5 Simple Steps for Good Mental Health During the Newborn Stage

Orchid is a prenatal and postnatal yoga teacher.

She shares her wisdom regarding the newborn stage

including 5 simple steps to do when you are feeling overwhelmed or depressed.

And she shares her experiences with trying for over a year to get pregnant with her second baby.

This was such a fun interview to do!

Orchid Cameron is a standup comic, she teaches trauma conscious yoga and meditation.

She facilitates support groups and leads yoga classes for prenatal mothers. She has become a supportive voice in the domestic violence community and is committed to using her personal experience to positively impact others in similar situations to hers. A film director, she’s made seven shorts and been an official selection in film festivals. With a degree in theater.

She’s also taught acting, film, directing, and screenwriting. She is the owner of reconnection ab lab an online, and live course to repair abs in pelvic floor postnatally. She’s a mother of a 21 year old and a six year old herself. So she knows all about these issues and her mission is to end pain in as many people as possible and light the fire in others to maximize their fun and pleasure.

So welcome Orchid. I’m so excited that you are here today.

So I would love to hear how you found out about The Gift of Giving Life.

Part of Pre-conception of the Book

Orchid: All right. Awesome. In the early two thousands, I was very good friends with Felice Austin. We were the single moms in the neighborhood. We’d hang out a lot.

And I read all of her blogs and I was the unofficial spelling error finder. So I would always email her. Hey, did you mean to say this? And am I embarrassing you that I’m doing this? She’s no, please do this for me. Yeah. And then, so I’ve listened to and read different, things about the book and the podcast and the blog.

Sheridan: Yeah. So you’ve basically been there since preconception of The

Orchid: Gift of Giving Life, Yeah.

Sheridan: So how has The Gift of Giving Life either the book or the podcast helped you in your life?

Finding a Community of Women who are amazed by birth.

Orchid: So I gave birth in 2001, like before the podcast and I just know. medical birth is a hostile takeover.

Just like you don’t own your body. You’re a product. I, I felt very much. I just wanted to do things a little bit my way. And they’re like, no way. This was really an intense experience that,birth is treated like only a bad emergency. And that was really a negative. Experience to deal with, nurses and doctors telling me I know nothing, and that they’re more important than me.

And so I just kinda knew inside myself that, that wasn’t right. Once I started reading and listening, it’s it was reflecting the light that it was already in myself of something better. So just things like, I don’t know. It was great to finally hear someone else say that.

Yeah, you should give birth on all fours. That’s an acceptable position. like just things that just like I’m like, oh finally,

another aspect is I don’t think of my body as a dirty, disgusting thing. And my spirit is something beautiful and amazing. I see my body as holy and a gift.

And I feel like, the philosophy of the book Our bodies are holy. The act of giving birth is holy. that I am powerful. That God is higher than the doctor. And that’s like such a revolutionary idea. Like it’s not to us, but, I don’t know,

like one of my best girlfriends was like, She said, she went to her doctor and her doctor was like, what’s your birth plan?

And she’s like, I plan on showing up at the hospital on you taking the baby out. I laughed so hard because I’m like, we are so different. That’s not my birth, but that was never my, but I feel like that was one of my closest friends. she’s like very educated. She’s very intelligent and.

She does not trust her body at all.

it’s really nice to have kind of a support group of other women who trust our bodies, trust God to be there, trust that it’s a spiritual, holy experience and not a medical emergency.

Sheridan: Lovely. Thank you. Yeah, just having that shared perspective on our bodies and that they are.

Amazing and wonderfully made, and God helps us in the birth process.

our bodies are amazing

Orchid: And that’s just, we’re not alone. but back to bodies being amazing, I would be a doctor if I didn’t pass out. When I saw blood,, I took way more human biology courses than a theater degree requires.

