can sometimes be more anxiety provoking, which leads me to saying, keep it fun and relaxing.

 

 

 

1. Light-hearted or funny movies/tv shows

9 Gift Ideas to Buy for a Mama with PPA

Humor is such a powerful stress reliever…laughing is so good for you! Buy your pal a funny movie or tv series off Amazon or be super-awesome and get her a Netflix subscription.

If neither of those options sound like your cup of tea, how about a gift card to the movies? You can purchase movie theater gift cards right through Amazon Regal, AMC, and Fandango are the most popular. (see your area of residence for where you can use certain gift cards)

 

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2. Massages

9 Gift Ideas to Buy for a Mama with PPA

Massages are another tremendous stress reliever and are a great way to help your sore muscles.

Check out Groupon for deals on massage certificates in your area.

 

3. Makeup, perfume, hair products

It’s about being able to pamper yourself at home not just once, but whenever you need to recharge.

Some specific ideas include: dry shampoo, amazing smelling perfume, and a nude lipstick.

 

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4. Audio books

9 Gift Ideas to Buy for a Mama with PPA

Since time is such a restraint when we are mothers, audio books are an excellent way to give someone a book– turn it on in the car, toss on your headphones and listen at the gym or in bed, and so forth.

There are several ways to purchase audio books, some of these include:

iTunes, Audiobooks, Google play books, and Amazon audibles.

 

  5. Journals/diaries

Jazz it up with some pens and cards, toss in an adult coloring book, and you’ve got yourself a nice gift basket of items!

 

 

 

6. Beverage gift basket of coffee, tea, water, or soda

There are many ways you can do this– create your own care basket with purchased beverages or have one personally delivered to that special mama in your life.

Check out these awesome, already made gift baskets for that special mama in your life:

 

Skip the alcohol, although a favorite to give, unless you know the person extremely well, it’s best to skip it for many reasons.

 

Read more about how to eat & drink for a healthy mind and body this holiday season.

 

7. Weighted blanket

Weighted blankets are becoming the hot new trend for reducing anxiety and improving sleep (among many more benefits).

What exactly is a weighted blanket?

A weighted blanket is a very heavy blanket (around 15 pounds or so) that has a calming effect when used. The theory is that a weighted blanket helps to stimulate deep pressure touch that uses firm, hands-on pressure to reduce anxiety.

A weighted blanket can be excellent for a mom with serious PPA that desperately needs to relax.

 

8. Oil diffuser/essential oils

I am now an essential oily mama. It’s true. I totally believe in the magic of oils. And I think that you should, too.

Perhaps my favorite way to use my oils is to diffuse them in my home. Not only is using my diffuser a much safer (and less toxic) way to leave my home smelling nice, but my family and I can benefit from the oils.

There are sooo many oils out there that are excellent for anxiety; a few of those oils are:

lavender, orange, bergamot, chamomile, vetiver, and ylang-ylang.

*Read here for more oils that can be used to calm anxiety.

9. Subscription for meditation

9 Gift Ideas to Buy for a Mama with PPA

Meditation is great for relaxing the mind and managing stress and anxiety and can help a mama who suffers with PPA. There is an app for meditation called Headspace…and it’s amazing. Headspace is a guided program that fits into a busy mama’s lifestyle, with daily reminders to practice and also mindful moments of positive messages throughout the day.

Headspace does offer a free program, however, a subscription is also available for more features.

*Visit here to check out what Headspace subscription has to offer.

Headspace is offering a 40% discount for the year 2019. Great deal!!

 

Those were 9 gift ideas to buy for a mama with postpartum anxiety ~ what did you enjoy most about the list? Would you like to add something? Reply back with a comment. <3

Happy Holidays!

 

This post was co-written by my dear friend, Laura P.

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Facing your Family: Managing your Postpartum Anxiety

With the holiday season approaching, I realized how we can get triggered with our postpartum anxiety. Let’s talk about that for a minute now: Imagine that you are in a room full of people (some you may never have even met before…like Aunt Gerty’s BFF) for a family dinner. You have your adorable baby in tow and everyone and their mother wants to gobble her up; they want to hold her, feed her, maybe even kiss her (oh, boy..let’s save that for another post!) how does that make you feel?

Is your heart racing just thinking about that? It’s alright because I get that. Postpartum anxiety is a real (insert female dog word here) and it can make you want to run and hide indoors with your baby. Alone. Preferably with some Netflix and hot chocolate.

 

 

Now to get back to my scenario from before, what would YOU do in that predicament? Would you not say anything (even though your insides are as hot as lava and you are screaming obscenities)? Would you watch over every single person handling your baby like a worried Mother Goose? Would you kindly mention that your babe needs a diaper change and run away with her to the nearest bathroom to escape the infinity of hands laid upon her? Would you escape to the bathroom just to breathe…and cry?

Let’s talk about managing your postpartum anxiety this holiday season.

I want to help you manage your postpartum anxiety with some tips and words of encouragement (because I got you, mama!!!)

 

 

Decide if it’s the time to let it happen

Maybe this will be the first time taking your baby around so many new people and you don’t feel comfortable with it.

Will it be the first time that other people will hold your baby? Will you let it happen?

Setting up a game plan can help you determine what you’re going to do (yes– Aunt Gerty’s BFF can hold my baby or not. I’m going to baby wear the whole evening) knowing your decision can help ease your anxiety.

