Massy Arias has never been shy to talk about her mental health, and now the fitness influencer is opening up about her experience with postpartum depression.
In a cover story for Parents, the new mami discussed the depression and anxiety she lived with after giving birth to her daughter, Indi, in March.
“The postpartum period was the hardest thing I’ve ever gone through, made worse because I was determined to breastfeed but my nipples were a bleeding mess,” Arias, 29, told the publication. “Those first weeks, I would forget to eat. I would forget to bathe. It was all Indi, Indi, Indi. If she napped, I couldn’t sleep because I’d have to check to make sure she was breathing. I had so much anxiety. ‘Am I doing this right? Why is she crying so much? Those frickin’ hiccups, when will they go away?’ I was crying every single day. I was losing it.”
The dominicana, who began exercising years ago as a way to work through her mental illness, couldn’t wait to get back to the gym. However, as all new parents know, physical movement should be at a minimum postpartum.
“I had struggled with depression and anxiety before, so I knew what was happening. But I couldn’t do what I knew I needed to do to get better: exercise,” she said.
Arias initially found help in a mothers’ group before receiving clearance from her doctor to work out four weeks after her delivery. But when she started, she began having to deal with yet another problem: shaming.
“Some followers wrote things like, ‘Oh Massy, you are supposed to be resting, not getting your body back.’ But I wasn’t worried about my body; I needed to feel better. Comments implying I wasn’t doing what was best for Indi messed with my head,” Arias said.
While the comments made her upset, she did respond, telling her fans that her focus is never to “SnapBack” to her old body but to improve the performance of her muscles.
Friday, Let's work ??? tag a friend and read below! Leg day Core day. Creating stability with that slosh pipe filled with water to create an active resistance! This workout was TOUGH. Out of breath, exercise induced asthma creeping back, muscles ache and aren't firing properly, I am tight. THIS IS REAL AND NORMAL AFTER A BABY. My main goal isn't to "SnapBack" to my old body like society expects you to. Even though looking in shape is rewarding and boosts your confidence, working out has never been about that for me. My main goal right now is to improve my performance and get my muscle connection back. If you focus on your performance, the body will follow. The only expectation I have in my head, is to be a better version of myself everyday as a new mom and every darn day when I hit a workout. Watch me fly and be a bad-a$$ mom ?☝?let's do this guys…all natural! @gtrainfitnesscenter thank you Garry! WWW.MASSYARIAS.COM #childofGod #4weekspostpartum #ma30day #fitmom _____________________________________________________________ Es viernes mi gente, a trabajar! Esta rutina fue muy dura. Me dolió hasta el alma, mi asma a vuelto, mis músculos no están disparando como antes, y la requises muscular es real. Todo esto es normal después de tener un bebe. Si me preguntan, mi enfoque no es volver a tener el cuerpo que tenía antes lo más rápido posible. Aunque estar en forma motiva y da mucha confianza, para mi ser activa nunca ha sido sobre esto solamente. Mi enfoque principal es volver a restablecer la conexión de mi cuerpo como antes. Si me enfoco en mi rendimiento físico, el cuerpo viene solo. Mi meta es ser una mejor versión de mi cada día como madre, y en cada aspecto de mi vida profesional y atlética. Será muy divertido este proceso. Así que únanse conmigo y vamos a la batalla! Todo al natural ☝?? #hijadecristo #postparto
Arias is finally beginning to feel like the “fearless” and “badass” woman she has always been, but she continues to speak out about her postpartum depression to help destigmatize mental illness and inspire women, especially Latinas, to get the help they need.
“Latinas never talk about mental health. I’m determined to change that and to help other mothers speak up,” she said.