I do paintings I mean for the last 20 years, I paint giant organs. So I’ll paint a three foot tall heart, or I’ll paint, the large intestine or I’ll paint, small intestine . Like I like to paint organs

some people think it’s weird.

especially like the human heart. If you look at it the way the veins go over it, it almost looks like a tree root. That is over a rock. Like it’s just beautiful. It’s beautiful and amazing and complex. And, yeah, there’s like a divinity to how it was made.

Orchid: I feel like people oversimplify how amazing the body is and how many moving parts there are to keep us alive.

So just like the idea that like the capillaries are one blood cell at a time through a tiny tube that’s amazing to think about. Just like the body repairs itself, that blows my mind. And I feel like in a way studying the science of the body is like a form of worship it’s a magical, holy thing.

Like it’s. It’s amazing when something scientific is so complex, it feels like magic.

Sheridan: Yes. Oh, I like that. When you just think that, we can grow a human inside of us. It sounds

Orchid: It is like magic.

Sheridan: So I would love it. If you could share a time that you’ve

Took a year to get pregnant with baby number 2

Sheridan: experienced the divine nature of pregnancy birth,

Orchid: thanks for asking it. So the biggest thing I think I’ve experienced about the divine nature of pregnancy is how much I prayed for my baby. we just could not get pregnant and, it only took a year to get pregnant and some people spend 10, 15 years trying to get pregnant, but that year was so gruesome for me.

Like every time I took a pregnancy test and it was a negative. devastated. Every single month of that year, I took a test and then I just was like, I can’t do this anymore. I can’t take a test anymore. and I asked everyone in like a prayer group. I was in to pray for me. Individuals started praying for me. I changed my diet. And then I, um, I kind of forgot about it. And as I was descending in a plane landing in England, I was like, I don’t feel right. I’m more seasick than normal, I didn’t even think I might be pregnant.

And then a couple of days later I was like, oh wait, my periods. But I still was too scared to take a test. I waited two more days and then I took a test on the way to the test. I passed out on the way to just buying it from like a boots in England. That’s like a CVS anymore. And, I took it and I was, I still, I think I didn’t even take it that day.

Like I was like, so scared to take it. I kept delaying taking it cause I didn’t want to get a no.

Sitcom moment of announcing the pregnancy

Orchid: And then I found out. I was pregnant on Christmas Eve and I told my mother-in-law in the hallway. I was like, Hey, so I’m pregnant. And she jumped up and down happy.

And then my son, I think. he was 14 at the time he opened up the door from his room at my mother-in-law’s house and was like, “you’re what?”

And it was like such a like sitcom magic moment, it was just magical.

 I am around pregnant women all the time. I’m around brand new moms all the time and almost every single person, struggled with fertility.

so many struggle with fertility and loss – you are not alone

Orchid: Almost every single person had a struggle. and actually I think I am the only person. I know that hadn’t had a pregnancy loss. That’s pretty intense of an experience. , I guess that’s more of my advice to new mothers or people struggling.

Like it is so not normal, but it’s very, it happens to a lot of people. And I feel like every single one of the women who told me that they lost a pregnancy, felt alone. Felt bad about themselves. Felt like they did something wrong. Felt like a failure as a woman. like my basic duty as a woman to have a baby and I can’t even do that.

that’s so harsh on oneself. So I feel like. We’re not alone in the struggle. And me spending a year trying to get pregnant, it was so painful for me. I have so much appreciation for people who struggle with that.

fear of baby dying was BIG

Orchid: My other answer is I prayed so hard to get that baby, I struggled so much. I really wanted that second baby. Like I was so excited to have her. And,when I was sleep deprived because I had a brand new baby and every infant. Every single infant item has a death warning.

They’re like this tiny piece of plastic. could kill your baby. Or like you flip down the visor in your car and it’s airbag can kill your baby. Or just it’s a toy. This might cause death. So the combination of being sleep deprived and the dramatic hormonal shifts and just like my body

recovering from like the marathon of giving birth. I was terrified she was going to die. Just terrified to the point where I kept checking on her that she was still breathing. I put my face really close to her to see if she was still breathing. I kept checking. Is she alive? Is she breathing? They’re like, you can’t sleep with your baby.

