Mom & Mind

By Katayune Kaeni, Psy.D.

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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!

Episode Date
181: Fathers and Perinatal Mental Health

We have the honor of hearing from Dr. Sheehan Fisher about new fathers, the transitions they may go through when a baby comes along, as well as the challenges and strengths that they may experience.

There are quite a few gems in our talk today, one of which is how the role of fatherhood is changing and adapting to the times…AND thoughts about navigating that. Dr. Fisher’s take on these transitions is not to be missed. I’m sure you’ll want to share this with the fathers, men and partners of men in your life. PLEASE DO!

We also discuss:

- The spectrum of mood changes that fathers might experience postpartum, such as depression, anxiety, anger

- how it affects them, what they might experience 

- what their partners might notice 

- Looking at the family as a system and how family members affect each other

- What can they do? What kinds of support or therapy, available?

- Coping suggestions

- hopeful messages for fathers 

Connect with Dr. Fisher:

Twitter: @SheehanDFisher

Facebook: @SheehanDFisher

Instagram: @DrChefSheehan 

Dr. Sheehan Fisher is a clinical psychologist and Assistant Professor at Northwestern University, Feinberg School of Medicine, with an appointment at Lurie Children’s Hospital.  His research and clinical interests focus on perinatal mental health, with a subspecialty in father’s mental health and role in the family. His aim is to understand the mechanisms that place mothers and fathers at risk for perinatal mood and anxiety disorders, and the effect of both parents' mental health on infant health outcomes. He also is passionate about increasing fathers' competence in the home and reconstructing views of masculinity.

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Jun 22, 2020
180: There's More to My Postpartum Story

My goal is for the show to be a mix of personal stories, expert interviews, information, and education. Even though my story isn’t usually at the forefront, I find that it’s powerful and meaningful to share my experiences, and that’s the focus of today’s episode. Join us!

You know me as Dr. Kat, but my full name is Katayune Kaeni. I’m a psychologist, wife, and mother to two lovely humans. I’m perinatal mental health certified, and my entry into the world of perinatal mental health began ten years ago with the birth of my first child, my daughter. I’m proud of my children, and I look at this podcast as another beautiful creation that I’ve birthed into the world. Just like the motherhood journey, my four-year podcast journey has been full of many mistakes and lots of learning; we’ve covered many topics, but there is so much more to learn! To date, Mom & Mind is heard in 69 countries, with over 356,000 downloads and a horde of social media followers. Welcome to Episode 180!

Show Highlights:

  • For everyone with a perinatal mental health issue, there is always a story behind the pain
  • Why and how my relationship with my body changed and began a different phase in my life
  • How I knew at age 12 that I wanted to be a mental health counselor, even though I already was dealing with anxiety and depression
  • In high school, a skiing accident left me with an ACL injury that required surgery, along with my first concussion
  • In college, risk factors kept building as PMS brought panic attacks and more depression; over the years I tried doctors, diuretics, birth control pills, acupuncture, Chinese medicine, and energy healing
  • In grad school, family stressors brought more depression and anxiety, and I met and married my husband; a biking accident led to my second concussion that wasn’t treated properly
  • As I entered the world of employment, I suffered yet another concussion; other risk factors included anxiety, depression, being a highly sensitive person and a perfectionist, and then---my first pregnancy
  • Because pregnancy brought me relief from PMS and hormonal craziness, I actually felt wonderful--better than I had in many years
  • Ten years ago, in 2010, my daughter was born, and the problems began on Day 1
  • How I dealt with breastfeeding issues, poor sleep, and intense anxiety; the intrusive thoughts were overwhelming and embarrassing because of their sexual nature
  • Why I never even told my husband how I was feeling--even a year into our daughter’s life
  • As a psychologist, I didn’t want anyone to know that I was suffering, so I lied on a depression screen
  • How I finally decided to make changes, and I started with learning more about perinatal mental health and helping others
  • How getting past the shame, guilt, and embarrassment was a huge obstacle for me
  • How I started accepting clients into my private practice and continued to learn more and more
  • Today, I’m still triggered from time to time, but I can recognize the signs now better than before
  • With my second child, I had similar experiences, but the problems were less intense because I knew what was happening
  • How my PMS symptoms became worse and more difficult to manage after my two children were born
  • How I’m taking measures to manage my mental health
  • Why I want people to have a broader sense of perinatal mental health conditions
  • My goal for myself is to learn to live with it well and have more opportunity for healing
  • My healing isn’t complete, because life brings up things I have to deal with on a daily basis
  • My goal with the podcast is to normalize the fact that we all struggle, and make it OK to reach out and get help


Email me:

Find my website:  Mom And Mind 


Jun 15, 2020
179: Black Women Birthing Justice

Have you ever considered how the systemic and institutional racism, implicit bias and disempowerment of women might be played out with birth? This is especially true for Black women, many of whom are experiencing discrimination, bias, racism and/or poor care while pregnant, birthing or postpartum. Today’s show explores these dynamics, the findings of a research project and the recommendations that have come out of that research.  

We are talking with Professor Chinyere Oparah and Dr. Sayida Peprah, who are part of the Black Women Birthing Justice collective. Today we are discussing some of the research they have done and the report called Battling over Birth. Highlights from our discussion include the power dynamics in the birthing environment for black women, history of sexual survivor issues and how that might impact the birthing experience, empowering Black women in the birth space and some glimpses into what the Battling over Birth report recommends. 


Julia Chinyere Oparah is a social justice educator, collective leader, activist scholar, and experienced community organizer who has spent over two decades producing critical scholarship in the service of progressive social movements.  Oparah is Provost and Dean of the Faculty and professor of Ethnic Studies at Mills College, and she was educated at Cambridge University and Warwick University

 Oparah is the author of Other Kinds of Dreams: Black Women’s Organizations and the Politics of Organization, the only comprehensive history of the black women’s movement in Britain. Her most recent book, Birthing Justice: Black Women, Pregnancy and Childbirth, places Black women at the center of debates around childbirth and highlights their role in the emerging birth justice movement.

Dr. Sayida Peprah became certified through DONA International Inc., as a Birth Doula and began assisting mothers professionally in their journey of pregnancy, childbirth and breastfeeding.  

She is currently a Psychologist and founder and director of Diversity Uplifts, Inc. through which she regularly offers cultural competency, mental health and maternal mental health trainings and consultations throughout the US.  Dr. Sayida is also an active member of the Black Women Birthing Justice collective, promoting research, education and community-based services to positively transform birthing experiences in the Black community.


Show Highlights:

  • Black Women Birthing Justice: A collective of African-American Caribbean, and multi-racial women who are sharing about the negative experiences they’ve had in their maternal care and childbirth
  • How a negative birth experience can be turned around with a great midwife and doula team
  • How the actions that are being taken by medical providers are disempowering black women
  • How BWBJ began in 2011 with a Research Justice project, with over 100 women being open and honest about their stories
  • Battling Over Birth: a human rights report that unpacks the stories of those 100 women and how they found themselves in conflict with their medical providers
  • Before the sharing circles, some of the women had no idea of what they had missed out on in their birth experiences
  • The comparison with this topic and the sexual survivors of the Me Too movement, and how their birth experiences are re-triggering and re-traumatizing, with further victimization
  • How doctors use fear-based coercion to get the women to do what THEY want
  • The ramifications and implications for these women, along with the potential stress and trauma
  • The opportunity to change the narrative and “do it differently”
  • How to have empowerment in the birth experience, including how providers interact with you for physical exams during labor and birth
  • How the mental health of these women is affected
  • The ways we can make sure this doesn’t keep happening--”This doesn’t have to be normal.”
  • How the impact of the negative birth experience bleeds over into breastfeeding
  • How the timelines followed in the birthing process don’t take into account the stress and trauma that are added to the process
  • What the report shows about the slink between postpartum depression being slinked to the birth experience, and not just to hormones
  • How those disadvantaged in race, class, and relationship status had toxic postpartum environments more frequently
  • The shame and judgment that black women feel in admitting postpartum depression, because they are supposed “to be strong”
  • These women need to know that reaching out for help is the strong thing to do 
  • What can healthcare providers do differently?
    • Get the report and read the recommendations
    • Find out what actions can be taken
  • Some of the report’s recommendations regarding prenatal care, postpartum care, empowerment, connections, community, and accountability
  • The options for home birth vs. hospital birth



Professor Oparah:

Dr. Sayida:

To learn about Dr. Sayida’s non-profit click here:,  To learn more about the Black community-based doula program and COVID19 doula initiatives Dr. Sayida is working on, click here: 

Please find out more by reading that Battling over Birth report at Find the report here: 

Twitter @birthingjustice

Instagram @birthingjustice







Jun 08, 2020
178: Linet's Story: Healing from PPD and PPA

Going through a postpartum mental health event can be a transformative experience. Many survivors feel inspired to change the course of their lives and careers and dedicate themselves to supporting and serving others. Such is the case of today’s guest, and her story is a fitting way to round out Maternal Mental Health Month. Join us!

Linet Madeja-Bravo is a working mom, wife, and the proud daughter of Filipino immigrants. She lives in the Pacific Northwest and is Mommy to two-year-old Isabella. Professionally, Linet has worked for local government for almost a decade and is most passionate about serving those in her community that are most marginalized and furthest from opportunity. Overwhelmed by the unexpected realities of being a new mom, breastfeeding issues, and other life events, Linet decided to seek professional help at eight weeks postpartum. Linet’s experience with postpartum depression and anxiety ignited a passion for helping other new moms and families. She is also passionate about decreasing cultural stigma and reducing barriers to mental health support and resources for those who need it most. Linet continues to work through her postpartum depression and anxiety with a specialized therapist and shares her story as a way of healing. She also hopes to one day become professionally trained to become a therapist or support person who specializes in perinatal mood and anxiety disorders.

Show Highlights:

  • Linet’s story of always wanting to be a mom, getting pregnant soon after their marriage, and an easy pregnancy
  • How she experienced anxiety about the birth process, but then felt overwhelming joy at her daughter’s birth
  • As the difficulties began, Linet found that breastfeeding was the biggest contributor to her postpartum anxiety
  • Why it was hard for Linet to know who to listen to
  • At three days old, her daughter had to go to the hospital due to losing weight; she had to take formula and be treated for jaundice in the NICU
  • How the nurses didn’t explain the problems and treatments to Linet, and she found out later her baby had been weighed incorrectly
  • What Linet learned in the NICU stay: how to pump and how to wash bottles properly
  • How Linet realized that breastfeeding and sleep were her biggest issues, along with an unexpected surgery for her daughter’s tongue-tie issue
  • How LInet realized that everything she tried to control didn’t work out and made things worse
  • How Linet took her daughter to different feeding specialists and therapists, later realizing she was being obsessive
  • How Linet had random crying fits and felt guilty for her postpartum anxiety and suicidal thoughts
  • The breaking point at eight weeks postpartum, when Linet went to the hospital with abdominal pain that turned out to be diverticulitis
  • Why Linet saw a therapist to get help for the first time
  • The unseen pressure in immigrant cultures about mental health
  • How returning to Linet’s faith and her church community helped with her healing
  • The hardest things in Linet’s journey
  • Hopeful words from Linet: “You have everything you need to be a great parent. Your confidence in parenting will ebb and flow, and there will still be hard days. I’ve accepted that parenting is full of hard moments and new things. The most beautiful thing is that I’ve never felt such deep love, passion, and reward. Parents need to prioritize self-care and give themselves grace.”
May 25, 2020
177: The Loss of a Postpartum Mother and Wife

No one will escape this life without feeling the pain of loss, and there is no better way to channel that pain than through creating something beautiful out of it. In today’s show, you’ll meet a devoted husband and father who wasn’t content to wallow in his loss on the sidelines. He’s turned his pain into purpose as he helps countless families through the challenges of maternal mental health treatment.

Steven D’Achille is president and founder of The Alexis Joy D’Achille Foundation for Postpartum Depression. He’s an advocate for maternal mental health issues because he realizes that women’s health is a family health issue. His passion is creating access to care for struggling families. He’ll go deep into his story today, sharing how postpartum depression took the life of his wife, Alexis. I’ve had the pleasure of serving on the board of Postpartum Support International with Steven, and I’ve seen up close his passion and dedication springing from the horrible and unnecessary outcome of his wife’s death. He is changing the landscape in Pittsburgh and wherever he goes to share his wife’s story and the foundation in her name. Steven is a passionate advocate for fathers, in addition to his support of maternal mental health because he realizes the need for caring for the whole family, especially fathers and partners. As his six-year-old daughter, Adriana puts it, “He wanted to change the world.”

**Sensitivity Notice: Difficult topics are discussed in this episode related to suicide. If you aren’t in a place to listen today, feel free to find the episode at a later date.

Show Highlights:

  • Get to know Steven and his story that began with the traumatic birth of his daughter, Adriana
  • How Steven’s wife, Alexis, believed that her first act of motherhood was to damage her child
  • How things started unraveling almost immediately for Alexis, who knew she needed help
  • How Alexis experienced serious anxiety and saw an LCSW for coping mechanisms, receiving a PTSD diagnosis
  • The increased anxiety, shame and stigma, and scary options
  • More symptoms included depression, insomnia, and loss of appetite
  • The disconnect between psychiatric care and Ob care for mothers
  • How HIPAA rules prevented the pediatrician from notifying anyone of her concerns about Alexis
  • How Alexis was prescribed an antidepressant and the depression escalated to suicidal thoughts; her plea for help went unacknowledged
  • How Alexis begged to be admitted for weeks and then hung herself in their basement--just 14 days after beginning the new antidepressant
  • How the system failed Alexis
  • How Alexis survived to get to the hospital and make it to ICU
  • How Steven got clarity on how to move forward and make something good come out of Alexis’ tragedy, to get other moms the help Alexis could not get
  • How The Alexis Joy D’Achille Foundation’s hospital treated 3000 moms in 2019
  • The family services provided by the foundation
  • The importance of a father’s perspective in going through this journey and raising a 6-½-year-old daughter without her mom
  • How our laws protect puppies more than we do moms and babies
  • The reality of postpartum depression treatment in the US---and what needs to change
  • The power in telling your story
  • What the new standard of care should be


Alexis Joy Foundation

Facebook: Alexis Joy D’Achille Foundation for Postpartum Depression: @Alexisjoydachille

Instagram: @ajd_foundation


May 18, 2020
176: Mother Burnout

In honoring Maternal Mental Health Awareness Month, today’s topic is mother burnout. It’s something a lot of us moms feel, but we often don’t recognize it until it’s too late. Let’s learn more!

Diana Spalding is Digital Education Editor at Motherly, along with being a certified nurse-midwife, pediatric nurse, and mother of three. She wrote The Motherly Guide to Becoming Mama, which was just released. We’ll discuss what burnout means, why it’s important to pay attention, how to recognize the early signs, and what to do from there.

Show Highlights:

  • How Diana became interested in burnout
  • The facts: 85% of moms don’t feel supported by society
  • The “occupational phenomenon” of burnout, which is a diagnosable condition with real consequences
  • Characteristics of burnout: fatigue, exhaustion, negativism, cynicism, and not feeling like you’re doing a good job
  • Good mom, bad mom, and how we judge ourselves and each other
  • Contributing factors to mother burnout
  • How and when burnout begins
  • Why parents don’t trust themselves, and how we can empower them
  • How to recognize signs of burnout and be aware of your mental health
  • The importance of reaching out for help and finding connection
  • How certain factors related to the current pandemic contribute to burnout, like isolation, lack of support, and unreasonable demands
  • How our culture teaches us to deal with uncomfortable feelings
  • How our capacity for empathy and sympathy is stretched
  • Long-term effects of chronic stress
  • Diana’s book, a new resource with a holistic focus on mental health



Instagram: Motherly

Facebook: Motherly Media 

The Motherly Guide to Becoming Mama: Redefining the Pregnancy, Birth, and Postpartum Journey by Diana Spalding, Jill Koziol, and LIz Tenety


May 11, 2020
175: Mom Genes Fight PPD

May is Maternal Mental Health Awareness Month, and today, May 6, happens to be World Maternal Mental Health Day. It’s a fitting day to bring you this show with an expert who is the driving force behind a pioneering study to help diagnose postpartum depression earlier and get moms the treatment they need.

Dr. Samantha Meltzer-Brody, MD, MPH, is co-principal investigator of the Mom Genes Fight PPD research study, as well as the Assad Meymandi Distinguished Professor and Chair of the UNC Department of Psychiatry and director of the UNC Center for Women’s Mood Disorders. Her funded research is focused on understanding the genetic signature of postpartum depression and investigating novel technologies and treatment modalities to optimize and personalize treatment for women with perinatal depression. Most recently, this has included the MOM GENES app and the brexanolone clinical trials, the first FDA-approved medication for postpartum depression. She knows a lot, and she’s done a lot with her significant work in perinatal mental health.

Show Highlights:

  • What postpartum depression is and why Dr. Meltzer-Brody is studying it
  • The MOM GENES study that began in 2016 (learn how you can participate)
  • How the study can help us identify who is at risk so intervention can happen earlier
  • Who can participate in the study
  • The confidentiality and anonymity of the study
  • The availability of resources for participants in the study
  • How the DNA samples are collected and pooled together
  • How the genetic information will be used to determine treatment and outcomes
  • The preliminary findings: not all women have the same types of postpartum depression
  • Why women with co-occurring anxiety disorders are encouraged to apply for the study
  • Examples of postpartum depression and the signals that mean someone needs to seek help
  • How the study and the app have already helped people in many ways


Mom Genes Fight PPD  Learn how you can join the study from the comfort of your own home.


May 06, 2020
174: Perinatal Mental Health en Español - Salud Mental Materna

Durante las fases embarazo, nacimiento y postparto se pueden dar casos de síntomas postraumáticos en las mujeres y muchas veces no se saben identificar ni como tratarlos. Por eso en el podcast de hoy hablaremos con dos mujeres especializadas en este campo y que nos contarán como hacer frente a estas situaciones que aún siguen siendo tabú en la sociedad. Este episodio no tiene como objetivo reemplazar la ayuda profesional que la mujer pueda y deba recibir en estos estados sino que el objetivo es ofrecer información que puedan ser de ayuda a las madres y padres en diversas situaciones.

En el episodio de hoy hablaremos de trastornos perinatales, riesgos, factores que afectan y síntomas. Además contamos con dos invitadas especiales de la comunidad latinx, ellas nos aportarán datos sobre los problemas socioculturales que afectan en los estados perinatales. Haremos especial mención en los tratamientos disponibles, apoyos y recursos que están al alcance de todas.

Emilia Ortega-Jara, LCSW is a psychotherapist, Founder and Clinical Director of Corazon Counseling Service Inc., a holistic culturally-rooted community-based counseling center that focuses on all things Preconception, Pregnancy, Birth, and Postpartum! Emilia has over 20 years’ experience working in the mental health field and has been a longtime advocate for culturally and linguistically appropriate mental health services in the Latinx community. She has worked with various social justice organizations and community based mental health agencies throughout California. After the birth of her son, Emilia took special interest in developing her clinical expertise in the treatment of perinatal mood and anxiety distress among Chicana/Indigenous and Latinx communities. She is Certified as a Perinatal Mental Health Specialist through Postpartum Support International and is trained in EMDR, she uses EMDR techniques in the treatment of Perinatal Loss and Birth Trauma. Emilia is passionate about supporting and empowering parents at all stages of their parenting journey through the use of traditional ancestral knowledge and modern trauma-informed psychotherapy. Emilia is a mother to a spirited and emotionally attuned 8-year-old who loves the fact that mommy helps other mommies not be sad, and wife to the most supportive and socially conscious husband.

Emilia Ortega-Jara, LCSW es psicoterapeuta, fundadora y directora clínica de Corazon Counseling Service Inc., un centro de asesoramiento holístico basado en la comunidad y culturalmente arraigado que se enfoca en todas las cosas ¡Preconcepción, embarazo, nacimiento y posparto! 

Emilia tiene más de 20 años de experiencia trabajando en el campo de la salud mental, con la comunidad latina. Ha trabajado con varias organizaciones de justicia social y agencias comunitarias de salud mental en todo California. Después del nacimiento de su hijo, Emilia se interesó especialmente en desarrollar su experiencia clínica en el tratamiento de la salud mental materna. Está certificada como especialista en salud mental perinatal a través de Postpartum Support International, y está capacitada en EMDR, utiliza técnicas de EMDR en el tratamiento de la pérdida perinatal y el trauma de nacimiento.

Nayeli Corona-Zitney is a bilingual, licensed clinical social worker whose private practice in Rancho Cucamonga, CA, specializes in Perinatal Mental Health. Her experience includes therapeutic work with adolescents, families, and new parents experiencing perinatal mood disorders. Nayeli is an active member of Postpartum International (PSI) and currently volunteers as PSI’s support coordinator for Riverside and San Bernardino Counties in California. Nayeli is committed to offering her expertise to the community. She does this through her private practice and also by facilitating pregnancy and postpartum support groups in the community in both English and Spanish. Nayeli is a wife, mother of two, and Perinatal Mental Health Advocate who integrates a social justice framework, which recognizes how migration and historical socio-political policies can negatively impact certain groups.

Nayeli Corona-Zitney, es una Trabajadora Social Clinica Licenciada, Mexico-Americana, Billingue. Nayeli, es una terapeuta clinica de conocimiento especializado en Salud Mental Perinatal. Su consultorio esta localizado en la ciudad de Rancho Cucamonga y tiene enfoque en la salud mental de la mujer antes de concebir, durante el embarazo y después de parto.

Nayeli es miembro activo de Postpartum Support International (PSI) y actualmente ofrece su apoyo voluntario en PSI como coordinadora de servicios para el condado de San Bernardino y de Riverside.

Nayeli es una imigrante nacida en la ciudad de Guadalajara, México que utiliza su propio conocimiento de su cultura y su propia experiencia para ofrecer apoyo a la comunidad Latinx que busca servicios de apoyo psicológico. Nayeli, es una esposa y madre de dos hijos y es por sus hijos que se dedica apasionadamente a ofrecer apoyo y su conocimiento en esta Carrera profesional.

Puntos destacados del podcast:

  • Es de vital importancia cuidar la salud mental de las madres durante el parto y posparto.
  • Por la situación de incertidumbre actual, el estrés en la mujer es especialmente difícil para las embarazadas y para las que acaban de dar a luz.
  • Hay que garantizar el bienestar de las madres, cuidarlas y darles el apoyo emocional que necesitan, siendo tan vulnerables y sensibles en esta etapa.
  • Depresión y ansiedad en la etapa perinatal, Nayeli se especializó en esta fase porque durante el embarazo de su hija tuvo un parto traumático y le tuvieron que hacer una cesárea de emergencia.
  • Nayeli al tener a su hijo no se sentía ella misma y padeció de ansiedad posparto. Necesitó de terapia para recuperarse de esta experiencia.
  • Estas experiencias ayudaron a Nayeli a conectar con las mamás con las que trabaja y con sus parejas.
  • 1 de cada 5 mujeres pueden padecer estos sí
  • Tristeza posparto, es un sentimiento de preocupación, tristeza y fatiga que puede durar entre 1 y 2 semanas. Después de este tiempo los sentimientos se van acoplando y la mamá se integra en su rol, lo sufren el 80% de las mujeres y al ser tan común no se diagnostica.
  • Depresión posparto, es un sentimiento de tristeza y ansiedad que pueden ser extremos y pueden afectar a la capacidad de una mujer de cuidarse de si misma y su familia.
  • Síntomas de la depresión posparto:
    • Tristeza más profunda y desesperanzada.
    • Sentimiento de vací
    • Malhumor, esto puede provocar peleas en la pareja.
    • Problemas de concentración y dificultad para recordar cosas.
    • Aislamiento, evitar el contacto con familias y amistades, incluso de su bebé.
    • Dificultad para dormir.
    • Cambios en el apetito.
    • Sentimiento de culpabilidad
    • Ansiedad y preocupación extrema, así como preocupación y temor por la salud y seguridad del bebé.
    • Ataques de pánico o dificultades respiratorias.
  • Una mujer que sufra depresión posparto no tiene porqué padecer todos los sí
  • Ansiedad durante el embarazo o posparto: conlleva una hiper vigilancia de lo que le pueda suceder al bebé. Ansiedad por dejar a su bebé por un tiempo con otra persona, miedo a la seguridad de su bebé.
  • Mamás hispanas, tienen miedo de salir de casa provocado por las situaciones de inseguridad de sus países de origen y miedo a que le roben al bebé. Puede provocar que la mamá no pueda conciliar el sueño, incluso cuando su bebé
  • La psicosis posparto ocurre a 1 o 2 casos de cada mil, las mujeres que lo padecen ven y escuchan voces que otros no pueden ver, alucinaciones.
  • El término posparto no equivale a trastornos psicológicos, pero culturalmente se le atribuye a un trastorno.
  • Hay factores sociales que pueden afectar, como el estado migratorio de la madre o pareja. Esto contribuye a que las madres no acudan a ciertos servicios por miedo a que las deporten o les quiten a su bebé.
  • Existe también racismo y discriminación el la comunidad latinx.
  • La cultura hispano tiende a idealizar el ser madre, esto provoca presión y no pedir ayuda porque piensan que deben ser lo suficientemente fuertes como para hacerlo ellas solas.
  • La obligación de dar y recibir apoyo no solo recae sobre la madre sino a todo el mundo de su alrededor.


  • Consejería Terapia del Diálogo:
  1. Terapia cognitiva conductal
  2. Terapia interpersonal
  3. Desensibilización y deprocesamiento por medio de movimientos oculares.
  • Grupos de terapia del Hospital Columbia Valley: 2 veces al mes, el primer y tercer miércoles de cada mes.
  • Grupos de apoyo PSI (Postpartum Support International)
  • Corazón counselling
  • Nayeli LCSW

Corazon Counseling


Apr 20, 2020
173: Holding Both: When Therapists Who Are Affected Are Supporting Others

One challenge that every therapist faces is helping clients through a difficulty that hits very close to home. For instance, when you’ve experienced a personal perinatal mental health challenge, then it can be triggering to provide support for others. Today’s guest has found a way to handle those difficult moments and turn her experience into commitment and advocacy for others.

Bridget Cross is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, certified perinatal mental health professional, and mom to two daughters. She lives in Savannah, Georgia, and works in private practice providing individual, family, and group therapy to new, hopeful, and expectant moms. Bridget is also a volunteer coordinator for the Georgia chapter of Postpartum Support International, and she’s a member of the Maternal Mental Health Collective of Savannah. Bridget’s passion is supporting women in all phases of life, but especially as they encounter and cope with the transition to motherhood. Bridget discusses what it’s like to work as a therapist with pregnant and postpartum moms when going through infertility, and what it’s like working with a perinatal population when going through her pregnancy and postpartum period., Therapists are human, and they have to deal with their own challenges while helping their clients.

Show Highlights:

  • Bridget’s three-year journey with IUI and IVF to have her first daughter, now 5
  • The crippling anxiety, anger, intrusive thoughts, and panic that set in quickly and intensely at her daughter’s birth
  • Why Bridget felt that she “should be stronger than this”
  • How Bridget found herself in deep, dark depression when her daughter was one month old
  • How Bridget withdrew from everyone in her life and “hid out”
  • The external stressors of work, moving to a new city, and career pressure
  • How Bridget went back to work and became involved with PSI
  • The moment of relief and recognition for Bridget that brought clarity on her next steps as a therapist
  • How Bridget covered up and justified her feelings when people tried to help her
  • The assumption that mental health professionals will know to ask for help if they need it
  • How hard it is to admit to others that you need help, especially as a mental health professional
  • When Bridget’s daughter was two, she got pregnant again with IVF, which resulted in an easy pregnancy and wonderful birth
  • Why Bridget expected postpartum depression with her second daughter’s birth and felt better prepared; she started early medications, therapy, and returned to work in a few weeks
  • Bridget’s commitment to becoming an advocate for pregnant and postpartum women, knowing this was part of her personal healing journey
  • The difficult parts of seeing pregnant and postpartum clients even though some stories are triggering and painful
  • How to handle the tendency to get angry about her own story and clients’ stories
  • How to hold space for the anger, hopelessness, and helplessness in this community
  • Why Bridget believes her path has made her a better therapist
  • Bridget’s message to other therapists: “Try to prioritize taking care of yourself and your feelings. Check your boundaries and notice presenting issues that are just too much to handle. Know when you need to step away. Listen to yourself and get connected to the perinatal mental health community.”


Bridget Cross LCSW

Facebook: Bridget Cross LCSW

Listen To Moms 


Apr 06, 2020
172: Sex, Stress, and Burnout. Understanding it All with Emily Nagoski, Ph.D.

The focus of our chat is on sex, but it’s also about relationships and stress and how our brains work. Our guest Emily Nagoski, Ph.D. shares her brilliant wisdom with us in this episode. Given the current state of the world, we are living in times of unprecedented stress, which absolutely affects how we relate to each other. I’m excited for you to hear this episode and learn more about your brain, sex and stress, especially postpartum. (FYI, sex related body parts, sex related words are used in our chat).

 Emily Nagoski is a sex educator and the author of Come As You Are: The Surprising New Science That Will Transform Your Sex LIfe and Burnout: The Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycle. Her job is to travel all over the world, training therapists, medical professionals, college students, and the general public about the science of women’s sexual wellbeing.

Show Highlights:

  • The dual control model of how your brain perceives and processes sex
  • Why you might feel judgment about your sexual response, which “hits the brakes”--not the accelerator
  • Why the magical six-week timeline doesn’t work for most women
  • How your brain responds to the physical changes that come with giving birth
  • The best perspective on the six-week timeline
  • Steps to take in the chaos:
    • Identify what is causing you to hit the brakes
    • Have non-sexual sharing and touching
  • Why Emily doesn’t use the term “libido”
  • Why sexual desire differential is the #1 reason people seek sex therapy
  • The secrets of sexuality in long-term relationships
  • Why desire does NOT come first
  • Why you need to identify the sex you want---and don’t want
  • Why “pleasure is the measure” of your sexual wellbeing
  • Why Emily reads her own audiobook versions
  • Creating the ultimate sex-positive context through kindness and compassion
  • The difference in confidence and joy


Emily Nagoski

Come As You Are: The Surprising New Science That Will Transform Your Sex Life by Emily Nagoski

 Burnout: The Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycle by Emily Nagoski


Mar 23, 2020
171: Fighting for Nora. PostpartumPsychosis Through the Eyes of a Mother and an Advocate

Today’s show is a special episode with difficult and sensitive topics. We’ll be hearing about Nora and her story of postpartum psychosis and filicide. We have the honor of hearing from Nora’s mother, Kathryn Gahl. She will share from her perspective as a mother and what it’s been like to see what Nora has been through and continues to experience in her imprisonment after filicide. We’ll also hear from Dr. Brooke Laufer, a clinical psychologist who picked up on this case and has followed it closely. Nora has given her permission for us to have this conversation with Brooke and Kathryn about her case. The goal is to get information out in the public about postpartum psychosis, its detection, and treatment. Join us to hear the mother’s perspective, the clinical perspective, and what’s going on in Nora’s life right now.

Nora’s mother, Kathryn Gahl, became a widely-published, multi-genre writer after a long career as a nurse manager. She is the mother of a daughter and a son, and in 2004, she lost her young grandson to filicide. Now, her bookshelves sag with letters from her imprisoned daughter, who is also a registered nurse. Kathryn believes in the transformative power of dance, dark chocolate, and red lipstick to help her get through life.

Brooke Laufer has been a practicing psychologist since 2005. She began her clinical work in psychiatric wards with severely mentally ill patients and then worked in schools with adolescents and their families. She is currently in private practice doing psychoanalytic psychotherapy. After having her first child, Brooke had a disturbing postpartum OCD experience, which inspired her to begin researching, understanding, and specializing in the area of perinatal mental illness. She recently started working as an expert witness for women who have committed a crime in a postpartum episode. Brooke has two children of her own, along with a Golden Retriever and a loyal husband; they live, work, and play in Evanston, Illinois.

Show Highlights:

  • The overview of Nora’s story, from Kathryn
  • Nora’s experience: suffocating her 14-month-old son, Leo, and then attempting suicide because of her postpartum psychosis
  • Circumstances that contributed to Leo’s death
  • Nora’s psychiatric diagnoses: major depressive disorder severe with paranoid ideation, excessive-compulsive personality disorder, and PTSD
  • What these events were like for Kathryn
  • How Kathryn’s writing and dancing have helped her cope with these horrifying events
  • How Kathryn was surprised at the people evaporated from her life and those who stepped up to support and help her
  • How Brooke got involved through corresponding with Nora because of a childhood connection
  • Why Nora believed she deserved to suffer and be punished
  • Altruistic filicide (defined as believing that bringing death to the child is better than if the child survives) is an apt label for Nora
  • What it’s like to be in a state like Wisconsin, where a case like this gets very little support and legal consideration
  • Why Nora made the decision to plead guilty
  • The main issue is how poorly we treat mental health issues in our US legal system that is deeply flawed
  • How other countries deal with mental health, motherhood, and postpartum psychosis
  • How Kathryn dealt with this experience with only one bout of depression
  • Why postpartum psychosis is an issue that shows the failure of our culture
  • A message from Brooke: “We need to understand that motherhood is equally dark and light. We need to ask for good help when we need it.”
  • Why family members need to speak up when a mom seems “off”
  • A message from Kathryn: “Trust your hunch.”
  • The dire need for more postpartum screening


Dr. Brooke Laufer

Kathryn Gahl


Twitter: @kathryngahl


Mar 09, 2020
170: Infant Mental Health

Perinatal mental health is the focus of many Mom & Mind episodes, but infant mental health is often overlooked in our discussions. It’s fascinating to see the intersection of infant mental health and perinatal health, and research shows that we need to consider how these two systems work together to bring mental health to both parents and their babies. We are jumping into this interesting topic with today’s guest.

Meyleen Velasquez is a psychotherapist who specializes in infant and perinatal mental health. Her practice supports individuals identifying as women and clinicians working on practicing from an anti-oppressive framework. In today’s episode, we’ll talk about what infant mental health is and why it’s important to consider--along with perinatal mental health. Many moms worry about not doing the right thing for their child, so they fall into the traps of modern parenthood. Meyleen talks about the reality of parenthood, assuring you that you aren’t messing up your kids if you don’t attend to them ALL the time.

Show Highlights:

  • What infant mental health and why it’s important
  • The intersection of infant mental health and perinatal mental health: infants need a caregiver to provide calming, soothing, focused attention, and the caregiver needs a safe space to express emotions
  • Why there isn’t much focus on the crossover between infant mental health and perinatal mental health
  • The need to share information with parents in the space of compassion and gentleness
  • In the parent/child relationship, a basic need is that struggling parents need support
  • Why an infant who doesn’t show a full range of emotions is cause for concern, but those emotions can’t be overinterpreted
  • The need to be “good enough,” and look at parenting as a whole and not just what happened in one day
  • Why parents need at least 30 min./day to take care of themselves
  • The red flag of developmentally inappropriate regression in young children
  • Overinterpretation vs. under interpretation
  • Myths and misconceptions about infant mental health
  • How we can help an infant learn to co-regulate
  • Why parents need to take breaks to soothe themselves
  • How babies respond differently in different settings and relationships
  • Hopeful messages for parents: “Infants and young children are extremely resilient. If parents can get the support they need, then babies can bounce back. Nothing is a forever situation because we can be good enough and create healthy, thriving babies with relationships that we also enjoy.”


Hummingbird Counseling

Facebook: Hummingbird Counseling




Feb 24, 2020
169: Birth, Trauma, Breastfeeding and Mental Health

We talk about a lot of things that people don’t want to talk about or even hear. Still, they are very real, challenging, and difficult circumstances surrounding pregnancy, birth, and postpartum. It’s important to share these stories because these difficulties become a reality for many people. Today’s show focuses on birth trauma and breastfeeding as we hear our guest’s personal account.

Erin Northrup is a mom of four busy children, ranging in age from 2-10. She lives in Atlantic Canada, where she enjoys spending time in nature with her family. With the birth of her oldest child, Jack, she experienced birth trauma, and this experience sparked her passion for researching trauma. Erin holds a bachelor’s in Psychology and is currently pursuing a Master’s in Health Services Research. Her current research explores the experience of breastfeeding after birth trauma. Her own experience of breastfeeding after birth trauma inspired her to become a volunteer with a breastfeeding support organization offering community-based, peer to peer breastfeeding support. She is committed to raising awareness of the intersection of birth trauma, breastfeeding, and perinatal mental health.

Show Highlights:

  • Erin’s birth trauma experience with the birth of her son, Jack, now 10
  • How her Ob prepared her to have a C-section because of an ambiguous condition
  • How Erin’s water broke a week early, and her spinal didn’t take, so the C-section proceeded under general anesthesia, while Erin felt dissociated from the entire experience
  • In recovery, she was told that her son was taken to the NICU because of low blood sugar, and she couldn’t see him yet
  • How Erin’s mom, a physician, stepped in to advocate for Erin to see her son
  • While eating breakfast a few hours after the birth, Erin felt a popping sensation in her incision and felt a gush of blood
  • Erin was rushed back to the OR, and the spinal worked this time while Erin cried on the table--all of this was before she had even held her baby
  • How Erin was repeatedly spoken about like she wasn’t even in the room; she felt like her input wasn’t even important
  • When Erin got home, survival mode kicked in, and she regretted not advocating more strongly for herself
  • How Erin questioned whether or not her son was even the right baby, worrying that a mix-up could have occurred in the hospital because neither she nor her husband witnessed his birth
  • How she determined to “make it up” to her son by breastfeeding him
  • How the Ob told her at two months postpartum that her condition should not have warranted a C-section in the first place---which just made everything worse
  • How Erin felt an erosion of trust in her doctors and the medical system
  • How Erin asked where the growth and meaning was in her situation and how she could use her experience to help others
  • Erin applied to a Master’s program and went on to have three more kids with positive birth experiences
  • How Erin found support for breastfeeding
  • What Erin has found in her research by asking mothers about their experience with birth trauma and breastfeeding
  • The magnitude of the response she has received, but the difficulty in hearing the painful stories of birth trauma
  • The results from Erin’s research: Birth trauma is destabilizing to the breastfeeding process because of the physical and emotional pain in childbirth and the postpartum from mistreatment
  • The importance of trauma-informed care
  • How women with these experiences feel like the trauma is somehow their fault
  • What care providers should be aware of in their work


Instagram: Live Learn Lactate


Feb 10, 2020
168: Thyroid, Infertility, and mental Health

We know that our body systems are complicated. There’s no way we can understand everything we need to know to have a healthy pregnancy and postpartum, but the more we know how the brain and body work together, the more prepared we can be. Today’s show focuses on the thyroid, the small--but mighty--organ that impacts fertility, loss, pregnancy, and postpartum.

