Posptartum Depression is real. And it's only part of the story. We dig in to ALL of the stuff that no tells you about, but you NEED to know. Dr. Kat, Psychologist and specialist in perinatal mental health, interviews moms, dads, experts and advocates about how to cope, manage and recover from perinatal mood and anxiety disorders. We talk about postpartum depression, postpartum anxiety and SO MUCH MORE! We get real. We get honest. We put on our stigma crushing boots and address the realities of the transition to motherhood and parenthood. Learn about it before you find out about it the hard way! You don't have to suffer! www.momandmind.com
A Journey Through Preeclampsia, NICU, PPD, and Finding Hope
Even though there is much variation in the stories that women share here on the podcast, it’s amazing how many similarities they share. In today’s conversation, like so many others, we see a commonality in both the suffering, the isolation, and the path to healing.
Leila Tualla is an author and poet. She journaled her bouts with pregnancy anxiety, postpartum depression, and preeclampsia in a memoir titled Storm of Hope: God, Preeclampsia, Depression and Me, as a way of healing.
Leila is a mental health advocate and is part of 2020 Mom as a Mom Ambassador. She is currently volunteering as a peer support provider for organizations such as International Association of Premenstrual Disorders (IAPMD) and as a mentor for Postpartum Support International (PSI).
She hopes that by sharing her maternal mental health and birth stories that moms know they are not alone in their postpartum and premenstrual dysphoric disorder journeys.
How Leila was diagnosed with preeclampsia during her first pregnancy in 2012--and she experienced anxiety over what to expect next How her daughter was born at 31 weeks and spent 46 days in the NICU Leila’s desperate fears during her pregnancy anxiety with her second pregnancy--and how the anxiety developed into postpartum depression later on As a counselor, Leila noticed the signs in herself but wondered why the postpartum pamphlets don’t tell the whole story How her son was born at 34 weeks and spent 11 days in the NICU How Leila’s boss spoke up and encouraged her to get help at six months postpartum How Leila found Postpartum Support International (PSI) and began writing to tell her story Why Leila wrote her book How her faith and writing helped her heal through anxiety, postpartum depression, and two NICU experiences How Leila’s experiences were isolating until she started speaking up How Asian cultural expectations didn’t help Leila and made her feel like she should pick herself up and move forward What it was like to start to talk about her experiences and share her story Why Leila is proud of where she’s been and where she is today What Leila’s healing process was like when she found support for premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PPMD) Resources:
Website and Social Media links:
Twitter: Leila Tualla
Storm of Hope: God, Preeclampsia, Depression and Me by Leila Tualla
Postpartum Body Image, Disordered Eating, and Finding Freedom
Weight-loss struggles, eating disorders, endless dieting shame--we all know what it feels like to be stuck with these issues. None of these contribute to mental wellness, joy, and contentment. The problems are compounded for women during pregnancy and the postpartum period. If you’re stuck in the shame cycle about your body shape and dieting failures, join us for today’s show.
Catie Lynch is a licensed clinical social worker specializing in eating disorders, body image, and the postpartum period. She has two daughters, a three-year-old and a ten-month-old. She has made it her mission to help women stop dieting and find food freedom for themselves and their children.