You might roll over your baby. You can’t put your baby in a crib because since its crib death, Just like I was just surrounded by death warnings and I felt like I couldn’t win. Anyways. I kept waking her up when I was checking on her to breathe. just kept waking her up I wasn’t good for her.

it was obviously not good for my mental health. and I eventually paid for hypnotherapy and in one session I stopped obsessing just one session. It took to stop obsessing

Orchid: But

when a fart is an answer to a prayer

Orchid: before that I just was worried. She wasn’t breathing. I said a little prayer, Please God show. My baby’s still alive now me waking her up” and then she farted

 man. I just really needed that baby to be alive. Oh my gosh.

Sheridan: I love that so much. thank you for those experiences.

And then you shared some advice for a young mother starting out on her journey but do you have any other advice

Orchid: yeah, I definitely have lots of advice for young mothers to the point where it’s almost overwhelming. Maybe I should write a book Sheridan.

I never thought about that.

when overwhelmed and sleep deprived – try to remember how much you wanted this baby

Orchid: the number one advice I’d give to young women just starting out on their mothering journey is I. Believe it or not sometimes got overwhelmed with the level of responsibility of being a mother. And at those times where I’m like, I can’t get out of bed right now, or I can’t get out of bed to help the baby right there.

I can’t breastfeed at this moment. I just really reflected on the prayers I made to even get the chance to have the baby. You know what I mean? Like I, I just really reflected on like, oh yeah, I really wanted this baby because when you’re sleep deprived, it’s easy to go down. To a dark place.

don’t overcorrect husbands

Orchid: and then the other thing, I find not just me, but a lot of new mothers over-correct their husbands. So I’m not saying be a hundred percent obedient, a hundred percent agreeable I’m neither agreeable or obedient. I’m not saying do that. I’m just saying maybe take it down to 10%. So I really see a lot of young moms like snip, snip, Over-correcting of he woke up the baby this way and I wanted him to wake up the baby this way. It’s just okay, now just take it down a notch. Realize you just had a baby you’re in a primal place. You’re not in prefrontal cortex place where you’re planning ahead. You’re in a primal place where every move feels like it’s going to hurt the baby.

if your husband does things slightly differently, it feels like he’s going to destroy the baby’s life, but he’s not. He’s there to help you. So I’m just saying, say thank you nine times out of 10 and then save their correction for the one out of 10,

Orchid: So all I’m saying is when a husband wraps the baby differently than you, when the husband picks a different nap schedule than you. Take a deep breath, Thank you for wrapping the baby. Thank you so much for loving me so much and loving this baby so much. Would it be okay if I showed you the way I like to wrop the baby? You know what I’m saying? Just try to slow yourself down. slow yourself down a lot and really reach out to all the women or all your people around you to support you emotionally.

find your community

Orchid: Brand new moms tend to isolate so much. So as a pre postnatal teacher, I would get every single person’s number, then call them and say, we missed you on Wednesday because I’m like, are you okay? Do you need anything? And if then they said I’m actually sick or the baby’s sick.

 I’d say, okay. Our class is going to have a non-denominational inoffensive prayer about your problem.

So, you know, in yoga, you start with an intention setting. you sit in child’s pose and you set an intention for peace or prosperity or whatever. I’d say set your intention and include so-and-so whose car is broken down, that their car is fixed or whatever. And so I was really interested in building a community.

Orchid: I feel like postpartum depression is real. it’s real and there are things you could do to support a mother. Some, there are a brand new mothers who sometimes die by suicide and I really want to prevent that as much as possible. I really want to prevent that deep loneliness.

People feel, even if they don’t go to that depth. and so I would like to call it like almost like vitamin community. Find some vitamin community for yourself. Find people to support you. It will help you to raise your mental health overall.

basic 5 list for good mental health after baby

Orchid: So I have like the basic five list.

