INTERVIEW - BRE'S STORY

April 23, 2018

We regularly interview people who have experienced loss or burnout. Everyone experiences and responds to hardships in different ways, there is no right way or wrong way to grieve or handle stress. We share these stories in hopes that their experiences will support you in your journey – which ever side you are on – working through the process or supporting a loved one. If you are interested in sharing your story, please reach out via our home page.

 

Name

Bre Gentile

 

Tell us a bit about yourself:

I live in San Francisco. When I’m not busy being a mom or creating content for a mental health chatbot - you can find me in my sacred spots: the gym, SoulCycle, or the beach.

 

Have you experienced Postpartum Depression (PPD)? Tell us more about your PPD story.

My PPD came late in the game. My eldest was 3 and heading to preschool and I was finally ready to gain my individuality back. When I came up against opposition (mainly loved ones thinking I abandoned my post as mom!) I slipped into depression without even knowing it. I thought I was just sacrificing things to be a good mom or wife, but what was really happening is I was suffocating under all the “should’s” that people thought a mom of a preschooler did. I wasn’t supposed to have PPD this postpartum - it was as if society and my support system thought I was supposed to be well-adjusted by then.

 

Describe 2-3 things that helped you deal with PPD? How were you able to heal?

I started scheduling classes and fun thing while my son was at school so it wouldn’t impact any thing at home. Then I started scheduling things with other moms so I didn’t feel so bad. Finally, I got a therapist. It wasn’t until I started saying out loud my thoughts about what a mom should and shouldn’t be that I figured out what I wanted to be. 

 

What advice would you provide other moms dealing with PPD?

Don’t be afraid that you’re a monster - you’re not. You don’t have to fit the model of 6-8 weeks postpartum - you could find yourself suffering 6-8 years later. Find support - whether it’s a PPD specific group, a grief group even, a fitness community - anything/anyone that will support your efforts to show up authentically.

 

What advice (i.e., tips, suggestions) would you provide those who want to support those dealing with PPD?

Listen mindfully - don’t just hear it, but really try to empathize with them. Don’t undermine the power or rest - if you’re up for it and they are too, offer to watch their baby or kid so they can nap. Send them flowers or notes or random treats that allow them to feel special, acknowledged, and appreciated. At the end of the day sometimes we just want a hug and someone to say you’re doing just fine.

 

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