Dr. Hilary Mandzik is a licensed psychologist in private practice in Cary, NC. She also sees clients remotely throughout North Carolina and Virginia. Hilary holds a doctorate in clinical psychology from George Washington University and a Master’s in Education from Harvard. In addition, she has advanced clinical training in perinatal mental health. Hilary is passionate about supporting parents in their journey from conception and onward. She wants to help parents and children feel connected to each other and live their best lives as individuals and as a family unit. In today’s show, Hilary tells us about how her thyroid condition impacted her fertility journey. We’ll discuss other clinical aspects to consider concerning the thyroid, as well as what you need to know if you’re working toward pregnancy. You’ll learn that many people have thyroid conditions and don’t even know it.

Show Highlights:

  • Hilary’s personal story of two pregnancies and a missed miscarriage, which clued her in to possible thyroid issues
  • How Hilary didn’t fit the typical thyroid symptom profile
  • How Hilary’s midwife discovered her thyroid issues
  • With research, Hilary discovered that thyroid imbalance is a well-known cause of miscarriage, infertility, anxiety, and depression
  • Why TSH and other hormone levels should be checked routinely in pregnancy
  • How Hilary changed doctors five times within the first six weeks of her third pregnancy, refusing to see a doctor who would dismiss her thyroid issues
  • How pregnancy is a major trigger for autoimmune issues
  • The big difference between normal and optimal in lab ranges
  • How Hilary’s experience has changed how she views perinatal mental health
  • The partnership Hilary feels with functional medicine practitioners
  • How thyroid conditions are often overlooked
  • What tests to ask for from your provider
  • The important role of mental health clinicians to help address health issues and refer clients
  • Why we should take care not to stereotype people with thyroid issues
  • Hilary’s advice to those struggling to get pregnant: educate yourself, connect with doctors who listen to you, and advocate for yourself
  • How the thyroid can impact other systems in the body
  • How the support of a mental health clinician can help you cope
  • How Hilary went on to have a healthy pregnancy after finding and treating her thyroid issues


Hilary Mandzik

Stop the Thyroid Madness book

Stop the Thyroid Madness website

Stop the Thyroid Madness 2 book

Hangry book: 5 Simple Steps to Balance Your Hormones and Restore Your Joy (Including a Customizable Paleo/Mediterranean Plan!)

The Sarah & Dr. Brooke Show podcast


The Autoimmune Solution book by Dr. Amy Myers

The Root Cause book by Dr. Isabella Wentz

The Hashimoto’s Protocol book by Dr. Isabella Wentz




Jan 27, 2020
167: When Your Own Thoughts and Feelings are Overwhelming

Welcome to a new year! This is a monumental year for me, as it marks ten years since I was pregnant with my daughter and experienced postpartum depression, anxiety, and OCD. I never dreamed back then that I would be where I am today, trying to help moms and families because of my personal mental health experience. In today’s show, I’ll reflect on those thoughts and feelings that were so overwhelming for me.

Show Highlights:

  • As I look back, it’s easier to have compassion and a lighter heart about my experiences than it was a few years ago
  • My planned and wanted pregnancy was actually a break for me from the ups and downs of PMS
  • How I realized with reflection that anxiety was present in my life even before my pregnancy
  • How it felt like I had done something wrong when I experienced a bleeding episode during my pregnancy
  • Why positive and negative experiences get woven together as you reflect on the past
  • The shame and guilt that came with my mental health condition
  • Because of our deepest vulnerabilities, we don’t want to feel our feelings or talk about them
  • The shame, anger, and fear that make you feel alone
  • How scary and intrusive thoughts become traumatizing
  • Why good, specific therapy is crucial
  • My favorite parts of therapy in helping moms realize they aren’t crazy
  • Why I urge you to see a perinatal mental health specialist, join a support group, or find resources to get the help you need
  • The year I spent in an emotional freak-out space, feeling broken and alone
  • Finding a safe person to talk to who will understand
  • Why I am 100% sure that you can get better, too



PSI Directory


Jan 13, 2020
166: You're the Strongest People I Know

As we close out the year, I’m reflecting on my work over the past years. I’m struck by how incredibly strong you all are, and I mean every person who’s endured a perinatal mental health condition. Perinatal mental conditions are very difficult to encounter, and many people navigate their way through these experiences without any help at all.

Show Highlights:

  • Going through pregnancy or taking care of a newborn while experiencing a mental health condition is tough, much more so when you have to take care of the other elements of life
  • Loneliness and confusion come with the suffering
  • Worry about other children, finances, and jobs adds to the pressure
  • There are incredible amounts of strength and resilience from people who keep fighting
  • Just getting the sleep you need and getting the right medications can bring amazing hope and relief
  • When the mind relaxes into a new sense of self, then the body relaxes, too
  • It’s worth celebrating when you realize you don’t have to suffer for the rest of your life
  • If you’ve experienced a perinatal mental health condition or a loss, I see you and honor you and respect you
  • Moments of sadness are normal and dehumanizing, but you deserve compassion
  • You are not alone
  • There are many trained professionals who know how to help, so find them and take advantage of the available resources


Dec 23, 2019
165: Encore! Holiday Self-Care and Stress Reduction

Do you find the holidays stressful? We would all have to say YES if we’re completely honest. For a pregnant mom, a postpartum mom, or a mom experiencing loss, the holiday obligations can be overwhelming in magnified ways. In today’s solo episode, we will discuss how to survive the holidays and manage stress by setting healthy boundaries and prioritizing self-care.

Show Highlights:

  • The holidays: a mix of lovely things and difficult moments with the unseen pressure of motherhood to take care of everyone
  • Boundaries are not easy, and sometimes confusing, but necessary
  • Set boundaries around family, friends, spending, activities, and the time you spend with others
  • Don’t be afraid to communicate what your needs are
  • In spending time at someone’s house, have a set time limit or some kind of communication with your partner to signal when it’s time to go
  • To figure out where you need boundaries, ask yourself, “What brings me stress? What do I find difficult?”
  • Why we feel guilty for setting boundaries
  • How anger and resentment toward others will develop when we don’t set boundaries
  • How pushback from someone else can signal the need for boundaries
  • It’s OK when you need a time-out from the tension of social situations
  • Important skills include knowing when to say NO and when to say YES
  • Why you shouldn’t feel obligated to do things that aren’t good choices for you
  • Allow flexibility and compassion in considering your needs
  • How saying YES and NO protects against resentment building up in relationships
  • Ask yourself what you need when you feel anger, guilt, anxiety, and sadness
  • If sleep and self-care are not on your holiday list, then you will feel depleted
  • Sleep is essential for health and restoration, but especially for pregnant moms, postpartum moms, and moms with loss
  • Give yourself permission NOT to do everything
  • Steps to take to manage stress:
    • Think about times in the past when you’ve ignored your own needs
    • Figure out where you can make adjustments
    • Find places where you can say YES and set limits
    • Don’t allow yourself to feel guilty
  • Why your new holiday regimen should be ways to manage stress, keep your energy level, and feel like yourself
  • What feels restorative, whole, and good to you?
  • Set intentions for baths, yoga, solitary walks, connection time with a friend, alone time, or time with your partner


Nov 25, 2019
164: Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine for Reproductive Health

We’re diving deep into acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine. We’re talking specifically about how these treatments can be used in support of people dealing with reproductive health issues and mental health conditions.

Abigail Morgan is a mother of two, a licensed acupuncturist and herbalist, and a writer. She is board certified by the state of CA in traditional Chinese medicine and has an additional board certification from the American Board of Oriental Reproductive Medicine (ABORM). She is the owner of FLOAT Chinese Medical Arts in Glendale, CA, an integrative private practice that focuses on reproductive health for all genders and all aspects of the childbearing cycle. Abigail is a passionate advocate for choices in childbirth, and she’s been helping families get pregnant, stay pregnant, and thrive as parents since 2006. She is currently writing a memoir about her experience with postpartum anxiety and her remarkable recovery from it. She’s partnered with a nutritionist to create a new podcast. In today’s episode, we discuss how acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine help with stress during pregnancy and the postpartum. There is a lot of information here for us to learn about these ways to promote healing.

Show Highlights:

  • Abigail’s work with clients in the childbearing cycle and all aspects of reproductive health
  • How Abigail works in conjunction with many therapists about perinatal mental health
  • Why stress, anxiety, depression, and insomnia are common issues with Abigail’s clients
  • What acupuncture is and how it works
  • Common misperceptions about acupuncture and the needles used
  • Benefits of acupuncture: regulates the nervous system, increases blood flow, and reduces blood pressure
  • An interesting study from Georgetown in 2013 about how acupuncture works on a molecular level
  • How we give and receive energy (qi) in our bodies
  • How acupuncture specifically helps with nausea during pregnancy
  • Why the common contributors to anxiety are exhaustion, poor nutrition, headaches, insomnia, and pain
  • The importance of self-care
  • How traditional Chinese medicine helps integrate the mind-body connection
  • How Abigail does empathetic listening with her clients
  • The supports that Abigail offers her clients for the early postpartum period
  • Emotional and physical changes that happen in the early postpartum period
  • How Abigail refers clients out to others who can help them
  • Herbal medicines that nourish the blood and body
  • Why isolation is the #1 risk factor for postpartum anxiety and depression
  • How to find a licensed acupuncturist (visit A.B.O.R.M.)
  • The podcast that Abigail co-hosts with nutritionist Gloria Williamson, “A Nutritionist and Acupuncturist Walk Into a Bar”


Float Chinese Medical Arts

Instagram: Mama Float

Facebook: Float Chinese Medical Arts

Podcast: Instagram: Nutrition Acu Podcast


Nov 11, 2019
163: "Dear Scarlet: The Story of My Postpartum Depression"

Today’s show is a personal story of the darkness of postpartum depression and the healing that comes through professional help, self-awareness, and gentleness. The best part of my guest’s experience is the passion she’s gained for helping other moms reach through the darkness to the other side of hope and healing.

Teresa Wong is a Canadian writer who has written the graphic memoir, Dear Scarlet: The Story of My Postpartum Depression, which was released last Spring. The book has already had a positive impact on the world and has been featured on NPR and Buzzfeed, as well as in the Paris Review and the NY Times. If you have experienced a perinatal mood and anxiety disorders or any complications related to pregnancy or postpartum, there is something in this graphic memoir that relates to your story. It also shows how culture plays a part in our experience. Through Teresa’s pain, there are beautiful parts interwoven into this story and her healing journey.

Show Highlights:

  • How the idea came to Teresa for writing Dear Scarlet when she was pregnant with her third child and needed closure for her postpartum depression experience
  • Why Teresa decided to make it a graphic memoir with pictures
  • Why it was important to Teresa to keep the book short and readable for moms who need to read it
  • How Teresa handled the sketches and drawings for her book
  • How Teresa sought help for postpartum depression when she knew things weren’t right
  • The feelings of guilt, shame, and regret that Teresa experienced
  • The major hemorrhage at Scarlet’s complicated
  • Why Teresa didn’t know what was normal with the birth of Scarlet, her first baby
  • How Teresa’s mom came to help when she got home after Scarlet’s birth, which is part of the Chinese culture
  • How Teresa was diagnosed with postpartum depression at about six weeks and sought additional help from a psychiatrist for about nine months
  • How Teresa hoped and prepared for a better experience with her second pregnancy by having a doula
  • After her second child was born, Teresa went through postpartum depression again at about eight months
  • Why Teresa was disappointed in herself because she had taken preventative measures, but she knows how to get help when she needed it
  • Why Teresa did cognitive behavioral therapy instead of medication for the second time and then had no postpartum issues with her third pregnancy
  • How Teresa’s healing journey has helped her in other ways, like being aware of her feelings and knowing how to handle them
  • The positive reactions from readers of Teresa’s book
  • Teresa’s hopeful messages: “Be gentle with yourself and talk to yourself like you would to a good friend whom you love. These feelings are normal, but you need to get help. You don’t have to live with postpartum depression and muddle through. Ask for help.


By Teresa Wong

Instagram: By Teresa Wong

Oct 28, 2019
162: Pregnancy After Loss Support

October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month, and we are trying to honor each and every one of those losses. Each one has brought significant pain to many people, including grief that is most difficult to acknowledge and navigate. Today’s show focuses on one such loss that has led to the creation of a specific kind of support for thousands.

Lindsey Henke is the founder and Executive Director of Pregnancy After Loss Support. She is a clinical social worker specializing as a reproductive mental health therapist with a focus on the grief and trauma that happens after a perinatal loss and the pregnancy that follows. She is also a writer, wife, and, most importantly, a mother to two beautiful daughters and one sweet boy. Tragically, her oldest daughter, Nora, was stillborn after a healthy full-term pregnancy in December 2012. Lindsey’s second daughter, Zoe, was born healthy and alive in March of 2014. Her writing about life after loss has been featured in Listen to Your Mother, Scary Mommy, Healthline, and The New York Times. Lindsey has had the honor of speaking all over the world on the topic of pregnancy after a previous perinatal loss, including at the 2020 Moms’ Maternal Mental Health Forum 2015, Pregnancy and Infant Death Alliance 2016 Conference, Postpartum Support International 2019 Conference, The 2019 Stillbirth Summit, and at The International Women’s Maternal Mental Health 2019 Conference in Paris. She is currently working on her first book.

Show Highlights:

  • How and why Lindsey started Pregnancy After Loss Support (PALS), an online support organization for the birth person who is experiencing pregnancy after loss
  • How Lindsey had a stillborn daughter in 2012 after a full-term pregnancy---a devastating and heartbreaking experience
  • How she relied on writing and psychotherapy to help her heal
  • Lindsey’s second pregnancy with her daughter, Zoe, and how she made weekly posts as a blogger
  • Lindsey found that there wasn’t a support space for those experiencing pregnancy after loss
  • How the PALS group was formed and then blossomed into 15 groups for thousands of members
  • How Lindsey digests the research in the field of pregnancy loss to meet the specific needs and wants of the community
  • What’s unique about the experience of pregnancy after loss
  • The insensitive comments that people make during a pregnancy after loss experience
  • The amount of fear and anxiety that occur in pregnancy after loss
  • The balance of grief, fear, and stress, along with joy and hope
  • Knowing when the “expected anxiety” crosses over into the need to seek professional help
  • Invalidating messages that may come from healthcare providers and family members
  • The dance between choosing hope and holding onto fear
  • The circles of grief and how we need to seek support
  • The prevalence of postpartum depression and anxiety in subsequent pregnancies
  • How friends and family can be supportive in validating the experience of the mother
  • Why you should think about what you say and how you say it to someone who has had a pregnancy loss
  • Other steps that family, friends, and healthcare providers can do to give additional support to moms with pregnancy after loss


Pregnancy After Loss Support

Facebook: Pregnancy After Loss Support


Facebook: LindseyMHenke

Oct 14, 2019
161: Postpartum Depression and Anxiety, Twice

Today’s show is another moving, personal story of the journey from pain to healing, and all that happens in the middle. My guest tells the story of how cultural challenges added yet another layer of complexity to her postpartum depression and anxiety experience.

Esmeralda Cardenas is a bilingual Licensed Professional Counselor in San Antonio, Texas. She is the owner and provider at Pillars of Life Counseling. Besides being a mental health provider, Esmeralda is a wife and mother of two sons, ages 6 and 8, with both pregnancies bringing her postpartum depression and anxiety. After working with children in different settings for many years, Esmeralda became an advocate and provider for parents experiencing perinatal mood and anxiety disorders. She realized that she needed to own her story and overcome the many fears that came with it. Taking this step has allowed Esmeralda to serve moms and dads in her community with an effort to decrease stigma and help parents know that they are not alone.

Show Highlights:

  • The issues Esmeralda faced as an undocumented immigrant from Veracruz, Mexico
  • Her first pregnancy, with no complications until the C-section delivery
  • How Esmeralda was triggered with anxiety, pressure, and judgment from others because of the cultural stigma attached to not having a “natural birth”
  • The symptoms of anxiety and depression, along with the guilt and shame
  • How the pressures of new motherhood and a therapy practice led to Esmeralda’s struggles with rage and intrusive thoughts
  • Why Esmeralda was terrified to let anyone know how she really felt
  • How she finally shared with her husband what was really going on with her
  • With her second pregnancy, two years later, she was much more anxious, but going back to work helped with the depression
  • How the feelings piled up on Esmeralda
  • How Esmeralda dug deeper into grace in owning and sharing her story---and redefined herself
  • The challenges of being a working mom AND a stay-at-home mom
  • Esmeralda’s advice for other moms
  • The evolution we go through to become a happier parent in a better place
  • Why there is hope for everyone, and no mom is ever as alone as she might feel


Pillars Of Life Counseling

Instagram: polcounseling

Facebook: Pillars of Life Counseling

Sep 30, 2019
160: Healing from Postpartum Depression and Postpartum Anxiety

Today’s show is a personal story of postpartum anxiety and depression that led to a voluntary psychiatric hospital evaluation. My guest will share how she got to that point, along with the signs and symptoms that went unnoticed for a long time. We will also hear about her journey to healing and how she’s helping other moms now. I believe that hearing the details in others’ experiences can help us recognize these signs in ourselves and our loved ones.

Celeste Chapko lives with her husband and three children in Northwest Indiana. She is the founder of Childbirth Melodies (soon to be the Northwest Indiana Center for Maternal Wellness), offering individual and group peer support and music therapy to moms dealing with postpartum depression and other perinatal mood and anxiety disorders. Celeste is a survivor of severe postpartum depression and anxiety and is passionate about supporting moms on their journey to wellness. She is also a volunteer state coordinator, online peer support group leader, and Climb Out of the Darkness leader for Postpartum Support International.

Show Highlights:

  • Celeste’s journey with postpartum anxiety and depression: she noticed rage and anxiety at seven months into her third pregnancy, but after the birth, she convinced herself that nothing was really wrong with her
  • How intrusive thoughts convinced her that she needed help; her Ob prescribed Zoloft over the phone and Celeste began seeing a therapist
  • How Celeste went through panic attacks and just “wasn’t functioning well with life”
  • Why she called her husband one day to take her to the hospital’s psychiatric unit
  • After five days in the psych unit, she left with four medications and a referral to see a psychiatrist
  • The signs in Celeste’s first and second pregnancies that went unnoticed
  • The guilt and shame that mother feel, which lead to increased anxiety
  • Why Celeste refers to herself as “a recovering perfectionist”
  • How Celeste’s anxiety and rage manifested themselves in her pregnancy with excessive worry and obsessive thoughts
  • How Celeste knew she needed next-level care in the psych hospital
  • The feelings of hopelessness with nowhere to turn
  • The need for more perinatal psych units for moms
  • How Celeste came into the work she does today on “the other side”
  • How Celeste is more laid back, compassionate, and understanding to herself and others
  • The potential for positive change with the right help and support
  • How Celeste’s experience has changed how she is raising her children to know how to take care of themselves
  • Celeste’s professional journey: music therapist, special education teacher, doula for music-assisted childbirth, and peer support group leader
  • Celeste’s program, The SHARE Journey (Support, Hope, Assessment, Referral, and Education) and how it helps moms with peer support
  • Celeste’s work with her Northwest Indiana Center for Maternal Wellness
  • The difficult task of getting people connected to the resources they need


Childbirth Melodies

Facebook: Childbirth Melodies

Sep 16, 2019
159: "The Bridesmaid's Daughter"

Today’s show is an interesting look into how postpartum issues were dealt with, or not dealt with, in the past. We are looking from the perspective of a daughter who has been on a quest to discover the truth about her birth, her unusual childhood, and her mother’s illness.

Nyna Giles is the author of The Bridesmaid’s Daughter, a deeply personal memoir about family, mental health, and revisiting the past. We’ll hear her perspective about growing up with a mother who had mental illness, and how she now knows that her mother had untreated postpartum psychosis. Back then, there was not much knowledge or support for mothers going through any perinatal crisis. We get to hear from Nyna’s perspective what it was like to grow up in that environment and what she reflected on as an adult that she shares through writing The Bridesmaid’s Daughter. Nyna is the youngest daughter of Carolyn Scott Reybold, a Ford model best known as one of Grace Kelly’s bridesmaids. Nyna has worked with leading media organizations and is the COO of Giles Communications. She’s an advocate for the mentally ill, traveling the globe to share her story, revealing the challenges brought on by her mother’s untreated mental illness and her own lost childhood and education. Nyna is a board member of NAMI Westchester and serves on the NAMI New York State Legislative Committee. She is also a volunteer with Postpartum Resource Center of NY. She lives in Westchester with her husband and has three children and three stepchildren.

Show Highlights:

  • How the book tells the story of Nyna’s mother’s untreated mental illness
  • A summary of her mother’s glamorous life as a successful model in the 1940’s and 1950’s and best friend to Grace Kelly
  • How her mother married, built a dream house on Long Island, and gave up her career to become a full-time mother to Nyna’s two older sisters
  • How Nyna’s birth was traumatic because she was almost 11 lbs.! Her mother had to have her third C-section and a hysterectomy
  • How Nyna’s father had an affair while she was an infant, and her mother had no family close by and no support
  • Why Nyna had a lack of formal education, no friendships, and was trapped with her mother in a cycle of dysfunction
  • The only diagnosis her mother ever received was paranoid schizophrenia in her 50’s
  • How the change was evident in Nyna’s mom in pictures before and after Nyna’s birth
  • As a child, Nyna never felt connected to or safe with her mom---even though she was with her all the time
  • Nyna’s social anxiety as a teenager, and why she left home at age 14
  • Why mental illness was a topic that no one talked about back then
  • Now Nyna’s father started staying away from home because he didn’t want to deal with his wife and her mental illness
  • How Nyna’s mom gave away all her money and became homeless
  • Why Nyna has to balance and limit the pain she feels from the past
  • Nyna’s transition to motherhood with her three children
  • Why Nyna felt compelled to get her school records
  • What Nyna learned through her discovery in understanding her birth and what really happened to her mother
  • The revelation Nyna learned about the sexual abuse of her mother by her stepfather
  • How we can each help with mental health by engaging in real conversations

Resources Mentioned:

Find out more about the book and Nyna:  The Bridesmaid's Daughter

Facebook: Nyna Giles Author

Twitter: Nyna Giles

Instagram: Nyna Giles Author

Sep 02, 2019
158: Jen's Story through Postpartum Depression, Postpartum Anxiety, and Rage

One aspect of postpartum depression and anxiety that doesn’t get much attention is the rage that comes along with these issues. People who experience this rage can feel overwhelmed and confused, and it can be a scary scenario. Today’s guest shares her story of how she came through postpartum depression, anxiety, and rage, and how she uses her healing process to help other moms today.

Jen Gaskell is a quality professional who works full-time outside the home. She and her husband live near Milwaukee with their two daughters, ages 8 and 11. Jen used her writing and her blog to help navigate her journey through postpartum depression and anxiety. She was a former co-producer of Listen To Your Mother Milwaukee, where she was part of the inaugural Milwaukee cast telling her story of PPD. Jen has written for Postpartum Progress and was a member of their editorial team for three years. Jen was a Climb Out of the Darkness team leader for Milwaukee for four years. She helps lead a Facebook group of local moms who’ve been through postpartum mood disorders and recently became a PSI helpline volunteer.

Show Highlights:

  • How Jen struggled with postpartum depression and anxiety following the birth of her youngest child
  • When she didn’t know who or where to turn to, she turned to Google to research her symptoms
  • How she knew she needed to see someone but was afraid of having her kids taken away
  • How Jen found a therapist and was able to get help quickly
  • The signs in the beginning that told Jen that something was wrong
  • The pressure Jen put on herself because of gestational diabetes and the details of managing the risks
  • How her anxiety turned to irritability during her pregnancy and then spiraled into rage in the postpartum
  • The feelings of irritability and rage that Jen noticed
  • The key indicators that something was wrong
  • How Jen learned about her triggers and when to take a break
  • The guilt Jen felt for needing a break from her kids
  • The internal pressure to be “on top of things” all the time
  • How Jen learned to cope, especially journaling and learning to give herself grace
  • How hard struggling moms work not to let others know the truth of how they feel
  • How Jen became comfortable in sharing her story to help others
  • The importance of normalizing the therapy process and the steps to get better
  • Jen’s hopeful message to other moms: “It’s not you. Those negative thoughts are not who you are. There is so much support available, so reach out. This is a common condition, and it’s treatable. It won’t be like this forever.”


Tranquila Mama

Twitter and Instagram: @jenrenpody

Facebook: Tranquila Mama Blog

Listen To Your Mother on YouTube

Aug 19, 2019
157: Postpartum Psychosis, Changing the Law, Advocating for Women

Today’s show is a fascinating discussion about the law and postpartum psychosis. My guests helped usher a new law through the Illinois legislature, and the bill became law in January 2018. It’s the first criminal law in the nation to recognize the effects of postpartum depression and postpartum psychosis, so we’re digging into what it took to get the legislation passed and what steps you can take to get the law changed in your state.

Dr. Susan Feingold is a licensed clinical psychologist, perinatal legal advocate, and author. She’s a member of the President’s Advisory Council and Postpartum Psychosis Task Force for Postpartum Support International. Susan wrote Happy Endings, New Beginnings: Navigating Postpartum Disorders, and has specialized for over 26 years in women’s mental health issues related to reproduction. She’s an advocate and expert witness involved in legislative efforts for women with postpartum depression on the state and national level and served as the President of the Board of Trustees for Depression After Delivery, Inc. Along with Barry Lewis, Susan won the 2018 Maternal Mental Health Innovation Award in Policy and Advocacy; she also won the 2016 Distinguished Alumni Award for her work in perinatal issues and women’s mental health.

Barry Lewis is a litigation attorney with over 44 years in the private practice of law, primarily in the area of criminal law. He’s the past chair of the Chicago Bar Association Lawyer Referral Committee, winner of an award from Chicago Volunteer Legal Services, and has been a continuing legal education lecturer. His most recent published work was in The Champion, the magazine of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, and was titled A New Model of Law Offers Hope: Postpartum Disorders and the Law. Barry and Susan have a book coming in January 2020: Advocating for Women with Mental Illness: Changing the Law and Transforming the National Climate. The book covers why the law needs to be changed and the steps we can take to make it happen!

Show Highlights:

  • Why Susan and Barry are busy working on their new book due out in January
  • One purpose of the book is to motivate others to help change laws in their states
  • How a small group of people was able to make a change in the Illinois law
  • How the change process began with two incarcerated women in Illinois who were serving 30-year and 33-year prison sentences
  • How the new law recognizes postpartum depression and postpartum psychosis as mitigating factors in sentencing when women commit crimes while suffering
  • The long process in getting legislation passed
  • The typical charges in infanticide or postpartum psychosis/depression cases and the shortcomings of the law in dealing with them
  • The difficulty for defense attorneys in making an insanity plea
  • The arbitrary aspect of sentencing from state to state and case to case because there are not sufficient laws
  • The magnitude of women who could be supported and helped with new, sweeping legislation
  • The steps that need to be taken in treatment and sentencing for incarcerated women suffering from postpartum depression/psychosis
  • Why these women benefit from being declared unfit for trial
  • What people can do to start the change process in other states:
    • Find the legislation schedule
    • Look for a sponsor in the House or Senate
    • Take an advocate training session
  • How infanticide laws differ in England, Scotland, and Wales
  • The important first step: eliminate mandatory minimum sentences
  • Why unique conditions call for unique laws
  • How the new Illinois law has opened the door for other legislation
  • The development model to follow in dealing with these issues inhumane ways:
    • Identify the problem
    • Write the law clearly
    • Document the need for new laws
    • Attract a sponsor
    • Convince legislators to act
  • Examples of appropriate sentencing


Websites:  Dr. Susan Feingold   and   Barry Lewis Law

Email:  and

Aug 05, 2019
156: Bedrest and Our Mama Village with Jessica Vanderwier

If you’ve ever had to be on bed rest during pregnancy, then you know it’s not as simple as it sounds. It takes intention to get through it with your mental health intact. Today’s guest is an expert on bed rest, so she’s here to share how this experience impacted her, along with her best advice about how we can better support moms on bed rest.

Jessica Vanderwier is a registered psychotherapist from Guelph, Ontario, who is passionate about supporting families. She is known online for Our Mama Village, a platform where she shares daily pieces of encouragement and support for moms and families. Jessica started this page after she went through a difficult transition into motherhood, and saw the need for a supportive community that moms would access anytime they needed. In her therapy work, Jessica supports families from preconception to working with children with mental health concerns. In her private life, Jessica loves her role as a mom and wife and spends her time with her husband and two-year-old daughter.

Show Highlights:

  • Jessica’s pregnancy: started normally, even though she was still working 40-50 hours/week
  • At 20 weeks, cramping began, and she felt terrible after overdoing it planning a Christmas party, so she headed to the hospital to get checked
  • The first clue that something serious was wrong at the hospital was the way the nurses kept repeating internal exams and ultrasounds--with no explanation why
  • The nurse insisted that Jessica get in a wheelchair, so panic set in, with still no reason for the concern
  • The diagnosis was incompetent cervix, preterm labor, and early dilation; the on-call Ob said the next step was bed rest to take the pressure off her cervix
  • Jessica’s instructions were to be on the couch or in bed with her feet up all day, only getting up for brief bathroom breaks
  • Why it was a difficult mental adjustment to have no work and no purpose other than to rest all-day
  • How Jessica tried to keep a schedule each day in moving from bed to the couch, reading, books, and even taking an online course
  • When she reached 34 weeks, her restrictions became a little more flexible; she was allowed to do dishes and ride in the car with her husband
  • Her full-term birth was an answer to prayer, but then she entered a postpartum time of anxiety
  • How she navigated life after bed rest
  • How she felt like those who had helped her during the bed rest were burned out, so she didn’t ask for postpartum help
  • At four months postpartum, Jessica decided to ask for help
  • The frustration when the doctor discounts your postpartum feelings of anxiety and depression
  • How this frustration fuels Jessica’s work today with moms
  • How she got sleep, help with childcare, and therapy to feel better
  • How Jessica looked for ways to help other moms
  • Our Mama Village began as a Facebook page where moms could go for hope and encouragement and know they aren’t alone
  • Why Our Mama Village has grown because the need is great and the message needs to get out to moms
  • Jessica’s advice to others on bed rest:
    • Be gentle with yourself
    • Find something that gives purpose and meaning to each ay
    • Find ways to talk and connect with your baby
    • Schedule each day so they don’t roll along indefinitely
    • Have something each week to look forward to
    • Seek professional support, even if it’s online therapy
  • Jessica’s online course (coming soon) with effective tools for dealing with anxiety and simple strategies to help moms enjoy motherhood


Our Mama Village

Instagram: Our Mama Village

Facebook: Our Mama Village

Jul 22, 2019
155: Supporting Muslim New Mothers

Dealing with perinatal mental health issues is a difficult enough task, but the problem is compounded for Muslim women living in the US. My guest today helps us understand the issues and how we can best support these moms.

Dr. Venus Mahmoodi specializes in trauma and reproductive mental health. More specifically, in today’s show, she’ll tell us about perinatal mental health for Muslim women, including the rates of depression for the Muslim community in the US, what makes them particularly vulnerable to perinatal mood and anxiety disorders, and how we can support Muslim women in a culturally competent way. Dr. Mahmoodi completed her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at Palo Alto University in California, with an emphasis on women’s neuroscience and health through collaboration with Stanford University. Her clinical training included working with refugees and torture survivors, veterans, and perinatal women in a specialized, intensive outpatient program. Her dissertation focused on the perinatal experience of Muslim women living in the US, including the protective aspects of Islamic practice during and after pregnancy against depressive symptoms. Dr. Mahmoodi completed specialized training through Postpartum Support International, and advanced specialized training in grief/loss and distress related to infertility at the Seleni Institute in NY. She now cares for individuals and couples at the Seleni Institute, which focuses on perinatal mental health as well as the Haleel Center, which focuses on the mental well-being of Muslims.

Show Highlights:

  • Why the percentages of perinatal mood and anxiety disorders increase for women of color, including Muslim women (up to 28%), but there are lower levels of support, services, and resources
  • How culture and religion play huge roles in the Muslim population
  • The unique challenges for Muslim women, including issues with their country of origin, because their practices will differ from those in other countries
  • The far-reaching effects of Islam in countries around the world, with Indonesia and South Asia having the largest numbers
  • The misconceptions that Muslims only come from Middle Eastern countries
  • How the two sects of Muslims differ in how their religion is practiced and expectations for pregnancy and postpartum
  • Societal pressure and family pressure within the Muslim community
  • How family traditions in pregnancy and postpartum can lead to stress and anxiety for moms
  • Religious practice and prayer restrictions in the Muslim community
  • Other coping strategies that Muslim women can use when they are restricted from prayers
  • Feelings of inadequacy for the Muslim mother
  • How The Haleel Center finds ways to incorporate religious thought and women’s expectations
  • Vulnerabilities for Muslim women in gender roles and stigmas for patriarchal societies
  • Strengths for Muslim women in that religion protects them against mental illness, helps them cope with and manage stress, and gives them a sense of connection to God
  • How we can support Muslim women in culturally competent ways by being curious and avoiding assumptions

Join our Patreon today and support this Podcast: Patreon: Mom And Mind

Our listeners get a 10% discount on Ritual Vitamins for your first three months! Ritual Mom And Mind


Counseling Muslims: Handbook of Mental Health Issues and Interventions Edited by Sameera Ahmed and Mona M. Amer

Jul 08, 2019
154: "Scared To Be A Grandma"

Everyone eagerly anticipates becoming a grandparent, right? Think again. There are various reasons why you might be apprehensive about achieving this milestone in life. The truth is that it’s not socially acceptable to admit these feelings. People may shrink away in horror if you dare to confess being hesitant about what you are supposed to embrace with unbridled joy. In today’s show, we are diving deeper into this hush-hush topic.

Dr. Shoshana Bennett was the very first guest on the podcast for Episodes 1 & 2. She very graciously came on when I was new at this, and she tolerated my fumbling around and my poor sound quality, too! I’m so grateful to have her back as the first guest to kick off the 3rd year of the Mom & Mind podcast. This time, she’s bringing the perspective of being a new grandmother with her own history of postpartum mental health challenges. This is such a necessary conversation, especially as the field of perinatal mental health grows, and we are recognizing and treating the conditions more. As those mothers develop into grandmothers, this will be something to consider for that time of life.

Affectionately known as “Dr. Shosh,” she educates, engages, and empowers her audiences while discussing serious and often uncomfortable topics using humor, the latest research, solution-based protocols, and firsthand knowledge she gleaned after experiencing life-threatening postpartum depression. After two life-threatening bouts of postpartum illness, Dr. Shosh helped pioneer the field of maternal mental health. She founded Postpartum Assistance for Mothers in 1987, became president of California’s state organization, Postpartum Health Alliance, and then served as president of Postpartum Support International. She is the author of Children of the Depressed, Postpartum Depression for Dummies, Pregnant on Prozac, and is the co-author of Beyond the Blues: Understanding and Treating Prenatal and Postpartum Depression & Anxiety. She is an executive producer of the documentary, Dark Side of the Full Moon, and co-founded the Postpartum Action Institute. To date, Dr. Shosh has helped over 20,000 women around the world recover through private consultations, teleclasses, and support groups. At the time of this interview, Dr. Shosh wasn’t a grandmother yet but became one on June 5. In spite of anxiety and scary thoughts, she’s been able to enjoy her grandson and watch her daughter have a totally different postpartum experience than she did.

Show Highlights:

  • Shosh reads her recent article, “Scared to be a Grandma”
  • What she heard when she submitted this article to various publications
  • How Dr. Shosh is breaking ground in the field of reluctant grandparenting, just as she did with perinatal mental health back in the 1990s
  • The difficulty in understanding that a grandmother may be apprehensive
  • The fascinating feelings in the grandparent experience
  • Why Dr. Shosh has been getting therapy support in preparing for her grandchild
  • Embracing the whole journey to grandparenthood
  • Finding ourselves and identifying what needs to unfold to deal with our feelings
  • The importance of starting the conversation and being honest without judgment
  • Maintaining the connection between parents and new grandparents
  • Shosh wants to hear your comments, questions, and thoughts! See her contact info below!


Dr. Shosh


Dr. Shosh’s books:

Children of the Depressed

Postpartum Depression for Dummies

Pregnant on Prozac

and Beyond the Blues

Jun 24, 2019
Bonus Episode: 3 Years of Mom & Mind

Today’s show is a bonus episode as we celebrate our 3rd anniversary! It’s been an adventure and a learning process along the way. I’ll admit that I had no clue what I was doing when we started, or what was involved in doing a podcast, but I knew we needed to get information and resources out there to moms and families. So now, after 152 episodes, I’m proud of how far we’ve come on the journey---and we’ll keep going to get the word out to even more moms and families in the future!

Show Highlights:

  • The incredible details of the podcast’s reach: we’ve had 240,000 downloads in over 75 countries!
  • The facts that show the need: 20% of new parents will experience perinatal mood and anxiety disorders, so we still have a lot of work to do
  • How I got started without knowing anything about podcasting
  • The rewarding feeling from the feedback, knowing the show has helped listeners
  • The benefit in sitting and sharing with each other
  • The intensity of our heavy topics and episodes
  • Why I don’t want anyone to feel alone in this struggle
  • The expenses involved to keep the show going, along with our new fundraising efforts
  • Information about the new Monthly Mom and Mind Collaborative


Patreon for Mom & Mind Podcast

Jun 17, 2019
152: Body Image in Pregnancy and Postpartum

I first heard today’s guest when she appeared on Rebecca Scritchfield’s Body Kindness podcast, and I couldn’t wait to get her on the show! We’re talking about body image in the perinatal period and why we should be talking more about it. We’ll discuss her research, the roles of self-compassion and mindfulness, and some wonderfully helpful resources.