Catie’s personal story of her struggle with body image, dieting restrictions, and eating disorders How Catie coped after her wedding with weekly therapy, dietitian appointments, and group therapy Catie’s first pregnancy and the body changes that felt to her like two years of weight gain How Catie felt pressure in the postpartum period to “get my body back” while caring for a newborn How girls and young women are bombarded with ideals about what our bodies should look like What Catie sees in her practice regarding women and body image: Wanting to be “perfect” Obsessing about clean eating Struggling when they don’t “feel” themselves How women can be triggered by their doctors’ views about food How “health” is assessed with weight and BMI, which aren’t always the best indicators of health What your “set point” is, where your body wants to be, and how your body protects itself Why it’s so difficult for women to trust their bodies and feelings Catie’s message to pregnant women who are worried about weight and body image Why Catie wishes she had done things differently in her pregnancy and postpartum, like trusting herself more, talking to others about it less, and focusing on her own needs Top concerns that women share with Catie during the postpartum period Behavioral warning signs that help women know when they need to seek professional help in the postpartum How the health and wellness industry markets dieting today as “lifestyle changes” Catie’s “health at every size” approach, which focuses on intuitive eating Catie’s hopeful messages for women: “Women shouldn’t feel bad about wanting to lose weight. Talk to a coach or therapist who is trained in disordered eating in the postpartum. You know what your body wants, so don’t let your brain hijack your intuition. You’ll be a better person and a better parent for it.” Resources:
Catie Lynch LCSW
Find Catie on IG: catielynchlcsw
Intuitive Eating by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch
High-Risk Pregnancy Story and Support for Moms
October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. Having a high-risk pregnancy and being put on bed rest brings many challenges to a woman already in a heightened emotional state. These emotions carry a lot of anxiety and worry about the health of the mother and the baby. Join us to hear Shenee’s personal story.
Shenee Bend experienced a high-risk pregnancy that required her to be on hospital bed rest for a month. It was shortly after this time that she decided to focus her counseling work on pregnant and postpartum women. Shenee Bend is from California and now resides in Georgia with her husband and their two children. She is a licensed professional counselor who is trained in perinatal mental health. Shenee has an online practice serving pregnant and postpartum women in Georgia and Florida. Shenee will be sharing her bed rest pregnancy story along with coping skills to use if you are currently experiencing a high-risk pregnancy.
Shenee’s pregnancy story of her second pregnancy with her son, when things were going very smoothly . . . At 32 weeks, early morning bleeding caused some concern, so Shenee went to the hospital and prepared for a possible preterm delivery After a three-day stay, she was sent home with strict instructions With more bleeding in the next 24 hours, she returned to the hospital for what ended up being a month-long stay until her son was born Many emotions played into the acceptance of her fate and her anxiety about her son’s health and safety The difference between high-risk pregnancy(certain risk factors, like advanced age, multiples, and previous problems) and pregnancy complications(developing health issues, like high blood pressure, anemia, gestational diabetes, and mental health conditions) The link between mental health and pregnancy How Shenee was worried about her baby and sad for her body in the way it was experiencing pregnancy Shenee’s tips about coping skills: Feel all the feelings Forgive yourself Shift your perspective Keep a schedule Use positive affirmations Limit social media use Be selectively social with other people The danger in having negative thoughts How Shenee was induced at 37 weeks after a month in the hospital How to recognize the need for professional help in determining the difference between high-stress situations and clinical depression Hopeful messages from Shenee: “Remember that a bed rest situation is temporary, and you will get through it.” Resources:
www.pregnancytherapist.com Check out Shenee’s three-part video series!
Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome and Loss of a Twin
October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness month. Mom & Mind honors all of the loss families who are grieving the loss of a child. There is no timeline and no right way to grieve, so we hold your loss with tenderness and love.
In this episode, Sarah Arcotta talks about the loss of one of her twins from Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome, a condition we haven’t yet covered on the show. Sarah shares the difficult grief from her experience and shares her healing and supportive message for other families. Sarah is an artist and educator who lives just north of Boston. You can find her exploring tide pools with her two young children or making art. She advocates for arts education while earning her Master’s degree in Leadership in Education. Sarah shares her story of loss, postpartum depression, and recovery to bring awareness to a serious condition affecting twin pregnancies.
