By Mike Rothschild
For new mother and former soldier Ashley Campos, diagnosed with PTSD from a combat deployment in the Middle East, depression on both ends of her pregnancy led to a dangerous spiral.
Campos was 18 weeks pregnant and recently separated from the Army when her husband, also in the Army, was transferred from Texas to Southern California – where Campos had no friends, family or support system. “I was absolutely alone, besides my husband,” she says. “I had days where he would go to work and I would just sit at home and cry because I felt so alone.”
Between her PTSD and the hormonal changes caused by her pregnancy, Campos fell into severe depression. She tried stifling her sadness with food, and by the time her daughter, Kayleigh, was born, Campos had gained nearly 100 pounds. The overeating and crying spells continued, and were joined by insomnia. Campos was now in the grip of postpartum depression.
Looking for a way to exercise outside her house and have Kayleigh with her, she tried Baby Boot Camp, an innovative workout program where new moms can bring their kids. Baby Boot Camp features a unique fitness class called Strollfit, which combines cardio drills, yoga, nutrition and overall fitness to help new mothers recover from delivery and acclimate babies to physical fitness.
Between Baby Boot Camp’s exercise regimen and the opportunity to meet and work out with other local mothers, Campos fell in love with the program. “It was everything I needed and more,” she says. “I love that I can have my daughter there, no more than arms’ length away. I also love the connections you build with the other moms in the class.”
Since beginning Baby Boot Camp in January, Campos has lost 50 pounds, and more importantly, feels like she has her life back. “I am doing fantastic!” she says.
Campos showed just a few of the signs of postpartum depression, such as intense sadness, crying spells and withdrawal from the outside world. More can be found on the Los Angeles County Perinatal Mental Health Task Force’s website, www.maternalmentalhealthla.org. For more information on Baby Boot Camp, visit www.babybootcamp.com.
And if you or someone close to you recently gave birth and is displaying symptoms of postpartum depression, take Campos’ advice: “Talk about it. No matter what the topic is. It doesn’t matter if you talk to your significant other, a good friend, a family member or even a counselor. You need to talk it out.”