Dr. Jennifer WEbb is an associate professor in the Department of Psychological Science and a core member of the Health Psychology Ph.D. program clinical faculty at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. She received her baccalaureate degree in Cognitive Neuroscience from Harvard, went on to complete her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychologist at the University of Southern California, and did her postdoctoral fellowship training in Clinical Health Psychology at Duke Integrative Medicine. Her research program is informed in culturally and body diverse groups. Her particular emphasis involves the enhancing of the integration, dissemination, and accessibility of evidence-based, mind-body approaches to strengthen embodied self-regulation, positive body image, and wellbeing among women during the developmental transitions of young adulthood, pregnancy, and the postpartum.

Show Highlights:

  • How researchers are playing “catch up” in the field of body image and how it’s affected by mood and anxiety during milestone periods
  • How negative body image 3 months postpartum and during pregnancy can increase the chances and severity of depressive symptoms later on
  • The definition of body image: how we think and feel about our bodies, how they move, and how they function
  • The impact of sociocultural pressures and the media and social media messages that we get during pregnancy and postpartum times
  • Western notions of what pregnancy and postpartum body should look like: a narrow portrayal, thin ideal, and a constrained approach
  • Why we need more cross-cultural research across diverse groups of women
  • Obsessiveness around body image can even come from well-meaning healthcare providers
  • The concepts of body surveillance and disordered eating
  • The importance and impact of conversations with healthcare providers, which offer a huge opportunity to help with the reframing process
  • A “health at every size” perspective and non-dieting, weight-neutral understanding
  • Fighting against the “get your body back” messages that our society gives women during the postpartum
  • How researchers define the elements of positive body image:
    • Appreciating and accepting the body as it is
    • Respecting the body through active self-care
    • Protecting the body from negative messages
  • What it means to show acceptance to ourselves and our bodies as we go through changes
  • Lisa Rubin’s research on women during pregnancy and how appreciation for our bodies can help during pregnancy and postpartum and become a lifestyle commitment
  • How mind-body practices can help
  • How Jennifer’s research shows that mindful self-care can lower depression rates in the postpartum
  • Other ways to support women: intervention work, collaboration, guided self-help, and a focus on wellbeing and not diet culture


Body Kindness by Rebecca Scritchfield

Breathe, Mama, Breathe by Shonda Moralis

Mindful Motherhood by Cassandra Vieten

Books by Dr. Marjit I. Berman

Expecting Mindfully by Sharon Salzberg, Sherryl H. Goodman, and Sona Dimidjian

Body Confident Mums`

Jun 10, 2019
151: We Are In This Together

As we approach the 3rd anniversary of the podcast in June, I’ve been doing lots of reflection about the journey we’ve taken and what we’ve accomplished. Your feedback has been vital in letting me know that the show has a positive impact and is meaningful to many people. The underlying message in everything we do is that no one is alone on their parenthood journey---and that message will continue.

Show Highlights:

  • How the podcast was born out of my suffering and healing process with postpartum depression, anxiety, and OCD
  • The reality: no one is immune from these postpartum problems---even a therapist like me
  • Why normalizing postpartum mental health issues is important for every mom and dad
  • How depression and anxiety lie to us in sneaky ways
  • How you’ll try to bargain with yourself, convince yourself that nothing is wrong, and blame other stressors in your life
  • Why depression screening questionnaires don't’ always work, because we often refuse to come to terms with our condition
  • How a connection to others with the same experience gives relief and validation
  • How the healing process occurs over time
  • How therapy, self-care, and connection to others can bring healing
  • How I can look back now and see the risk factors that I overlooked
  • What I would have done differently to prioritize my sleep
  • The importance of prevention information to help prepare and educate new parents
  • What’s coming up in June for the show: a slight change in format


Email us:   I’d love to hear from you!

May 27, 2019
150: Postpartum Psychosis and the Law

Postpartum psychosis is a sensitive topic that we’ve talked about on the show, but today we are taking a deep dive into the legal ramifications of the journey for a mother. The more we understand, the better foundation we have for advocacy.

George Parnham is a soft-spoken attorney who once trained for the priesthood, and was thrust into the national spotlight through representing such high-profile clients as Andrea Yates and Clara Harris. Parnham has practiced law for 43 years in Houston, Texas, specializing in criminal defense. He has become an expert on the defense of individuals with mental illness and a passionate advocate for legal reform of their treatment in the criminal justice system. Parnham is called upon frequently by local and national news media, as well as state bar organizations, to render an opinion on mental health. George has an unmistakable passion and concern for these mothers and their families.

Show Highlights:

  • How George was drawn into the postpartum psychosis field with the Andrea Yates case
  • How “murder” in the mother-child relationship differs from any and every other scenario and must be treated differently by an attorney
  • Why some lawyers in these cases might be hesitant to reach out to experts
  • Mental illness is the underlying cause of the legal and moral wrongs committed by these mothers (this is the crux of what the defense attorney has to explain to the jury)
  • Why the mother’s history, even back in early childhood, can be causal
  • What a defense attorney has to accomplish in the trial:
    • Put the jury in the eyes of the mom on trial
    • Convey all aspects of the circumstances to the jury
    • Counterbalance what has been disclosed by law enforcement to the public
  • A glimpse into the mental state of a mom after a postpartum psychosis incident
  • The best case outcome for a postpartum psychosis case
  • What happens if the defendant pleads insanity and the jury accepts that plea
  • The tedious legal steps that a defense attorney has to take
  • The status of Andrea Yates and her treatment today


Email George:

Find George and his practice:  Parnham And Associates

May 20, 2019
149: Perinatal Women with Chronic Medical Condition

Struggling to conceive, enduring a pregnancy, giving birth, and caring for a new baby are all parts of a challenging process. Inevitably there are hiccups along the way for almost every mom, but living with a chronic illness makes things even more difficult in the process of motherhood. My guest is here to discuss the unique dynamics and challenges a mother might face and some common misconceptions we may not understand.

Jenna Daly is a clinical social worker with certifications in Perinatal Mental Health, and she works in private practice in southern Maine. She primarily works in perinatal and parental mental health, as well as perinatal loss and grief. Her interest in perinatal and parental mental health was fostered by her work as an oncology social worker at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, known for its cognitive-existential and motivational approaches. She also promotes articles and other information regarding perinatal mental health and all aspects of parenting.

Show Highlights:

  • How a medical condition impacts perinatal mental health for moms who may have already struggled
  • How a mom with chronic illness may already have a medical team in place and have had to advocate for herself
  • For these women, their choices are already limited, and their power is taken away, which can lead to increased stress
  • One concern around advocacy for your medication during pregnancy is whether it’s safe for the fetus
  • Why some women report feeling adrift after the baby’s arrival
  • The mindset differences between promotion and prevention
  • Don’t let yourself be pushed into positivity, but own your decisions
  • Identity shifts in a system that overmedicalizes you
  • The burden of managing an illness AND a pregnancy
  • The likelihood of anxiety and depression is higher for the chronically ill
  • The concern of a genetic condition being transferred to baby
  • Standout strengths: the ability to reframe and find meaning with optimism and hope
  • Diabetes and gestational diabetes as examples
  • How we can better support those with a medical condition
  • Where our personal bias and misconceptions come into play
  • How it’s hard to know what the experience is like
  • When the postpartum is not what you thought it would be
  • Hopeful messages: how the internet has helped people build community and normalize the experience


Jenna Daly LCSW

Facebook: Grounded Parent

May 13, 2019
148: Maternal Mental Health of Asian Indian Mothers

We are taking a closer look at the cultural aspects of maternal mental health for Asian Indian mothers. There are barriers to finding and receiving mental health care that bear similarites to many Asian cultures. We also hear how culture impacts the motherhood experience. How can we best support them and to seek the help that’s available to them? We’re covering these topics and more in today’s show.

Dr. Deepika Goyal is a Professor of Nursing at San Jose State University and a family nurse practitioner who is passionate about maternal mental health, specifically for women of Asian Indian descent. Dr. Goyal’s research adds to the postpartum mental health narrative regarding Asian American women’s experiences, mental health help-seeking behavior, and preferred management of postpartum depression. Her research findings provide clinicians with the information they need to provide culturally-informed care to promote optimal maternal-child well-being outcomes.

Show Highlights:

  • Goyal’s research from 2001-2002 on postpartum depression, regarding sleep disturbances, infant temperament, marital satisfaction, and social support---all with American women of Indian descent
  • More than half of the women who responded to Deepika’s survey said they had experienced depressive symptoms
  • Mental illness and depressive symptoms are very stigmatized in Asian cultures
  • The range of symptoms are anxiety, “baby blues,” postpartum depression, and postpartum psychosis; there are more mainstream policies and awareness now, but the changes haven’t occurred as quickly in Asian cultures
  • Asian women have a fear of someone in their family finding out, bringing shame to the family, and being seen as a weak woman----if they report postpartum depressive symptoms
  • The most concerning piece Deepika found was that the women wouldn’t seek help until it was a last resort, and they are very much against medications to help their symptoms
  • Why mental health care is seen as a personal failure
  • Why women are beginning to be more open in seeking help, especially those who have been in the US longer
  • The importance of at least 6 hours of uninterrupted sleep for a new mom, and the impact on mental health
  • Some of the postpartum cultural practices of Asian American women:
    • A female relative comes to stay with the new family for 3-4 months
    • 30-40 days of rest at home after birth, with no household duties or leaving the house
    • Herbs are used that improve breast milk production and healing, in addition to special foods rich in fats and healing properties
  • The importance of equipping women DURING pregnancy with information about symptoms and how to know when to seek help when symptoms become more severe
  • Similarities in cultural practices for women from India, China, Korea, and Vietnam
  • What we can do to best support Asian American women in the postpartum
  • How a therapist can understand and best offer help to these women
  • How mom’s health can benefit the baby’s health, and mother-baby bond, and the child’s cognitive and language development
  • What Deepika wants to do in the future with non-pharmacologic interventions, especially in the area of sleep


Postpartum Support International

Deepika Goyal

Selected Works of Dr. Goyal can be found HERE

*****Today's podcast is brought to you by Audible - get a FREE audiobook download and 30 days free trial at

May 06, 2019
147: Taboo Postpartum Truths - When Expectations Don't Meet Reality

We’ve talked a lot on the show about postpartum depression, but there’s another condition that new moms experience that carries much shame, and no one talks about it. It’s called postpartum regret, and it’s that feeling of dissatisfaction and unhappiness with the demands of motherhood and the changes that come with this life transition. We’re talking about how to identify this condition and what to do to pull yourself through it.

Marissa Zwetow is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who specializes in prenatal and postpartum counseling. Marissa became passionate about helping mothers prepare and adjust to a new baby after experiencing postpartum depression. She understands what it takes to be on a healing journey to find acceptance, meaning, and happiness in the role of motherhood.

Show Highlights:

  • Marissa’s personal journey as she struggled with the transition into motherhood and knew she needed help
  • How she identified postpartum regret as the feeling of regret at becoming a mother, but no one was talking about it
  • How the shame, embarrassment, struggle, and disappointment can lead to postpartum depression
  • Why Marissa wanted validation for herself and other moms who hated being a mom and were saying, “I don’t like this”
  • How she went through an identity crisis in becoming a mom
  • A look at Marissa’s 12 Taboo Postpartum Truths:
    • Lack of bond with the baby during the “golden hour”
    • A baby that’s not easily soothed
    • Breastfeeding is not always wonderful
    • A mother may experience grief for her past life
  • Why Marissa wishes she would have sought help and taken antidepressants sooner
  • Solutions to postpartum regret:
    • Find your tribe and know that you’re not alone
    • Get help any way you can
    • Redefine what being a mother is to YOU
  • Why moms need permission to figure out how they can best show up in parenting that works for them



Find Marissa on Facebook

Find Marissa on Instagram: @postpartumhappiness

Marissa’s books: Postpartum Happiness: What to do when you love the kids but hate the job

12 Taboo Postpartum Truths: What you may need to know, but probably haven’t been told

Apr 29, 2019
146: When You Don't Know That You Have Postpartum Depression

The pressure that new moms feel is tremendous. Sometimes they are working so hard to just get through the day that they don't notice (or don't want to notice) how bad they really feel. They are working so hard to manage everything that they might not notice what's going on for themselves. Such was the postpartum experience of today’s guest, Darcy Sauers. She suffered for a long time without realizing that what she felt was a common experience for most new moms. This is all too common and I know that a lot of us experienced this too.  Let’s jump into this conversation about how we can offer better support for new moms!

Darcy Sauers is The Doula Darcy, a postpartum doula offering in-home postpartum doula services to the moms in her local area. She also provides on-demand postpartum doula support for new moms everywhere so moms can get they help they need---when they need it. Darcy co-hosts the Your Birth, Your Worth podcast. She had three babies in four years, and her experiences fueled her decision to quit her advertising job and certify as a postpartum doula so she could help other women have a better experience than she did.

Show Highlights:

  • Darcy’s experience with her first pregnancy and postpartum---over 15 years ago
  • How she was terrified to take her baby home from the hospital
  • The first weeks of motherhood, with difficulties, discomfort, and “going through the motions”
  • What she thought about postpartum depression, and why she COULD NOT have it
  • A year later, she found herself pregnant again
  • How she chalked her feelings up to sleep deprivation or too much sugar
  • For her 3rd pregnancy, she thought things would be better since she planned it out and took better care of herself
  • How she left her advertising career and pursued being a doula because of her obsession
  • How a postpartum doula would’ve changed everything for Darcy
  • The mixture of relief and anger at herself for not recognizing the signs of postpartum depression
  • How she realized she was constantly trying to convince herself that she was a good mom
  • How she constantly fantasized about running away
  • The involuntary, intrusive thoughts that horrified her
  • How getting a babysitter a few hours a week would have made a huge difference
  • The lies we tell ourselves about what it means to be a “good mom”
  • How an antidepressant helped her feel better
  • How she realized what she went through was common
  • Pressures that new moms feel, along with the isolation of not having a “tribe” to help
  • How she couldn’t honestly admit her thoughts to herself
  • Why Darcy wants people to become educated about the real signs of postpartum depression
  • Darcy’s transformation to being a doula and how she helps:
    • Supports with hands-on help for new moms
    • Talks listens, and answers questions
    • Offers on-demand support videos to cover common issues and topics
  • The mental health stigma that new moms feel, and how it prevents moms from getting the help they need
  • Darcy’s podcast, Your Birth, Your Worth---and how it offers more support for new moms


Find Darcy: Facebook The Doula Darcy

Instagram: The Doula Darcy

The Doula darcy

Your Birth Your Worth Podcast 

Apr 22, 2019
145: Angelina Spicer: Postpartum Depression & Comedy Special Documentary

Postpartum depression---and comedy. You might be surprised that anyone can join the two, but my guest today has a passion for women who are suffering as she did, and she hopes to raise awareness and erase the stigma around postpartum depression (PPD). Because of what she has been through, she is committed to using her talents to help change the outcomes for others.

Angelina Spicer is a comedian, actress, social media influencer, wife, and mother. A cum laude graduate of Howard University, Angelina has smartly delved deep for comedy that’s authentic, transparent, and relatable. By using her social media platform, she became an outspoken advocate for maternal mental health after she was admitted to a psychiatric facility for treatment of PPD. It was then that her journey to remove the stigma of the shame and guilt associated with PPD began. She became the 2018 Spokeswoman for The Blue Dot Project, lobbied on Capitol Hill, helped pass three new pieces of legislation for new moms in California, and has been featured in USA Today and Essence magazine. She’s now channeling her efforts into making a documentary film about her experience with PPD.

Show Highlights:

  • How Angelina became an “accidental activist”
  • After her daughter’s birth, she felt “off” and disconnected from everything she loved, “blindsided by all the curveballs of motherhood”
  • Her breaking point--8 months postpartum--when she was happy to have relief by being admitted to the hospital
  • Why she wants to give other moms the help they need
  • How she decided to do a documentary about her story once she became comfortable with sharing her truth
  • Why transparency is the key to bringing humor to a heavy topic
  • Angelina’s unique, humorous perspective to PPD and motherhood
  • The transformative process after PPD and how “the path reveals itself”
  • The more we open up about PPD, the more others will feel cool about sharing their struggles
  • How we should focus on eliminating the social stigma of PPD so mothers will feel comfortable talking to their doctors
  • How Angelina is “all in” with advocacy since she “came out of the PPD closet” on social media
  • Angelina’s upcoming work in bringing more awareness to PPD
  • The Kickstarter to help finish production on her documentary---and how you can help!


Find out more about Angelina and her Kickstarter campaign: Angelina Spicer

Find Angelina on Instagram and Twitter


This episode is supported by Ritual Prenatal and Ritual Essential for Women. 
Mom & Mind listeners get 10% off during your first three months!
Visit to start your ritual today. Use code MOMANDMIND
Apr 15, 2019
144: Not Carol: Postpartum Psychosis Documentary

Today’s show takes a look at the difficult topics of postpartum psychosis and infanticide through the eyes of the filmmakers of the documentary, Not Carol. The film covers the story of Carol Coronado, who was convicted of the 2014 murders of her three young daughters in CA while highlighting the desperate need for education and services for mothers and fathers in recognizing and treating postpartum psychosis. Join us for a conversation with the producers and directors of Not Carol, Eamon Harrington and Veronica Brady.

Eamon Harrington has co-owned Planet Grande Pictures since forming the company in 1993 with John Watkin. During that time, he has produced and directed hundreds of hours for all the major broadcast and cable outlets, winning seven Emmys along the way. Other industry honors include a Peabody Award and a DuPont Columbia Baton. Before forming Planet Grande, Eamon spent three years as Head of Production at VH1 in New York. Eamon has directed dozens of documentaries and unscripted series. His Emmy award-winning documentaries include Grandpa, Do You Know Who I Am? (with Maria Shriver for HBO), Shades of a Single Protein (with Oprah Winfrey for ABC), Positive: A Journey into AIDS (ABC), and In Full Effect (FOX). Eamon is a hands-on producer and director, and frequently shoots many of his projects. That same hands-on approach brings him into the editing room on nearly every project.


Veronica Brady is a director, producer, and archivist. She has a varied career in theatre, TV, and film, which includes directing over 100 plays, helming three theatre companies as Artistic Director, and working on many TV shows, numerous documentaries, and feature film productions. Veronica has received an Emmy, multiple TV awards, and recognition in Ovation and LA Weekly for her theatre work. Her most recent film work as archival producer includes the documentaries: Tiny Shoulders: Rethinking Barbie (a Hulu documentary), Love 99 (Napa Valley Film Festival), Not Carol, Johnny Strange: Born to Fly, Ethel (an Emmy-nominated/Television Critic Award-winning documentary produced for HBO), Every Fifteen Minutes (a Telly Award-winning short film), Grandpa, Do You Know Who I Am? (an Emmy-winning and Television Critic Award-winning HBO documentary), and Patrick Dempsey: Racing Le Mans (a 5 episode series produced for Discovery/Velocity).


Show Highlights:

  • How the documentary takes a look at maternal mental illness, specifically postpartum psychosis
  • Not Carol, which follows the story of 30-year-old Carol Coronado, arrested for the murder of her three young daughters, all under 2-½ years old
  • The 4-5 year filmmaking journey looking at postpartum psychosis through the lens of Carol’s case wrapped up in advocacy and information
  • What really happens when psychosis sets in and how little we know and understand about it
  • The importance of populating the film with leading experts on postpartum psychosis and survivors who have lived through it
  • What surprised Eamon and Veronica about the lack of laws for infanticide in the US, meaning these women are tried for 1st-degree murder with no recourse for legal defense, all based on laws dating back more than 150 years
  • How these women are at risk even when they are incarcerated
  • How the title Not Carol came about and fits the story
  • What Eamon and Veronica wished people understood about postpartum psychosis: how to recognize this treatable, temporary illness
  • The lack of substantial help for those left behind after a postpartum psychosis tragedy
  • The double whammy of the illness AND the trauma
  • The numbers: 4 million babies are born in the US yearly; 1 in 5 moms will experience some form of postpartum depression; about 2 in 1000 will have postpartum psychosis; of these with PP psychosis, 4% will commit infanticide, and 5% will commit suicide
  • Why Eamon and Veronica think young women AND young men should see the film, to help them understand that postpartum psychosis is a real thing
  • Why much patience was required in the filmmaking process
  • How Eamon and Veronica secured the trust and approval of individuals and Postpartum Support International to tell the story
  • How Eamon and Veronica have become advocates in Carol’s story and for her family
  • How to have a screening in your area



Film information and the 5-part podcast:

For more information, please see the Planet Grande website:

Postpartum Support International:

Apr 08, 2019
143: NICU Experience for Babies and Parents

We know that a NICU stay makes for a difficult postpartum period, but what are the profound and long-lasting effects from this experience? In today’s show, we’re taking a close look at the experience of parents AND babies who go through a stay in the NICU. My guest brings a wealth of information based on her personal and professional experience.

Dr. Mara Stein is a clinical psychologist in private practice who specializes in the emotional aspects of coping with crisis around pregnancy, parenting and medical crisis, child development, and relationship-based developmentally-supportive care to babies and their families. She’s a Certified EMDR therapist, EMDRIA Approved Consultant, and an EMDRIA Approved Trainer for the Insitute for Creative Mindfulness. She’s certified in other modalities, like Emotion-Focused Family and Couple Therapy, is a Gottman Certified Therapist, and continues to pursue training in Clinical Hypnosis and Ego-State therapies. She brings a wealth of clinical expertise and insight along with all she has learned interviewing families around the world for her two books, her EMDR Basic Trainings, and her advanced practice workshops. All of this is grounded in her personal experience and perinatal journey, which began 25 years ago and took her through infertility, twin pregnancy, prolonged hospital bedrest, the NICU, and nearly 23 years of raising NICU graduates. We’re diving into the babies’ experience in the NICU and the interplay that may occur with their parents.


Show Highlights:

  • How Mara’s specialty came about from her personal journey when she realized that resources were lacking in this area for parents’ emotional needs
  • How she found a worldwide online support group for parents of preemies, which became the foundation of her work
  • How she became passionate about writing and teaching about perinatal trauma
  • Her EMDR work and training over the last 16 years
  • The range of conditions and ages of NICU babies
  • How NICU departments vary around the world in how they operate
  • Factors that interrupt a baby’s natural pattern in traditional NICU, with the environment, lights, sounds, etc.
  • The long-term effects of a NICU stay
  • The sensory mismatch for babies, with sounds, lights, and interruptions
  • How a developmentally-supportive NICU differs from traditional NICU
  • Why moms feel like they need to “stay out of the way”
  • How parent feel disoriented in many ways
  • How overstimulation and stress affect a NICU baby
  • How parents navigate their connection to their baby
  • Why it’s hard to attune to a NICU baby, and a parent’s hesitation may be misinterpreted as lack of attachment
  • The first time Mara felt like her NICU baby’s mother
  • The mental health of parents, and how they can work through and heal
  • Why parents ask, “Who is like me?” and “Where are the others?”
  • Transitions and processes for parents
  • The healing, so parents see themselves as whole human beings
  • Why parents need to see the combination of disarray and competence
  • The necessity of developmentally-supportive help to parents to see their baby as whole
  • The empowering message to parents to nourish them and help them recover and develop
  • Why the post-traumatic moments and grief do NOT invalidate your experiences as a NICU parent



Parenting Your Premature Baby and Child: The Emotional Journey by Deborah L. Davis, Ph.D. and Mara Tesler Stein, Psy.D.

Intensive Parenting: Surviving the Emotional Journey through the NICU by Deborah L. Davis, Ph.D and Mara Tesler Stein, PsyD  The Welcome to Holland Essay

Mar 25, 2019
142: Postpartum Psychosis: After a Tragedy

Today I’m speaking from the mind and heart about some topics that have been at the forefront of my thoughts regarding recent postpartum tragedies in the news and in our community. It’s a devastating reality every time mothers and babies are lost due to postpartum mental health issues--and we’ve got to do more to help. 

Show Highlights:


  • The split that may occur between people who blame postpartum depression or psychosis and people who vilify the mothers who have done something terrible
  • These tragedies highlight the severe lack of information and understanding about postpartum psychosis
  • Why people who aren’t well shouldn’t be tasked to heal themselves alone 
  • How we fail these moms multiple times during a very intense time of transformation in their lives
  • How are these moms and their families getting help and finding community support?
  • Why most of society is uneducated about how bad the postpartum mood disorders can get
  • How our laws treat women through the legal process after a tragedy occurs
  • What these women go through while in jail or a psych unit---do they get the help they need there?
  • Why it’s a delicate balance between healthcare, legal, social services, housing, witnesses, neighbors, first responders, medical teams, hospitals, and more
  • The road to recovery for families is a long process that could have been prevented in the first place
  • Why information and resources need to be available to everyone
  • Why we need to normalize postpartum mental health issues and show the reality, and not just put the “social media spin” on them
  • Why it’s easy to feel hopeless about the situation--and how we are failing these mothers
  • The hard part: the help doesn’t always get to the people who need it most
  • How can we build a better safety net?




Email me with your thoughts:


Get help and information at

Mar 18, 2019
141: Babywearing Benefits for Mental Health

It’s called “baby wearing” or “baby carrying”--- you may have heard of this technique and wondered what it’s all about. It’s a good idea logistically, but the great news is that it supports mental health and overall well-being in parents and caregivers when a new baby comes into the family. We’re finding out more about the ins and outs of baby wearing on today’s show.


Laura Brown is a baby wearing expert. She has been passionate about this topic for over a decade. She’s here to share details about this practice from her perspective, and how she uses her experience to help moms and partners after baby comes home. Since the birth of her first child, Laura has dedicated herself to providing the latest evidence-based information and support to caregivers throughout the birth and postpartum period. She founded one of the largest baby wearing non-profit organizations, helps train other birth and postpartum professionals, counsels manufacturers, and speaks nationally about baby carriers and their use. In addition to being a baby wearing consultant, she is also a full-spectrum doula, child passenger safety technician, lactation educator, and is kangaroo-care certified. I personally used this technique with both of my kiddos, and I saw firsthand the many benefits of baby wearing.


Show Highlights:


  • Baby wearing: the act of carrying your baby on your body with a baby carrier
  • Laura’s work, and how it began 10 years ago with the birth of her first child, when she noticed the benefits to baby, maternal mental health, and the freedom to leave the house with baby
  • How she teaches baby wearing classes, works with other healthcare professionals, and consults with baby carrier manufacturers
  • The importance of teaching caregivers this skill set 
  • How to find a carrier that’s right for you and why most people will need more than one type of carrier
  • Why ONE carrier will not fit your every need and every situation
  • How a baby wearing class, consultant, or expert can help you find the right carrier and the right fit
  • Why baby wearing is important in the postpartum period:
    • Babies need constant attention, so baby wearing can alleviate stress for mom
    • Helps the baby’s muscle development, social development, and brain development
    • Helps bond the baby to their caregiver
  • Why baby wearing is just another tool in a caregiver’s toolbox, shouldn’t be used all day every day, and can be custom-tailored for how you care for your baby
  • How baby wearing helps with anxiety and depression for mom, releasing oxytocin and connecting mom and baby
  • When baby wearing may not be a good idea: when baby has complex health issues or the caregiver has chronic pain
  • Where to get help with baby wearing: most localities have groups or non-profits where you can learn about different carriers and take classes; even some retailers and manufacturers offer help, and YouTube has videos with troubleshooting information about baby carriers
  • The hopeful message about baby wearing: “Keeping baby close to you enables you to do what you need to do in the postpartum period.”




Visit Laura’s website:


Find Laura on Instagram: @mamabirdlosangeles

Mar 11, 2019
140: The Motherhood Center

There’s a new model of care available to moms and new families. The Motherhood Center in NYC hopes to be the prototype for superior support and services for other facilities around the world. Today’s show highlights this center and the important work being done there in perinatal and postpartum support.


Dr. Catherine Birndorf is cofounder and medical director of The Motherhood Center in NYC. It’s the first of its kind as a treatment center for pregnant and new moms who are experiencing anxiety and depression. There aren’t many centers like this one, offering holistic and long-term care. We’re going to hear how The Motherhood Center is providing unique care and how Dr. Birndorf is changing the face of perinatal mental health care.


Dr. Birndorf is the Founding Director of the Payne Whitney Program at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center, where she is an Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Obstetrics and Gynecology. Dr. Birndorf is a board member of Postpartum Support International, a non-profit organization for awareness, prevention, and treatment of mental health issues related to childbearing worldwide. For 10 years, Dr. Birndorf was a regular mental health columnist for Self Magazine, and has appeared on numerous TV programs, including the Today Show, Good Morning America, MSNBC, CBS Evening News, and CNN. Her first book, The Nine Rooms of Happiness, which she co-authored with Lucy Danzinger, was a NY Times bestseller, published in 2010. She has co-authored with Alexandra Sacks, What No One Tells You: A Guide to Your Emotions from Pregnancy to Motherhood, which will be released in April. 


Show HIghlights:


  • How Dr. Birndorf blends her two interests, obstetrics and psychiatry, into what she terms “reproductive psychiatrist,” to help women before, during, and after birth
  • How she got into this field and began teaching it as a subspecialty at Cornell
  • The passion and fire for women’s health
  • Her other endeavors in related fields and services
  • The importance of getting the information out about simple things like medications while pregnant, etc.
  • Parts of the Motherhood Center’s work, like consultation services and frontline provider information
  • How the Center began in NYC in 2014-2015: “a NOT feel like a hospital place”
  • How patients feel like they are being mothered
  • How the Center caters to moderate to severe perinatal or postpartum anxiety and depression
  • The intensive work that expedites recovery
  • How passion and creativity drive the model
  • One of the goals---to replicate the model in other places
  • Part of the next phase: mentoring others
  • How Dr. Birndorf sees her new book as yet another way to help people
  • The book, which covers the ways people classify motherhood and the mental phases of the process that can be a struggle for many
  • How the book covers the challenges in a unique way that no other book has done




Instagram: @themotherhoodcenter

Facebook: @motherhoodnyc

Twitter: @MotherhoodNYC


The Nine Rooms of Happiness by Catherine Birndorf and Lucy Danzinger


What No One Tells You: A Guide to Your Emotions from Pregnancy to Motherhood by Catherine Birndorf and Alexandra Sacks

Mar 04, 2019
139: Transgender and Gender Queer Perinatal Mental Health

Today’s show begins to scratch the surface in bringing more information, knowledge and advocacy to the perinatal period for transgender, gender queer, and gender diverse people. We are discussing pronoun use, the stress and anxiety transgender people may encounter during conception, pregnancy, birth and postpartum and other stressors related to interactions and misunderstandings from their healthcare providers. Thanks to Abbie Rolf, BA for continuing this conversation with us. 

Abbie Rolf is a Master’s level graduate student in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. They are a behavioral health student intern at Metro Inclusive Health in St. Petersburg, FL. Abbie is a member of WPATH, ALGBTIC, and is actively working toward becoming a gender specialist. Abbie’s intersectional identities include being queer. This and other minority identities inform the lens through which they practice. Abbie is sex-positive and kink-aware. Abbie’s areas of interest include gender-inclusive perinatal mental health, grief/loss, trauma, and consensual non-monogamy.

Show Highlights:

  • Think of “transgender” as an inclusive term to include anyone who lives in a way that their gender is incongruent with their sex assigned at birth
  • Under the umbrella of transgender are binary gender, gender queer, non-binary, and agender---”ways pepole can self-identify their nuanced gender experience”
  • Don’t assume a person’s pronoun based on the way they present
  • The best way to find out someone’s pronouns is to introduce yourself and your pronouns and ask how they want to be addressed
  • To be known authentically, it’s important to use the right language to identify ourselves and others
  • Part of bringing awareness to gender issues is to adknowledge that there can be no assumptions based on the way a person presents
  • How to learn more about appropriate pronouns (see the link in Resources)
  • The language we use in the perinatal period: “maternal” and “maternity,” which focus on womanhood and femininity
  • The fundamentals based on research and common knowledge: transgender people have higher rates for anxiety and depression (30-50%) and suicide (40%)
  • Because there is not enough research about transgender people in the perinatal period, we don’t have clear statistics
  • Gender dysphoria, which some transgender people experience, is persistent discomfort with the sex assigned at birth, sex roles, and the gender that’s perceived vs. their experienced gender
  • How hormones and hormone therapy can affect mood, and the potential for mental health conditions
  • Why it’s essential to have support in place when beginning or discontinuing hormone therapy, because everyone has unique experiences
  • Negative experiences with healthcare and insurance companies, when identities are disrespected
  • The value of a supportive medical worker or birth attendant
  • Ways transgender people can accomplish pregnancy with or without fertility treatments
  • Issues with documents and insurance coverage with legal names and legal gender markers
  • How parents are designated on a child’s birth certificate and other options besides “mother” and “father”
  • The microaggressions in misnaming and misgendering people 
  • How transgender people are affected by the constant state of being unseen and unvalidated
  • Unseen stressors in the mental health system and how awareness of gender bias in the postpartum may be a manifestation of gender dysphoria



Abbie’s Professional Facebook Page:

Transgender Perinatal Mental Health for Professionals (closed Facebook group)

National Transgender Discrimination Survey:

Pronoun Options:

Gender Identities Overview:


For Birthing People and Professionals:

Facebook Group: Birthing and Breast or Chestfeeding Trans People and Allies:

Queer Birth Project:

The Feminist Midwife

Feb 25, 2019
138: Highly Sensitive Babies

You’re probably familiar with the term HSP, a designation for a highly sensitive person. You may have heard this trait discussed on some of our previous shows. We know many mothers are HSP’s, but can an infant be a highly sensitive person? Is it even possible? If you’re a highly sensitive person, then this topic may resonate deeply with you, as it does personally for me. Join us for today’s discussion.

Julie Bjelland is an HSP psychotherapist, global HSP consultant, and the author of several books for the sensitive person. Her work has helped thousands of sensitive people around the world. As an HSP herself, and the mother of highly sensitive children, Julie understands the trait on a personal level, and she’s distinguished herself as one of the leaders in the field of high sensitivity education. Her mission is to spread awareness and education of this trait, and to help HSP’s reduce the challenges, so they can access their many gifts. Julie invites you to explore her website, which is full of helpful resources.  

Show Highlights:

  • How proper support in childhood can prevent symptoms of anxiety and depression in adulthood, but lack of support usually means increased symptoms
  • What to look for in an infant (keep in mind that these indicators can show up differently):
    • Advancement in speech and language
    • Highly observant
    • Frequent overstimulation, with crying and meltdowns
    • Sensitive skin and frequent rashes
    • Prone to allergies and food sensitivities
    • Sensitivity to detergents and chemicals
    • Aversion to certain food textures and fabric textures
    • Strong reactions to being wet, dirty, and sticky
    • Preferences of adults with softer energy levels
    • Sleep sensitivities
    • Sensitivity to noise and temperature changes
    • Needing to be held a lot
  • How we create more stress in the way we label HSP behaviors
  • How our sensitivities go down when we are balanced and our needs are met
  • How to support mom and baby if they both have HSP tendencies
  • The HSP trait: it’s innate, affects 20% of the population, is equal in gender distribution, and 70% of HSP’s are introverts
  • Why it’s recommended that HSP’s have 2 hours of alone time each day
  • Changing the culture and helping new moms have “down time”
  • An infant’s mirror neurons when mom is not balanced
  • Recovery times that mom and baby need
  • How the brain perceives anxiety---and how deep breathing can help
  • Difficulties when mom and baby have the HSP trait
  • The roles of sleep, sickness, stress--and how HSP’s are affected
  • What can do to prevent overwhelm and overstimulation
  • How a non-HSP parent can understand an HSP child
  • Why it’s important to work with a good therapist
  • The need for reducing and removing self-judgment
  • The value of finding your tribe and feeling understood



The Empowered Highly Sensitive Person by Julie Bjelland

Brain Training for the Highly Sensitive Person by Julie Bjelland


Email me:

Feb 18, 2019
137: Healthier Birth Outcomes from Black Moms and Babies

Why are birth outcomes for black women in the US so much different than for white women? The statistics are shocking, and we should all be concerned about this disparity. What can be done about it? Today’s show dives deep into the problem and possible solutions.


Alexandra Samuel-Sturgess, LCSW, is passionate about possible solutions to empower black women when it comes to better health care and better birth outcomes. Alex is someone I work with personally, and she’s an awesome advocate and therapist. She’s the founder of Spirited by Truth, a private practice located in Ontario, CA, and she specializes in perinatal mental health. She creates a safe space in her practice for black women to focus on their healing. Alex is an aunt to an angel baby and the sister of a postpartum depression survivor. Spirited by Truth came to fruition due to the overwhelming need to provide holistic pregnancy and postpartum mental health services catered to the needs of black women. Alex is passionate about prenatal and postpartum education and providing culturally responsive treatment for black women seeking mental health services. She is a Postpartum Support International coordinator for San Bernardino county and is a black maternal mental health advocate. At Spirited by Truth, she provides education, community, and support for expecting black mothers to assist in the fight toward healthier birth outcomes for black women and infants.


Show Highlights:


  • Statistics for black birth outcomes in the US: black women are 4X more likely to die in childbirth, 30% of black women experience perinatal mental health crises, and 60% of these don’t receive any treatment or support
  • Reasons why black women don’t receive treatment or support as often as white women
  • The focus on finding solutions
  • Solutions we can address for improvement of the situation:
    • Finding things black women CAN control in the childbirth process
    • Finding healthy ways to manage chronic stress 
    • Eliminating the taboo for black women who seek mental health treatment
  • How black women can be empowered in asking for a black nurse or Ob
  • The need for education in healthier lifestyles, especially on nutrition and exercise
  • Education about the birthing options, like home births and birth centers
  • Alex’s sister’s birth experience
  • Leapfrog ratings of hospitals across the country
  • Why the infant mortality rate is higher, because of misinformation and lack of education about SIDS
  • Simple dangers of crib bedding and stuffed animals that are normalities in black families
  • How we can give current and updated information to empower black women
  • Why black women need to ask for support and learn self-compassion
  • Why black women fall prey to the “Superwoman” syndrome
  • The need for culturally responsive services for black women
  • Alex’s “Spirited Mama Tribe”--the support circle for black women, including workshops, CPR training, and doula/midwife services
  • Why black women need help in managing preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, chronic stress, and hypertension



Find Alex on Instagram and Facebook: @spiritedbytruth

Feb 11, 2019
Episode Interlude: Life Happens!

