Navigating Postpartum Depression and Breastfeeding With Emily Ratzke, Featuring Bravado Designs

First, how are you feeling?

I’m definitely starting to feel like me again. The pandemic has affected every person, and I think it has been somewhat challenging to navigate being a new mom during that. I feel like my emotions have been so manic lately: happy, anxious, depressed, lonely, but also elated and cautiously optimistic for this upcoming year.

Shortly after giving birth, you suffered from more than just the post-baby blues; tell us a little bit about that time.

Yeah, it was a difficult time for me and can be triggering to talk about, but I really want to share my experience. I think it started mostly with anxiety over the well being of my new baby, which I feel like is normal. But then my anxiety would keep me up at night, and my very little amount of sleep turned into none at all. Every time I closed eyes, I would envision something tragic happening to my baby like being on a balcony and dropping him off, or being in a car crash, or if he just stopped breathing in the middle of the night. And these thoughts would repeat. I have a history of depression, and I guess giving birth really triggered that.

Our Mother Muse Emily wears the Body Silk Seamless Sheer Nursing Bra available here

At that point, did you know it was postpartum depression?

I think I knew when my anxiety was all that took space in my mind. I didn’t have time to be present with my new baby or partner. It occupied more space than I could control. I was so determined to be “ok”, whatever that means, and didn’t allow myself to potentially not be. I then knew that I needed some help with medication and to talk to someone about how I was feeling.

Is there anything that you feel may have contributed to your depression and anxiety?

For me, it was probably a combination of a few elements. Obviously, I wasn’t sleeping, and, as I mentioned before, I do have a history of depression. Other factors were constantly comparing myself and how I viewed myself as a mother to what I saw on social media. I was the first person to have a baby in my friend group, so I felt like none of my close friends could relate to me, which is why I would compare myself to what I saw on Instagram.

What advice would you give to women that are pregnant or that might be suffering from postpartum depression?

Absolutely—I think you are not alone. I can only speak to my experience, but just know that you are not alone and that you won’t feel that way forever. Also, not to feel ashamed of feeling the way you are and that you don’t need to be ok all the time. You need to let go of that shame and talk to someone. As moms, I sometimes think that we try to be everything for our babies, but it’s perfectly normal not always to have that capacity and to get some help.

Our Mother Muse Emily wears the Plunge Nursing Bra available here

How was your breastfeeding journey?

Breastfeeding is hard! And I feel like people don’t talk about it as much. In the beginning, I had so much trouble with it and really wanted to stop because of how painful nursing was. Also, for so long as a woman, your breasts are seen as this sexual part of your body. Once you start nursing, your breasts are solely for keeping your baby alive, so they take on this new identity. For me, breastfeeding was closely linked to my PPD because I sort of lost myself, as all I was doing was sitting nursing a baby. Once you get the hang of it, breastfeeding is so very special though. I am glad I stuck with it because it truly was a journey, and I can’t imagine not having all that special time with my son.

Keeping that in mind, how do Bravado Design nursing bras help with your nursing experience?

Well, it’s all about comfort when you are pregnant and nursing because like I said, you spend most of your day in the beginning breastfeeding. So Bravado nursing bras are very comfortable and also very reliable. They also helped me during my nursing experience because I was still able to feel supported but always felt sexy and had the ability to literally nurse anywhere.

How would you describe the bras; are they easy to navigate, comfortable, feminine?

100%. They are mostly comfortable and versatile. Comfort is so key when you are pregnant and nursing, so it’s definitely a non-negotiable. I would also describe their bras as versatile because I will continue to wear them post-nursing.

Our Mother Muse Emily wears the Ballet Bra available here

Which one do you recommend from their collection?

Ok, I’m picking two. The Ballet Bra is my favourite. Its pink, soft, feminine and makes me feel sexy. I also really like the Sculpt Bra because it’s like the best everyday t-shirt bra with a thick band, so it’s super supportive if you’re like me and have a bigger chest.

What has been your biggest takeaway from 2020?

Slowing down and enjoying the small moments every day. Every morning, I have this moment when I get up and get my son, and we cuddle while I drink my coffee. It’s my favourite part of my day because it feels like no one else on the planet is awake but us.

Lastly, who is your Mother Muse?

My Mom. She is truly the best and sweetest woman. She is so strong and supportive and was the best role model for me as a woman. I truly learned how to be a mother from her and have the utmost respect for her. She is the kind of mom that lets me call her multiple times a day just so I have someone to talk to while I drive. I love her so very much.

Shop all Bravado Design bra’s here

Follow our Mother Muse Emily Ratzke here

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