How Sarah’s story begins 14 weeks into her second pregnancy, when she found out she was having identical twins At 16 weeks, she was diagnosed with twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome (TTTS), which occurs in 10% of twin pregnancies What is TTTS? It occurs when twins share the placenta but have separate amniotic sacs; one twin (recipient) receives too many nutrients due to the blood vessel formation, and the other (donor) doesn’t receive enough nutrients How Sarah lived with fear and anxiety in every single moment, having twice-weekly ultrasounds to check the babies because of the unpredictability of TTTS How Sarah was ill and uncomfortable during the pregnancy, having to have amniotic reduction, but the fluid came right back At 22 weeks, Sarah had laser ablation surgery to try to correct the blood vessel placement How the ultrasounds showed her recipient baby was receiving too much fluid, which put a strain on her heart After making it to 28 weeks, an emergency C-section brought her daughters; the donor baby lived only 45 minutes, and the recipient baby went straight to NICU How Sarah functioned in survival mode with a heightened sense of fear and anxiety every single minute 85 days later, her daughter was still in NICU, and her fear and anxiety remained When her daughter finally came home, a tsunami of emotions hit Sarah, including rage and depression How she felt out of control and tried to push down the rage; when she couldn’t, she turned to alcohol to try to deal with her emotions How Sarah lost her father unexpectedly just a few days after the loss of her daughter and she didn’t feel like herself for about a year How Sarah continues to integrate healing work into her family How Sarah tries to use her experience to enrich her life better How meditation, mindfulness, and creativity help Sarah to feel emotions and have compassion for herself Hopeful messages from Sarah: “This is a very difficult, heartbreaking, and stressful experience, but it’s also something that will enrich and grow your life. It will inform who you are and the kind of family you raise. You can create strength from this hard situation.”
Transition to Motherhood: Pregnancy, Birth, Postpartum and Lessons Learned
Hearing personal stories gives us a unique insight into the nuances of the journey into parenthood, which differ from one person to the next. Today’s guest details her experience in ambivalence about whether having kids would be part of her life story. She shares how her journey into parenthood has shaped and grown her into the person she is today.
Dr. Elise Sanchez is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist, speaker, coach, and educator who lives in CA with her husband and toddler. She provides coaching, mentoring, and consultation regarding life transitions, education, sexuality, love, friendship, mental health, diversity, equity, and inclusion. Dr. Sanchez is the founder of Speak the Secret, an online platform created to provide community, connection, and collaboration with people who have a passion for growth and healing. As a new mom, Dr. Sanchez realized there was a long way to go in her healing journey. She created a group on Facebook, #MomLivesMatter, to provide resources, support, and community for moms. She aspires to help everyone she meets feel seen, heard, and understood,r empowering others to use their voice and share stories of strength, resilience, and hope is her mission.
Elise’s story of how she and her husband wavered back and forth about having kids and when to start trying The long process of Elise’s pregnancy, labor, and delivery How Elise learned to “lean into the pain” of giving birth How Elise tore and was stitched up in the traumatic aftermath of her daughter’s birth The difficulty of Elise’s postpartum care in the hospital The breastfeeding difficulty and pain that Elise mistakenly thought was “normal” until her daughter’s lip-tie and tongue-tie were discovered by a lactation consultant Why Elise regrets not listening to her intuition earlier Why the lack of sleep was the biggest postpartum hurdle at home for Elise The blessing of COVID-19 in giving Elise more quality time with her daughter The guilt and shame that Elise feels in expressing her dislike of many of the mothering responsibilities The struggle for Elise to find her new identity as a mom The need to talk about the darker and scarier side of becoming a mother, and why we need to normalize these feelings and prepare new moms for them What Elise wants others to know: “Therapy is valuable. Speak up, find support, and get help when you need it.” How it took about a year to recover and get back to “normal” The value in learning to be present in the moment as a new mom Hopeful messages from Elise: “Giving birth and becoming a mom humbled me and reminded me that I’m human. I have such appreciation for everyone who has kids because they do the impossible every single day. I have huge respect for them. We work like we don’t have kids, and we have kids like we don’t work. We are doing it all and ruling the world.” Resources:
Instagram: Dr. Elise Sanchez
Speak The Secret
Facebook Groups: Mom Lives Matter
Impacts of a Rough Upbringing on Transition to Motherhood
The journey into motherhood can be filled with many challenges. The situation is worsened if one grew up with a difficult relationship with one or both parents. Such is the personal story you’ll hear in today’s show. Join us.