Things don't always go as planned and sometimes life gets in the way of the best laid plans. So, what do we do? We go with it and jump right back in where we left off!

Find out how life has been happening to me and what I'm doing about it!



Feb 04, 2019
136: Doulas and Birth Trauma Recovery

Many people still may not be clear about the role of a doula in prenatal, birth, and postpartum support. On today’s show, we’re focusing specifically on how a doula can help with trauma for the mother and reduce overall risks during the entire pregnancy and birth process.


Courtney Butts is a Licensed Master Social Worker and Certified BEST Doula in Dallas, TX. After the birth of her son, Courtney knew she wanted to serve in support to families as a doula and childbirth educator. This work has allowed her to merge two passions: working with trauma survivors and her love of all things pregnancy and postpartum. She also provides therapy focused on maternal mental health.


Alexis Edwards is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Certified BEST Doula, and owner of Birth 360, a private practice in Austin, TX, that provides prenatal and postnatal therapy and doula support. She is a survivor of sexual assault and an advocate for healing through birth. Her own traumatic births and journey to motherhood inspired her to become a doula with a holistic, trauma-informed practice that incorporates not only birth and postpartum support, but also recognizes the link between birth and maternal mental health.


These two women came together in January 2018 to co-create a trauma-informed support training for birth and postpartum professionals that they teach across the US. As mental health professionals and birth workers with a background of serving survivors, they bring a unique perspective on how to better support women carrying trauma through the childbearing years.


Show Highlights:


  • The role of a doula in birth and postpartum: a non-medical professional who provides non-judgmental support and information to improve physical, emotional, and mental health
  • How they want to provide information for their clients to be able to speak up with control and empowerment in the birthing process
  • Most doulas are passionate about advocating and educating outside of birthing spaces, all to help moms have better outcomes
  • How doulas help in trauma that may show up in the birthing process
  • How some women navigate past trauma AND new traumas in the birthing space
  • How they look for triggers and teach grounding techniques
  • Balancing the boundary between the doula and therapist roles and how they hold safe space for clients in both roles
  • Having conversations about potential triggers, like certain types of touch
  • The information that Alexis and Courtney want medical professionals to have to bring better outcomes for moms
  • The need for education, like in understanding the maternal mortality rates for black women in the US
  • Supporting moms to be heard and seen, even before the birthing process
  • How doulas support trauma recovery
  • As a doula, being in tune with the client’s needs and understanding their birth plan wishes
  • The Polyvagal Theory---referring to the vagus nerve, the longest in the human body
  • How we interpret and respond to threats: fight, flight, or freeze
  • How the work of medical professionals should come from a trauma-informed lens
  • How Alexis and Courtney deal with clients with trauma and offer support
  • The focus on grounding and finding a safe space
  • How Alexis and Courtney’s training gives tools and techniques that doulas can use
  • How their training helps in specific ways
  • How doulas can improve outcomes: decreases in C-sections, pitocin, and pain relief meds, and an overall increase in vaginal births




Courtney: @courtneybuttsdoula  (Instagram and Facebook)


Alexis: @birth360atx  (Instagram and Facebook)  

Jan 28, 2019
135: Recovering from 4th Degree Tears

Laura Fry is a wife and mother to 3 amazing kids. She is a former health care professional, turned stay at home mom after the birth of her first son. During that birth she suffered a 4th degree perineal tear and in January 2015 created a Facebook support group for others who have also sustained 4th degree tearing in childbirth. The group has grown to 1,200 members from all over the world, representing 6 continents and 33 countries. Laura is now using the knowledge she has gained from that support group to raise awareness of severe tearing and advocate for better care by using social media and speaking at conferences.

Please share your story

How do you think this impacted your mental wellness

Looking back, what do you think you needed at the time. What could have supported you better?

- How can health and mental health care providers do better?

- Hopeful messages for moms and families out there

- Share a bit about your work now.

Facebook support group -

Facebook page -

Instagram - @motherswith4thdegreetears

Twitter - @MothersWith4DTs

Blog -

Jan 21, 2019
134: Chiropractic Care for Babies: Colic, reflux, breastfeeding and more

Pediatric chiropractic care is a healthcare field that most people know nothing about. Most of us don’t fully understand how amazing this level of support can be, even for newborn babies, and how it brings relief and confidence to weary and frazzled parents.


Dr. Sheena Lee is a family chiropractor serving babies, kids, pregnant moms, and growing families. She has extensive pediatric and prenatal training through the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association, and additional training to serve kids with neurodevelopmental challenges. In addition, she’s also a trained birth doula. Dr. Sheena is on a mission to elevate the consciousness of her community about what it means to be truly healthy from the inside out, what it means to make empowered choices, and what it means to feel deeply connected. Why? Because, as a teen, she struggled tremendously and felt disconnected from everyone, including herself, and even felt trapped in her own body. A visit to a chiropractor drastically changed things for Sheena, and she knows she was ultimately reconnected to her body and set free. Things have come full circle for her, as she’s now a chiropractor who is passionately concerned about caring for babies and children so they can thrive from the very beginning of their life, and not experience the same struggles that she did. Dr. Sheena practices at Vibrant Health Family Chiropractic in San Dimas, CA, a space dedicated to serving families so they can shine vibrantly from the inside out.


Show Highlights:


  • How chiropractic care for babies and kids differs greatly from adult chiropractic, and covers immune suppression, growth/development, behavior, and symptoms such as reflux and colic
  • Why these issues come down to stress and how the nervous system reacts
  • For adjustments on babies and kids, only fingertip pressure is used, as the chiropractor still adjusts the spine, but doesn’t “crack” the bones
  • Why special attention should be paid to the upper neck and lower back, because of how the baby was positioned in utero and how they came through the birth canal
  • How Dr. Sheena also uses the Insight Nervous System scan to detect stress in a baby’s body
  • Why Dr. Sheen emphasizes the gentle pressure of the adjustment, with no twisting or pressing
  • Issues that can be addressed include ear infections, bedwetting, ADHD, sensory processing disorders, constipation, growing pains, etc.
  • The youngest patients can be seen in the hospital--immediately after birth!
  • Feeding issues, reflux, and colic are all related because they are connected by the nervous system, and pediatric chiropractic can address all three
  • Why chiropractic care is a great source of relief for everyone, and can restore hope and lessen frustration
  • How the adjustment of the spine can help with various areas of the body--again, because of the connection of the nervous system
  • Why babies have the maximum growth and development of neurons from ages 6 months to 2 years
  • Tips from Dr. Sheena:
    • Trust your gut as a parent
    • Get to the root of the problem early
  • How adjustments, follow-ups, and wellness checks work with Dr. Sheena
  • How parents improve in confidence and feeling hopeful when baby improves
  • The fascinating connection between tongue/lip tie and chiropractic care
  • Symptoms of tongue/lip tie can be poor breastfeeding, colic, reflux, poor weight gain
  • Most parents will see a lactation consultant and a pediatric dentist--when a pediatric chiropractor may have the answer
  • How to find a pediatric chiropractor
  • The specialized training that not all chiropractors have
  • How chiropractic can help with sensory processing disorders, evidenced by colic and sleep issues, reflux and constipation, ear infections and respiratory infections, allergies and eczema, and motor and speech delays
  • How things stack up with worsening symptoms until chiropractic care brings them back into balance
  • Why chiropractic isn’t a one-time fix, but much relief can be found when it’s used to maintain wellness



Resources:   Check out Dr. Sheena’s website and her free webinars


Find her on Instagram and Facebook:  @DrSheenaLee  and  San Dimas Chiropractor   Find a pediatric chiropractor near you

Jan 14, 2019
133: An Egg Donor's Journey Through Perinatal PTSD, Depression and Anxiety

Sometimes traumas occur that aren’t discussed or supported in the ways they should be. It takes some brave soul to forge the path in changing the narrative for those who follow. Today’s show is an important conversation of a personal story of egg donation, what can go wrong, and the emotional trauma that might follow. 

Meghan Coltrane is a Licensed Professional Counselor in perinatal mood and anxiety disorder. Her private practice is in Asheville, NC. She’s here to share her personal experience of being an egg donor, which led her into the field of perinatal emotional health. I’m putting a sensitivity notice on this episode for anyone who has experienced obstetrical complications or trauma related to a procedure. This kind of complication is very rare, but it CAN happen, so we want to bring awareness to it and learn, understand, and support people through all aspects of their reproductive and mental health.

Show Highlights:

  • Meghan’s rare complications are an uncommon experience in egg donation
  • When she was 25, she applied to be an egg donor and went through the required testing
  • Within days of being approved, two different couples had chosen her as their egg donor and she prepared for her next cycle with the necessary medications and many ultrasounds
  • Who needs an egg donor? Any couple seeking to do IVF without their own viable eggs
  • 20 eggs were retrieved during the procedure and her mother drove her home to rest, with her plan being to return to work the next day
  • She tried to sleep, then woke up, and fainted on her way to the bathroom
  • The on-call nurse told her to drink more water
  • She went back to sleep, but kept waking up with increasing abdominal pain; it became sharp, like nothing she’d ever felt before
  • The on-call nurse prescribed Tylenol with codeine
  • Later, her roommate took her to the ER, where she was given IV fluids and was admitted for 3 days
  • The diagnosis was ovarian torsion, in which the ovaries were twisting on themselves and severe bleeding was occurring
  • Throughout her hospital stay, her caregivers were always on guard for the need for emergency surgery, which would have meant the removal of her ovaries
  • After her discharge, she visited 6 different doctors and began having anxiety, terrors, and emotional issues
  • Her physical recovery took 1-2 weeks, but the emotional healing took much longer
  • Meghan was anxious, terrified, scared, and filled with irrational fears and repeated nightmares
  • Her body responded as though she had been through a sexual assault, with her even being terrified of every man she came into contact with
  • Why she hunkered down and shut everyone out of her life
  • She had no energy, was exhausted, and lost a lot of weight
  • She saw her therapist and went to Yoga for Trauma classes
  • She saw a psychiatrist for medication to help her eat and sleep
  • During the first year, she threw herself into self-healing and did TRE (trauma releasing exercises) and EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) with her primary therapist
  • The fertility clinic kept calling, asking her to donate again, even though she had told them she was done
  • Why she felt treated “like a machine that gave them their product”
  • There was no discussion about the hormonal effects or the possible mental effects of the process or the risks
  • Meghan’s desire is not to discourage egg donation, but to encourage trauma-informed care
  • How Meghan has started doing trauma-informed care training
  • How she wouldn’t do it again, but gained a lot of insight in how to care for herself and set boundaries
  • The financial benefits of egg donation, taxes, and why it’s not worth it
  • Her official diagnosis: anxiety, depression, and PTSD
  • What Meghan wants others to know about this process and the impact on perinatal mental health
  • Meghan’s advice: “Be open to healing and surround yourself with those who respect your boundaries.”



Jan 07, 2019
132: Path to Wellness Through Pregnancy and Postpartum

What are the key factors to wellness? Wellness is important for everyone, but is vitally important during pregnancy and the postpartum period, both for new moms AND dads. Let’s talk about the key factors on the path to wellness.


Adrienne Griffen is the founder and Executive Director of Postpartum Support Virginia. She started PSVA to fill a gap in services in her area. When she experienced postpartum depression and anxiety in 2002, it took almost six months to find the help she needed. Since then, she’s been providing information, outreach, and support to new mothers and the healthcare providers who serve them. For her efforts, Adrienne was selected as the Peer Specialist of the Year by the National Council for Behavioral Health in January 2016, and a Woman of Vision by Arlington County’s Commission on the Status of Women in June 2018. Adrienne graduated from the US Naval Academy and has a Master’s in Public Policy from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. Her early career included military and government service at the White House, Pentagon, and IRS. Adrienne lives in Arlington, VA, with her husband and three children.


Show Highlights:


  • Adrienne’s The Path to Wellness, a one-page summary to help moms; it starts with the basics and moves into self-care, social support, therapy, and medications
  • The scaffolding approach of The Path to Wellness
    • Self-care and its four key components: eat, sleep, exercise, and time off
      • How Adrienne helps moms realize the necessity of self-care
      • Tips to get good sleep (4-5 uninterrupted hours) for new moms
      • Nutrition for new moms: eat when the baby eats, and focus on nutrient-dense, high protein snacks with lots of water
      • Tip: stock a feeding station wherever you feed the baby
      • To get good exercise, go for a walk outside, which can benefit both mom and baby
      • To get “time off,” figure out what can make you better for the day, whether it’s showering, yoga, meditation, journaling, etc.
    • For social support, get connected to other women who are going through the same thing
      • Support will give you validation, normalization, and hope
      • Social support can take varied forms, so find the one that works best for you
      • In-person support groups can offer positive reinforcement
    • Talk therapy or counseling can help moms gain control over emotions and learn coping strategies
      • One goal is to “soften up” women who are in a brittle state so they can be more stable
    • Medications are not a first step, but some are safe for pregnant and breastfeeding moms
      • Why there are many misconceptions and much misinformation about medications
      • Why mental health meds are perceived as optional, but not other meds
  • How these valuable interventions help new moms
  • Why we do new moms a disservice by not talking about postpartum issues
  • How single moms can find the help and support they need
  • The value in short-term help, especially for getting good sleep
  • The warning signs of too much sleep, not falling asleep well, or not staying asleep
  • Words of Hope from Adrienne: “You are not alone. You are not to blame, and with help, you WILL be well.”




Find PostpartumVA on Facebook

Contact Adrienne:

Find the printable Path to Wellness sheet:


Dec 31, 2018
131: 7.7 Billion Ways to Heal

Are you feeling it? You know holiday stress comes in different ways for each of us. It can make us feel frantic, overloaded, and completely overwhelmed. But deeper than that, how do you cope and heal in general? What’s your unique way? What have you found out about your strength and resilience?


In this episode, I’m having a personal chat with you about the chaos and stress that we all tend to feel. About the depths that we go to ‘get through’. It’s a good time to call it out and come to you with a different energy, one that’s geared toward healing, health, and wellness. One that is uniquely you.


Show Highlights:

  • The inherent strength and resilience in mothers and fathers
  • A new baby brings massive change, which can be even more difficult during the holidays
  • Self-care can be healing and can come in different ways
  • Using similar tools can still mean different healing processes; there’s not just ONE right way to heal
  • With a new year, don’t focus on what you need to do better, but focus on your internal strengths
  • How do you get through those quiet moments when you feel alone and misunderstood?
  • Internal resources vs. external resources
  • Why vulnerability is a strength---not a weakness
  • YOUR way of healing is worthy, valuable, and unique
  • My personal path to healing, which came in unconventional ways
  • Ask: What do I need? What are my strengths? What does resilience look like for me?
  • Look into yourself and listen deeply
  • You CAN get through whatever you’re going through!
Dec 24, 2018
130: Managing In Law Relationships in Pregnancy and Postpartum

What if YOUR idea of your birth plan and first few postpartum days differs wildly from what your in-laws imagine? How do you stay true to your values and set boundaries without causing an irreparable rift in the family? We’re tackling these topics and more on today’s show!


Felicia Hurst is a Licensed Professional Counselor in private practice, serving the needs of the Ardmore, Oklahoma community. She graduated with a Master’s of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from East Central University and has post-Master’s advanced training in perinatal mood and anxiety disorders. Her passion is working with women prior to conception, pregnancy, postpartum, and throughout motherhood, and spreading awareness about perinatal mood and anxiety disorders. In today’s show, she shares her background and professional experience, along with her personal experiences in setting boundaries with her in-laws and family. Don’t miss Felicia’s great tips that anyone can use in navigating these difficult conversations.


Show Highlights:


  • How the desire to have children affected decisions for her and her husband, as they waited for the right time
  • How this anticipation played into perinatal mood and anxiety for Felicia
  • Why they decided to set boundaries for her birth and postpartum time
  • The expectations her in-laws had for the birth and postpartum, which wasn’t at all what Felicia wanted for her new family
  • Having the difficult discussions about expectations that clearly weren’t in alignment with each other
  • How people-pleasing can lead to regrets, a desire to withdraw, and even aggression
  • How Felicia held boundaries with the nursing staff about limiting and prohibiting family visits in the hospital
  • Coping with others’ hurt feelings while affirming your values and holding to your boundaries 
  • Using a different approach with different family members
  • How Felicia and her husband had discussions about the boundaries
  • Why setting boundaries is important to have the kind of experience you want, without shame and regrets later on
  • How you can get through it and come out on the other side
  • Why it’s never too late to start setting boundaries, but setting them early on sets the stage for how things will go later and eliminates conflict ahead of time
  • Felicia’s tips:
    • Pick the right time and place to have the difficult conversations
    • Be clear and direct in telling others your preferences about boundaries
    • Communicate with family how they can support you best in helping out with cleaning, babysitting, cooking, running errands, etc. 
  • Felicia’s advice: Be true to yourself, recognize what your values are, get clear on what’s important to you, and communicate to your partner and go from there
  • Felicia’s work, which focuses on maternal mental health, and her position as Chair for Postpartum Support International’s Oklahoma chapter
  • Felicia’s passion for educating people on perinatal mood and anxiety disorders and reducing the stigma around them
  • How people in rural areas get the care they need, through Ob-gyns, nurses, midwives, and doulas




Find Felicia on Facebook: Felicia Hurst, MS, LPC

Dec 17, 2018
129: Miscarriages and a Rainbow Baby

 Chances are that you or someone you know very well, has experienced pregnancy loss. One of the ongoing difficulties surrounding loss, is that it is an uncomfortable subject to discuss, both for the parents and other people in their lives. So, these mothers and parents often suffer in solitary silence. When you couple that with the lack of education, information, and support for Perinatal loss and grief, you have a recipe for mental, emotional and physical devastation. My guest today is on a mission for change. Thank you Nicole for sharing your story through miscarriages and then having your rainbow baby! 


Nicole Curran Sanchez was born and raised in Orange County, CA, and has lived in Sacramento since 2008. She works at the state capitol as a Senior Legislative Assistant and scheduler to the Chair of the Assembly Health Committee. Nicole is very active in her community and loves to help people navigate state resources. She is especially gifted in helping people understand paid family medical leave, Medi-Cal, and other state programs to help the most vulnerable populations, such as the homeless, seniors, and children. Nicole and her husband, Rick, are thankful for their rainbow baby, their five-year-old son, Cruz.


Show Highlights:


  • Nicole’s story of two miscarriages, beginning in 2011, and the depression and heartache that came from never being given the opportunity to talk about her feelings
  • How she “kept on grieving” without even knowing why she was grieving
  • Even as a health advocate, she couldn’t even focus on what was really happening to her
  • In 2012-- a second miscarriage at 14-½ weeks, and the doctor treated her like a statistic
  • As the doctor searched for a heartbeat, she told Nicole that 1 in 4 women experience miscarriage
  • How Nicole felt, with no sympathy, no care, and no hand-holding
  • The domino effect that occurred when Nicole posted a little about her story on social media and then a group of women shared and connected over their losses
  • Why she found a new Ob-gyn AND got a rescue dog who ended up rescuing her
  • When she was pregnant again, she was excited, scared, anxious, and very paranoid
  • After 38 hours of labor and an allergic reaction to the epidural, she experienced the birth of her rainbow baby, Cruz
  • How she felt: “a void of empathy, lack of care, and feeling alone”
  • The ways of support that worked and helped her push herself to not get depressed
  • Nicole’s advice to other moms: Name the losses, make a keepsake box, and honor the losses
  • How her husband was her biggest support and constant source of comfort
  • The emotional rollercoaster that dads go through with losses
  • How Nicole wants to help and support others who go through loss
  • How Facebook allows Nicole to reach out and share to help others
  • How Nicole advocates for other moms in her meetings with healthcare professionals
  • Hopeful messages from Nicole: “Families come in all shapes and sizes and they are all different. Your family is YOUR story and you aren’t just a statistic. Let others be there for you to help and support you.”
Dec 10, 2018
128: Supporting Plus Size Pregnancy

We all know about the unfair stereotypes and stigma that exist in our society, but have you ever thought about---or experienced---what a plus-size woman goes through in pregnancy? The body shaming and unfair assumptions are particularly tough to take. Today’s guest is passionate about changing the stereotypes and offering help to these often unsupported moms.

Jen McLellan is a published author, speaker, and founder of Plus Size Birth, and she now hosts the Plus Mommy podcast. Plus Size Birth is a premier resource for all things plus-size pregnancy, with over four million page views. Jen is passionate about plus-size pregnancy, sharing tips on embracing your body and navigating the bumps along the road of motherhood. Through the Plus Size Mommy podcast and other social media outlets, she seeks to create an environment of acceptance and to end the stigma surrounding plus-size pregnancy with education, support, and a sense of humor. She is a certified childbirth educator, wife, and mother to a charismatic 8 year old. We’re discussing many great topics related to being a plus-size mom, education, and statistics on things we should consider in supporting plus-size moms to have the happy, healthy pregnancies that they deserve.


Show Highlights:

  • In 2010, Jen became pregnant, went online for support, and was horrified at the messages there for plus-size moms
  • Why she decided to break the cycle by telling her story and starting a blog
  • How she found a community of followers who were hungry for resources that weren’t there
  • Why she became a childbirth educator
  • The stories of mistreatment for plus-size women, even by their healthcare providers
  • How a woman’s mental health is affected by this treatment
  • The importance of connecting with a size-friendly care provider
  • Ways to handle weight issues with doctor appointments
  • Stigma about pregnancy and birth for plus-size moms
  • The assumptions: that a plus-size pregnancy won’t have a positive outcome, will definitely have gestational diabetes, cannot have a vaginal birth, and will probably smother her baby while breastfeeding
  • Jen’s work: sharing images of plus-size pregnant women, so they see “someone who looks like me”
  • The care that’s available to help plus-size moms with breastfeeding
  • Why plus-size women should wear clothes that celebrate pregnancy
  • Why plus-size moms don’t take pregnancy photos 
  • Ways to normalize the pregnancy experience for larger bodies
  • The importance of connecting with a therapist during the postpartum period
  • Be mindful of language that might be triggering, like “obese”
  • What you can’t tell about a plus-size woman: what she eats, how much she eats, or how she struggles
  • Why we need to come from a place of compassion and not a place of shame
  • How Jen was changed forever by a midwife who had compassion and believed in her
  • The “health at any size” approach, and why it’s important
  • The need to work through your own personal bias
  • The podcast: the topics that are covered with transparency and the hopeful messages that make an impact
  • How the Plus Mommy community as grown as people learn that people don’t deserve to be mistreated just because of their size


Plus Size Birth:  http://www.plussizebirthcom

Plus Mommy Podcast:

Social Media:



Dec 03, 2018
127: Holiday Self-care and Stress Reduction

Do you find the holidays stressful? We would all have to say YES, if we’re completely honest. For a pregnant mom, a postpartum mom, or a mom experiencing loss, the holiday obligations can be overwhelming in magnified ways. In today’s solo episode, we will discuss how to survive the holidays and manage stress by setting healthy boundaries and prioritizing self-care.


Show Highlights:


  • The holidays: a mix of lovely things and difficult moments with the unseen pressure of motherhood to take care of everyone
  • Boundaries are not easy, and sometimes confusing, but necessary
  • Set boundaries around family, friends, spending, activities, and the time you spend with others
  • Don’t be afraid to communicate what your needs are
  • In spending time at someone’s house, have a set time limit or some kind of communication with your partner to signal when it’s time to go
  • To figure out where you need boundaries, ask yourself, “What brings me stress? What do I find difficult?”
  • Why we feel guilty for setting boundaries
  • How anger and resentment toward others will develop when we don’t set boundaries
  • How pushback from someone else can signal the need for boundaries
  • It’s OK when you need a time-out from the tension of social situations
  • Important skills include knowing when to say NO and when to say YES
  • Why you shouldn’t feel obligated to do things that aren’t good choices for you
  • Allow flexibility and compassion in considering your needs
  • How saying YES and NO protects against resentment building up in relationships
  • Ask yourself what you need when you feel anger, guilt, anxiety, and sadness
  • If sleep and self-care are not on your holiday list, then you will feel depleted
  • Sleep is essential for health and restoration, but especially for pregnant moms, postpartum moms, and moms with loss
  • Give yourself permission NOT to do everything
  • Steps to take to manage stress:
    • Think about times in the past when you’ve ignored your own needs
    • Figure out where you can make adjustments
    • Find places where you can say YES and set limits
    • Don’t allow yourself to feel guilty
  • Why your new holiday regimen should be ways to manage stress, keep your energy level, and feel like yourself
  • What feels restorative, whole, and good to you?
  • Set intentions for baths, yoga, solitary walks, connection time with a friend, alone time, or time with your partner

This Episode Sponsored by Ritual Women's Essential and Essential Prenatal Vitamin 

Nov 26, 2018
126: A Journey Through Trauma and Postpartum OCD with Alexis Bruce

Imagine what it would be like to not even trust yourself to be alone with your children---for fear of doing them harm. What if you KNEW something was wrong with your mental health, but couldn’t find the help and support you needed? Dealing with anxiety is always a problem, but never more so than in the postpartum period, when a mom is called upon to give SO MUCH of herself to care for her new baby. Yet moms are not informed and educated about the possibilities that may occur, or given access to the resources that can provide help. My guest today is committed to getting the word out that there is help for new moms.

Alexis Bruce is a stay-at-home mom turned maternal mental health advocate after the traumatic birth of her youngest son. Her birth experience, postpartum anxiety, and intense OCD fears and thoughts have been the impetus for her desire to help others in these situations. Through her struggle, it became clear that there is a lack of information and education about perinatal mood and anxiety disorders, and her mission has become to change that narrative. Alexis now works with Moms Mental Health Initiative, a local non-profit group whose mission is to help moms navigate perinatal mood and anxiety disorders by sharing information, connecting them to resources, and providing the necessary peer support. Alexis lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, with her husband, Tyler, stepdaughter Ava, and sons Noah and Leo. 

Show HIghlights:

  • How Alexis struggled long-term with anxiety that was usually manageable until her first son was born, and the intrusive thoughts began, with fears, panic attacks, and guilt
  • Becoming unexpectedly pregnant again, when Noah was only 8 months old, caused a spike in anxiety
  • Intrusive thoughts began again, and Alexis now knows that this is the way her brain sends alarms
  • She went to a therapist and things got better until she was 33 weeks along
  • Around midday, while home alone with Noah, she experienced severe bleeding, called her husband, and paramedics came and took her to the hospital by ambulance, all the while with her fearing she had lost the baby
  • The baby’s hearbeat was OK and they started preparing for an emergency C-section, but then decided to wait and see what would happen
  • Steroid shots for the baby to help lungs develop, and the hope that she could wait 48 hours to deliver
  • Discomfort, contractions, and then intense pain: within 5 minutes, 12 people from the NICU team, several nurses, and the doctor were all present in the room
  • How Alexis pushed once and Leo was born, but he was whisked away
  • The helpless feeling of listening to the medical team trying to get the baby to breathe
  • With no information about their baby’s condition, they watched the baby taken away to NICU
  • Alexis felt no sympathy or attention to the severity of the trauma she had been through; the nurse came in and told her to start pumping, something she did 10x each day for the next few days
  • She finally got to see her son about 3 hours later, but he was covered in tubes and medical tape
  • How Alexis went into survival mode while Leo spent 21 days in NICU, and she and her husband took shifts being at the hospital and at home with their other kids
  • Leo developed severe reflux and had to be kept upright 24 hours/day
  • The support they received from their families, especially Alexis’ mother-in-law
  • With increased anxiety and panic attacks, Alexis knew she needed to see someone
  • She saw her primary care doctor and started on meds, because every therapist had a long wait for an appointment
  • She was afraid to be left alone with the kids and wouldn’t even use a knife at the table with them, because she didn’t trust herself
  • How she googled to find support and found Postpartum Support International---the first time she felt hopeful
  • She was referred to Moms Mental Health Initiative, saw a therapist that very day, and joined Circle of Hope, a closed Facebook peer support group
  • How Alexis found the fastest way to get better was to immerse herself in treatment
  • The focus on exposure response prevention therapy
  • Why Alexis feels fortunate to be in a place with trained providers who could help
  • Speaking and sharing her story has given her joy and empowerment
  • Now, Alexis is the Marketing Communications Director for Moms Mental Health Initiative, coordinating their media, blogs, and newsletters
  • The lack of education and information about postpartum anxiety and mood disorders
  • If she had known intrusive thoughts were a real possibility, she would have asked for help a lot sooner
  • A hopeful message from Alexis: “You aren’t alone. Help is available. It’s possible on the recovery end to grieve the pregnancy and postpartum period that you wanted to have.”
  • Alexis’ advice: “Be aware of vulnerabilities, be gentle with yourself, and have self-compassion.”



Email Moms Mental Health Initiative: mmhimke@gmail

Find Moms Mental Health Initiative on Facebook

Nov 19, 2018
125: Perinatal Loss in the Orthodox Jewish Community

How is perinatal loss handled in the Orthodox Jewish community, or in any other faith-based culture? Today’s show takes a deep dive into a new perspective as my guest shares how she offers faith-based support and understanding of perinatal loss in a unique culture of rich traditions.

Dvora Entin, LCSW, developed and directs JFCS Ma’oz in Philadelphia, a unique initiative to engage the Orthodox community on mental health issues. With specialized training in maternal mental health and perinatal death, Dvora moderates the Pregnancy Loss phone support calls for K’nafayim and for Yesh Tikvah Yeesh on infertility. In 2017, her BLOOM program to engage the Orthodox Jewish community on Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders won the Perinatal Mental Health Society Innovation Award. Dvora provides private sessions for supportive counseling and consultation and presents nationally about perinatal loss and compassionate bereavement. She resides in Philadelphia with her husband, Isaac, and their children. 


Show Highlights:


  • How stigma and shame play a role in perinatal loss and seeking support in a culture and religion with a very long history
  • What orthodox Judaism is
  • The need for a niche approach with mental health, one that is specific and tailored to the needs of the community
  • Dvora’s work as an emotional doula and mental health counselor with 50-100 women monthly from the US and other countries
  • Why mental health is not openly talked about, especially in light of the tendency to help “arrange” marriages 
  • The community’s approach to loss and bereavement with the 7-day Shiva
  • Why there is no ritualistic tradition for any loss of a baby who hasn’t lived 30 days
  • How families are given a meaningful space for grief
  • The orthodox community is in tune with mental health, and wants to increase awareness, as long as it doesn’t conflict with religious law
  • Why some women wonder what they’ve done “wrong” to encounter a perinatal loss
  • Why they question their grief and the strength of their faith, wondering if their faith is not strong enough, since they are grieving
  • The stigma around having only 3-4 children, when the norm is many more than that
  • The deeply driven core identity of motherhood for the Orthodox Jewish woman
  • The norm: marry young, have children quickly, and have many overall; if they don’t, then something MUST be wrong
  • In Dvora’s work, she sees the transition from an anonymous phone support space to an in-person space
  • Why early losses are isolating because pregnancy isn’t announced until the 2nd trimester, so women have to act like “everything is fine” if they suffer an early loss
  • The blend of faith and American Jewish heritage
  • The struggle with faith questions and shame
  • Why support is available for men, but it’s difficult to engage them
  • The challenges for husbands to support their wives when there are strict rules about physical contact when a woman is bleeding
  • The challenges in communication skills with a very young couple who now must deal with the intricacies of a multi-layered loss
  • The goal is to more deeply understand the impact of perinatal grief on a woman, her husband, their children, family, and community
  • How Dvora helps them find the pathway to OK and allows them to ask the questions
  • The challenges of different kinds of losses and disenfranchised grief
  • The deep hole that occurs after making the decision to terminate a life-threatening pregnancy
  • Why there is room for growth in any faith community and how remembering their pain helps bring connection



Nov 12, 2018
124: Single Mother Journey in Pregnancy and Postpartum

Have you thought about--or personally experienced--the stigma surrounding single moms? We all know that the road can be tough for these women, but what support is available? Today’s show features someone who has been there, caught in the swirl of shame, doubt, and fear as she struggled to go through pregnancy and single motherhood. She’s turned the narrative on its head and spreads an empowering message to women who are fearfully stuck in relationships that aren’t healthy and nurturing. There is hope for you, Single Mom!


Jaren Soloff is a women’s health practitioner based in San Diego who became a single teen mom after enduring an abusive relationship. As a young, single mother of her daughter, now 7, Jaren is passionate about creating a new narrative for moms to find their voices and connect to themselves. Jaren has the unique experience of raising a child while navigating college, career, and parenting. She hopes to share her journey of single parenting to empower others on their journey. Jaren is a registered dietitian and lactation educator, and the founder and owner of Empowered RD, Nutrition+Lactation, a private practice dedicated to empowering women through their reproductive years, from preconception to postpartum. Jaren shares her perspective on changing the narrative and the language we use around single motherhood.


Show Highlights:


  • Jaren’s unplanned pregnancy while in college--and the on/off abusive relationship with the father of her child
  • The shaming reactions and conversations from her family, filled with criticism and judgment
  • How her partner felt about the pregnancy and manifested his power and manipulation
  • Jaren’s next steps: how she left school, moved back home, and braced herself to face motherhood alone
  • How she knew the relationship would have to end for the safety of herself and her child
  • How her mom and her conservative religious background affected her during her pregnancy
  • How Jaren felt about herself and her mental state during this time
  • The chaotic postpartum period and how she returned to school just five weeks after giving birth
  • The helpful support Jaren found in her doula
  • What she really needed was partner support and community with other moms
  • The validation she felt when there was a label put to what she was going through
  • How Jaren finished school when her daughter was four--and then got her nutrition credential
  • Her great job at a university, with good psychological and social support
  • Why resilience was one strength that helped Jaren survive
  • Why we need better support for single moms
  • How Jaren helps support single moms today with her passion and sense of responsibility to serve them and women who are breastfeeding and facing other feeding challenges
  • How we can create a different narrative by eliminating the stigma and shame around single motherhood:
    • Help them form their own identity and interests
    • Teach them to prioritize self-care
    • Help them be unafraid to do well and thrive




Find Jaren on Instagram: @empoweredrd

  Facebook: Empowered RD, Nutrition+Lactation

Nov 05, 2018
123: Perinatal Chiropractic Care with Dr. Elliot Berlin

Do you know the benefits of chiropractic and massage during pregnancy and the postpartum period? Despite the opinions of some, these practices can be a regular and extremely beneficial part of overall maternal wellness. What does chiropractic care for prenatal women look like and what conditions can be treated in this way? We’re diving into these topics and more with today’s expert guest.

Dr. Elliot Berlin is an award-winning prenatal chiropractor, childbirth educator, and labor doula. He’s here to share how chiropractic care can support mental wellness and, specifically, perinatal mood and anxiety disorder. He shares how he came into this amazing work, almost by accident. His Informed Pregnancy Project aims to utilize multiple forms of media, including a weekly podcast, documentary films, and a YouTube series to compile and deliver unbiased information about pregnancy and childbirth to empower new and expectant parents to make informed choices regarding their pregnancy and parenting journey.

Show Highlights:

  • Dr. Berlin’s work and how it resulted from his lifelong interest in holistic medicine
  • He and his wife took a long medical journey to have a child---with no success
  • A holistic approach brought them their first baby, and then another every two years for awhile!
  • When they moved to Los Angeles, he started a program to help others improve their health and fertility naturally
  • He was soon surrounded by pregnant women who wanted to continue their wellness with chiropractic and massage care
  • His work grew into attending births and body work, so he and his wife completed doula training together
  • Their holistic perspective of prenatal wellness that developed over time
  • The debate over C-section and VBAC (vaginal birth after Caesarean)
  • How he wrote articles, then a blog, then a magazine, then a podcast, then documentary films, and then a YouTube series
  • How he sees about 15 pregnant patients each day and tries to make sure they are informed about their choices
  • Common conditions that people seek chiropractic care for during pregnancy: sciatica, hip pain, neck/shoulder pain, headaches, pubic joint pain, heartburn, nausea, and positioning problems
  • The analogy of the birth canal: a stretchy rubber band and a squishy basketball
  • How chiropractic care helps with mental wellness, especially with perinatal mood and anxiety disorder
  • The Importance of improving sleep during and after pregnancy
  • Every appointment at Dr. Berlin’s clinic includes at least 25 minutes of massage and body work
  • Being “part of the puzzle” to perinatal mental health
  • Misconceptions about chiropractic care: getting one adjustment isn’t enough unless you keep coming back, and pregnancy isn’t a good time for chiropractic and massage
  • If you are looking for a chiropractor/massage therapist, you need to know that no special training is required for prenatal/postnatal chiropractic
  • Dr. Berlin’s podcast, Informed Pregnancy, airs one episode weekly; they have great audience interaction as they provide information and entertainment about pregnancy, postpartum, and early parenting. They present facts about topics in an unbiased way and let people know about their choices
  • The YouTube series: The Real Midwives of Los Angeles, Heads Up, a documentary about the disappearing art of vaginal breech birth, and VBAC, about vaginal birth after C-section


Today's episode supported by Ritual Vitamin! Essential for Women and Essential Prenatal. Go Find out how awesome this vitamin is at


Find resources on Instagram: @DoctorBerlin  Find a chiropractor for pediatric patients and pregnancy

Find Dr. Berlin on Twitter @DrBerlin or on Facebook @InformedPregnancy

Parents on Demand network   Find parenting resources!

Oct 29, 2018
122: Postpartum Depression, PTSD Personal Story

If you know something is wrong, wouldn’t you want your doctor to listen? How does it feel to advocate for yourself with no success? My guest shares her story of dealing with postpartum depression for years while she tried to advocate for herself. Listen in to see how she finally found healing, and why she shares her story with honesty and openness.

