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I carefully scrunched my curls and put on a fresh face of makeup. Something I don’t do too often nowadays.
But, this day was a “special” day.
I was getting a professional headshot done.
Well, not a professional photo by some fancy Vogue photographer who photographs Hollywood’s hottest.
This headshot was being shot by a local company.
Walgreens, ya ever heard of ‘em?
Yes, it’s a headshot for my passport photo.
Totally not a big deal, right?
Just a stupid passport photo.
Believe me, I know.
Before kids, this event wouldn’t have required a whole lot of effort.
I would have just slapped on a few licks of mascara, slathered on lipstick, and marched in for my photo.
But, since becoming a mom, nothing is as simple as it seems.
As I rubbed tinted moisturizer onto my blotchy cheeks, my mind wandered in a million directions.
What if I get kidnapped in another country and my family can’t find me?
I better not do my makeup too well because when I’m traveling I normally look like crap and if they need to find me they won’t recognize me in the photo.
If I get burnt alive in a terrorist act I wonder if they will be able to ID my body?
Shit, should I wear a necklace in this photo, then make sure to wear it when I’m traveling so if they can’t ID me they can at least match my necklace to the photo?
Yes, readers, this has been my mind since becoming a mother.
My brain is constantly coming up with these hypothetical situations and demanding me to figure them out on the spot. I worry a lot, and over plan for those “just in case” situations.
I was never like this before, peoples. Ever.
Frankly, it drives me nuts.
When I found out I was pregnant, I thought I would just be dealing with baby cries, lack of sleep, and toddler tantrums, not all this weird anxiety stuff.
Why am I sharing this with you?
Because, after trying to learn more about this stuff, I discovered many moms suffer from postpartum anxiety, but don’t talk about it.
Or, attempt to resolve it.
We hear quite a bit about postpartum depression, but many moms aren’t sure what to make of the flurry of worrisome thoughts that appear out of nowhere.
“Postpartum anxiety (is) the hidden disorder because so few moms recognize it and it goes undiagnosed,” says Jonathan Abramowitz, Ph.D., associate chairman of psychology and director of the Anxiety and Stress Disorders Clinic at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. “It hasn’t been discussed or studied much, even though it’s a lot more common than postpartum depression.”
Postpartum Anxiety Symptoms
According to Postpartum Support International, the symptoms of anxiety during pregnancy or postpartum may include:
- Constant worry
- Feeling that something bad is going to happen
- Racing thoughts
- Disturbances of sleep and appetite
- Inability to sit still
- Physical symptoms like dizziness, hot flashes, and nausea.
Risk Factors for Postpartum Anxiety
The risk factors for postpartum anxiety and panic include a personal or family history of anxiety, previous experience with depression or anxiety, or a thyroid imbalance.
I didn’t have depression or anxiety prior to having children, but anxiety, depression, and thyroid imbalances does run in my family.
So, I have always made an effort to stay on top of my mental health during pregnancy and my motherhood journey.
If you’re feeling overcome with worrisome thoughts on the regular, tell your ob-gyn and ask for a referral to a psychologist who specializes in cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) or a therapist who has experience with perinatal mood disorders.
These types of experts can teach you methods that will help you to relax, such as meditation or mindfulness training. They can also prescribe you something that may help you to alleviate some of the symptoms of anxiety.
Not a fan of going to the doctor’s office or taking pills?
Don’t worry, there are some things you can do at home that may be able to help.
The easiest way to relieve anxiety is to exercise.
Six weeks of resistance training or aerobic exercise led to a remission rate of 60 percent and 40 percent, respectively, among women ages 18 to 37 with generalized anxiety disorder, a study completed by The University of Georgia found.
If you’re looking for a postpartum anxiety treatment that is natural, CBD oil is another great option.
Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the many types of compounds, known as cannabinoids, found in the cannabis plant. It is not intoxicating and does not have any of the psychoactive properties that its cousin marijuana has.
It gives you an overall sense of calm and clears the brain fog and flurry of worrisome thoughts.
I admit I was reluctant to try CBD products at first because I am not a fan of marijuana by any means.
I hate the smell and the feeling of being high.
There are some that love it, and if that’s you, great!
There’s no judgment here.
But, here is a public service announcement: CBD is NOT marijuana.
Are they related?
But, as I mentioned earlier, they are more like cousins than twins.
Once I learned cannabinoids could be found in found plant-based sources like hops, pepper, and cocoa beans, and heard testimonials from moms who experienced positive results from CBD oils, I figured I’d try it out.
So, I did exactly that.
And, instantly became a convert.
My postpartum anxiety significantly improved after several days of use. Another positive side effect was that it improved my memory aka mom brain, and even helped clear up my skin.
All in all, a freaking HANDSDOWN awesome experience.
Just make sure you do your homework! Not all CBD oils are created equally.
Many companies grow their hemp in China, then ship it back to the states, where tons of fillers are added. In fact, 80% of the CBD on the market is from China.
And, then there are some who actually make their own, and you don’t know what else has been added.
It is important to know the source of your CBD. Whatever the soil has in it will become part of the CBD you consume.
The last thing you want is harmful bacteria, poisonous funghi, and heavy metals sabotaging your health and sense of relief.
Kind of defeats the purpose, eh?
I’ll just say, you get what you pay for, mama.
I have had success using CBD oil from a respected and trusted American company called Green Compass. They use sixth-generation farmers in North Carolina to grow their certified organic hemp, have sound quality control, and train other hemp farmers at the College of Agricultural Department at North Carolina State University.
They have a QR code on every bottle of Green Compass CBD oil* that allows you to view the Certificate of Analysis straight from a third-party lab that tests every one of their crop’s chemical makeup, including CBD and THC levels. You can’t get any safer than that.
Plus, they were the first hemp crops in the U.S. to be USDA Organic certified, something very few CBD distributors can legally claim.
Their company, website, and packaging are professional looking too, which is important to me. I didn’t want to use some CBD oil with Jerry Garcia bears, “Jamaica mons” and psychedelic paraphernalia on it.
Because that’s not my vibe, Gina.
Their oil has changed my life so much that I decided to partner with Green Compass to become a CBD advocate.
Girl, believe me. I’m shocked I did, but this stuff is that good.
I am not the same person.
Even my mom rage has faded significantly, which is a godsend!
If you have questions about CBD, its effects, and how it can better help you, send me a message via the best channel that works for you. I’d be happy to help get you started on the road to positive health.
I’ve come a long way from that day of passport photo prep, and I’m so glad I did my research, asked around, and found something that works well for me.
And, if you must know, yes I wore the necklace in the photo for postmortem identification purposes.
Have you tried CBD oil for your anxiety? What was your experience? Share below!
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
Disclaimer: This post is not intended to be a replacement for medical services. The information on this site is intended for general and educational purposes only. Before taking action based on the information you find, we encourage you to consult with the appropriate professionals. The use or reliance on any information found on this site is solely at your own risk. If you are in crisis or have a mental health emergency, please call 911 or go to your nearest emergency room.