One of the most inspiring things I’ve witnessed over the course of 2020 was watching people pivot and adapt during a global pandemic. Something I never actually thought would happen to us. I was naive enough to think this was only something that happened in dramatic post-apocalyptic movies and tv shows. But here we all are living it. Watching Adriana Baer explore a new business after being placed on a COVID-induced sabbatical has been inspiring. She is a lifelong theater artist and educator. Who I met a couple of years ago when she reached out to me to take her headshots for her website. A few months after that I got to photograph her, her husband and their sweet daughter, Fiona. With the pandemic closing the theater industry’s doors Adriana had to pivot. She started a new business as a wellness advocate working to educate and share the benefits of CBD. Adriana and I connected over Zoom to chat about her new business adventure. I was really inspired by her story of overcoming postpartum depression using CBD.
Post written by: Adriana Baer
Postpartum depression (PPD) and postpartum anxiety (PPA) stuck around for a lot longer than I thought possible. Was this still PPD and PPA, or had I just moved into full-blown “D” and “A”? After years of struggling, adding prescription meds, and trying All. The. Things., I finally found relief through the use of organic hemp CBD. This life-changing addition to my wellness routine set me on a path to passionately share this resource with others. Are you interested to know how CBD wellness can help you feel better? It’s my passion to help others find the resources they need to make the best decisions for their physical health and mental wellness.
When I was pregnant, my husband and I agreed that I was a “good candidate” for PPD. With a history of depression, a Type-A personality, and a tendency towards perfectionism, I was lined up perfectly to tick that PPD box. But when I went in for my 6-week postpartum checkup, I didn’t tick any boxes at all. I felt tired, but fine. So out the door I went, NBD.
But PPD doesn’t keep a schedule. When my daughter was 9 weeks old, my hormones took a nosedive and so did I. The depression came on strong. And walking right alongside was something I had never even heard about: postpartum anxiety.
Unfortunately, since I had “passed” my checkup, I didn’t slap a PPD label on how I was feeling. And because PPD clouds the mind, I had no ability to recognize that there was a real, diagnosable, hormonal cause to what I was feeling. The lows of depression and the highs of crippling anxiety rocketed back and forth constantly.
I didn’t “want to go on drugs,” and so I tried all the alternative care methods I could find: acupuncture, massage, chiropractic, nutrition, blood-type testing, and more. Finally, when my daughter was two, I’d had enough. I called my doctor and started a course of antidepressant and antianxiety meds.
And they worked. I felt better. Not great, but better. I was able to move through the world with more ease. But I knew this wasn’t the long-term solution. I didn’t want to be on meds forever, and I still felt like my system wasn’t actually in balance.
Enter: CBD and the endocannabinoid system! CBD stands for “cannabidiol,” one of the compounds known as cannabinoids found in the hemp plant. (Thanks to the 2018 Farm Bill, hemp is federally legal in all 50 states.) So, how does CBD actually work?
In the 1990s, researchers discovered the Endocannabinoid system (ECS). It turns out, our bodies produce cannabinoids naturally. The ECS is responsible for regulating many processes in the body, including immune response, metabolism, hormones, digestion, memory, and more. Our bodies use cannabinoids to maintain homeostasis, or balance. When the ECS is functioning well, we feel well!
But what happens when the body experiences stress? When there is environmental or psychological stress, our bodies have to use more cannabinoids to maintain balance. But the ECS can only produce so much on its own. When it becomes depleted, we experience low immunity, pain, indigestion, anxious thoughts and low mood, etc.
This is where CBD comes in.
By introducing phytocannabinoids (the plant-based version of what our body naturally produces), we can supplement our ECS and provide enough cannabinoids for it to function optimally, and bring the other systems in our body back into balance.
Since starting to take CBD daily, I have (with the support of my doctor) almost entirely gone off of my pharmaceutical meds. I feel balanced, supported, focused, and most importantly, like myself again. I have come to understand that most of us (not just postpartum parents) are walking around with a depleted endocannabinoid system. The research that shows the benefits of using this plant medicine daily is booming.
This advocacy and education has now become my passion – and my job! I linked arms with a company started by a mom who also treated her PPD with CBD. When she couldn’t find something safe enough to give to her family, she partnered with organic farmers and started her own company. I work with the only USDA Certified Organic CBD company in the direct sales space (meaning they don’t spend their money on marketing firms or “shelf space,” but instead sell their product directly to the consumer). It’s my mission to help other people experience the same benefits I have found, to be able to return to themselves with presence, grace, and in good health. Does this sound good to you? Please reach out, I would be honored to connect with you to share what I have learned.
Here are a few of the photos I took of Adriana for her headshots, it was so much fun working with her and I love following her on IG where she shares so much knowledge about the benefits of CBD. If you are curious about the benefits of using CBD to overcome postpartum anxiety and depression, definitely reach out to Adriana! Leave us a comment below with any questions or to let us know your thoughts.