Jessica Mirisis lives in Massachusetts and is the mother of three girls, ages 2, 6, and her stepdaughter, age 12. Jessica works as an RN and helps her husband run their two businesses.

Jessica battled several issues with maternal mental health for years, not getting the help she needed. 


Show Highlights:


  • In May 2012, her first daughter was born, about the time she graduated from nursing school, got married, and bought a house
  • With her pregnancy, she was sick all the time
  • Her labor was slow and long, the baby came four days early, and she had low iron after the birth
  • Her breastfeeding struggles for 6 weeks and then switching to formula
  • How her baby didn’t sleep well and woke up every 3 hours to eat
  • Her husband tried to tell her doctor that something was “off”
  • How Jessica continued to struggle with motherhood and going back to work
  • Her frustration and anger that continued for almost 2 years
  • Again, she tried to tell her doctor that something was wrong, that she wasn’t sleeping, and that she was angry and frustrated----but the doctor discounted her feelings
  • Why Jessica saw a psychiatrist and therapist on her own
  • With her 2nd pregnancy, the anxiety increased and the constant sickness returned
  • Why she had a scheduled C-section to avoid another long, hard delivery
  • When her daughter was born, her in-laws came for an extended visit and Jessica still felt the anger and frustration
  • She started Zoloft, but wasn’t getting any better an continued to go downhill
  • The wine rack incident that was the last straw
  • Why she switched to another psychiatrist
  • Another episode that scared her
  • Jessica’s hard time functioning as a mom, with suicidal thoughts and desires to run away
  • How the psychiatrist suggested a partial hospitalization that helped immensely
  • The group sessions, where people actually listened and helped her
  • Jessica’s youngest daughter was almost 2 years old before she started to feel better
  • The diagnoses: generalized anxiety, major depressive disorder, PTSD, and panic
  • Jessica’s new “8 pm rule” and how it helps her every day
  • How journaling has helped her
  • Why she finally feels ready to return to work as a nurse and begin helping others again
  • What Jessica wants others to know about postpartum depression: “Motherhood is not all rainbows and butterflies. Take the advice of others, but make your own decisions.”
  • Her advice to others who may be going through postpartum depression: “You may not even realize what’s going on. Talk to someone who can help and keep going.”
  • Jessica’s rules she lives by now in her recovery
  • How postpartum depression can affect the entire family---not just the mom





Find Jessica Leigh Mirisis on Facebook

Oct 22, 2018
121: Eating Disorders and Recovery for Perinatal Moms

If you’ve had any experience with eating disorders, then you know how difficult the recovery process can be. If you’ve ever been a new mom, then you know the perinatal period is crammed full of physical changes, emotional adjustments, and lifestyle challenges. Putting these two volatile situations together can be a recipe for disaster, mainly because of all the triggers and the constant fear of relapse. My guest today has been there. She knows the common triggers for those with eating disorders and how to cope; she’s here to share what she’s learned.


Linda Shanti McCabe is a licensed clinical psychologist in CA who has worked in the field of eating disorders, chemical dependency, anxiety, depression, and co-dependency recovery since 1999. She has served in a variety of settings as a therapist for women and their families, and she now is in private practice in San Francisco. Her doctoral research focused on reimagining the body, using expressive arts with women recovering from bulimia, anorexia, and binge eating. Doing work with eating disorders in the postpartum field is her true labor of love, especially since she has recovered from an eating disorder 20 years ago. She will tell us about her new book, The Recovery Mama Guide to Maintaining Your Eating Disorder Recovery in Pregnancy and Postpartum, which is coming out in February, 2019, and available for pre-order now!


Show Highlights:


  • What we should know about relapses and shame around eating disorders in the perinatal period
  • The culture of “fat chat” in perinatal circles
  • The societal myths and pressure around thinness
  • Common body image struggles in the perinatal period
  • Eating-related stress and body image problems that exist even in those not officially diagnosed with an eating disorder
  • How hormone shifts and sleep changes set new moms up for difficulties 
  • The disruption of hunger and satiety clues for new moms
  • How former eating disorders are triggered
  • How Linda’s own journey has led to connection and understanding for others
  • “You can’t keep it unless you give it away, and you can’t give it away unless you have it.”
  • Common triggers for those with eating disorders include body image changes, relapse into mood disorders, past abuse triggers, lack of sleep, food cravings, nausea, and new hunger cues
  • The myth that eating disorders are limited to straight, white, adolescent women
  • The truth: eating disorders affect people of all genders, sexual orientations, and ages
  • Eating disorders are usually the result of trying to work throught some sort of trauma
  • Why people don’t realize that talking about their struggle will be what gets them through the struggle
  • What an eating disorder really is and the different types
  • How perfectionism and rejection play into eating disorders
  • An overview of chapter topics in Linda’s new book
  • More information about the telesummit next year
  • Hopeful messages about recovery (Are you an orchid or a dandelion?)
  • Action steps: get support, decrease isolation, and lower the bar on your expectations



Find her on Instagram: @Dr.LindaShanti

Find her on Facebook: “Recovery Mama”


 The Recovery Mama Guide to Maintaining Your Eating Disorder Recovery in Pregnancy and Postpartum by Linda Shanti McCabe--available in February and pre-order now!  Helpful resource for parents!

Oct 15, 2018
120: Preeclampsia, NICU and a Healing Journey

If you’ve gone through a trying experience and NOT had the support or services that you needed, then you become distinctly passionate about helping others find those services. If those services don’t exist, then you may be determined to help provide for others exactly what YOU needed and didn’t have. This is precisely the story of today’s guest, who turned her lemons into lemonade after her own experiences and lack of support inspired her to fill the need in her area.


Meisha Shockley is the owner and executive director of Shore Grace, a family wellness center providing wrap-around services to support families on the eastern shore of Maryland who are welcoming a new baby to their home. Meisha is a doula, speaker, and coach with a specialty in maternal mental health for women of color, high risk pregnancies, prematurity, and pre-eclampsia awareness. She holds a BA in Rehabilitation Counseling and is currently pursuing her MA in Marriage and Family Counseling with a specialty in Sex Education. It was her own experience with pre-eclampsia and the premature birth of her daughter that led to the opening of Shore Grace.


Show Highlights:


  • After college, Meisha worked full-time in case management with moms who just needed support
  • When she was 24 weeks pregnant with her second child, she went to a walk-in clinic with a headache and swollen feet, not realizing her blood pressure was dangerously high and she would be admitted to the hospital
  • After tests showed pre-eclampsia, she was stabilized and discharged
  • She saw her Ob the next day, was readmitted to a different hospital, educated about pre-eclampsia, and put on meds to go home on bed rest
  • At 25 weeks, she was told she would have to deliver the baby soon and was put in ICU on bed rest
  • At 27 weeks, an ultrasound showed obstructed blood flow to the baby and a C-section was scheduled, but then rushed up as an immediate life or death situation 
  • When her daughter was born, weighing 1 lb. 6.9 oz., she remembers them saying, “It’s a girl!”
  • Why she didn’t want to see her baby because she thought she would be burying this baby soon
  • The baby went to NICU and she didn’t see her for two days
  • A pivotal moment when her husband said, “Our daughter is in there fighting, and I need you to fight with her.”
  • Even though the baby had bleeding on the brain and a hole in her heart, she was not in critical condition and had stabilized
  • How Meisha started spending more and more time with the baby
  • 70 days in NICU and then the scariest part: bringing her home at 3 lbs.
  • With no one to turn to, Meisha battled postpartum depression
  • After bringing her daughter home in August, she found out she was pregnant again in November
  • As she started worrying and knew she was not ready for another pregnancy, she started seeing a therapist
  • As she started journaling and using Facebook as an outlet to share, she developed a following
  • She felt frustrated about the lack of education about pre-eclampsia
  • How she became interested in becoming a doula, because it is the kind of support that SHE needed
  • She started Mothering Mother Postpartum Doula Services, but knew families in her area needed more than just birth support
  • Shore Grace Family Wellness was born, providing doulas and counselors whose goal is “to touch families wherever they are in their walk”
  • Why Shore Grace builds lifelong relationships with families and not just provides short-term help
  • Meisha’s efforts to break the stigma and generational habits with black women about not going to therapy or talking about the hard things
  • Why she takes very good care of her mental health and pays attention to her triggers
  • How she and her husband teach a Postpartum Recovery and Infant Care class together




Find Shore Grace on Instagram and Facebook: @ShoreGraceFam and Shore Grace Fam

Find Meisha on Instagram: @MeishaShockley

Oct 08, 2018
119: Healing Mother Wounds

Did you have a difficult relationship with your mother? If so, then those issues may have an impact on your own mothering process. Today’s show address this topic and gives information that can be valuable in the healing process and applicable to the experiences held in this vital relationship between mother and child.


Crystal Clancy, LMFT, has a private practice specializing in perinatal mental health. She is one of the founding members of Pregnancy and Postpartum Support MN, which is the Minnesota State Chapter of PSI. She has been a PSI State Coordinator for 5 years. She is married and the mother of a son and a daughter.


Show Highlights:


  • How Crystal had a difficult relationship with her mother that intensified when her daughter was born and she encountered postpartum depression
  • Crystal noticed the common theme in her clients of a difficult mother relationship, which can also apply to a father
  • Factors to consider when examining a difficult relationship with a parent
  • The problems when a parent is centered and focused on their own needs over those of their child
  • The difficulty in mothering when you had a difficult relationship with your mother usually manifests itself after your baby is born
  • Sometimes a healthy level of attachment hasn’t been realized and the mother goes to one extreme or the other, either detaching or going overboard with care and control
  • A big step a new mom can take: find someone in your “village” or a professional who validates your feelings
  • Why new moms can feel ungrounded and unsettled
  • Depression and anxiety may be more common for these women due to shame, guilt, and lack of quality support
  • How Crystal helps women and teaches them to find the goal in the parent/child relationship
  • Scripted responses to use to say to a mom that can rewire self-talk
  • The grief that never ends, over the fact that you didn’t get the kind of mom you wanted and deserved
  • Accept that your parent is not capable of giving what you needed and not because of who you are
  • What Crystal has seen with moms reclaiming themselves
  • The intricacies of the healing process to empower and come through with resilience
  • Tools and resources that can help:

Will I Ever Be Good Enough? By Karyl McBride

Children of the Self-Absorbed by Nina Brown

The value of writing therapeutic letters

The Little Shaman Healing (


Other Resources:

Find Crystal on Facebook: @irisrepro  or @ppsupportmn

Oct 01, 2018
118: Latina Mothers and Perinatal Mental Health

Susana Marquez, LMFT, is the founder of Me Myself N Mommy Therapeutic Services, a private practice in Long Beach, CA. The practice focuses on Latina maternal mental health. Due to her personal struggles with postpartum depression and anxiety, Susana opened up a practice that specializes in providing education, support, and resources to Latina mothers and their families on what maternal mental health is and the importance of a mother’s mental and emotional wellbeing. Her mission is to bridge the gap between Latina mothers and mental health support while bringing awareness to the real issues they face both culturally and socially.

Show Highlights:

  • The hard adjustment and loneliness she felt while she experienced postpartum depression and anxiety following the birth of her son in 2014
  • How her culture expects mothers to deal with motherhood issues and not need extra support 
  • Why she couldn’t share her dark and negative feelings and shut down from everyone
  • How the sudden, tragic loss of her father sent her spiraling out of control
  • How she put herself on the back burner and didn’t care for herself or process her grief and anxiety
  • Living with the myth that “time heals all wounds”
  • Dealing with grief, triggers, and having no one to connect with
  • How a colleague insisted that she see a therapist for help and how he changed everything for her
  • The pressure on Latina moms as they are compared and held to the highest standard of motherhood in the Virgin Mary
  • How Susana wanted to put her clinical skills and education to use to help other Latina moms
  • Realizing what is missing in services and resources for Latina moms
  • How she reached out to provide classes and education in her area
  • Offering something for free and still being turned down
  • Raising awareness and erasing the stigmas
  • “Latinx”---the new gender-neutral term
  • Feeling like what you’re doing is “not enough”
  • Cultural specifics that make postpartum a challenging time for Latinx moms
  • In Latina culture, there is not room for setting healthy boundaries and limits
  • How Susana is reaching out to moms and spreading the word about available resources
  • Working with doulas to provide info to pregnant moms and not waiting for postpartum problems to appear
  • Why maternal mental health is not a “one size fits all” issue
  • What Susana wants Latina/Latinx moms and the providers who support them to know
  • Susana’s biggest takeaway for Latina moms: Ask for help
  • Susana’s biggest takeaway for providers: Ask how cultural traditions may play into a lack of support for Latina moms



Find Susana on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter: Me Myself N Mommy

Sep 24, 2018
117: Sisters in Loss with Erica McAfee

Infertility, pregnancy loss, infant and maternal mortality----none of these are topics that we enjoy talking about, but the number of women and families affected by these obstacles is astounding. For African-American women, there is a stigma attached to these issues, and the compounding problem of their voices not being heard.Today’s show addresses these topics and more in honor of October being Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month.


Erica McAfee is the founder of Sisters in Loss, LLC, a faith-based grief and pregnancy loss coaching company that helps black women turn their pain into purpose after loss.


Sisters in Loss provides consulting and coaching services to help women step beyond anxiety and fear into trust and peace after loss. The Sisters In Loss goal through courses, retreats, and conferences is to help women minimize regrets, maximize memories, and manage their path forward after loss. Their self-titled podcast spotlights faith-filled black women who share miscarriage, infant loss, and infertility stories and testimonies to heal, gain clarity and peace, find hope, and become victorious after loss. Launched in August 2017, the podcast has a community of 5000+ Sisters in Loss.


Erica is a Grief and Pregnancy Loss coach, pastor’s wife, and Mom to two angels in heaven and one rainbow baby, Maxwell, also known as Super Mighty Max. She is an alumnus of Virginia Commonwealth University where she earned a BS degree in Chemical Engineering.


Show Highlights:


  • How Erica found podcasts a few years ago when she had a long commute to work each day, but she couldn’t find one that told the stories that aligned with what she and her friends had experienced with traumatic loss
  • The year-old podcast shares weekly stories of real women of color and how faith helps them gain clarity, peace, and learning
  • Erica’s coaching work with those still early in their loss experience or those in pregnancy after loss
  • How loss affects everyone around you
  • How the podcast helps African-American women know what questions to ask their medical professionals, no matter where they are in their journey to parenthood
  • The example set by celebrities recently who have shared their pregnancy and birth stories
  • The power of storytelling in healing the pain of loss
  • How the podcast helps support women through the grieving process by building a community
  • Seeing success stories of others helps people in their personal experiences
  • How Erica and her guests share their faith on the podcast and the role faith plays in the journey to healing
  • How the podcast gives scripture, tools, and resources for support
  • How some people going through loss cling to faith and others push it away
  • Sometimes the grieving process isn’t “over and done” and we tend to shove those feelings down because we feel guilty holding onto them
  • What we should know about supporting women of color through loss: Maternal and infant mortality is an issue that African-American women face 3-4 times more than other races
  • Why black women are not taken seriously by their medical providers and their voices aren’t being heard
  • Erica’s message to friends and family of those who have lost: Continue to check on loved ones who have gone through loss, because they may have deep, dark moments. Be a listening ear for your loved ones.
  • How healing requires you to do the work




Find Erica and Sisters in Loss:   Find out about Erica’s free healing and prayer summit, Oct. 15-19


Therapy for Black Girls, a podcast by Dr. Joy Harden Bradford

Sep 17, 2018
116: The NICU and Mental Health with Fawn McCool, LCSW

We all know that the path to parenthood can look very different than we dreamily imagine. Sometimes it’s a tough and traumatic experience that leaves us stunned. It’s when our personal struggles motivate us to bring about change that we use our experiences to help others. That’s exactly what today’s guest has done. 


Fawn McCool, LCSW, is based in Portland, Oregon with Aiyana Counseling. She holds certification in Interpersonal Neurobiology through Portland State University and MamaCare certificate through Shoshana Center. She is the creator of Interpersonal Neurobiology of Perinatal Mood Disorders and Birth Trauma, an online training for professionals that explores the impact and practices of attachment and bonding, including development and interventions for families affected by perinatal mood and anxiety disorders and birth trauma.

She offers clinical therapeutic services through Aiyana Counseling and also sits on the board of NICU Familes Northwest, as well as volunteers with Baby Blues Connection. She is the mother of two girls, the oldest of which was born prematurely at 29 weeks. After 8 weeks in a southern California NICU, Fawn vowed that she would work tirelessly to change the mental health outcomes for NICU parents nationwide through advocacy and education. In today’s episode, Fawn discusses her experiences as a parent in the NICU and the work she’s doing to support families in their NICU experiences.

We are discussing the common stressors in having a child in the NICU and what it’s like to spend time there and then take that baby home. Fawn also shares about the strength and resilience she sees from parents with their NICU experiences and how we can better support children and parents through their time in NICU.


Show Highlights:


  • Fawn’s gratefulness to the maternal mental health community for the support she’s received
  • With her first child, Fawn knew something was wrong at 28 weeks, but she was sent home for bed rest
  • How she had to be pushy and insistent to save her baby’s life
  • How she never felt safe, secure, or cared for through her emergency birth and NICU experience
  • Her baby was diagnosed with reverse blood flow and was not getting the nutrients needed to survive, so an emergency C-section was scheduled, with Fawn being told her daughter had a 50% chance of survival
  • Why the mother’s mental health should be at the forefront
  • How Fawn reacted to not getting to see her daughter in the NICU until she could walk across the room after her C-section
  • Why her feelings of having zero trust in the medical system led her to be hypervigilant
  • How rules in the NICU fight against maternal instinct and frustrate an already fragile and stressful situation
  • Fawn spent 8 weeks in NICU and her daughter was released to go home at only 4 lbs. 
  • After 2 years of wondering what was wrong with her, Fawn was diagnosed with PTSD, and it was a course in Interpersonal Neurobiology that helped her figure it out
  • Why Fawn developed a new focus on educating the NICU community and families
  • 15% of moms and 8% of dads leave the NICU with PTSD---and many more exhibit common symptoms
  • The top problem is the separation from the baby, which could be mediated differently for more benefit for mother and baby
  • Psychologist Louis Cozolino says that the reappearance of the mother for a NICU baby has the same calming effect as morphine on the brain
  • The financial stress and the loss of parental autonomy in the NICU experience
  • How NICU parents find strength and resilience--”The size of the body does not reflect the size of the spirit.”
  • NICU parents learn to celebrate their child’s uniqueness and learn that they can’t control outcomes
  • The support Fawn would like to see: advocacy for more peer support, counselors, zero separation, psychological education about the effects of trauma, massage, connection to mental health support, and to prioritize maternal mental health
  • Fawn’s message: “There is strength in numbers and you are not alone. Believe in your child.”


Resources:   Find out about Fawn’s work and her online class

Sep 10, 2018
115: The Highly Sensitive Mother

We all know that the challenges of new motherhood can be many--and overwhelming. If you are an HSP (highly sensitive person), then those challenges may be magnified---and you probably aren’t focusing on any self-care. This topic resonates deeply with me and intrigues me in the way the trait interacts with motherhood and its challenges.


Julie Bjelland is an LMFT, an HSP psychotherapist, and the author of Brain Training for the Highly Sensitive Person: Techniques to Reduce Anxiety and Overwhelming Emotions. Julie’s mission is to help sensitive people reduce the challenges and increase the positives.Through her website specializing in highly sensitive people (the trait also known as Sensory Processing Sensitivity), she offers many valuable resources for both HSP’s and parents of sensitive children. Julie has a mission to spread awareness and education about the trait of high sensitivity and believes the world needs the gifts of sensitive people.


Show Highlights:


  • High sensitivity is a trait and not a disorder--and it’s NOT the same as introversion (30% of HSP’s are extroverts and 20% are introverts)
  • From Elaine Aron’s work on HSP’s: Depth of Processing, Overstimulation, Emotionally responsive, and Sensitivity to subtle stimuli (DOES)
  • The judgment around being sensitive and its connection to weakness
  • How scientific research shows real brain differences in HSP’s
  • On the positive side, HSP’s are more empathetic, more aware, and more compassionate
  • Common for the HSP mother is to put themselves at the bottom of the priority list and take care of others first
  • Trained HSP vs. untrained HSP
  • Self-care---a conscious action you take to lower your stress and bring you to a balanced state
  • A key for HSP’s is getting enough sleep in order to understand and meet specific needs
  • An HSP mom’s default setting is to be hard on themselves and focus on everyone else’s needs
  • Certain parts of the brain in HSP moms will be overactive, like merging into everyone else’s moods and experiences
  • Many people who seek treatment for anxiety will also have the HSP trait
  • How HSP contributes to overall perinatal depression and anxiety, since everything changes in mind, body, and spirit
  • Why HSP’s need creative ways to get two hours of alone time each day
  • The tendency to measure everything in ourselves and others against the standard of perfection
  • Self-talk, with low levels of self-compassion and criticism of themselves
  • Common characteristics of HSP’s: perfectionism, sleep-deprived, overstimulated, and misunderstood
  • Steps to help HSP’s:
    • Develop self-compassion  (Kristin Neff outlines 3 steps)
    • Take breaks when needed
    • Practice mindfulness
  • 50% of clients in therapy are HSP’s
  • Supporting moms and dads better in pregnancy and the postpartum period could impact parenting differently and offer more support
  • Using the right tools for support in children can prevent many problems and help them gain confidence and have an easier time accepting who they are



 Brain Training for the Highly Sensitive Person: Techniques to Reduce Anxiety and Overwhelming Julie Bjelland


The Highly Sensitive Child by Dr. Elaine Aron


 Self-Compassion by Kristin Neff

Find Julie on Facebook: The Highly Sensitive Person

Instagram: hsp psychotherapist

Twitter: @juliebjelland

LinkedIn: highly-sensitive-juliebjelland

Sep 03, 2018
114: Minority Maternal Mental Health

Do you think there is a specific need for therapists of color to help African-American women and other women of color who are PMADS (perinatal mood and anxiety disorders) sufferers? You may not think race, ethnicity and culture are factors to be considered in this treatment, but it can be--mostly due to stigmas, access, and the dynamics around seeking out services as a woman of color. Join us for today’s conversation around this important topic.

Shivonne Odom, LCPC, is the founder of Akoma Counseling Concepts, LLC, which is the only minority-owned private practice in Washington, DC that focuses on minority maternal mental health. Shivonne provides continuing educational training on cultural competence and minority maternal mental health. She loves to promote awareness on these important issues via community panel discussions, podcasts, and local media outlets. She is passionate and excited about all things mental health and advocacy for women’s health initiatives. In today’s episode, she talks about things on her mind and things everyone needs to hear about more culturally competent services, the need for more therapists of color to be trained in maternal mental health, and the stigma around postpartum depression for black moms. She even touches on how some organizations could do much more to support perinatal mental health. 


Show Highlights:

  • How Shivonne started her practice just a year ago in response to the realization that there were no local counseling spaces for moms of color for perinatal mental health
  • How she worked at a community healthcare clinic in DC and saw the need, noticing that 90% of their clients were African-American
  • Why she wanted to make as many mental health services as possible open to as many people as possible
  • What Shivonne saw at the clinic: services focused on diabetes, hypertension, and reproductive services---but not on maternal mental health
  • What it means to provide culturally competent care
  • What Shivonne has seen in pushback regarding mental health from reproductive justice organizations
  • The story of Erica Garner, who died a few months after giving birth and losing her father to police brutality----how she could have been helped with more comprehensive services
  • How mental health and stress affect one’s physical condition
  • Thoughts on the changes that meed to be made and securing more therapists of color being trained to help with culturally competent care during the perinatal period
  • The dominance in healthcare of hetero-normative care and the need for diversity in patient-centered training
  • The trainings Shivonne offers: Perinatal Mood Disorders in Minority Mental Health (See the link below for more info on her upcoming webinar on Sept. 28)
  • At her trainings, Shivonne helps therapists discuss and identify cultural and spiritual issues to be able to assess PMADS and to explain how perinatal health impacts mental health in the African-American community
  • The class teaches what a therapeutic dialogue should sound like with a client of color and what help-seeking behaviors might look like for a mom of color with PMADS
  • The feedback she has received about the “powerful experience” of the webinar, and how people felt connected and established professional relationships with each other
  • How Shivonne’s work has been the most rewarding therapy ever
  • The far-reaching impact of this work to help families
  • The myth that moms believe: that it’s selfish to consider their own mental health



Shivonne’s website:  Use promo code “momandmind” to receive 10% off Shivonne’s webinar on September 28!


Find Shivonne on Twitter:


    Facebook: Akoma Counseling Concepts

Aug 27, 2018
113: Perinatal Anxiety and Depression

How would it feel for your own doctor to discount your postpartum anxiety? Today’s guest experienced this, along with pregnancy loss and depression. The important part of the story is how healing showed up for her and how she is using her experience to help others.


Ivy Sias earned her Master’s of Science and Mental Health Counseling from Walden University and became licensed in Louisiana in 2015. In 2017, she founded Ivy Counseling and Wellness Services, a private practice with a focus on assisting people with planting seeds of insight, growing in self-awareness, and making life changes that flourish from the inside out. After her experience with postpartum depression and anxiety and her struggle to find assistance and support in her community, the focus of her practice shifted to maternal mental health and the treatment of perinatal mood and anxiety disorders. A Compton, California native, Ivy has always believed that change happens when people are loud about injustice and when those who have experienced adversity boldly stand in their truth. She’s a wife to her loving husband, Joseph, and the mother of a son, Carter, 4, and daughter, Ryan, 1. Ivy is a National Certified Counselor (NCC) and a Licensed Professional Counselor and Supervisor (LPC-S) in Louisiana. She is passionate about helping underserved populations through therapy, advocacy, and promoting total wellness as a way to heal and grow.


Show Highlights:


  • Her son was born in June 2014 after an easy pregnancy, but he had breathing issues and pneumonia which landed him in the NICU for 10 days, while his parents felt helpless
  • How high blood pressure put her on bed rest for 2 days after giving birth
  • Her baby came home, Ivy went back to work soon after, and life returned to the “new” normal
  • In 2016, they decided to have another baby, but had an early miscarriage in June
  • After deciding to try again, Ivy got pregnant right away in September, even though she didn’t feel emotionally ready
  • How she felt disconnected to this pregnancy and felt guilty for not processing the loss and not celebrating the coming daughter
  • How her pregnancy was uncomfortable and full of guilt and worry, with Ivy being constantly upset, frustrated, and in tears
  • In June 2017, her daughter was born during a difficult labor and delivery, in which Ivy had an allergic reaction to the epidural
  • How she didn’t see her baby for several hours after the birth
  • She went home and started feeling sadness and didn’t have much of a support system
  • She had intrusive thoughts, worry, and wasn’t sleeping or eating
  • She became good at hiding how she felt overwhelmed, scared, and that she wasn’t a good wife and mother
  • How she talked to her doctor at her 6-week checkup, explained her issues, and was told she DIDN’T have postpartum depression
  • Her symptoms got worse: she still wasn’t sleeping and had worse intrusive thoughts and job troubles
  • How she found a meditation group and became empowered and connected
  • How this podcast helped her break the news to her family of how she’d been feeling and how she found healing
  • How Ivy re-educated herself about perinatal mood disorders and maternal mental health and focused her private practice on these issues to hep others
  • How Ivy learned through meditation to quiet her mind and to sleep better, eat better, and practice yoga
  • She became a spokesperson for overall mental, physical, spiritual, and emotional health
  • In her practice, she focuses on perinatal mood and anxiety disorders, focusing on total wellness by connecting clients to other community resources that can be helpful
  • How she went back to her Ob and talked to her about how she missed the mark and the doctor agreed to provide screenings for moms going forward and set up connections with other doctors
  • Upcoming for Ivy is a way to reach out to local daycare centers who might see moms who need resources and support
  • Ivy’s parting advice to moms and families: “You’re not alone. There are social media connections you can make until you find local services. Trust your instinct if you feel that something’s wrong. Share your story.”




Find Ivy on Facebook and Instagram:  Ivy Counseling and Wellness

Aug 20, 2018
112: Motherbirth

How have your personal experiences launched you into a certain line of work or the pursuit of a passion? Today’s show is about someone who used the tough and challenging journey into motherhood to find ways to help others through their difficulties. If your road to motherhood has been anything but smooth sailing, then you don’t want to miss today’s show!


Mellisa Reeves is a doula, coach, and the co-founder of the Motherbirth podcast and community. She shares her personal story around postpartum anxiety and the difficulties that caused in connecting with her son, along with the subsequent loss, birth trauma, and milestones that came and went. She shares about what she had to overcome and how she felt disconnected after the birth of her son and how her experiences have shaped the work she does today. Mellisa works with women who have experienced pregnancy loss and want to trust their bodies again, helping them find their path to hope and healing through the innate intuition they each possess. Brought up with an innate love for simple, natural, rhythmic living, Mellisa’s perspective on motherhood and life comes from a slow reawakening to the depth of feminine wisdom through her experience of stillbirth, multiple miscarriages, and postpartum anxiety. Mellisa is based in Portland but travels semi-fulltime with her husband and two children. 


Show Highlights:


  • How Mellisa’s interest in perinatal wellness was sparked by her first pregnancy loss, and then intensified with a difficult postpartum period with her son and the stillbirth of her second son
  • As the oldest of ten siblings, she grew up on a farm in Canada with a hippie mother who was either pregnant or breastfeeding for Mellisa’s entire childhood and youth
  • How her mother was very intentional, thoughtful, and present as a mom, and how Mellisa drew confidence from her about the manual aspects of motherhood, but felt severely lacking in the emotional preparation
  • The challenges with a difficult birth, postpartum, and bonding issues with her son
  • How she struggled with postpartum anxiety and felt like that trying time period would NEVER end
  • How she was so overwhelmed that she couldn’t comprehend having more children, lacked any peer support, and lacked connection with her intuition and inner voice
  • How her son reacted with force to her attempts to control him and she thought she would never have a connected relationship with him
  • She got pregnant with her second son when her oldest was 3, and she still had high anxiety and felt the darkness of that time
  • Why she couldn’t reconcile her “different lives” as mother to her oldest as she was pregnant with her second, who was stillborn at 42 weeks; this became the turning point in the healing of the relationship with her oldest
  • Now, when he is 9 years old, they have a difficult relationship, but a beautiful and dynamic one in which they both sense what it takes to stay connected
  • How the healing happens in a non-linear way
  • Mellisa’s journey into doula care and birth advocacy, supporting women and coaching them through pregnancy loss and birth trauma
  • How her personal experiences have resonated and taken her into certain fields where she finds passion to help others
  • How a doula supports mental health for mothers where relationships and connection are usually lacking
  • How we can change the first few months of motherhood to impact the rest of a woman’s journey
  • The experience after Mellisa’s daughter was born last year, despite a difficult postpartum and multiple losses previously
  • Why it’s difficult to admit that our relationships with our children are less than ideal because of what it says about us as mothers
  • How her podcast shares stories and experiences of women and the significant identity shift that takes place with the birth of the firstborn
  • How the podcast shares stories of the transition to motherhood and its themes and narratives that are common and shared
  • Her co-host, Laura, is finishing up her doctorate in Nurse Midwifery and focuses on the power of storytelling and group coaching



The Conscious Parent by Shefali Tsabary

Find Mellisa online, along with her courses and group coaching:

Find the Motherbirth podcast:

Connect with Mellisa on Instagram

Aug 13, 2018
111: The Empowered Mama: Lisa Druxman

What are the most important needs of women during pregnancy, postpartum, and the days of new motherhood? You might guess that nutrition, healthy habits, physical fitness, and emotional support are some of the most important needs---and they are! Wouldn’t it be ideal if there was a way to wrap up all of these AND a sense of connection and community with other moms? Join me for today’s show and find out how my guest has found the perfect intersection in meeting the needs of women embarking on their journeys to motherhood---and it just might be available in your hometown. 


Lisa Druxman is the Chief Founding Mom of FIT4MOM, the parent company to Fit4Baby, Stroller Strides, and Body Back. With nearly 2000 class locations nationwide, FIT4MOM is one of the fastest growing franchises in the country. Lisa is the author of The Empowered Mama and the host of The Empowered Mama podcast. She has been featured on The Today Show, Good Morning America, and more. Lisa is a speaker, writer, and thought leader with a passion for helping moms get out of overwhelm and into a healthy and happy life. We connected through the podcasting network, Parenting on Demand, where we both have our podcasts.


Show Highlights:


  • How Lisa felt “lost” 17 years ago on maternity leave with many questions, no confidence, and a loss of identity 
  • Why she started a stroller workout to help moms get back in shape as they helped her learn about motherhood
  • The growth of Stroller Strides from 2001 until now, through word-of-mouth advertising; now, it’s a nationwide program that provides a sense of community and much more than just a workout for moms
  • The programs offered now: Fit4Baby (prenatal), Body Back (transformational, high-intensity), and the new brand, FIT4MOM, with 300 franchises and 2000 class locations across the US
  • Our Village, the play group and Mom’s Night Out program as part of Stroller Strides
  • Why the program is the perfect combo of exercise and sense of community and support
  • How the positive support leads to success with many motherhood issues
  • How they provide fitness classes and provide education for moms to understand fitness and exercise science
  • The instructors are not therapists, but are trained to be aware of signs of postpartum depression and recommend needed resources
  • How the classes are benefitting new moms and creating amazing success stories of life-changing reconnection and rebuilding relationships and confidence
  • How the classes teach moms to treat themselves the way they hope their kids will someday treat themselves
  • A main point is the focus on inclusivity and that every mom is welcome
  • Lisa’s podcast and book: helping moms reclaim their time, their selves, and their health
  • The podcast format: solo episodes where Lisa shares personal experiences and body image issues, and interviews with amazing moms about their expertise and how they balance their lives
  • How Lisa shows what it means to be an Empowered Mama
  • How the podcast addresses common themes among moms about their struggles and how they want to show up as mothers
  • The #1 question from new moms: How do I balance it all?
  • Lisa’s answer: “Prioritize your self-care and something that gives you joy every day, and everything else will fall into place.”
  • How FIT4MOM provides support for moms during pregnancy, through postpartum, and into motherhood and beyond
  • Mama Well, the new digital program with 42 weeks of exercise videos, birth preparations, and nutritional guidance---and it includes a private Facebook group
  • Why this holistic program works for general health and wellness for moms---and is different from anything else in the country
  • The new programs coming later this year
  • Lisa’s #1 takeaway: “Every single minute of every single day, you are writing the story to your only life.” ---Katherine Center







The Empowered Mama by Lisa Druxman

Aug 06, 2018
110: Preeclampsia & Perinatal Loss with Stacey Porter

Every woman’s pregnancy experience is different, and each pregnancy brings its unique challenges. Today you’ll hear one woman’s story of her pregnancy, loss, and the obstacles she faced due to pre-eclampsia, which can affect women during pregnancy and in the postpartum period. My guest is gracious enough to share the heartbreaking details of her story, with the hope that those in similar circumstances will know they are not alone.


Stacey Porter is president and founder of The Tangerine Owl Project, a nonprofit devoted to offering peer support to families, started in memory of her daughter after a NICU loss in 2012. Stacey has been dedicated to efforts centered around supporting families who have suffered infant loss and traumatic birth since 2013. Stacey is heavily invested in efforts to support maternal mental health as it intertwines so greatly with traumatic birth and bereavement experiences for these families. She works as a contractor with the 2020 Mom Project, leading a volunteer program, social media, and a handful of other projects. She sits on the board of directors for local nonprofit Beyond the Baby Blues, which offers clinical group support to women suffering from perinatal mood and anxiety disorders, and she serves on the bereavement committee for the Mothers’ Milk Bank of the Western Great Lakes. Stacey is a member of the National Perinatal Association and Preemie Parent Alliance, and has collaborated on projects for patient education including online curriculum for staff on psychosocial support for NICU parents. 


Show Highlights:


  • Stacey was pregnant with her third child in 2012 after two picture-perfect pregnancies with her son and daughter
  • Why this was a completely different pregnancy experience, when swollen ankles at a 24-week appointment prompted her doctor to probe further and discover pre-eclampsia
  • Within a few days, she found herself hospitalized and then transferred to a more equipped hospital
  • The baby began to decline rapidly and her doctor told her to be prepared for delivery
  • A C-section was scheduled and the baby was given a 40% chance of survival
  • What is pre-eclampsia? A pregnancy condition in which maternal blood pressure rises to dangerously high levels, the baby is deprived of oxygen, and the placenta’s health can be affected
  • Pre-eclampsia can occur in pregnancy or postpartum, causing vision problems and seizures, and can decelerate the baby’s heart rate
  • Pre-eclampsia can affect people in different ways; Stacey didn’t have the typical risk factors, which include: the first pregnancy, a pregnancy with a different partner than previous pregnancies, smoking, and advanced maternal age
  • Pre-eclampsia can be mild or severe and can affect women of every race and every age
  • Back to Stacey’s story: the C-section was performed without complication and her daughter was born, weighing 1 lb. 5 oz.
  • The baby was sent to NICU and Stacey was discharged, but camped out at the hospital for the next 27 days
  • Stacey was on blood pressure medication for two months postpartum, but some women have to stay on them much longer
  • How Stacey was able to pump and provide breast milk for her baby
  • One weekend, Stacey went home for a quick visit and then returned to the hospital
  • Her baby became lethargic and the doctor discovered an infection from hospital-acquired bacteria
  • The baby became septic and they tried antibiotics for the aggressive Pseudomonas infection that they couldn’t get control of
  • After three days of sickness, they spent the last moments with her and held her as she passed away
  • Stacey realized that there is not a lot of peer support for people going through infant loss
  • The Facebook connection that became Stacey’s lifeline, because even though friends and family tried to help, they just couldn’t understand like someone who had been through the same experience
  • How people feel helpless and like they want to help but don’t know what to do or say
  • How the Tangerine Owl Project was inspired through the experience with her daughter, Delilah
  • How Stacey has grown and learned through her grief, starting the organization on the anniversary of her daughter’s death
  • How anxiety, depression, and panic attacks started a couple of years later, even though she was doing everything she could to deal with her feelings
  • How Stacey has become an advocate for maternal mental health




Find Stacey on Facebook: @Tangerine Owl Project or Stacey Dunlap Porter

Jul 30, 2018
109: Healing After Postpartum with Graeme Seabrook

How do we, as mothers, keep ourselves centered while raising our little ones? It’s a tough question to answer, but it becomes even more difficult when perinatal mental health is in jeopardy. Many times, we think that dealing with the crisis is the most important focus, but it’s the time period that follows the crisis---and the healing--that deserves big attention. Don’t miss today’s conversation covering these important topics. 


