The sense of smell is very important. Did you know that this sense often gets affected due to depression? Many observe during pregnancy that their sense of smell heightens often making nausea worse so why is it that many suffer a loss of smell in the postanatal stage due to postnatal depression or other mental illness post baby?
"Personally, my husband did not believe me that my sense of smell had gotten so bad due to my postnatal depression and anxiety. Unfortunately now many smells go unnoticed or the degree of the smell needs to be greater in order to sense it..."
So here is why?
Depression, schizophrenia and seasonal affective disorder all suppress the sense of smell. The olfactory bulbs is the part of the brain that gives us our sense of smell. Researchers have found that the more severely depressed a person was, the smaller their olfactory bulb. Therefore this suggests that depression may cloud, but not damage, a person's sense of smell. The reduced brain response to odours found in depressed persons may be tied to problems in two closely connected parts of the brain that play an important role in processing emotional information and smell, known as the orbitofrontal cortex and amygdala.
The effects were present whether or not an individual was taking antidepressant drugs.
It has also been noted that once the depression has been successfully treated the sense of smell/response to smells returned back to their normal levels.
After the oxytocin wears off….
Let’s be real for a second. Let’s stop and reflect on what you’ve done. YOU GREW A HUMAN! So to me, you are in fact a Superhero! Whether you home or hospital birthed, whether your baby came out through the sunroof or not, whether you breast or bottle feed, your baby is here and earthside because of you. When was the last time you gave yourself a pat on the back for that?
From the shitty nappies and vomiting, to PND and sleep schools, to bizarre mothers groups and unsolicited parenting advice, mothering is a right of passage that stretches not just your belly but your soul to grow.
The oxytocin wears off, the delivery of home made meals and new baby gifts stop. You’re neck deep in forever washing and sleepless nights and right there perhaps some doubt about your life direction comes up. You stare in the mirror potentially at this new body you judge and loathe, resenting the biological privilege that just railroaded life as you knew it. And that’s the moment, right there where you can catch yourself, and the negative self talk. Where you connect and redirect with you again (just like you will with your toddler in the years to come, thanks Dr Dan Siegel!) because this is where it gets better.
Yes your pelvic floor will recover, yes they will in fact one day sleep through the night. Yes you will enjoy sex again, wear white, and even another babe if you choose to do so. You’ll be stronger, fitter, wiser and more full of love than ever before.
As a Mother you are the embodiment of grace under pressure. Alongside congratulating yourself for carrying and delivering your babe, celebrate the fact that you are keeping your babe alive! You’ve acquired new skills like being able to pick things up off the floor with the big toe hook and flick method and you now have this quiet understanding of women in a new way that you may not have experienced before.
This babe of yours took time to grow and it takes time for the body to recover and that’s ok. Thank your body. Be kind to her. Love her and celebrate her. The older, wiser me would go back to tell the young new Mum me exactly this today.
CATCH YOURSELF in the now. Be present to the sweetness and stillness of every moment, chaotic, wild and wonderful. Simply feel your feet on ground beneath you and become the witness to the sensations and flow of your breath. Inhale. Exhale. Repeat.
Affirm and say…
I AM AMAZING.
I AM LOVED, HELD AND SUPPORTED.
I AM AN INCREDIBLE MOTHER.
I AM ENOUGH JUST AS I AM.
And remember the great mothering Mantra, this too shall pass.
Laura is a Mother, Lover, Seeker and Yogini. She wears lycra as part her living! She is SAMA Studio’s Founder and Principal teacher, facilitating Yoga classes, retreats, workshops and Yoga Teacher Training. Find and follow her on the below links or catch her teaching at Ekam Yoga Festival this year:
First introduced to Yoga around 10 years of age and has fond childhood memories of chanting the Gayatri Mantra, meditating, gazing at paintings of Hindu deities and playfully hanging upside down.
By 2007 Laura was a regular student of Yoga. In 2008 her interest in Buddhist philosophy and mindfulness practices led her to taking vows with HH 14th Dalai Lama. Teaching Yoga has been her full-time profession since 2013. She is a Yoga Australia Level 2 registered teacher.
Laura’s motivation to share the gifts the practice brings with others is in service to cultivating and strengthening a greater sense of Kula –Community of Heart. Having experienced first-hand the support a Yoga practice offers in times of trauma, illness and injury, Laura hopes to inspire and connect students to the wisdom and intelligence of their own bodies moving. To feel and know the resiliency and courage of one’s own Spirit.
Known for helping students connect to the intelligence of alignment, she progressively builds students to meet their edges – be it in a flow, alignment or restoration class. She shares in a fun and light-hearted fashion, without skipping the particulars, weaving mythological storytelling and philosophy throughout.