 

Write your anxieties down

What triggers your PPA? Write it all down so you can (not only) get it off your chest, but to understand your PPA a little bit better. Knowing what triggers you may help you start to overcome your PPA.

 

Establish boundaries

If you don’t like it for other people to change your baby’s diaper or to kiss her on the face, then establishing boundaries is key and it’s okay to let people know this.

You are your baby’s advocate.

 

Bring along a moral support buddy

If you’re unsure whether or not you can make it through the dinners or parties this year, bring along a moral support buddy.

A great moral support buddy can be your significant other or a trusted friend. Ask them to stay by your side throughout the event; even talk about using a code-word in case things get too heavy and you need to leave.

 

Meditate before those big dinner parties

Try to meditate before heading out to a family function– Headspace is a great app for meditation (and even better, it’s free!)

Meditating can calm and relax you… just what you need before facing families and big crowds.

 

Sit this one out

If you’re not feeling ready to face your family this holiday season, consider to sit this one out.

Remember: you know yourself, and your baby, better than anyone else. Choose to put yourself in a healthy and happy environment!

 

 

 

How can I help you face your family this holiday season?

Do you have any…

questions, comments, concerns, or just need to talk? I’m here. Reply back to me or find me on facebook.

I’m wishing you a happy and healthy holiday. Keep smiling~

 

 

 

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I Am 1 in 5: The Truth Behind Postpartum Depression And Anxiety {Cara’s story}

Cara’s Story

{previously featured on A Purpose Driven Mom}

 

 

I was sitting in my therapist office one day and we were talking about guilt and shame and why I always feel like if something goes wrong, it’s automatically my fault.

“Well, that’s the depression talking”, she said so calmly.

Wow.

We had talked earlier on in our sessions about my anxiety and it was very clear that I was struggling with Postpartum Anxiety (PPA) but we had never talked specifically about Postpartum Depression (PPD).

To me PPD felt so much more real, so scary, and it honestly just made me feel so much more broken.

I felt like I could ‘deal’ with having PPA, I mean isn’t everyone just a stressed out mom? But PPD was so foreign to me. I felt fearful that people would think I was a bad mom, that I couldn’t take care of my kids, that there was something wrong with me. I mean I didn’t feel depressed. I wasn’t under the covers crying and unable to get out of bed (which was my previous experience with my depression when I was in high school) and I felt like I was getting better.

But there it was, clear as day and right out of my therapists mouth. I was a woman who had Postpartum Depression and Anxiety.

Did you know that 1 in 5 women suffer from either PPA or PPD? And so many moms out there just suffer in silence. They are afraid, just like I was and sometimes still am.

“What will people think of me?”

“Am I really crazy?”

“Why can’t I just get it together?”

For me, my anxiety isn’t always panic attacks or heavy breathing like they show so often on  TV but more of a mental tug and what we refer to in my home as my ‘spiral’.

It starts with the smallest trigger, mostly connected to me feeling like I’ve made a mistake or am inadequate in some way and it turns into spiraling thoughts that I struggle to shut down. Something as simple as getting the wrong thing at the grocery store can become catastrophic.

“Ugh, I don’t have time to go back out”

“I always do this”

“I am so forgetful”

“See this is what happens because you never pay attention”

“Why are you so stupid?”

“Ugh, why are you thinking like this again?”

“See, now no one wants to talk to you because you’re crazy and ruined dinner.”

This spiral is followed by some tears on my part, my family looking confused because they don’t know what to say to me, and me feeling even more guilty because I ‘ruined it again’.

It wasn’t until this pattern had happened for a few months in a row, and a LOT more crying on the middle of my kitchen floor that I realized I needed help. I told my husband I had to do something, I was tired of feeling so tired, and life was just exhausting me. As a life coach, I felt like an even bigger fraud because I felt even less together than I ever had been, and I knew that it was going to have bigger repercussions for my family if I didn’t get help.

So one day, I bravely walked into a therapist office and just said it “I think something is wrong with me”… followed by those ever flowing tears.

After a few sessions, she had diagnosed my PPA (and later my PPD) and we had come up with some coping techniques that have helped me get through my days better. I share them openly with my husband, though honestly I sometimes worry that I am TOO vulnerable with him, and they help him help me with my anxiety when it gets really bad.

In the 5 months since I realized that I needed help, I am proud to say that many of the techniques (from counting, to breathing, to reframing, and more) have really helped me when I am in a spiral. And while I would love to say that my spirals are gone, at least I can say that when I am in the moment, I can self identify what’s happening and bring myself out of it much quicker.

So many of us are afraid to speak our truths because we don’t want to be judged. We don’t want to admit that something is wrong with us. We love our kids and want to be seen as a ‘good mom’. But in keeping our struggles silent, we not only harm ourselves but our family and other women who are suffering in silence.

In that vain, I’ve had a few amazing women be willing to speak out on their struggles and share their personal experiences with PPA/PPD. Because the things is, it affects everyone so differently, which is why it’s also hard to identify right away. We might just think we’re stressed or hormonal or just having a bad day. But mama, if you feel off, if you’re struggle lasts a bit, if you know something just doesn’t feel right, can I encourage you to go and talk to someone, be it another mom, your doctor, or a family member? Because you don’t have to feel stuck, you don’t have to feel alone, and you don’t have to feel lost. Because YOU are not alone!

 

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