Graeme Seabrook is a Motherhood Life Coach whose approach to coaching is that YOU must be a priority in your own life in order to thrive. Following a traumatizing birth experience that left her with PTSD, and surviving postpartum depression and anxiety, Graeme began a healing journey as a mother and a woman.  That healing journey led her to train as a life coach and to create spaces where mothers can come to be witnessed, nurtured, inspired, and supported, so they can integrate motherhood with personhood and not the other way around. She does this work because she believes we are living in a global culture that treats mothers as if we are inhuman and expects us to be superhuman. Graeme’s work is dedicated to helping mothers reclaim their humanity. Today we discuss her work in helping mothers recover from recovery, the stabilization after a perinatal mental health issue, and the way to build resilience after the crisis passes. 


Show Highlights:


  • How the conversations are now happening to help those who are “in it,” but still have active triggers
  • Why we don’t talk about how your life may be changed for years or even decades
  • Carrying the guilt and pressure to be “the perfect mom” and “make up” for what you’ve put your family through 
  • Readjusting and cleaning up after the “storm” has passed
  • How Graeme is using the pain and anger as a catalyst to tell her story and do her advocacy work
  • The process of “recovering from recovery” and how Graeme borrowed the phrase from a therapist who helped her
  • How Graeme figured out the next step in recovery: resilience
  • Recognizing triggers and going through the checklist to make a totally different experience in the process of healing
  • Explaining the process of recovering from recovery: when you have made peace with your journey into motherhood
  • The grieving process inherent in motherhood over what we thought it would be
  • Learning to be a mother in the storm of mental illness trauma
  • The tendency to neglect self-care as we recover after the crisis
  • Our underlying drives and how we deal with them
  • How to cultivate resilience: learn to prioritize, make connections, and learn what “balls” to juggle and when
  • Graeme’s program of online coaching: 12 weeks, with no more than 10 people at a time, for moms who are out of the crisis period
  • Graeme’s passion-filled and heart-centered work, which is what she was looking for a few years ago
  • The power and potential connections through the internet
  • Success stories of how moms have transformed with Graeme’s help and become more in control of their lives




Find Graeme on Facebook: Graeme Seabrook

Find Graeme on Instagram: @graemetheppm

Find Graeme on Twitter: @postpartummama

Jul 23, 2018
108: Hyperemesis Gravidarum and Therapeutic Termination Loss with Kaleigh Mancha, MFTI, Doula, Yogi

We are all familiar with morning sickness that is a common part of pregnancy, but have you heard of hyperemesis gravidarum (HG)? It is a very significant medical issue that is very different from “normal” morning sickness, yet it’s been minimized even in the medical community, and the expectant mothers who suffer from this condition have not been treated with the care and respect that they deserve. Knowledge is power, so I hope with today’s show comes the education to help people empower themselves in this extreme condition that affects 1-2 out of 100 pregnancies.


Kaleigh Mancha is a licensed mental health therapist, certified full spectrum doula, body positive yoga teacher, and mother. She runs her business, K.a.y. & M.e., offering various wellness services in the Las Vegas Valley. Advocating for underserved and underrepresented populations has been a lifelong passion of hers and is what brought her into the mental health field ten years ago. She has also been heavily involved in advocating for equitable access to education. Her practice specialties include trauma, anxiety, life transitions, and concerns related to reproductive justice, pregnancy, postpartum, and parenthood. As a body positive yoga teacher, she believes that all bodies, abilities, and experience levels are welcome on the mat, and her goal is to reach people who, like her, didn’t grow up in spaces where wellness was a familiar experience. Kaleigh lives by the motto that “Wellness is a necessity, not a luxury.” She believes all people deserve better access to resources and the knowledge to help them live their best lives. She’s here to share her personal story about HG and how this condition has affected her life in many ways.


Show Highlights:


  • Ten years ago, she was pregnant with her daughter, extremely sick beyond what is “normal,” but filled with gratitude because a prior surgery had jeopardized her fertility
  • At 8 weeks pregnant, her doctor downplayed her nausea and sickness, but she became dehydrated and was diagnosed with HG
  • From 8 weeks to 8 months, she was severely sick, but it went away immediately at the birth of her daughter
  • As she planned for a 2nd child, she prepared her partner for the idea of more extreme sickness
  • She quickly became pregnant in December 2017, felt symptoms right away, but didn’t think it would be a big deal
  • At 5 weeks along, her partner was overwhelmed and decided not to continue to be a part of the journey
  • How she dealt with full-time work as a yogi, therapist, and doula while pregnant and so sick
  • Planning for a home birth with a midwife, but was hospitalized again with dehydration; she then tried acupuncture and CBD oil and was hospitalized again
  • Symptoms and facts about HG: Affects less than 2% of pregnancies and is characterized by intense nausea and vomiting (10-20 times/day); can lead to severe dehydration, organ failure, and extreme weight loss. It can vary in severity, can last the entire pregnancy, and is thought to be genetic.
  • The impact on Kaleigh was hopelessness and isolation
  • How her doula, Christina Hernandez, helped her formulate a plan
  • Trying a couple of different medications, which don’t really treat HG well. One was a mixture of B6 and Unisom (a sleep medication)
  • How she had to move in with her parents so they could help care for her and her daughter, close her practice, and cancel her doula clients
  • How she began home healthcare with a nurse calling or visiting to check on her daily and experienced odd side effects from the medication: dry, flaky skin, anxiety, restlessness, and insomnia
  • A new medication and daily IV meds, but her veins were collapsed and she’d already lost 20 lbs.
  • Why her midwife recommended a picc line and feeding tube
  • At 11 wks., she lost her baby, but was still experiencing the sickness. An ultrasound showed another baby
  • How it all made sense now! She was so terribly sick because there were two babies to begin with!
  • The decision Kaleigh had to make because of her declining health--a therapeutic termination (1 in 3 HG patients choose this)
  • How the illness left immediately and she felt like herself again, but then she had to deal with the grief and loss. She took 3 weeks for self-care and healing
  • Her recommitment to her patients, to use her experience to become a better doula to help others who don’t have the same support that she did. She now offers free help for those suffering from HG.




Find Kaleigh on Facebook: Kay and Me Doula and Wellness Services

Visit her website:

Find Kaleigh on Instagram: @kaym86

On Facebook, find HG Moms

For more info, visit www.hyperemesis.orgI 

Jul 16, 2018
107: EMDR for Perinatal Mental Health with Bethany Warren, LCSW

Are there experiences in your life that you just can’t “get past”? We all have those memories that seem to crop up again and again, bringing anxiety, depression, and other effects. What if these memories are tied to a pregnancy or postpartum experience? You can see how this might be difficult for a woman to work through on her own. Even traditional talk therapy is not always effective at clearing through these feelings. Today we are discussing the benefits of using a therapy model called EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) to help women.

Bethany Warren has been interested in this modality as a treatment for some time and has a passion for women’s mental health issues. She has worked in this field for 20 years, specializing in Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders, also working with women who experienced birth trauma, pregnancy loss, infertility, adoption, and surrogacy. She is certified in EMDR and the trauma processing lens and attachment model guides most of her work with clients. She is passionate about coaching and guiding parents through their adjustment to new roles and assisting women who have children with medical and other health-related issues. She has worked in hospital and outpatient psychiatric settings and is now in a group private practice. Bethany serves on boards and community organizations that promote women’s health and wellness. She is also an adjunct professor at a local university in San Diego and supervises clinicians working toward their licenses. 


Show Highlights:

  • EMDR has been used mainly in treating veterans with PTSD, but now is a tool found to be useful in many areas, including maternal mental health
  • The connection between EMDR and REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep
  • The differences in memories that have been fully processed and those that are “free floating”
  • The statistics: 12% of pregnant women and 9% of postpartum women meet the PTSD criteria, and 34% of women report having a traumatic birth experience
  • How EMDR has impacted Bethany’s practice with more insight-oriented therapy that processes memories the way the brain already knows to do
  • The components of EMDR therapy include eye movement, tapping, and headsets with sounds---these can be used separately or in combination
  • These tools are used to process memories and negative beliefs in the correct part of the brain
  • How does it help? “The memory becomes unstuck”
  • For the therapist, treatment involves less talking and more observing
  • How the therapy works without making clients “take a trauma bath” in the experience they’ve learned to avoid
  • EMDR does NOT involve sitting with a therapist and talking through your traumatic experiences
  • My personal experience with the power of EMDR therapy in getting past stuck feelings and deep-rooted traumas
  • How EMDR helps with early attachment repair, early memories of shame and failure, and repeated harmful patterns
  • The leading researchers on EMDR: Carol Forgash, Amy Robbins, Andrew Leeds, and Claire Stamrood
  • Bethany’s advice: Find a trained and certified EMDR therapist
  • Those who should NOT do EMDR include anyone who is psychotic or currently using substances or is in current chaotic circumstances
  • Hopeful messages of success in how clients have responded and been able to move past the things they never thought they could



Bethany’s website:

Follow Bethany on Instagram: @bethanywarrenlcsw EMDR International Association  Prevention and Treatment of Traumatic Birth  Solace for Mothers after Traumatic Birth  Trauma and Birth Stress


Jul 09, 2018
106: A Couple’s Journey, Loss and Postpartum

Have you ever dealt with pregnancy loss? Unfortunately, it’s more common than we think and the topic is one that we just don’t talk about. Dealing with one miscarriage is difficult enough, but when you have the pain of multiple losses, it can be almost unbearable. How does a couple get through these times? How do you offer support to each other and keep your relationship strong? These are the questions addressed in today’s episode, in which we talk to a husband AND wife together about their experience with loss.


Shane and NaKaisha Banks are a couple who dealt with loss, birth, loss again, and birth again. They share about their two rainbow babies, the anxiety and depression that came after, and how they have navigated all of this as a couple. In this powerful episode, NaKaisha and Shane share their story in hopes of increasing awareness about loss as a couple of color. Although this is one couple’s story, it’s a great catalyst for us to think of the family as a system. While we tend to focus on what happens with the mother, the male partner is deeply affected as well. You’ll hear the strength of their relationship and how they were able to pull together through their experiences.


NaKaisha loves her roles in life, including Social Worker and life coach through her practice D.U.O. Empowerment Services, which stands for “Do Unto Others” and was begun in 2008. She is the author of The Birdcage, released in April 2018. She is the mother of two beautiful girls, London and Germany, and has been married to Shane for 12 years. Shane is a minister who enjoys fishing, sci-fi and action-packed movies, and lives a blessed life as a husband and father. Shane and NaKaisha share a passion of serving in ministry together, in which their faith is the foundation of life and difficult times. 


Show Highlights:


  • Why their daughters, London (8) and Germany (2) are “rainbow children,” since Shane and NaKaisha suffered a pregnancy loss prior to each of the girls’ births
  • The first loss was in 2009, when they weren’t even trying to conceive because they were living their lives and waiting to see what God ordained for them as a couple
  • The first pregnancy and its complications, then a miscarriage at 9-11 weeks and a flood of unexplained emotions
  • From Shane’s perspective: he was excited about the baby but found the miscarriage a tough thing to go through. He wanted to be strong and support his wife as much as possible
  • The second miscarriage was a different experience and NaKaisha was labeled high risk. She couldn’t believe she was going through yet another miscarriage and felt angry, sad, and frustrated
  • How NaKaisha couldn’t understand why her body was fighting against her
  • How they each dealt with the loss separately and were disconnected as a couple
  • How they had to work hard to communicate through feeling abandoned and alone and were later able to process the feelings and “get back on track”
  • How Shane realized that NaKaisha needed more communication from him
  • Dealing with the confusion of not knowing what the other person needed
  • The range of emotions that came out of the loss and how they had to “push through”
  • The foundation of their relationship to be able to weather these storms
  • The healing process and how NaKaisha was scheduled for sterilization surgery that was canceled at the last minute and they found out about their surprise pregnancy
  • The anxiety of another pregnancy, their Tuesday “celebrations,” and the birth of their second healthy daughter
  • What NaKaisha went through with intense sickness during both pregnancies, being “willing to go through whatever it took to get my babies here”
  • What Shane says fathers should know: “You need to be more open to share thoughts and feelings”
  • What NaKaisha says to other couples: “You have to work ten times harder to keep the communication lines open and be willing to sit in the silence when you don’t know what to say.”
  • Why this is an important piece of a relationship, because it’s a common experience that people go through
  • Why Shane says he thought “being there” was enough, but then later realized that he should have opened up more
  • How communication transcends across the relationship and allows you to be present, even without a voice
  • How NaKaisha finds personal healing in being able to help others because of her understanding and empathy




Connect with NaKaisha at 

Find NaKaisha Tbanks on Facebook, DUO Empowerment Services on Facebook,  and @1stLadyGiggles on Twitter and Instagram

Jul 02, 2018
105: Let's Talk About Postpartum Sex!

When it comes to sex after having a baby, what’s normal? If we’re honest, we have had these questions and probably been afraid to ask. After all, who do we ask? How do we improve the communication between partners about sex and sexuality? These topics are very important, both during the pregnancy and during the postpartum period. We talk primarily about heterosexual relationships in this episode but some of the dynamics affect all sexual relationships. 

My guest today holds nothing back! She has a refreshing, honest, and direct approach to everything you want to know about this topic.

Elyse Springer, MA, MFT, is a licensed marriage and family therapist who practices in the Los Angeles area. She uses a combination of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, EMDR Therapy, and psychodynamic modalities to assist people with depression, anxiety, death and loss, relationship conflicts, HIV/AIDS, Perinatal Mood and Anxiety disorders, substance abuse, and trouble with the creative process for artists and writers. Elyse has taught and lectured in a variety of settings and serves on boards and task forces in support of Maternal Mental Health and other causes that are closely related to her work in private practice.


Show Highlights:


  • How it became clear that this topic is one that Elyse wants to help people understand more fully
  • A common complaint during the postpartum period for moms: being “touched out”
  • The difference in sex and sexuality and how a woman’s sexuality can change after giving birth
  • Adult woman’s sexuality vs. younger woman’s sexuality
  • The definition of a “sexless marriage”---having sex 10 times/year or less
  • The average frequency of sex before a baby is 1-3 times/week---the key after giving birth is to look at what the frequency was before the birth
  • How fatigue and sleeplessness impact sex drive
  • Is there a difference in a woman’s sex drive after a C-section as opposed to vaginal birth?
  • The specific overall pattern to resuming sex after a baby
  • A common dynamic is when the partner isn’t supportive but still wants sex
  • The distinction between sex and emotional intimacy that allows for sexual satisfaction in a relationship
  • The four parts of sex: desire, arousal, orgasm, and relaxation (for women, sometimes the desire comes AFTER the arousal)
  • Different levels of desire and communication for men and women
  • How a baby can fulfill the mother’s need for connection and intimacy
  • For survivors of sexual trauma, the pregnancy, birthing, and postpartum period are full of potential issues
  • The tricky dialogue around sexual victimization--especially if the woman hasn’t been 100% honest
  • The common cycle of anger vs. anger vs. anger
  • The amazing groundbreaking research by Darby Saxby from USC about the equal dynamic in households
  • How touching increases the connection
  • How a mother changes physically AND mentally after giving birth
  • Elyse’s exercise about writing down your five best sex moments before the birth and asking how you can get back to those
  • How resentment forms from HER irritation and HIS rejection and withdrawal
  • How to listen to those bids for affection
  • How open dialogue about sexual satisfaction can be the precursor to actual sex in the postpartum
  • The ridiculously inaccurate stereotypes of female and male sexuality on TV and in movies: the vampy young woman, the cougar, and the goofy inept dad stereotype
  • The concrete assumption that it’s ALWAYS the mom who doesn’t want sex
  • How men’s testosterone drops in the 4-6 months postpartum
  • Common issues with dads: not knowing the oral language of caring and affection and bearing the mental load to ease up anger and resentment



Twitter: @espringermft

Jun 25, 2018
104: Certification in Perinatal Mental Health

You may have wondered about the process required for certification in perinatal mental health. There is much confusion around any supplemental certification and in many cases, the process isn’t clear. What is clear, however, is the increasing need for certified professionals to deal with the issues faced by many new mothers and their families. 


Birdie Gunyon Meyer is an RN with a Master’s Degree in Psychology/Counseling. She is the Coordinator of the Perinatal Mood Disorders Program at Indiana University Health in Indianapolis, Indiana.


She is a Past-President and Past-Chair of Education and Training for Postpartum Support International and currently is the Director of Certification. PSI is the world’s largest non-profit organization dedicated to helping those suffering from perinatal mood and anxiety disorders. Birdie is also on the President’s Advisory Council for PSI and for the International Childbirth Education Association. She specializes in the recognition and treatment of pregnancy and postpartum mood and anxiety disorders. She is a childbirth educator and a lactation counselor and speaks frequently to communities, nursing schools, grand rounds, and conferences.


Birdie has been interviewed frequently for radio, television, and print media. She is highlighted as a PMD expert in PSI’s DVD that is shown around the country: “Healthy Mom, Happy Family: Understanding Pregnancy and Postpartum Mood and Anxiety Disorders.” Today’s show covers everything you need to know about getting certification in perinatal mental health.


Show Highlights:


  • The history of the PMD certification: the money was donated for the program and PSI took on the task of developing and overseeing the certification program
  • Subject matter experts were chosen (and they volunteered their time) to develop the core competencies for certification
  • How the “blueprint” was developed from which test questions for the exam are fornulated
  • The process of determining the questions is complete and the test should be ready by August 1, 2018
  • The certification has three tracks: psychotherapy, psychopharmacology, and affiliated professions
  • The prerequisites to sit for the exam: basic training (13-14 hrs.) OR the PSI webinar (18 hrs.) OR an equivalent approved training---AND then a third day advanced training in one of the three tracks
  • Birdie’s current task is vetting the advanced trainings around the country--these will be listed on the PSI website
  • How to contact PSI (see resources below) if you think you’ve taken a course that qualifies
  • The qualifications to sit for the exam: a Master’s Degree or beyond AND at least 2 years’ experience working with moms, families, and babies
  • The 2nd track--psychopharmacology covers “the prescribers,” primarily physicians, physicians’ assistants, and advanced practice nurses
  • Certification on this track includes 6 hours or more of advanced psychopharmacology in the perinatal mood disorder field beyond the PSI two-day online training or another approved training
  • The 3rd track is in affiliated professions that don’t fall into categories of psychotherapists or prescribers, like nurses, doulas, lactation consultants, occupational therapists, and physical therapists
  • After a two-day course or its equivalent, the requirement can be fulfilled by going to a conference and taking at least 6 hours of training there or at another approved training
  • Applicants will apply for the exam through Pearson VUE
  • The cost of the exam is $500, which covers a lifetime certification as long as the 6 hours of continuing education yearly in your track are fulfilled to keep the certification
  • A common question people ask is if they can bypass the prerequisite courses and just take the exam, especially if they have been in practice for a long time. The answer is NO, that everyone must take the same path to achieve the certification and protect its integrity




Jun 18, 2018
103: Breastfeeding, D-MER and Mental Health with Heidi Koss

You may think that postpartum depression covers all aspects of perinatal mental health issues that new mothers face. The fact is that there are other kinds of mood changes, some that are talked about and some that are relatively unknown and uncommon. Today’s show focuses on one specific problem that some mothers experience: it’s called D-Mer, which stands for Dysphoric Milk Ejection Reflex.  

Heidi Koss, MA, LMHC, is a psychotherapist in private practice in Redmond, WA. She specializes in perinatal (pregnancy and postpartum) mood disorders, birth trauma, sexual abuse, and parent adjustment issues. Heidi has been the WA State Coordinator for Postpartum Support International, and has volunteered for over 20 years with Perinatal Support Washington She served as past board member for PATTCh – the Prevention and Treatment of Traumatic Childbirth, Heidi is active leading trainings for clinicians on appropriate assessment and treatment options for perinatal mood disorders and birth trauma. She leads monthly clinical consult groups mentoring mental health care providers to develop their competency and expertise in perinatal mental health issues.


Heidi was a co-founder of the Northwest Association for Postpartum Support (NAPS, a postpartum doula organization as well as the recipient of the Doulas of North America (DONA) Penny Simkin Doula Spirit and Mentorship Award. Prior to her psychotherapy career, Heidi was a Postpartum Doula and Certified Lactation Educator for 12 years.


Show Highlights:


  • Heidi’s work as a mother and perinatal mental health therapist and lactation educator: ”Helping moms with mind, body, and breast”
  • Why D-Mer is not often talked about and often misunderstood
  • What D-Mer is: Dysphoric Milk Ejection Reflex. It occurs when milk onset/letdown happens and lasts a few seconds or minutes
  • D-Mer is a strange emotional phenomenon with negative emotions of sadness, dread, despair, nervousness, anxiety, and irritability
  • D-Mer can be severe, with fleeting suicidal thoughts and urges for self-harm
  • The biochemical connection is with two hormones, dopamine and oxytocin, in which they “go rogue,” misfire, or become overactive
  • No studies have shown who is more predisposed to experience D-Mer
  • For some women, D-Mer symptoms ease as the baby ages, but some have no change until weaning
  • D-Mer symptoms might be harder to treat and control in women who already have a diagnosed anxiety or depression disorder
  • What D-Mer is NOT: nausea, postpartum depression, anxiety, breastfeeding aversion---”It’s NOT the mom’s fault.”
  • The best treatment is to educate women about D-Mer
  • How some women can “talk themselves through” D-Mer episodes
  • Ideas for easing symptoms include rewiring the stress hormones, making positive associations with breastfeeding, and positive touch (massage)
  • General good habits for life will ease D-Mer symptoms, like mindfulness, meditation, good sleep and self-care, reduced stress, and managing blood sugar fluctuations
  • To target dopamine, nursing locations should be aesthetically pleasing to make a pleasant mental and physical experience for the mother
  • Some women find D-Mer intolerable and decide to wean, while some can deal with the symptoms and continue to breastfeed
  • Wellbutrin works for some women to ease the symptoms
  • How to find support: Find a lactation consultant and pursue therapy with a perinatal mental health therapist



Email Heidi:

Jun 11, 2018
102: A Personal Story of Postpartum Psychosis with Tarah and Julie

You’ve heard of postpartum depression, but have you heard of postpartum psychosis? Do you know the difference and how to recognize the signs and symptoms? We are talking about a very difficult mental condition that can wreak havoc on a new mother, her baby, and her family. Fortunately, there are signs to look for and ways you can help if someone you know might be experiencing this rare condition.

In this episode, we are hearing from Tarah, a woman who experienced postpartum psychosis after the birth of her twins. Tarah’s mother, Julie, joins this chat, which is the first mother-daughter duo we’ve had on the show to talk about the postpartum experience. One or two out of 1000 women will experience a postpartum psychosis, and while it’s very rare, it is a serious condition that requires immediate treatment. Most people have been misled to think that postpartum depression and postpartum psychosis are synonymous, but they are not. Psychosis is a break from shared reality and is an emergency situation that looks very different from postpartum depression.

Tarah and Julie want people to hear their story so they know what can happen and what to look for. Having them both share their perspectives gives us insight and deepens our understanding of what can happen in a family, what the new mother might experience, and what a family member on the outside might notice. The main point is that information and a strong support system are vitally important in surviving this potentially traumatic experience.

Please note that Tarah’s story may be sensitive for some listeners and is not necessarily what all moms with postpartum psychosis experience. Resources for support are available and listed below.   

Show Highlights:

  • Tarah married in 2007 and began trying to have a baby in 2009. After Clomid and two miscarriages, she experienced a textbook pregnancy with her twins
  • The twins were born almost 4 weeks early and the postpartum depression began immediately
  • Julie noticed how Tarah didn’t want to hold the babies a lot and seemed disconnected and anxious
  • Three days after the twins were born, Julie noticed that Tarah was not acting normal and took her to the hospital
  • The hospital gave Tarah Xanax and an antidepressant and sent her home, but the symptoms snowballed into psychotic fears and extreme anxiety
  • Two days later, Julie took Tarah for the 2nd visit to the ER and they admitted her to treat her exhaustion
  • Two hours after Julie went home to rest, the hospital called to say Tarah had jumped through a window to escape (she was later found, bleeding, wandering around the parking lot)
  • How one doctor nailed the diagnosis and saved Tarah’s life
  • Tarah was transported to a behavioral health hospital because she thought people were out to hurt her
  • Julie was given the job of strapping her down to the gurney because they thought she would accept it better and not fight against it
  • The next day, discussions began about ECT (electroconvulsive therapy) and heavy medications
  • While Tarah did have ECT as treatment, this is not always used. Everyone's treatment plan looks different.
  • For Julie, these were some of the darkest days of her life
  • Postpartum psychosis happens to 1-2 in 1000 women: 95% of these women manifest symptoms like Tarah did, but about 5% do infanticide while in a psychotic state.  
  • Tarah’s support system to help her and care for the twins
  • The treatment approach of 3 different medications and ECT 3x/week
  • Problems in the hospital unit that prompted Tarah’s move to the senior citizen unit
  • How Tarah was “out of it” for almost 2 weeks, not asking about her babies
  • After about 3 weeks, Tarah finally felt that she was returning to normal
  • After her release, Julie stayed with her for 6 months and Tarah was never left alone with the babies. It took about a year to wean her off the high-powered medications
  • How Tarah’s husband was heartbroken but then relieved to get her back
  • Tarah’s feelings of self-blame, but she knew her situation was out of her control
  • Tarah's story is an example of why we need more Postpartum Mother-Baby hospital units. Mothers need specialized care.
  • Support from parents, in-laws, grandparents, friends, and other family members
  • What Tarah and Julie want you to know:
    • This is a real condition and not made-up
    • Someone you know may need help and not even know it
    • People are not aware of postpartum psychosis as something to look for

There are some risk factors that can help you know if you are susceptible to a postpartum psychosis or postpartum bipolar onset. Learn more here... 


If you are concerned about yourself or a loved one, please reach out to a local organization that supports postpartum women or reach out to Postpartum Support International (PSI) for information

Postpartum Support International (PSI)

If you feel that your family member is experiencing some of the symptoms of postpartum psychosis, please take them to medical care immediately.


PSI also has a specialized support coordinator, providing non-emergency support to women and families dealing with postpartum psychosis: Michele Davidson, PhD, CNM, CFN, RN--703-298-3247 or   


Mom and Mind Connection FB Group 


Jun 04, 2018
101: Black Women Birthing Justice

Have you ever considered how the themes of racial injustice and disempowerment of women might be played out in the birthing room? This is especially true for black women, many of whom are experiencing fear-based coercion at the hands of their maternal healthcare providers. Today’s show explores the findings of a recent research project and the recommendations that have come out of that research. 


 We are talking with Professor Chinyere Oparah and Dr. Sayida Peprah, who are part of the Black Women Birthing Justice collective. Today we are discussing some of the research they have done and the report called Battling over Birth. Highlights from our discussion include the power dynamics in the birthing environment for black women, history of sexual survivor issues and how that might impact the birthing experience, empowering black women in the birth space and some glimpses into what the Battling over Birth report recommends. 


Julia Chinyere Oparah is a social justice educator, collective leader, activist scholar, and experienced community organizer who has spent over two decades producing critical scholarship in the service of progressive social movements.  Oparah is Provost and Dean of the Faculty and professor of Ethnic Studies at Mills College, and she was educated at Cambridge University and Warwick University

 Oparah is the author of Other Kinds of Dreams: Black Women’s Organizations and the Politics of Organization, the only comprehensive history of the black women’s movement in Britain. Her most recent book, Birthing Justice: Black Women, Pregnancy and Childbirth, places black women at the center of debates around childbirth and highlights their role in the emerging birth justice movement.

 Dr. Sayida Peprah became certified through DONA International Inc., as a Birth Doula and began assisting mothers professionally in their journey of pregnancy, childbirth and breastfeeding.  

She is currently a Psychologist, an instructor and consultant with the Association for Holistic Maternal and Newborn Health, teaching cultural awareness, cross-cultural communication and perinatal mood disorder content for the organization’s trainings.  Dr. Sayida is also an active member of the Black Women Birthing Justice collective, promoting research, education and community-based services to positively transform birthing experiences in the black community.


Show Highlights:

  • Black Women Birthing Justice: A collective of African-American Caribbean, and multi-racial women who are sharing about the negative experiences they’ve had in their maternal care and childbirth
  • How a negative birth experience can be turned around with a great midwife and doula team
  • How the actions that are being taken by medical providers are disempowering black women
  • How BWBJ began in 2011 with a Research Justice project, with over 100 women being open and honest about their stories
  • Battling Over Birth: a human rights report that unpacks the stories of those 100 women and how they found themselves in conflict with their medical providers
  • Before the sharing circles, some of the women had no idea of what they had missed out on in their birth experiences
  • The comparison with this topic and the sexual survivors of the Me Too movement, and how their birth experiences are re-triggering and re-traumatizing, with further victimization
  • How doctors use fear-based coercion to get the women to do what THEY want
  • The ramifications and implications for these women, along with the potential stress and trauma
  • The opportunity to change the narrative and “do it differently”
  • How to have empowerment in the birth experience, including how providers interact with you for physical exams during labor and birth
  • How the mental health of these women is affected
  • The ways we can make sure this doesn’t keep happening--”This doesn’t have to be normal.”
  • How the impact of the negative birth experience bleeds over into breastfeeding
  • How the timelines followed in the birthing process don’t take into account the stress and trauma that are added to the process
  • What the report shows about the link between postpartum depression being linked to the birth experience, and not just to hormones
  • How those disadvantaged in race, class, and relationship status had toxic postpartum environments more frequently
  • The shame and judgment that black women feel in admitting postpartum depression, because they are supposed “to be strong”
  • These women need to know that reaching out for help is the strong thing to do 
  • What can healthcare providers do differently?
    • Get the report and read the recommendations
    • Find out what actions can be taken
  • Some of the report’s recommendations regarding prenatal care, postpartum care, empowerment, connections, community, and accountability
  • The options for home birth vs. hospital birth



Professor Oparah:

Dr. Sayida:

Please find out more by reading that Battling over Birth report at Find the report here: 

Twitter @birthingjustice

Instagram @birthingjustice







May 28, 2018
100: Celebrating 100 Episodes of Mom and Mind

Join us for this very special episode, celebrating 100 episodes of Mom and Mind! In this episode, Dr. Kat takes a look back at some of the most impactful episodes of the first 100! 

You also get to hear messages from other listeners. These are messages of encouragement and hope. The first 100 episodes is a huge milestone, but to be honest, we are just getting started! There's still so much more to discuss and so many more people to talk to. 

So join us as we celebrate this milestone, and keep coming back week after week because we are just getting started. Share this episode with a friend and if you haven't already joined the Facebook group, what are you waiting for?


For this and all episodes of Mom & Mind, please find us at:

Facebook: Mom & Mind

Facebook Group: Mom & Mind Connection

Twitter: @drkaeni

Instagram: @momandmind

For Sponsorship and Guest Inquiries, please email

May 21, 2018
99: "Strong As A Mother"

Maternal Mental Health Month continues and so do we! Hearing real life situations and experience is so important for us. In this episode, Kate Rope talks about her personal experience with pregnancy and postpartum Anxiety.

She also shares about her book, Strong As A Mother, which addresses pregnancy, postpartum throughout the first year and pressures that society place on women. This is book is built to be a useable resource for moms to help guide them through the transition to motherhood.

Kate discusses:

*How having a medical test during pregnancy made her worry more.

*How a Pericarditis diagnosis lead to more testing, which lead to increased Anxiety and intrusive thoughts about illness

*Exhaustion from Anxiety

*Meeting with a Reproductive Psychiatrist for Anxiety and starting to take the medication Sertraline

*"Zoloft was sort of like a snooze button for my brain and I was able to rest"

*"Keep talking until you get somebody who listens" 

*How her book, Strong As A Mother supports women to make the decisions that will help them through the journey into motherhood.

Connect with Kate Here:

twitter: @katerope

insta: @strongasamotherbook


For this and all episodes of Mom & Mind, please find us at:

Facebook: Mom & Mind

Facebook Group: Mom & Mind Connection

Twitter: @drkaeni

Instagram: @momandmind

For Sponsorship and Guest Inquiries, please email

KATE ROPE is an award-winning freelance journalist whose work has appeared in many publications and online outlets including The New York Times, Time, Real Simple,, Shape, Glamour UK, BabyCenter, Parade and Parenting. She is author of the forthcoming, Strong as a Mother: How to Stay Healthy, Happy and (Most Importantly) Sane from Pregnancy to Parenting (St. Martin’s Press, May 2018), coauthor of The Complete Guide to Medications During Pregnancy and Breastfeeding and lives in Atlanta with her husband and two daughters.

May 14, 2018
98: When Postpartum Packs a Punch

Kristina Cowan shares her story and her book, When Postpartum Packs a Punch: Fighting Back and Finding Joy. (We discuss sensitive content for birth injury and complications.)

May is maternal mental health awareness month and Mom & Mind is dedicated to highlighting the lived experience of moms, partners and families. 

Kristina discusses her experience through a traumatic birth experience, a postpartum thyroid condition and her path to healing. She has written an amazing book that includes her experience, others stories of lived experience and great information from experts in the field. She wrote, “When Postpartum Packs a Punch” and we will learn a bit about that today. Kristina touches on:

*Birth Trauma

*Postpartum Depression

*Medication for treatment

*Postpartum onset of Hashimoto's Thyroiditis

*Healing and recovery

*The resources in her new book

Connect with Kristina Here!


Facebook author page:

Twitter: @kristinacowan

Instagram: kcowan8863


Find the book here:

For this and all episodes of Mom & Mind, please find us at:

Facebook: Mom & Mind

Facebook Group: Mom & Mind Connection

Twitter: @drkaeni

Instagram: @momandmind

For Sponsorship and Guest Inquiries, please email

May 07, 2018
97: When Perinatal Myths Become Beliefs

Maternal Mental Health Week is Here! 4/30-5/4

World Maternal Mental Health day is Wednesday 5/2

We are addressing the myths of motherhood and parenthood while digging a little deeper to see how those myths become the beliefs that we carry about ourselves. 

What are these myths? So glad you asked! They basically sound like perfection at it's most perfect...

* You will get pregnant easily

* You and your baby will be healthy

* You will love being pregnant and being a mother

* You will know what to do and how to do it 

* Breastfeeding will be easy

* You will instantly bond with your baby postpartum

And so on...What can you add to the list? WELL, what happens when these myths don't become reality????

We feel like failures. We blame ourselves. We think that we did something wrong. We feel like bad mothers. 

Let's tear this down and start over. Yes, some people have these really lovely experiences, but for those of us who don't...we are suffering by the pain of these "failures". I say, we say, that's enough. Let's call it out and realize that you're working so hard and you are a good mom.

Join in and raise your voices for #maternalmentalhealth

This week check out these organizations...

The Blue Dot Project

#realmotherhood #noshame

Maternal Mental Health Day (5/2):


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Apr 28, 2018
96: Team Approach and Global Understanding of Perinatal Mental Health

Dr. Raja discusses the importance of multidisiplinary approaches to health and wellbeing in pregnancy and postpartum. He shares his rich and global perspective on how care providers can work together across roles to make sure that perinatal mothers are receiving the care they need.

Here are some of the topics we touch on:

*OB's are one part of the care team for pregnant mothers

*There might be different care pathways in different countries but if we are working together as a care team, we can "join the dots"

*How the World Health Organization defines health: physical mental and social well-being.

*Keep mothers and families in the heart of everything. "If you listen to the mothers and the families, you can never go wrong"

*Discussing Maternal Death and thoughts on prevention

*Identify and understand your role in the care of women, which includes making appropriate referrals and following up to make sure she gets support.

*Acknowledge your limitations as a provider and offer to find out more.

* The International Forum for Wellbeing In Pregnancy: Open access information resource to discuss and learn about different aspects of wellbeing in pregnancy, to understand different practices in different parts of the world.

Dr. Raja Gangopadhyay is a Consultant Obstetrician from the UK with a special interest in Perinatal Mental Health and the Founder of International Forum for Wellbeing In Pregnancy."

Connect here:

International Forum for Wellbeing in Pregnancy (IFWIP):


IFWIP FB page:

Twitter: @RajaGangopadhy3 and @ifwip1


Links to the information that Dr. Raja discussed:

Global scenario:

Confidential Enquiries into Maternal Deaths (UK & Ireland):

Red Flag symptoms: Pg 3 of

IFWIP Resource page:

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Apr 23, 2018
95: The AfterBirth Plan

Dr. Alyssa Berlin is on to talk about planning for life after the birth of your child. We often don't consider what happens after the baby comes home, or how our relationship might change.

It's important to consider planning for life after you come home with baby! Dr. Berlin uses some really great analogies and examples about our needs during this time. She discusses how to strengthen the couple to be prepared for life with baby, but also normal life after a child. 

We discuss what postpartum planning is...real expectations, relationships changes, planning for 'normal and learning what could happen...

Connect with Dr. Berlin!

Dr. Alyssa Berlin is a clinical psychologist specializing in pregnancy, postpartum and parenting, a labor support doula and a certified Gottman educator. Dr. Berlin is the creator of The AfterBirth Plan Workshop, a program that prepares couples for what to expect after a baby is born and how to prepare for a physically and emotionally healthy postpartum transition for the baby, for each partner and for the evolving relationship. Dr. Berlin is is on the Board of Advisors for the International Cesarean Awareness Network (ICAN) and is a faculty member of Maternal Mental Health NOW Training institute. You can read Dr. Alyssa's blogs on the Huffington Post where she contributes to PBS's 'This Emotional Life" project. Dr. Alyssa and her husband, prenatal chiropractor Dr. Elliot Berlin live in Los Angeles and are the proud parents of four amazing children.