  1. Have I taken a shower?
  2. Have I eaten?
  3. Am I sleeping?
  4. Am I exercising?
  5. Have I called a friend?

I put one on each finger.

My five things. So those five things don’t quote, cure depression, but they can support you in the moment.

And I put them in that order because, they’re things that are easiest to hardest for me. So it’s like shower is easy. Just hop in the shower. I put the baby in like a baby holder, hop in the shower. I could see her through. The shower curtains. So I

used to be afraid to let her sleep while I took a shower. So I made sure to see her number one, shower.

Number two, eating it’s so easy to stop what you’re doing. Eat something. It’s easy to forget to eat for some reason.

Sleeping is something that’s a challenge, but I can try to put myself on a schedule as much as possible. But that’s harder to do in the exact moment of feeling overwhelmed. and then the next one is exercise. It’s pretty hard to exercise with a baby.

I have a postnatal exercise program online that’s five minutes a day to repair abs and pelvic floor. It’s reconectionablab.com. You can actually do it from your bed. So two weeks after you give birth, you could do five minutes a day in your bed. and it will repair abs and pelvic floor.

Orchid: And the number five is call a friend.

I put that one last because I like to try to do everything I could do for myself before calling a friend. So instead of just totally venting on someone, who’s going to tell me to do the first four, I try to do the first four first and then call a friend. And then on top of that, my memory is so bad.

When I’m stressed or when I’m triggered, I have a literal list printed on my wall of friends.

I can call, I have an emergency contact list of friends I can call. It includes Sheridan Ripley, by the way, my emergency contact list. Yeah. Of if I’m having a hard time, I can call these people.

Orchid went on to explain an amazing program that she developed for postpartum moms. And I’m going to have that on next week’s podcast. So definitely come back next week. Here’s the conclusion from our conversation.

find Orchid here

Sheridan: Can you let people know where they can find you online and find your program and all the good stuff?

Orchid: I’d love it. If you follow me on Instagram and you could see my whole journey, like you could see my six year old, you could see my stand up.

and then, my 21 year old likes his privacy. So you won’t see a lot of him, but my little six-year-old is a little performer. she’s really cute. She’s still, just really imagine what it was like for me to have a 15 year old, who was. Get out of my face mom and a brand new baby. So you can know that I am living it up with the matching outfits right now.

Orchid: Just living it up with the I’m the like, I know it’s going to go away cause I have two kids. With my little one, like admiring me and wanting to be a mini copy of me. I’m living it up, man, and I’m living it up. So I feel like my Instagram’s a pretty fun place to watch. Also I’m about to shoot a stand-up comedy special, so you can look out for that.

And then, orchidcameron.com is like the hub of everything I do.

Orchid: I do one-on-one coaching. as well as my stand up when I’m going to show up in your town. So what’s cool about that is I could, let’s say, I show up to wherever you live. You could come to my yoga class in the morning, or you can come to my standup at night, or you could just be a superfan and do both.

And then if you want to add me on Facebook, Please add me on Facebook. Just make sure to include, a direct message saying you met me through Sheridan’s podcast. Just let me know.

So yes, you can add me on Facebook, Instagram, and then to find my AB repair and my pelvic repair program it’s called reconnection because you’re connecting your pelvic floor muscles or reconnecting yourself to your own breath or reconnecting yourself to your own life.

Reconnection AB as an abdominal lab, as in like we’re going to the lab to do a science experiment, reconnectionablab. com. yeah.



Sheridan: thank you. Thank you for being on the podcast today and sharing your experiences and your wisdom.

And I will link in the show notes to all the different. links, you talked about where they can find you.

Orchid: That’s exciting. thank you so much for having me Sheridan and thank you for being my friend.

And also thanks for being my teacher. I’ve taken a lot of your courses and I’ve gotten so much value from it. So thank you so much. Thank you.