Jaimi Martin came from a very difficult childhood with a mother who suffered from mental illness. Jaimi shares some of the dynamics that played out with her and her mother, carrying over to shape her own journey into motherhood. Jaimi discusses sensitive topics, like suicide, so use your discretion in listening. Since Jaimi is a therapist specializing in perinatal mental health, she is able to give insight into how her early experiences have impacted her. Jaimi now lives in San Diego with her husband and sensitive four-your-old son. After a career devoted to children and adults with emotional needs, Jaimi changed gears after the birth of her son, since she found herself without support or knowledge about what she was experiencing. Once she learned about postpartum depression and anxiety, she became an advocate for women and now serves as a volunteer for Postpartum Support International. Last year, she became perinatal mental health certified and now works with mothers, supporting their growth and discovery through her private practice, Womanhood Counseling.
The basics of Jaimi’s childhood story: Raised by a single mom who also had a difficult and detached relationship with her own mother Jaimi’s mom’s childhood was filled with physical, emotional, and substance abuse Jaimi’s mom had children early, and CPS visits and interventions were frequent Jaimi grew up with many suicide attempts by her mom and an alcoholic stepdad; she was trained to not talk about the family’s dysfunction When Jaimi moved out at 18, her mom followed her and promised many times that she would change, but she never followed through Jaimi’s mom blamed Jaimi for all her troubles A therapist urged Jaimi to move far away to escape her mom, so she went to San Francisco and pursued a career in social work The call that told Jaimi her mother had been successful in her final suicide attempt How Jaimi suffered through the grief of her mom’s suicide, thinking that it was a game and that she would surely “show up” one day The sense of “relief” that Jaimi felt because her mom was gone, which prompted much shame and secrecy about her feelings How Jaimi worked through the grief process with a therapist but knew she didn’t want to ever become a mother When she met and married her husband at age 39, the doctor said she would probably never get pregnant without intervention The relief that Jaimi felt about not having kids, but her husband was left grieving the loss of fatherhood Ironically, Jaimi became pregnant the next month and felt wholly betrayed by her body because it did what she didn’t want it to do The birth of Jaimi’s son, along with intense fear and anxiety that he would never attach to her The additional fears of karma “catching up to her” for what she had done to other families as a CPS worker Jaimi’s postpartum crisis, when she lost weight and “didn’t feel OK” Jaimi’s terrifying experience with a postpartum therapist How Jaimi found the Mom & Mind podcast and the pieces fell into place to make sense of her attachment issues How Jaimi found help in books, podcasts, and moms’ support groups How Jaimi learned to give her son what he needs as a sensitive child How Jaimi made the shift from CPS work to her private practice Jaimi’s hopeful messages: “If you’ve gone through the suicide of a loved one, you are not alone. There is a community out there that understands. There is no shame when someone you love dies by suicide. Own your feelings and hold space for them.” Resources:
Facebook: Womanhood Counseling
Instagram: Womanhood Counseling
Customer ReviewsSee All
Dr. Kat and her guests give amazing information to help moms through the ups and downs of pregnancy and postpartum. If you are looking for a community and resource while you raise young babies, this is it! I highly recommend subscribing and listening to these fantastic episodes.
I wish I had found this podcast while pregnant. But better late than never! It is such rich, valuable information that covers both real mom’s stories and expert opinions. It is education, real, and honest. More moms need access to this kind of information BEFORE they need it!
I been feeling so lost and out of place with a lot of thought that are not me feeling sad anxious scared and so much more some day are great while others are terrible I’ve been feeling like I’m loosing my mind and going “crazy” I stumbled upon your podcast and I believe it was episode 183 I couldn’t hold back my tears just hearing that I’m not alone and completely out of it thank you so much i hear so much about ppd but never about anxiety and fear thank you