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Apr 16, 2018
94: Postpartum Stress and how to start healing

Dr. Kathleen Kendall-Tackett is talking about some essential info on how stress affects postpartum moms and what to do about it! This is a must listen, it's so fascinating.

This episode is jam packed with great information and insight. You might want to take notes and pass this along to others. What is so fantastic about this episode is that most people don't have access to this kind of info and education. We aren't reading research articles or even able to understand them half the time.

Kathy gives us some education on how our bodies work, which I believe really helps us to take the blame off of ourselves. There are real things happening in our brains and bodies that affect how we feel, think and behave.

There are really too many gems to count here...

*Depression in pregnancy

*Depression and breastfeeding

*The stress response: what's normal, what hurts us

*The role of inflammation in our illness

*WHAT YOU CAN DO TODAY to get on the path to reducing stress and inflammation!

Connect with Kathy here:,

Google Scholar link:

The article we discussed:



****Listeners, we want to HEAR YOU! Click on this link to find out how to leave me a voice message to be used on the podcast for Maternal Mental Health Month in MAY! ****


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Apr 08, 2018
93: Healing through PPD and nourishing new mothers

Crystal Karges, MS, RDN, IBCLC is sharing her personal story of dealing with postpartum depression after three of her five children. She then went on to use her professional skills to help and support other moms find balance with nutrition and breastfeeding.

Crystal touches on many aspects of her experience that so many moms can relate to:

-a past eating disorder of anorexia and worry that she wouldn't be able to get pregnant due to that history

-feeling disconnected from her children because of postpartum depression

-dealing with the pressure to be happy because she was able to have children

-breastfeeding difficulties, feeling the pressure to breastfeed and having the support of a lactation consultant 

Crystal shares how her experiences shaped her work and passion to help mothers nourish themselves and nourish their new babies.

Please share this episode with other mothers or partners who are struggling with these similar issues. Crystal shares the message that we talk about on this are not alone mamas! With some compassion and understanding you can get through this. 

Connect with Crystal!

Instagram/Twitter: @ crystalkarges
FB group: Start with You Moms:

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Apr 02, 2018
92: SOAPBOX Edition! Mom guilt, mom shaming and helping families

Dr. Kat gets on her soapbox! Dishing on a few things that get her upset and maybe get you upset too?!?! We have a long way to go to do better for pregnant, birthing, loss and postpartum moms!

Here are some of the things she touchs on...

*Can we just be supportive to moms? Can we stop with the shaming and guilt? It's hard enough to be a mom...we need a softer approach on how we treat new parenthood in general.

*I have some thoughts about the pressure to breastfeed...

*My fantasy and utopia of how if we could treat mothers and families well, with the right kind of support that we can lessen the impacts of stress for generations.

*Healthcare providers need to do a better job of supporting perinatal mental health. It's a cop-out to say that "we can't screen mothers because we don't know what to do with them". My advise...figure it out.

Let me know what you think! What are the topics that get you on your soapbox? Raising our voices to speak to the stigma and disparities for mothers can be productive if it leads to doing something about it! Have those important conversations!

Listen in and share with a mama in need! Let's support each other into wellness!

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Mar 26, 2018
91: Therapist perspective: Psychotherapy with new moms

There are some powerful experiences that new moms go through when coming in to psychotherapy. Moms who are pregnant, experienced a loss, birth trauma or postpartum are often transforming in to a new version of themselves.

Here's what we reflect on...

*These moms are brave and strong.

*New motherhood is a mirror. Sometimes a magnifying glass.

*Motherhood makes your heart open and can make you a deeper sense of vulnerability, anxiety, be in touch from deeper feelings. That can happen for partners too.

*Working through some of the pain leads to healthier lives.

*Therapy helps you understand that it's not "you" it's what you're going through.

*You can heal through past events that are impacting you now.

*You are not alone and you can feel better!

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Mar 19, 2018
90: Self Care helps us heal our emotions

Dr. Kat goes solo in this episode and talks about self care and the process of healing.

Self care is a complicated topic for motherhood and parenthood. It's pretty straight forward as a concept, but it can be hard to actually do. I'm on here to break down some of those barriers to understanding what self care looks like for you.

We talk about how self care is part of the healing process. It's something that you can do for yourself, today. It's not going to fix everything, but it does help over time.

Listen in and share with a mama in need! Let's support each other into wellness!

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Mar 12, 2018
89: Essentials of Postpartum Planning

Birth planning is very important. Postpartum planning is essential. Arianna Taboada talks about so much, including some of the reasons we need this kind of support in the US specifically or places where maternity leave is not well supported.

More specifically, these plans are very supportive for mothers who have any history or risk of perinatal mental health challenge, such as postpartum depression or postpartum anxiety.

We touch on:

What is a postpartum plan and why do we need it?

What's in a postpartum plan and what should be on there?

"Who's your crew?" getting the support of others.

This is the resource that Arianna discussed...

  1. Postpartum eco-map(for anyone)
  2. Postpartum eco-map for entrepreneurs

Connect with Arianna:

Instagram: @ ariannataboada


Twitter: @ ariannataboada


Arianna is a maternal health consultant who works with experienced entrepreneurs who are becoming first time mothers, helping them customize their maternity leave plan and return to work. She is deeply committed to providing on-going, multi-faceted support that meets the professional, physical, mental, social, and emotional needs of entrepreneurs as they babyproof their business and navigate new motherhood.

Prior to her consulting practice, Arianna worked on maternal health issues for over a decade as a health educator, a social worker in a mental health clinic, a reproductive health researcher, and a yoga therapist. She draws from her expertise as a maternal health professional, combined with her experience as a business owner and mother, to provide highly personalized services so expecting entrepreneurs have the tools and information they need to make decisions and take action when it comes to balancing their business with a new baby.

Arianna lives, works, and plays with her family in Playa del Carmen, Mexico.

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Mar 05, 2018
88: Body Full of Stars - Personal Story

As we’ve talked about many times on this podcast, hearing personal stories can be very liberating and shame relieving for mothers. Stories are real, educational, heart breaking and heart opening all at the same time.

Today we are hearing a personal story, the lived experience of Molly Caro May. She is going to tell us about parts of her story and how as a writer, she was able to use her story in her own healing and the hope to heal others…. In her book entitled, Body full of Stars: Female Rage and my Passage into Motherhood.

She talks about incontinence, breastfeeding challenges, relationship challenges, pregnancy illness, postpartum rage and what she thinks we all need to know in order to keep ourselves well.

Please get connected with Molly and check out her book:

Facebook: Molly May
Instagram: @mollycaromay
Twitter: @mollymay26


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Feb 26, 2018
87: Postpartum Anxiety

We are talking about Postpartum Anxiety today and more specifically, what’s common and what’s cause for concern and treatment. This is a question that moms have so often and I’m happy for Dr. Carly Snyder to come on and dispel some of the confusion.

We touch on the ever present guilt and shame that runs its course through motherhood as well as some ways to cope and manage postpartum anxiety.

Some of what we touch on:

- What is "normal" anxiety in new motherhood

- How can people know when it's becoming more difficult or a clinical issue?

- What kinds of anxiety might a mother experience 

- What you can do to begin feeling better

Connect with Dr. Snyder here:

Facebook -

Twitter - @CarlySnyderMD

Dr. Carly Snyder is one of a small cohort of medical physicians in New York City specializing in reproductive psychiatry. Her unique approach combines traditional psychiatric treatment with integrative medicine-based treatments.

Dr. Snyder is an attending physician on staff in the Department of Psychiatry at Beth Israel Medical Center. She also holds a teaching appointment at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, and is an assistant attending with a teaching appointment at Weill-Cornell in the Payne Whitney Women’s Program.

Dr. Snyder is on the Postpartum Support International (PSI)Board of Directors as the Research Chair. She frequently speaks to various audiences, such as ‘The Pregnant New Yorker,’ and at professional conferences and meetings. Dr. Snyder is also a member of the Women’s Mental Health Consortium. She is the Director of Women’s Health for Family Health Associates.

Her weekly radio show, MD for Moms, can be heard Wednesdays at 1pm ET on the BBM Global Network and TuneIn radio, or anytime on Dr. Snyder’s HuffPost parenting blog shares the MD for Moms moniker.

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Feb 19, 2018
86: Natural Postpartum Support

Katie Flores shares her personal story and how she became an holistic health coach for new mothers.

She describes her depression, a miscarriage, the stress that she felt with her daughter who was fussy all of the time for a whole year and sleep deprived that whole time. She discusses some of her underlying biological factors that added to her experience.

Katie talks about what she sees as root causes and biological contributors to postpartum depression, including trauma, loss physical illness and nutrition. She started her own podcast to address these issues, called Natural Postpartum Support Podcast.

Please note: This is not medical advice. If you are concerned that you may be experiencing some of the things that are discussed in this episode, please contact your Naturopathic Doctor or Primary care doctor. 

If you are interested to learn more about Katie and her work, Connect here:


For updates on the podcast:

PPD Root Cause Assessment:



Katie Flores is a certified holistic health coach + postpartum depression survivor. She provides a natural approach for moms struggling with postpartum depression so they can show up as their happiest self and connect with their kids in a way they never could imagine. As an integrative nutrition health coach, mother, and advocate, she's discovered that postpartum depression can happen based on a variety of circumstances, but the missing factor that most doctors overlook, is that it can be treated nutritionally. Postpartum depression is a symptom, not the final answer.​

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Feb 13, 2018
85: The power of our story

Shame thrives in the dark. Sharing our story and having ourselves reflected out in the world releases that shame. Sometimes we feel relief right away. Sometimes it takes time. 

Today I want to talk with you about what happens for you when you hear another person share their pregnancy, loss or postpartum story. I’m talking specifically to the people who are or have experienced a perinatal mood change like depression, anxiety, ptsd, bipolar or psychosis. Or a pregnancy loss. Or a situation similar to yours. What is your experience when you hear others talk about what they went through? What happens for you in your mind, body and soul?

There seems to be such power in listening and being reflected out in the world. In fact, I know there is power in that because it was my experience too….

The hope of this podcast and platform is to offer some way that you are all reflected out in the world. There will be parts of your story that are reflected here in our discussions, maybe not in a single episode, but across several.

If there are moms or dads listening who DO want to share here on the podcast, please reach out to me at 

For some, This may not be the place you feel comfortable, so search for a place that you do. There are really great people doing work that may better reflect your needs.

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Dr. Kat meets with clients in her Claremont, CA office or Online with anyone in the state of California. If you're looking for help, please reach out

Feb 05, 2018
84: Understanding Stigma in Perinatal Mental Health

Stigma is a terrible 6 letter word and it gets in the way of connection, truth, healing and compassion for moms. Dr. Walker Ladd is on to talk about some of her amazing research into stigma, her books about understanding women's stories and her new podcast Rebel Research Radio.

The sting of stigma is so very real and we have internalized it in such a way that we hold shame about ourselves, when we should have understanding. Listen in to hear what Dr. Ladd has to say about mothers and motherhood.

We also touch on some really fascinating facts about what happens with baby DNA!

Connect with Dr. Walker Ladd

Twitter @DrWLadd

Facebook: @Rebel Research Radio

 Dr. Walker Ladd has been a thought-leader in the field of maternal mental health care for over a decade. Her first book, “Transformed by Postpartum Depression: Women’s Stories of Trauma and Growth (Praeclarus, 2015), was based on her research of the transformative nature of postpartum depression. She just completed a study of the stigma of mental illness for women diagnosed with a bipolar disorder the first year postpartum and is currently working two new studies about stigma. Her next book will be based on her project When Postpartum Grows Up: Reflecting. Researching. Reclaiming. Walker is the host of a new podcast, Rebel Research Radio, on the Mental Health Network Radio, where she interviews leading women researchers about the art of research.

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Dr. Kat meets with clients in her Claremont, CA office or Online with anyone in the state of California. If you're looking for help, please reach out

Jan 29, 2018
83: Postpartum Attachment & Bonding

We are getting into some good stuff today about attachment and bonding in new parenthood. We are talking again with Dr. Juli Fraga about what all of this means and what it means for you and your baby. In particular, what might be going on for a mother experiencing a perinatal mood change.

*We will be touching on the difference between attachment and bonding.

*What can happen in new parenthood when a mother or father is struggling.

*We touch on the ever present shame and guilt.

*Getting support for your perinatal mood change can support good bonding and attachment.

*That you don’t need to be perfect in order to have a good connection.

Connect with Dr. Fraga!

Twitter @dr_fraga

Dr. Juli Fraga is a psychologist in San Francisco where she specializes in maternal mental health concerns.  Dr. Fraga is also a freelance health writer and she's written about women's health concerns for Refinery29, NPR, Quartz, Psychology Today, The Huffington Post and the Washington Post.


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Dr. Kat meets with clients in her Claremont, CA office or Online with anyone in the state of California. If you're looking for help, please reach out


Jan 21, 2018
82: Using Compassion for Perinatal Healing

Why Compassion? I'll tell you...

I’ve been doing some deep thinking about the podcast, perinatal mental health in general and how to continue the movement forward through our neck of the woods here. I really believe and feel deeply that more information, awareness and support need to get to mothers and families. I believe that we can improve our efforts at prevention too and I’m hopeful to have that reflected in the podcast this year. How can we improve the lives of mothers, fathers, babies, couples? It’s a complicated issue or set of issues...

For now, I’ll talk about one way through this in particular that I see A LOT. Well, maybe two ways.

We need to change our culture of perfection-or-nothing and into a culture of compassion and flexibility. I think this is key to combat stigma, guilt and shame.

I’m going to talk a little bit about developing self-compassion AND how OTHERS can be more compassionate towards those who are suffering.

Short-hand: if you’re in it and suffering, be kind to yourself and allow for learning to happen. If you’re not in it, but looking from the outside… LISTEN, be kind to the person who is struggling and allow you both to learn.

Tune in to this episode to hear more!

I really hope this give you a tool or two in coping and healing through the yuck and getting back to the good!

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Dr. Kat meets with clients in her Claremont, CA office or Online with anyone in the state of California. If you're looking for help, please reach out

Jan 13, 2018
81: Fathers & Perinatal Mental Health

We have the honor of hearing from Dr. Sheehan Fisher about new fathers, the transitions they may go through when a baby comes along, as well as the challenges and strengths that they may experience.

There are quite a few gems in our talk today, one of which is how the role of fatherhood is changing and adapting to the times…AND thoughts about navigating that. Dr. Fisher’s take on these transitions is not to be missed. I’m sure you’ll want to share this with the fathers, men and partners of men in your life. PLEASE DO!

We also discuss:

- The spectrum of mood changes that fathers might experience postpartum, such as depression, anxiety, anger

- how it affects them, what they might experience 

- what their partners might notice 

- Looking at the family as a system and how family members affect each other

- What can they do? What kinds of support or therapy, available?

- Coping suggestions

- hopeful messages for fathers 

Connect with Dr. Fisher:

Twitter: @SheehanDFisher

Facebook: @SheehanDFisher

Instagram: @DrChefSheehan 

Dr. Sheehan Fisher is a clinical psychologist and Assistant Professor at Northwestern University, Feinberg School of Medicine, with an appointment at Lurie Children’s Hospital.  His research and clinical interests focus on perinatal mental health, with a subspecialty in father’s mental health and role in the family. His aim is to understand the mechanisms that place mothers and fathers at risk for perinatal mood and anxiety disorders, and the effect of both parents' mental health on infant health outcomes. He also is passionate about increasing fathers' competence in the home and reconstructing views of masculinity.

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Dec 18, 2017
80: Impacts of Relational Trauma on Perinatal Mental Health

Andrea Schneider, LCSW is sharing with us about how our difficult, toxic or traumatic past relationships might affect our journey into motherhood, fatherhood and parenthood.

This fascinating discussion digs deeper into how we may respond, behave and interact as new parents...based on our own early experiences with our own caregivers, parents or influential difficult relationships.

We chat about:

* What is relational trauma? How does it show up for perinatal mothers and fathers?
* What are some signs that a person might notice if they are impacted by this?
* What can they do? What kinds of support, therapy, etc is available?
* Coping suggestions & hopeful messages

Connect with Andrea:

The Savvy Shrink Podcast:

Andrea Schneider, MSW, LCSW is a licensed clinical social worker and psychotherapist in private practice in San Dimas CA.  She obtained her BA in Psychology from UCLA and a Masters in Social Work at University of Michigan. Andrea's practice centers on a broad range of concerns related to trauma, including narcissistic abuse recovery, maternal mental health, special needs parenting and grief/loss. She is EMDR trained. Andrea writes a regular blog for Psych Central, as well as The Minds Journal and  She also has a podcast entitled The Savvy Shrink. In addition to providing psychotherapy for clients in her office and telephonically, she also supervises pre-licensed therapists and provides training for clinics and hospitals in the area.

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Dec 11, 2017
79: Stress Less - Mindful Perinatal Coping

Dr. Diane Sanford is talking with us about coping skills for wellness! Pregnancy and postpartum mental health changes can really take you by surprise and leave you feeling disoriented. When we have skills for coping that we can rely on, it really helps us heal.

Our guest, Dr. Dianed, has been supporting perinatal mothers for many years. Shares a bit about how she's seen the landscape change in supporting mothers. AN she dishes on what she'd like to see more of in support of perinatal mothers.

We talk on:

* Using mind-body and integrative health to support mothers.

* Use able, short skills that fit into the lives of busy people.

* We are often unprepared to cope with difficulty, skills can be really helpful

* How simple skills can support us

* 3-5 minutes of a break from stress is better than NO break.

* Notice your accomplishments!!!!

Connect with Dr. Diane




Dr. Diane Sanford is a psychologist, author and educator whose work in health psychology has received local and national attention. In practice for 30 years, she is an internationally recognized expert in perinatal mood and anxiety disorders. She is co-author of Life Will Never Be the Same (2010), Midlife and Menopause: A Celebration of Women’s Health (1998) and Postpartum Survival Guide (1994).

For the past ten years, she has studied mindfulness-based skills to reduce stress, anxiety and depression, and promote health and well-being. In 2012, she opened the Midwest Mind Body Health Center where she provides counseling and classes in her mindfulness skill program “Stress Less. Live More.” Her newest book, “Stress Less. Live More: Mindfulness if 5 Simple Steps which describes her stress reduction program is now available.

Dr. Sanford obtained her Masters and PhD degrees in clinical psychology from Syracuse University. She completed her internship in 1984 at the Oklahoma Health Sciences Center. She is an adjunct faculty member of St. Louis University’s School of Public Health, Department of Community Relations, and on the Medical Advisory Board of


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Dec 04, 2017
78: Mother Recovering - Momming Sober

Annika O'Melia breaks through stigma to share her story about alcohol use in early motherhood and increase awareness about the impact of substance use for perinatal mothers. Annika is speaking out about her experience and has created a podcast, Mother Recovering, that focuses on supporting these mamas.

*She talks about the thought process that happens with substance use and how we sometimes can't see how bad things are getting.

*Substance use is a way to cope, but ends up making things worse.

*Health care providers aren't asking enough questions

*What "normal" drinking limits are for women and how to notice when it's going beyond that limit.

*The social messaging to mothers that drinking is what get's you through motherhood. 

*Use compassion when talking with mothers, and mothers who are struggling with substance use. 

*What we can do better to support mamas

*Safety concerns that we should consider for kids

*Getting past quitting and onto living

*What coping in a new way can look like

Connect with Annika:

Quad City Women’s Therapy, PLLC

Books & Resources mentioned in this episode by Annika:

"Drink: The Intimate Relationship Between Women and Alcohol"

"The Drunk Mom"

"Drinking: A Love Story"

She Recovers -

The Bubble Hour Podcast

Annika O'Melia Bio


Annika O’Melia is a Licensed Independent Social Worker and runs her own private psychotherapy practice, Quad City Women’s Therapy, PLLC, where she specializes in reproductive & maternal mental health. Annika is particularly interested in the impact of trauma and addiction on pregnancy and motherhood and utilizes Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) to assist clients with trauma recovery. Annika is a mother of four, including twins who just turned one, and has been living in recovery from alcoholism for over six years. Annika is also a survivor of rape and sexual assault and has benefitted greatly from therapeutic and recovery programs in her own personal healing and return to wholeness. Annika hosts a podcast called Mother Recovering that focuses on what it’s like to Mom Sober! 
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Nov 20, 2017
77: Caribbean Mothers & Perinatal Mental Health

Caribbean Mothers and Perinatal Mental Health with Dr. Kendra Flores-Carter

One of the important pieces of understanding perinatal mental health, is putting it in the context of culture, immigration and other socio-cultural factors. When we use the culture to inform healing, a depth of relief and understanding happens. Today we will learn a bit more…

Today we have on Dr. Kendra Flores-Carter to discuss perinatal mental health from the lens of Caribbean mothers. As we have stated on previous episodes about culture, there are many different cultures within the Caribbean. So, this is not meant to be specific or prescriptive, rather it is information for us to keep in mind for pregnancy and postpartum.

She talks about:

*Broad cultural differences for Carribean Mothers

*How immigration and length of time in the US impacts seeking help

*Ways that Caribbean mothers may experience or express perinatal mental health difficulties

*Ways to support mothers

Dr. Flores-Carter Bio

Dr. Kendra Flores-Carter received her BA in psychology from California State University, Dominguez Hills in 2002 her MSW from Cal State, Long Beach and her Doctor of Social Work from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

Dr. Flores-Carter currently works as a Maternal Child and Pediatrics Associated Clinical Social Worker.  She is a proud researcher in the Perinatal Mental Health Field. Dr. Flores-Carter received her certificate in Maternal Mental Health training from Postpartum Support International and works as an expert in Maternal Mental Health.

She is a member of Arrowhead Regional Medical Center Institutional Review Board and has several research projects in the works.  She has done several trainings and presentation on topics related to maternal mental health as well as other issues relating to women’s health including breastfeeding, intimate partner violence, and disparities in health care.

Dr. Flores-Carter currently serves as co-chair of the Inland Empire Maternal Mental Health Collaborative. She’s an active member Postpartum Support International, and facilitates a free monthly Postpartum Support Group for women and their families’ on-site at Arrowhead Regional Medical Center.

Dr. Flores-Carter was a recipient of the 2016 ARMC Employee Recognition Award for her effortless work to improve Maternal Mental Health care at ARMC and within the community. She also received the 2017 Golden Ida M. Cannon Award for her work to bring awareness and education on Maternal Mental Health concerns to ARMC’s Women’s Health Department.

If you’d like to listen to more episodes of Mom & Mind, please go to, where you can get links and subscribe on your favorite listening platform.

Nov 13, 2017
76: Perinatal Mental Health & the Military Family


Just in time to honor Veterans Day, we talk with Dr. Melinda Thiam about what life might be like for some military mamas.

In this fascinating and necessary discussion, Dr. Thiam talks with about the unique aspects of perinatal mental health in the military family. 

Dr. Thiam highlights:

*The stressors for both for the perinatal mother who is in active duty and for the perinatal mother who is the spouse of an active duty person.

*She addressed the need for more healthcare providers to receive training in Perinatal Mental health to be able to help mothers.

*The need for healthcare providers to take TriCare insurance so that these mothers and families can access the care that they need.

*Understanding the stress that military life may bring and how that may impact social supports.


Link to Book:

Postpartum Support International:

Dr. Thiam Bio

Dr. Melinda  Thiam, M.D. is a board certified staff psychiatrist  who was a military psychiatrist until she retired this past June 2017.  She is currently splitting her time between private practice psychiatry with Future Psych Solutions in Columbia, SC and Community mental health.

During her time in pediatrics, Dr. Thiam witness the challenges of perinatal mental health for numerous spouses who had to give birth alone while their spouses were overseas serving the country.  Dr. Thiam also was able to experience first-hand the challenges of being an active duty mother in the military. Through these experiences, Dr. Thiam saw many mothers suffer in silence as they found that pregnancy was not the joyous period they thought it was and new motherhood was met with darkness, sense of shame and belief that one was a ‘bad’ mother. The plight of the pregnant and postpartum mother led Dr. Thiam to switch to psychiatry with desire to specialize in women’s mental health.  She initiated/led a mother-infant dyadic therapy group for last two years of residency and went on to recruit of group of perinatal mental health experts in the military/civilian population to edit manuscript Perinatal Mental Health and the Military Family: Identifying and Treating Mood and Anxiety Disorders. While this book is targeted toward military population, it is all applicable to general population and is my desire to build a practice specializing in women’s mental health/reproductive psychiatry. 

For all Mom & Mind episodes, go to:

Nov 06, 2017
75: Expectful - Guided Meditation for Pregnancy Loss & Beyond

Expectful offers guided meditations for all of the transitions through motherhood from fertility, pregnancy, postpartum and motherhood. They heard feedback that many mothers who experienced pregnancy loss, didn't have guided meditation support they needed. So, they teamed up with Dr. Jessica Zucker, who is well known for her strong advocacy through the #ihadamiscarriage campaign. Together, they made a beautiful resource to help mothers to cope through guided meditations and supportive information.

It is so hard to know how to heal after a pregnancy loss. In this episode, we are talking about using guided meditations as a way to cope and heal. We honor all who have dealt with such grief and hold space, love and support for you, especially through October for Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month.

Our guests share:

-Some of the unique stress and grief that comes with pregnancy loss

-How guided meditation can support healing and give a sense of grounding through the upset of pregnancy loss.

-The importance of having a supportive community with other people who really 'get it'.   

-Expectful is a resource that can be supportive to you 24/7, whenever you need.

Connect with Expectful and Dr. Jessica Zucker:

Pregnancy Loss Support Guide on Expectful

IG: @expectful


Twitter: @expectful

IG: @ihadamiscarriage

Twitter: @DrZucker

Dr. Jessica Zucker

Dr. Jessica Zucker is a Los Angeles-based licensed clinical psychologist specializing in women’s reproductive and maternal mental health. Jessica primarily works with women struggling with fertility, pregnancy ambivalence, pregnancy loss, during transitions in motherhood, prenatal and postpartum adjustments, perinatal and postpartum mood and anxiety disorders, pregnancy and postpartum body image concerns, and in the midst of relationship challenges after the loss or birth of a child.

Mark Krassner

Mark Krassner is the founder of the fertility, pregnancy, and motherhood meditation guided meditation app, expectful. He’s an unlikely person to head this up as a 33-year-old unmarried man with no children.  Expectful - a meditation web and mobile app that empowers current and soon-to-be moms to live happier, healthier lives. Mark’s mother struggled with anxiety and depression throughout her pregnancy and early parenting years. As an adult, Mark experienced the power of meditation and its positive effects on his health, relationships, and even his professional career, and it occurred to him that his childhood may have been very different for him and his mother if she had access to a meditation practice. It was this realization that led to him years of research and, eventually, Expectful was born. 

For more episodes of Mom & Mind, go to

Oct 30, 2017
74: Resilience building in pregnancy & postpartum

When you can really start to understand how stress and trauma affects you on a physiological level and emotional level, you can hold more compassion and understanding for yourself.

Nkem Ndefo is on with us today, teaching, informing, shedding light on how to think realistically, holistically about stress. This is totally necessary to understand for pregnancy and postpartum...but also for pretty much everything.

Nkem is teaching us about how our bodies and minds respond to stress and ways to build resilience. There are too many gems in this episode to quote, you'll just have to soak this up when you listen. Here are some of the things Nkem discusses with us.

* Understanding how a "disorder" may actually be an "adaptive response" to stress.

* "What can we build up, what's good, what's working"... "How do we build on that and help build out the strengths?"

* "We do grow, we do get stronger, but it has to be within our window of tolerance, if it's outside of our window of tolerance its too much, it doesn't cause us to grow, it causes us to break"

* "What are the systemic factors [of stress] and what are the individual of the most damaging things we say to people is to hold them responsible for systemic factors"

* High stress in pregnancy and how that affects the mother and baby.

* Ways to support regulating the body-mind system in a supportive way, by being a partner in care.

Connect with Nkem and Lumos Transforms:

Facebook: @lumostransforms

Insta: @lumos_transforms

Twitter: @lumostransforms

Nkem Ndefo is the founder and president of Lumos Transforms and creator of The Resilience Toolkit. As Certified Nurse Midwife, Nkem holds a Master’s degree in Nursing from Frontier Nursing University. She has extensive post-graduate training in complementary health modalities and emotional therapies, including Level 3 certification in Tension/Trauma Release Exercises and Level 5 certification in Emotional Transformation Therapy.

She brings an abundance of experience as a clinician, educator, consultant, and community strategist to innovative programs that reduce stress and build resilience for individuals, organizations, and communities throughout the US.

As a clinician, Nkem has worked in settings ranging from large volume hospitals to mobile community clinics. She founded and operated a full scope midwifery and homebirth practice from 2000-2007. And she has maintained a small holistic private practice in Los Angeles since 2007.

She worked for California Maternal Quality Care Collaborative researching maternal death outcomes and served on the Los Angeles County Trauma-and Resilience-Informed Systems Change Initiative Workgroup. Currently she sits on the Strategic Planning Committee for the Trauma-Informed Task Force of Greater Los Angeles

#theresiliencetoolkit #lumostransforms #buildresilience

To check out all of the Mom & Mind episodes, go to!

Oct 21, 2017
73: Perfection in new motherhood

Do you identify as a perfectionist? Do you feel like things need to be a certain way and if they aren't, you feel unsettled? How did that affect you when you were trying to conceive, during pregnancy, birthing or postpartum?

This is one of those things that really impacts the early stages of motherhood and parenthood (and all stages really). In this episode, I talk about the dynamics that I see with the mamas that I help...and one that I struggled with in my postpartum...and still work on managing. I touch on how it even impacted the recording of this episode.

Some of the things we address on this episode...

*The struggle with feeling the need to be perfect

*It seems that perfectionism often comes with a high sense of morality and conscientiousness - I believe that this makes intrusive thoughts even more unbearable.

*Perfectionism often develops as a way to cope and manage life. But that way of coping goes head to head with the challenges of new parenthood.

*The stress of perfectionism, can make getting help feel hard. Help can feel SLOW or inadequate.

*Accepting that we can't be perfect is very hard, and it's part of the key to healing.

If you identify with any of this, take a listen to the episode, give yourself a big hug and please know that this is not a judgment of you. Please know that you can find a new way to cope that is more forgiving to yourself.

If you'd like, please check out the blog post on the Postpartum Support International Blog that I mentioned: Soul Level Crisis

Please pass this episode along to any person who could benefit!

If you haven't yet subscribed to the podcast head over to

We welcome ratings, reviews, sharing the podcast and spreading the word about perinatal mental health! Lets crush this together!


Oct 17, 2017
72: Social support is part of the solution

"It is ridiculous that when you are the person in the middle of a crisis, that you are the person who is faced to do the heavy lifting"

- Joy Twesigye

Lack of social support is a part of what is impacting perinatal and postpartum wellness. Could we start to count on our social supports more if we are giving them some fundamental info?

Joy Twesigye has a great perspective on how we can all support perinatal mothers more fully. She is talking about a fundamental need for change in the way WE, not medical or mental health professionals, but us, the people close to mamas, support mothers.

Some gems from Joy:

- Empathy for the mothers

- We can support the support people though education

- Changing our mindset to better support mothers and babies

- Not making the person who is having the crisis, do the work!!!! YES!!!!

Joy Twesigye

Joy is an impact driven health care administrator with 16 years progressive experience in health systems and policy. 2017 marks 26 years of starting and managing socially responsible organizations framed around maternal and family support, community and school-based services, and healthcare reform.  In 1991, she founded The Dining Room, the first sustainable soup kitchen for Delaware, OH. In 1993, became a founding member of Andrews House, a not-for-profit community center in the same town. Joy is currently a volunteer Maryland State Co-Coordinator for Postpartum Support International, Ohio Wesleyan University Baltimore Chapter Leader and Maryland Association of School-Based Health Care board member.

Oct 09, 2017
71: Pregnant & Postpartum - Soapbox Edition II - Yeah, no.

Pregnancy & Postpartum: Soapbox Edition II

Yeah, no. I have some thoughts about how mothers are treated....

I'm hoping back on the soapbox! And this time, I'm shouting out some of the things that the Mom & Mind listeners are upset about too! Thanks for sharing!

Let's see..most of the things I discuss are about how other peoples OPINIONS and JUDGMENTS affect mama's and partners. Can we just stop spouting out whatever comes to our mind when we see a pregnant person, or someone with a new baby? How 'bout that?!?!?!

I also touch on some potentially controversial topics related to birth, birthing justice and maybe upsetting to some medical providers. Let's just say there are mostly amazing providers and a few that are less than amazing....

As always, please come join us, listen in, share, subscribe, rate and review this podcast! Find links to places to listen at


FB @momandmindpodcast

Twitter @drkaeni

Instagram @momandmind

Oct 02, 2017
70: Postpartum Bipolar, "Birth of A New Brain"

Bipolar disorder in pregnancy and postpartum is not often discussed. Dyane Harwood is advocating for that to change. In this episode, Dyane shares her personal journey through postpartum bipolar, what she wishes people would understand and how we can all be more supportive to mothers experiencing this difficult and often misunderstood condition.

In this rich discussion, we touch on:

-Some signs, symptoms and what it may look like to others

-Insight into what it might feel like for a mother to be going through Bipolar in postpartum.

-Supportive tips on what might help in early detection, prevention and healing.

Connect with Dyane: 

Twitter: @DyaneHarwood
Facebook Page:
Instagram: birthofanewbrain

Birth of a New Brain is available for pre-order on Amazon and Kindle. Released on October 10 2017.

Support and Resources:

International Bipolar Foundation (IBPF)
(858) 598-5967

Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA)
(800) 826-3632

National Alliance on Mental Illness  (NAMI)
(800) 950-6264  Helpline

Postpartum Support International
(800) 944-4773

Dr. Aluwaidan
Twitter: @MoAlsuwaidan
Dr. Alsuwaidan's article - excellent advice for mood support/stability

Dyane Harwood graduated from UC Santa Cruz with a degree in English and American Literature. In 2007, Dyane was diagnosed with postpartum bipolar disorder (also known as bipolar, peripartum onset).  Her book "Birth of aNew Brain - Healing from Postpartum Bipolar Disorder" will be published by
Post Hill Press on October 10th 2017.

Dyane has been a freelance writer for twenty years and has written for the Huffington Post, Self Magazine, and Postpartum Support International. She founded a chapter of the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance and facilitated support groups for moms with mood disorders for nine years. Dyane lives in the Santa Cruz Mountains of California with her husband Craig, their daughters Avonlea and Marilla, and their Scotch collie Lucy.


Sep 25, 2017
69: Postpartum Feelings: Anger, rage, failure & guilt

We talk about feeling bad about our bad feelings in postpartum & pregnancy. How many of us have had feelings in pregnancy or postpartum that we didn't understand, but then also felt guilt or failure for having them at all?

Melissa Divaris Thompson, LMFT shares with us some of her personal experience and a great discussion on the roller coaster of feelings that we may have related to anger, rage, failure and guilt.

This is SUCH a common mix of feelings. Most of us don't know about this, because we don't talk about it much as a society. SO, we get in to it here! Breaking the silence on anger and rage, normalizing the pattern and reducing the stigma of having negative feelings in motherhood and feelings with our babies, relationships and ourselves.

Listen in, deepen your understanding and feel understood. We got you mamas and parents!!!!

Connect with Melissa here:

Twitter: Embracing_Joy

Twitter: HonestMamas

Melissa Divaris Thompson, LMFT

Is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with a private practice in New York City, seeing primarily women in their 20s and 30s, pregnant women, and new moms. As a holistic and depth oriented therapist, her role is to support her clients in finding wholeness — mind, body, and spirit — creating more joy, ease, and healthy relationships.



Sep 18, 2017
68: Natural Disasters & Perinatal Women

To those of you who are living through the natural disasters all over the world right now, the Mom & Mind Podcast is with you. Especially the pregnant and postpartum mothers and new families. In this episode, i'm adding my support and a couple of thoughts and ideas of how we can support you.

This episode is proudly supported by Maternal Mental Health Now and their online, self-paced, Perinatal Mental Health Training.  We all really need to be trained in this, it’s essential. I can’t even count anymore the number of mothers who have said that they can’t find the appropriate help that they need, then suffer needlessly. The format that MMH Now offers, easy to integrate in to your life and work, because you can access it at your convenience. And they offer education units to boot! Go to to check out their training.

In this episode, we touch on:

*It is essential to help reduce the level of stress for pregnant and postpartum mothers, especially now, as it helps them to have healthier pregnancies, healthier babies.

*For those of us who are able, it will be essential to give what you can to local and on the ground non-profits that support these mothers and families. Diapers, formula, toys, underwear, bras, used clothes and shoes, money, shelter, support. Anything you think you’d need if you were in their position.

*People who deal with any kind of devastation may not feel the weight of their stress right away. Sometimes after they are safe is when then they feel their feelings. Let's be checking in on folks for a while, not just for the next few weeks.

Resource for Pregnant and Postpartum support:

Postpartum Support International warm line and website:


Episode Sponsor:

Maternal Mental Health Now Online Training! You can learn more in-depth about perinatal mental health issues like (1) Risk Factors & Prevalence, (2) Symptoms & Diagnoses, (3) Screening & Assessment, (4) Attachment & Bonding, (5) Interventions, (6) Treatment Plans, and (7) Psychopharmalogical Considerations.

This training, given by experts in the field, is helpful to anyone who supports pregnant and postpartum families! Go to 

Mom & Mind can be found wherever you listen to podcasts and at 

Sep 11, 2017
67: Eating Disorders in Pregnancy & Postpartum

Stefani Reinold, MD shares some about her personal experience through pregnancy and postpartum and how she is helping other moms cope and manage with eating disorders in the perinatal time.

This episode's super supporter: Maternal Mental Health NOW- Online maternal mental health training!

In this episode, we touch on:

-Pressures that mothers feel to keep weight down in pregnancy and lose weight postpartum.

-Dr. Reinold shares her story and getting a diagnosis of intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR), potentially due to stress and not eating enough.

- What a mother may be experiencing with an eating disorder while pregnant or postpartum

- The pressures of weight gain/loss and the scale, binge eating disorder, restriction of food

-Who's at risk? History of eating disorder, anorexia, binge eating, other body image challenges?

- How marketing, social media, health care providers and other societal factors impact how we think and feel about ourselves.

Dr. Stefani Reinold

A Reproductive Psychiatrist, mother of two, and women’s mental health advocate. She has presented nationally and internationally on the topics of eating disorders, body dissatisfaction and body image in pregnancy and postpartum. Her mission is to encourage new moms to stop suffering and to start embracing motherhood.

Connect with Dr. Reinold:

Instagram: @pushpastpostpartum

Facebook: stefanireinoldmd


This episode of the Mom & Mind Podcast is proudly supported by Maternal Mental Health Now. They offer an online training on all things related to Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders. It is the only self paced and virtual training for perinatal mental health that you can do whenever you want and wherever you want. Find them online at,

Also on FB, Twitter and IG:

Facebook: MaternalMentalHealthNow

Twitter: @mmhealthnow

Instagram: @maternalmentalhealthnow


Sep 04, 2017
66: Supporting "overweight" perinatal mothers

Bebo Mia's Bianca and Natasha talk about what mothers deal with who are labeled as overweight.

Have you ever been labeled as being overweight, plus size or obese during pregnancy? Has that lead to providers telling you what you are or are not able to do in pregnancy and birth? Has that lead you to feel badly about yourself or "less than"? How does that impact your mental wellness?

Here's what we touch on:

-Myths of what "overweight" mothers are capable of in birthing and assumptions about their health in pregnancy.

-How the BMI labels women and their bodies.

-Stressors of weight gain in pregnancy and weight loss in the postpartum period.

-How some moms are losing there decision making power because of how they are being treated.

-Self advocacy and how to talk to your providers.

-Focusing on body positivity and informing mothers of their options.

Connect with Bebo Mia

Facebook & Instagram handles: @bebomiainc 


Only for Mom & Mind Listeners!

Bebo Mia is offering 20% to you listeners off of all of their programs! use the code: MOMANDMIND

Check out these links (affiliate) to see if these workshops help you:

The doula training (next one begins Sept 28th) :

The informational workshop for those who are thinking about doula work (on Sept 13th):

Bebo Mia

Bebo Mia is a training & mentorship organization for women in the maternal health field, including pregnancy/birth professionals, childbirth educators & parenting specialists. They offer comprehensive skills, business support & community care through an innovative online structure that spans a global market. 

A very different culture from both the patriarchal boardroom model & the female-centric multi-level marketing industry, bebo mia offers opportunities for women to work from home while making an income for themselves and their families. They develop inclusive, accessible trainings for women that provide the skills needed to grow & sustain a lucrative business. Bebo mia remains fiercely committed to their original mission that was developed in 2008: To connect women to their intrinsic value and power.

Aug 28, 2017
65: Postpartum Psychosis, A Mothers Story

Postpartum Psychosis, while rare, is very serious. 1-2 in 1,000 new mothers experience this and most have no idea what is going on. Kristina Dulaney shares her story and her journey through recovery.

The recovery process can be long. Kristina tells us about the length of her recovery and what she did to get back to herself. This is another important highlight of why we HAVE to educate mothers, families, healthcare providers and whoever will listen. Prevention and early intervention are NECESSARY!

Some of her story highlights why we HAVE to have more specialized units for postpartum mothers and very specifically for postpartum psychosis.

We have to understand this experience, treat these mothers well, with respect and with dignity. Then we have to educate everyone, get more resources that will actually help, rather than just contain them.

She describes how the support of her husband, family and faith really helped her to get to feeling better.

Kristina is working to reduce stigma and increase awareness, gather resources for her community in Tennessee. She is looking into the future to make sure resources are available for moms and families going forward.

Her message and hope for moms: reach out and get help.

Connect with Kristina here:

Her story here on Postpartum Progress:

Kristina Dulaney now lives in East TN with her husband and 2 children, now 4 and 2. Her postpartum crisis occurred May 22,2015 when her youngest was 5 1/2 months old and they lived just outside of Greensboro at the time. She has made a full recovery and now advocates for perinatal mental health in her area. She enjoys spending time with her family and taking pictures!  

Aug 21, 2017
64: Supporting Native American Mothers

Julie Andrews, LCSW is sharing a glimpse of the Native or Indigenous mothers pregnancy, birth and postpartum experience. This is such a valuable discussion and even though we just scratch the surface of cultural and societal understanding, it is a deeply needed start on our podcast to understanding Native mothers experience.

Julie discusses some of the mental health impacts affecting Native mothers related to pregnancy and postpartum. She is sharing what she's seen and understands mostly of the stressors and strengths of Native mothers in her local community.

She touches on the challenges of identity, historical trauma, current issues that mothers face in the local clinic and ways in which the community is working to support pregnant and postpartum mothers.

Connect with Julie

Riverside-San Bernardino County Indian Health, Inc.

Facebook  Native RC 

Julie Andrews, LCSW

Julie Andrews is an enrolled member of the Sicangu (sick an-gu)  Band of the Lakota Nation/Rosebud Sioux Tribe. Ms. Andrews is an LCSW employed by Riverside San Bernardino County Indian Health Services Inc. in the Native American Resource Center since 2007. Ms. Andrews work includes the field of clinical mental health, prevention and early intervention, and domestic violence advocacy. 

Riverside San Bernardino County Indian Health Services Inc.

Native American Resource Center

11980 Mt. Vernon Ave. Bldg B

Grand Terrace, Ca 92399

Aug 14, 2017
63: Encore of The Good Mother

Encore! Dr. Diana Lynn Barnes

We are re-airing some episodes while I take a break and regroup for a moment! This is one of the popular episodes of the podcast. This one is #7, The Good Mother, and I think it's a great reminder for us to understand some of the myths of motherhood that we are all quietly fighting against. 

Dr. Barnes shares some of her own experience, as well as her thoughts about the pressure of new motherhood. It's a tough job and we are generally too hard on ourselves! Listen in to this episode, even if you already have, its such valuable perspective.

Connect with Dr. Barnes

FB - Dr. Diana Lynn Barnes

twitter - @ppddoc

There is help and you will get better with the right help. If any of you listening need resources, go to, search "get help" and find someone in your state or country who may be able to support you.


Go to www.momandmind to check out more episodes and grab a FREE download of 27 Top Tips for New Parents Mental health.

Podcast FB Page, Mom & Mind

OR the Mom & Mind Connection FB Group!

Twitter @drkaeni

Instagram @momandmind

Aug 07, 2017
62: Rewind! Postpartum Everything.

My Postpartum Story - Redux

We are taking a short break from new episodes, 'cause well, this mama's taking a vacation! We won't leave you with no episodes though! We've picked a couple of the most popular episodes to Re-air over the break.

Here is an Encore of Episode #1, where I share my story of Postpartum Depression, Postpartum Anxiety, Postpartum ODC and well, Postpartum Rage. So many things were going on...intrusive thoughts, sadness and crying, a deep and almost painful love for my daughter and utter overwhelm. Most people wouldn't have guessed it by looking. I didn't even know what was going on.

On a lighter note, listen if you haven't before, just to hear how stiff I was and how bad the audio quality was! We've come a long way from Episode 1 to Episode 62! Yay for growth!

Anyhow, mamas who are suffering, please know that you are not alone. I went through it and so do many other people. There is help and you will get better with the right help. If any of you listening need resources, go to, search "get help" and find someone in your state or country who may be able to support you.


Go to www.momandmind to check out more episodes and grab a FREE download of 27 Top Tips for New Parents Mental health.

Podcast FB Page, Mom & Mind

OR the Mom & Mind Connection FB Group!

Twitter @drkaeni

Instagram @momandmind

Jul 31, 2017
61: When The Bough Breaks - PPD Documentary & Personal Story

Tanya Newbould - Producer of When The Bough Breaks and Personal Story of Postpartum Depression  

*sensitive content at 7:00 & 20:50*

Tanya shares her personal journey with Postpartum Depression and how her experience sparked the beginning of the When The Bough Breaks - A Documentary about Postpartum Depression. Narrated and Executive Produced by Brook Shields, this documentary takes a close look at Perinatal Mental Health, with stories from mothers, partners, advocates and experts.  The film features personal stories of postpartum depression from producers Lindsay Gerszt and Ms. Newbould, Carnie Wilson, Peggy Tanous, Aarti Sequeira and many other courageous women and partners.

Tanya tells us:

-About her personal experience of pregnancy, birth and postpartum

-How she came to know that she had postpartum depression and antenatal depression.

-How she coped and what helped her to recover

-What it was like to do the documentary after her own experience

This documentary is in over 70 countries in 5 different languages! You can find the film on iTunes, Netflix or even bring it to your community through a screening. Check out the links below and be sure to connect with them!

Connect with Tanya



FB-Tanya J. Newbould

Find the Film



Netflix :

Tanya Newbould

Actress for over 20 years and Producer of When The Bough Breaks, a Point Of View Pictures feature-length documentary about postpartum depression and perinatal mood disorders. Exectutive Produced and Narrated by Brook Shields, Directed and Produced by Jamielyn Lippman, Produced by Lindsay Gerszt and Ms. Newbould. Tanya and Lindsay connected in a common bond from suffering the same symptoms, but finding little to no in formation on the subjects, despite the big impact of Perinatal mood disorders.


Jul 24, 2017
60: PPD Coretta's Story & Helping Women of Color

Coretta Rae Daniel – Postpartum Depression & Anxiety, Personal Story and helping women of color

*Sensitive Content, 17:45-20:45*

Coretta shares her personal story of postpartum depression, how it impacted her first months of motherhood. As she was coming out of the heaviness of PPD, she realized that the women of color in her community in Ohio did not have enough resources. So, she went to work. You will hear how passionate and driven she is to help mothers and women of color.

She talks about:

- Her experience through Postpartum Depression, worry, intrusive thoughts, colic and exhaustion

 -How her experience impacted new motherhood

-The issues that she has seen in cultures and communities that make it difficult for women of color to get help.

-How to support mothers

 -Her organization 2BNurtured that aims to help under- served and under-represented women and families.

 Please connect with Coretta here:

 Facebook: Coretta Rae Daniel

Instagram: @coretta.r.daniel

Twitter: CorettaRDaniel

Birthing Beautiful Communities:

Coretta Daniel

Coretta Rae Daniel is a resident of Cleveland, OH, a wife, a full time mom of 16 month old Charles Jr. and 4 Month old Zaria. She holds her license in Social Work and will be pursuing her Master's in Clinical Mental Health this fall. It is with the birth of her son where she suffered and overcame postpartum depression and discovered her passion to help other minority women in her community find the support that she so longed for. She developed 2BNurtured in April 2016, a growing organization that seeks to build partnerships with others who desire to raise awareness of maternal mental health issues among the under-served and under-represented populations. It is her belief that motherhood should not be done alone.

If you know someone who would benefit from this episode, feel free to share this podcast as a resource. If you need support, please go to

 For additional resources, access to all of the episodes, and links to iTunes, Stitcher Radio, GooglePlay Music, YouTube, please visit

Join our FB community, Mom & Mind Connection 

Jul 17, 2017
59: Postpartum Anxiety, Ingrid's story

Ingrid Esparza - Personal story of Postpartum Anxiety


Ingrid tells us about her experience after birth and in the early months of life with her new son. Again, we get to hear the powerful ways in which a mother copes and fights to get through medical complications, breastfeeding challenges and the anxiety that came with it all.

She tells us about:  

- How a postpartum hemorrhage affected her and her first days of motherhood. 

- The challenging experience with breastfeeding and how that fueled her anxiety

 -Some factors to her experience, related to her Mexican culture that impacted your experience?

 -How she dealt with and coped through the experience?

- How she is advocating for mothers now.

Thank you, Ingrid. By sharing your story, you are putting out a hand to help other moms find their way through.

Ingrid Esparza

Ingrid Esparza is originally from Mexico, but have lived in the US since she was 9 years old. She moved to Lincoln, Nebraska in October 2015 from Savannah, Georgia. She is married and has a son who will soon be 3 years old. She has the privilege of staying at home with her son, but plans to go back to work outside the home this fall. She has a Masters Degree in Early Childhood Education. She’s led a Climb out of the Darkness event in Lincoln for the past two years, and hope to continue to do more to bring awareness, education, and support to her community about Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders. 


Jul 10, 2017
58: Finding Joy after Trauma

Lindsay Marie Gibson

We discuss some topics that may be sensitive for some listeners.

Many mothers experience a trauma in life prior to having children. More specifically a sexual trauma. These experiences can sometimes come up and affect us in a way that we did not expect when we have kids.

Lindsay discusses her journey to find Joy after trauma. We talk about her inspirational path to healing and helping mothers, after going through harrowing life experiences. 

-She shares about her children and the experiences of the birth of her first child, the loss of her second child, her rainbow baby, Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG) and Postpartum depression.

-She shares how the loss of her son made it necessary to deal with her past trauma of rape and attempted murder at the age of 16.

-The devastation of postpartum depression after having her rainbow baby.

- She is healing through yoga, writing, spiritual coaching and other supportive approaches, and is helping mothers find their own joy and healing.

-She is writing a memoir of her life experience, with the goal of helping other mothers and families. (Link to support getting the Memoir published below)

If you are in need of support and are pregnant, experienced a loss or have babies, please contact to find resources in your area.


Connect with Lindsay:

Support the book:

FB -

IG - @authorlindsaygibson

Twitter - @LindsayMarieJoy

Always with Me Foundation 


Lindsay Marie Gibson

Hello! My name is Lindsay and I am a Motivational Speaker, Writer, Doula, Trauma Yoga Instructor, Birth Psychology Specialist and Joy Restoration/Health Coach for Mamas.

I wear many hats in the work that I do but my focus is helping to bring light back into women that promotes inner healing. I am the creator of my 7-Week therapeutic writing series, “Journal Back to Joy." Here in Connecticut, I also teach my JOYoga® series.

They are yoga classes for women that are designed to prepare for Motherhood, mind, body and spirit, clear energy and restore JOY!

I spend most of my time taking care of my two young blondie daughters, Lillian and Layla, being a wife to my Irish (brogue and all) husband Jason, and all that motherhood/wifely duties entail.

I am also a mother to my angel son above, Joseph, whose love shines through me every day. My greatest passion is writing to inspire through my heart and through God. I am currently working on my first book, an inspirational memoir, entitled "Just Be" so stay tuned!



Jul 03, 2017
57: Understanding Birth Trauma

Dr. Rebecca Moore - Understanding Birth Trauma

We are discussing traumatic birth experience and it's impacts. Did you know that someone could feel traumatized by their experience and you can't tell by looking at them? Yep, sometimes a traumatic experience can happen that only the birthing mother is aware of. Sometimes it's very clear that there is a trauma.
Dr. Moore talks about
-the Medical system in the UK and how they are helping mothers
-What is birth trauma?
-How it can affect the birthing mother and partner
-working across cultures
-Her birth trauma conference and upcoming book on birth trauma.
Connect with Dr. Moore on twitter: @dr_bjm
Dr. Rebecca Moore
Dr. Moore is a UK London based psychiatrist who has worked in the perinatal field for 20 years. She has a special expertise in Birth Trauma and runs an annual conference in London each year. She works in a very deprived area of London where 50% of the population are Bangladeshi. She is a 70/30 Ambassador a UK scheme to reduce child maltreatment by 70% by 2030. She is also a Winston Churchilll Fellow for 2017 and is funded to travel to the US to meet colleagues there and produce a report. She is writing her first book on Birth Trauma and it's due to be published in 2018
Please visit and consider a donation to support keeping this podcast afloat to get these amazing resources and information out to the people in need. Thank you


Jun 26, 2017
56: Alliance for Women of Color

Perinatal Mental Health Alliance for Women of Color – PMHAWOC

Here are three powerhouse women who have come together to co-found a beautiful and needed organization focusing on perinatal mental health for women of color. This is what closing the gaps and supporting women of color, in a BIG way, looks like. Divya Kumar, Desiree Israel and Jabina Coleman are doing outstanding work.

Please listen in, connect with PMHAWOC, learn about the work that's being done and what still needs to be done. Also, connect with each of the co-founders individually via their contact info listed below.

In this episode, we all get to learn about these women and the amazing work that the organization is doing. They touch on:

*Stats in perinatal mental health for women of color

*How stigma, political & social systems affect the experience of pregnancy and postpartum women of color

*Discrepancies in treatment for women of color

*Racial Trauma, racism, class and inherent resilience 

*Providing a safe space that is inclusive for women of color and healthcare providers of color.

*Collaboration with Postpartum Support International 

*Projects, training, research, resources and more.

*Using culturally affirming approaches

I hope you all are as excited as I am about this amazing and powerful organization.

Connect here:


Divya B. Kumar


Divya is a South Asian American woman who holds a Masters in Public Health and is a certified lactation counselor. Her work connects postpartum support with public health by addressing unmet needs in the structure and delivery of perinatal support services. In 2013, she helped create a postpartum depression prevention pilot program in four community health centers in Massachusetts and currently provides comprehensive perinatal support at Southern Jamaica Plain Health Center. She is a Commissioner on the Ellen Story Commission on Postpartum Depression and also co-founded the Every Mother Project, an organization that provides training and support for women’s health professionals around addressing perinatal emotional complications. A writer and a truth-teller, Divya brings a fresh voice, compassion, and humor to her work with new families. She lives in Jamaica Plain, MA with her husband and two children.

Connect with Divya:

Desiree Israel


Through her own journey into motherhood, Desirée knows just how far compassion can go. With a foundation of authenticity, integrity and fully understanding the African proverb, “It takes a village to raise a child,” Desirée works each day to assist women in their own journeys and understanding through motherhood, postpartum support and healing. As a licensed social worker, Usui Reiki II practitioner and perinatal psychotherapist in Baltimore, MD, and the owner of her private practice, Postpartum Recovery, Desirée assists women decipher the funk of motherhood through integrative and eclectic therapeutic modalities. When she's not tending to her two sons, Desiree is a volunteer for Postpartum Support International and board member for 2020 Mom Project.

Connect with Desiree:



Instagram: @pprecovery

Twitter: @DLIsrael

Jabina Coleman


She makes breastfeeding a habit and a hobby. Jabina, a mother of two, Licensed Social Worker and International Board Certified Lactation Consultant has dedicated more than a decade of her life to protecting, promoting and supporting breastfeeding. Jabina focuses a lot of her work on educating women, families and the community to make informed decision about breastfeeding. She empowers women to trust their bodies throughout the perinatal period and provides guidance during the process. She specializes in perinatal mood disorders and helping women and families adjust to motherhood and parenting. Jabina lives in the Philadelphia, PA area.

Connect with Jabina:

Jun 19, 2017
55: SOAPBOX EDITION!!! Celebrating 1 year!

Dr. Kat - Soapbox edition, sounding off!

Hey everyone! It’s just me in this episode, to bring you a special soapbox edition of Mom & Mind. Basically, there are some things that get me really heated about new parenthood, pressures on new moms and dads and the way that we look at the transition to becoming a parent. I have a few choice thoughts…I’m sure you can relate…and I’m sure I won’t cover ALL of them.

This episode marks THE one year anniversary of Launching the Mom & Mind podcast! Thank you so much for listening and being a part of this journey into podcasting!!!! It’s sort of hard to believe that it’s been a year, it’s gone by so quickly, I still feel like the podcast just started. I do know that I’m more comfortable doing this than I was a year ago, that’s for sure.

I’m getting soapboxy about is harsh reality stuff that LOTS and LOTs of women face... I’m speaking for all of us who ever thought or felt “why didn’t anyone tell me about this”, “I feel crazy”, “this sucks”, “I’m not getting enough help”, “im

Some of the topics:

*Motherhood is magical

*You’ll just know what to do 

*Getting pregnant, staying pregnant, giving birth, being a new mother is “easy”,

*You’ll love everything about motherhood

*I'm a Bad Mother

*Cant’ say anything negative

*Pressure from society

*Where’s the f’ing village? Who said we are supposed to do this by ourselves, oh, and also do everything else. THIS IS NOT A VACATION.

*You feel crazy without enough sleep 

*People don’t believe you when you say you’re not doing well


Download just for you! We’ve put together a list of the 27 Top Tips for New Parents for Mental Health! There are 27 Experts and advocates who have come together from this years episodes to give you their wisdom to help you through the transition to parenthood. I LOVE THIS LIST! Please go grab it from the podcast page website at

Facebook Group- So, in honor of the year anniversary and of all of you amazing folks listening out there, This is an official announcement! The podcast now has a place just for you, a new FB group called Mom & Mind Connection. I’m personally inviting all of you to join in this closed group, that’s just for listeners to have a place to connect, ask questions about episodes and topics of perinatal mental health, get resources and know that you are not alone. This won’t be a formal support group, as there are already so many great ones out there on FB and online. But it Will be a place to be honest about things, get inspiration or ideas on wellness, have a forum to ask the questions about the podcast episodes that you want more answers for.

Support for the Podcast! I’m looking forward to continuing on with the podcast, for as long as I can! While it is a labor of love, it also does cost me quite a bit in time and money. Moving forward, I’ll be looking into sponsorships to help support the growth of the podcast and cover costs which will allow me more time to develop other perinatal mental health projects. When the time is right and the kind of sponsorship is right, you all will hear that the podcast has the support of some organizations or companies. Until then, I’ll be adding a Donation Page for the podcast. 

LAST BUT NOT LEAST ---- THANK YOU - THANK YOU - THANK YOU!!!!! I'm so happy to have you on board and thank you so much for listening!!!!


Jun 12, 2017
54: LGBTQ Perinatal Mental Health

Elyse Springer, MFT

Elyse shares vital info and awareness in this focused conversation on LGBTQ perinatal mental health. There are many many facets to cover, so in this chat, we start with some basics and dig a little deeper into these aspects: 

-Elyse talks with us about LGBTQ fundamentals and how people identify themselves, sexuality, gender and attraction.

-Perinatal mental health is not just "maternal" or "paternal", it's everybody.

- LBGTQ parents having to "pass" in straight spaces and the stress that comes with that dynamic. 

- Intrusiveness of questions from others to explain pregnancy, sexuality and gender related to pregnancy and postpartum.

- Trauma related to the history of the person, coming out or other stressors as it can impact the carrier of the child.

-Not enough research or studies into the factors that may contribute to postpartum mood disorders for LGBTQ. 

-Lack of access to care, increased stigma, community inclusion, "fitting" into a category.

-Touch on current politics and how that stress could impact making and having a family.

- We touch on the intersection of LBGTQ and race

There is so much more depth that we can cover and need to cover as you can see from our talk. I'm so glad to learn from my guests and I hope you are too. Please write in to to send me your thoughts on this and any other episodes of Mom & Mind. 

Connect with Elyse:

Twitter: @espringermft

Elyse Springer M.A., M.F.T. is a licensed marriage and family therapist
focusing on perinatal mental health, anxiety and depression, death and
loss, HIV/AIDS, substance abuse and creative blocks. Elyse is training
faculty and Governing Council for Maternal Mental Health Now, board member
for 2020 Mom and past co-chair of the Los Angeles County HIV Mental Health
Task Force.

Jun 05, 2017
53: Naturopathic Medicine in Pregnancy & Postpartum

Dr. Christine White, ND  - Fascinating Discussion about Whole-Person perinatal wellness.

What is Naturopathic Medicine and how can it help you? Dr. White tells us how she supports whole-person wellness. We discuss the ways in which pregnant or postpartum mothers can be supported by this type of care, specifically when dealing with postpartum depression, postpartum anxiety and postpartum psychosis.

  • As. Dr. White states "Stress and life change and sleep deprivation are extraordinarily impactful on the being" and we need to address these things to support the perinatal period.
  • This is great information, specifically for mothers who have tried to get support through conventional medicine, but are still not able to feel well.
  • Sometimes there are underlying hormonal or systemic issues that can be addressed for increased wellness.
  • We discuss hormone testing, neurotransmitter testing and so many other cool assessments.
  • How to work with a conventional doctor AND have the support of a Naturopathic doctor as well.
  • I share a little bit about my own experience with Naturopathic medicine as well, specifically related to hormone imbalances.

Our chat aims to give you another avenue and perspective on health and wellness, options for care and a deeper understanding of how our bodies function during the perinatal period.

I'd love to know what you all think about this episode and welcome your feedback! click here to take a quick survey on your experience listening to Mom & Mind

Resources from Dr. White:

If you are interested in finding a Licensed Naturopathic Doctor, go to

Dr. White Website:

Dr. White Facebook - Black Bear Naturopathic Clinic, PC -

Dr. Christine White, naturopathic physician, has a general family practice in Missoula, MT where she treats patients along the full spectrum from prenatal to hospice care support.  As a naturopathic physician her focus is on treating the whole person, regardless of the specific diagnosis, and working to uncover the underlying, root causes of illness.  She has become increasingly involved in the care of women dealing with perinatal mood disorders and offering perspective and treatment options beyond traditional medication options.  Dr. White regularly collaborates with colleagues across many disciplines and specialties in the health care realm.

Dr. White is actively involved in the profession of naturopathic medicine serving in the state naturopathic association, including past president, as well as holding a Governor appointed seat on the State of Montana’s Board of Alternative Health Care, the licensing board for naturopathic physicians in Montana. 

May 29, 2017
52: REAL self care for mamas

Graeme Seabrook, The Postpartum Mama, shares her personal story through a very difficult postpartum depression and how it shaped the work that she does to support moms now. She talks about real self care - not just nice things to do for yourself, but how to change things in your life to keep yourself on the priority list. She is passionate, engaged and upbeat, I'm sure you'll enjoy our chat!

Listen in to her insights on what real self care is and why your self care actually important for your family too! There are things you can do to help in pregnancy and postpartum to cope! 

Find Graeme here: 

Graeme Seabrook is a Life Coach who works with moms to find and re-center themselves in their lives. She has created The Self-Care Squad, a community on Facebook, where women come together to learn from each other and support each other on their self-care journeys. She is a blogger, a speaker, and a course creator. A mom to an (almost) four-year-old son and an 18-month-old daughter, her personal squad resides in Charleston, SC. 

May 22, 2017
51: Postpartum Suicide - The loss of a wife & mother

Raul Martinez - Postpartum Suicide- The loss of a wife and mother.

After losing his wife, Kelly, Raul became a powerful advocate for moms and families. He shares about Kelly, his message to mothers and partners and the work that he does now to advocate for better care of perinatal mothers and families.

  • We talk about how postpartum mood changes impacted his wife and the how knowing what he knows now, what he would have helped to do differently.
  • He shares about the loss of his wife Kelly, her complications from postpartum depression, her specific risk factors which lead to her suicide when their daughter was just 3 months old.
  • He discusses things to look out for and how sleep deprivation factored in for Kelly.
  • Raul emphasizes to take care of the mom too, not just the baby.
  • He offers advice for partners of new mothers


If you or someone you know may be struggling, please reach out. You can look at, Postpartum Support international for resources in your area as well as information about symptoms and risk factors.


Raul shares Kelly's story is in the recently released Documentary - When the Bough Breaks - A Documentary about Postpartum Depression


Please take a short minute to complete this anonymous survey about your listening experience:


Raul Martinez lost his wife, Kelly, to complications with postpartum depression in 2010, when their daughter was only 3 months old.  Since then, Raul has become an advocate for improvements in perinatal depression awareness, prevention, and treatment.  Raul has been featured in documentaries about postpartum depression and has spoken before the California Legislature, at medical training seminars, and to numerous community groups in an attempt to raise awareness and to effect change on behalf of the women, children, and families of California.




May 15, 2017
50!! Jane Honikman - Roots of Maternal Mental Health & Beyond

EPISODE 50! Jane Honikman - Mother of Maternal Mental Health

2 OMG's at once, Jane Honikman is on with us and we are at Episode 50! I'm honored to bring you this weeks episode with Jane, she is the founder of Postpartum Support International which is having it's 30 year anniversary AND the co-founder of Postpartum Education for Parents (PEP) coming up on it's 40 year anniversary this June!

Most recently, Jane also co-founded the Postpartum Action Institute, which she runs with Shoshanna Bennett, PhD. 

In this episode:

-Jane talks with us about how Maternal Mental Health as a discipline began, how it's changed and what she hopes to see as we move forward.

-The collaboration with Dr. James Hamilton of Marce Society, in getting psychiatry, science, medicine and social supports engaged in helping moms and families.

-Silos of healthcare that have made it difficult to establish care for families.

-On caring for people, focusing on wellness - "you don't wait for someone to be ill, you automatically assume everybody needs support"

-Maternal Mental health should be more about Parental Mental Health because it is about THE WHOLE FAMILY!

More from Jane!

Books: Community Support for New Families, I’m Listening, My Diary A Postpartum Journey from Pain to Purpose, and Postpartum Action Manual.  

-Join Jane Honikman and Shoshana Bennett for an Open House Celebration of 40 years of PEP and 30 years of PSI! In Santa Barbara June 3rd and 4th, 2pm-5pm. get more information at or call 805-967-9757.

On June 3rd at 7pm, PEP is also hosting a Playing Monopoly With God - One woman's story through Postpartum Psychosis. Tickets at

Postpartum Education for Parents PEP -  

Postpartum Support International PSI -

Postpartum Action Institute PAI -

Marce Society


Bio Jane Honikman, M.S.

Santa Barbara, California


Jane Honikman was born and raised in Palo Alto, California. She moved to Santa Barbara in 1970 and began her career in maternal mental health in 1977 when she co-founded Postpartum Education for Parents (PEP). In 1981 Jane received a grant from the American Association of University Women to study the Growth and Dynamics of Postpartum Support Groups. She became the Executive Director of the Santa Barbara Birth Resource Center in 1984. In 1987 she founded Postpartum Support International (PSI) after organizing a conference on Women’s Mental Health Following Childbirth. She was elected PSI’s first President in 1989 and operated the organization from her home until 2004.  Jane has authored many articles and educational materials on postpartum issues and how to start community support networks. Her books are: Community Support for New Families, I’m Listening, My Diary A Postpartum Journey from Pain to Purpose, and Postpartum Action Manual.  In 2012 I’m Listening was adapted by the humanitarian organization CARE as a Facilitator’s Training Guide for use in Bangladesh. It has also been translated into Chinese and Hebrew. Her expertise is based upon her struggles as a new mother. Her most recent endeavor is the Postpartum Action Institute. She continues to lecture and train internationally on the role of social support and the emotional health of families.  Jane’s own family includes her supportive husband of 50 years, 3 adult children, their spouses, and 8 grandchildren (and a cat).  She enjoys living a healthy and active lifestyle in Santa Barbara, California. 

May 08, 2017
49: MMH Awareness with Dr. Kat!

Special Episode: MMH Awareness Week! Just me, chatting with you!

Hey everyone, welcome to maternal mental health week! I wanted to come in and have a chat with you guys about all of the awesomeness happening to raise awareness during the month of May and also touch base about why we need this awareness.

The Mom & Mind podcast goal is first and foremost to get information and awareness of maternal mental health issues out in the public. I really really believe that we deserve to be aware and educated on these topics so that we can make informed decisions about our health and mental health.

May 1st -7th National Maternal Mental Health Week! MMHCoalition

May 3rd WORLD Maternal Mental Health Day! (international supporters listed)

Postpartum support international

Here are some hashtags to use and follow!




Subscribe to Mom & Mind, find links on

Other Resources for maternal mental health:

Morel International organizations

Marce -

Africa -



Please check in with your local area networks in MMH to find out how to support local causes and local actions!




May 01, 2017
48: Angels Born Still

Dr. Ivy Love Margulies - Perinatal loss expert & Death Midwife

Going through a loss of a child during pregnancy, birth or postpartum can be devastating to a family. It's also hard to know what to to even make decision moving forward. Psychlogist, Dr. Ivy Love Margulies shares her expertise in perinatal mental health, reproductive mental health, perinatal loss and her unique work as a death midwife, Reiki healer and ritual facilitator.

We discuss:

- Many parents are also dealing with trauma and PTSD after infant loss and we talk about how distressing it can be to deal with that in addition to the loss.

- Parents may be experiencing symptoms that are outside of "standard" Grief that are hard to understand. We talk about some of those too, which is so important to be aware of.

- How men and women grieve differently and things that you may notice about your partner.

- Trying to understand how you will get through this.



- Ivy also supports parents through the process of grief with her work as a death doula or death midwife by creating ritual, using healing crystals, meditation and many ways to help a parent ground themselves and find ways to comfort.


Contact Ivy for a Grounding meditation and more about the resources she offers:

Angels Born Still

Pregnancy Loss Therapist Directory

Facebook: Dr. Ivy Margulies Angels Born Still

Instagram: @drivymardulies


Apr 24, 2017
47: Postpartum Suicide - Always With Me

Diana Collins- Personal Struggle and Loss of a friend *Sensitive Content*

Please be aware that our discussion may be overwhelming for some people. Resources for support listed below.

We discuss Diana's friend who died from postpartum depression suicide. Diana also shares some of her personal struggle with depression and her suicide attempts. We are going to learn about how her personal story, losing her friend to postpartum suicide has shaped what she is doing now to spread awareness.

 - She tells us her experience of losing her friend to PPD suicide

 - what the impact has been on her, her friends, family

 - Diana's own struggle and effects on marriage

 - Messages she has to mothers who are suffering

 - The podcast she started in her friends honor : Always With Me Podcast

Diana is Mom of two beautiful girls and has been married to her best friend of 4 years. Two under two is tough but never boring! She loves spending time with her little family, crafting, and reading. She recently quit her day job to accomplish a mission in spreading PPD and suicide awareness by sharing other mothers stories on her podcast called, Always With Me. Although she has experienced a tragedy, she has found joy and has never been happier. Life is so short and we must choose to live every single day! 

Facebook page:


If you are in need of your own support, please contact:

Postpartum Support International at or call the warmline at 1-800-944-4773.

The National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-8255



Apr 17, 2017
46: Advocacy & Bringing Postpartum Depression out of the Shadow

Jamie Zahlaway Belsito

Do you ever wonder who is doing any thing about maternal mental health? LOTS OF PEOPLE! Listen in to Jamie to find out what is being done and about the rockstars who are at the forefront.

Jamie is the Director of Advocacy for the National Coalition for Maternal Mental Health. She tells us about the national legislation that is up regarding PPD and why it's important.

“Bringing Postpartum Depression Out of the Shadows Act of 2015” (HR3235/S2311])

-How to get people involved 

-Potential impacts of the bills (what happens if they pass, don't pass)

-Lobby day- May 17th and 18th 2017 in DC

Jamie Zahlaway Belsito is a member of the the North Shore Postpartum Taskforce [NSPPDT and is a Commissioner with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Special Commission on Postpartum Depression. Jamie helps educate the Statehouse and stakeholders on maternal mental health illnesses, gaps in the system and what mom’s may need to get better.  Jamie partnered with grassroots groups and local legislators to help ensure passage of funding for MCPAP for Mom’s, PPD pilot program and implementation of universal maternal mental health screening for Mom’s in the Commonwealth, commencing in 2016.

In partnership with Senator Lovely, Senator Tarr and Representative Story, Jamie helped to establish the first ever maternal mental health Advocacy and Awareness Day at the Statehouse in June 2015. Jamie has since been working with Congresswoman Katherine Clark [D- MA5], Senator Elizabeth Warren [D- MA] and Senator Ed Markey [D- MA] offices on federal level maternal mental health complications legislation.  She is working with Congress to pass House and Senate bills “Bringing Postpartum Depression Out of the Shadows Act of 2015” [HR3235/S2311].  She has over 15 years working in state and federal advocacy.

Jamie is a two time survivor of pregnancy and postpartum depression.  It was during this time that Jamie learned first hand about the difficulties of finding quality mental health care to address maternal mental health complications, as well as the lack of communication around the issue of maternal mental health complications at the OB/GYN’s, primary health care, and pediatrics offices.

Jamie on FB -



Apr 10, 2017
45: A Dark Secret & A Mothers Sanctuary

LaShonta Edwards - A Mothers Sanctuary

LaShonta is a doula, advocate, author of A Dark Secret, founder and CEO of A Mothers Sanctuary. She shares with us the amazing work and model program that she is doing in Huston, Texas to help mothers and families in the community. What is so great about her organization is that it both offers workshops for moms to learn about postpartum depression and postpartum anxiety, they offer support groups AND educate the community health care providers, including Mental Health First Aid classes. This is vital work. The first Gala to benefit the organization is coming up in May, see details below!

She shares her book A Dark Secret, where 15 different women came together to tell their personal stories of pregnancy and postpartum mood challenges, including their messages of they healed from their Dark Secret. The book is for all of us mothers who have been through this pain and who need to see ourselves reflected in the world. Things like postpartum depression, postpartum anxiety, postpartum OCD, and so much more...the book shows us that we are not alone.

A Mothers Sanctuary:

Living Life with LaShonta:

A Dark Secret -

A Mothers Sanctuary Gala - May 6th - with Keynote from Jane Honikman, MS, founder of Postpartum Support International

Apr 03, 2017
44 : Becoming Us - Prepare to be a thriving family

Elly Taylor - Becoming Us

Now there IS a training manual for becoming a family!

We talk in depth about the stages and life changes that couples go through when they bring a baby into the relationship. It’s hard for a lot of expecting parents to know what they DON’T know. She says that we can prepare parents for the unknown and she has figured out how. Did you know that the transition to parenthood can take years? And Parents don't change at the same times?

Elly Taylor tells us about her research and work supporting the transition to parenthood. We will talk about some of the misconceptions about becoming parents, what couples can do to prepare and grow together smoothly… while Becoming Us

Elly Taylor is an Australian Relationship Counsellor, Parenthood Researcher and Writer. She began researching the transition into parenthood when she and her husband started experiencing stretch marks in their relationship at a time they thought they would be happier than ever. She discovered this was normal and was on a mission to find out why. Over 15 years, Elly researched the transition and was shocked to find that partners went through different stages as they adjusted to becoming parents. She wants the next generation of parents to be prepared for this.

More from Elly Taylor:

Elly will be speaking at the Northwest Area Childbirth Educators Forum Live level one training- NACEF in Portland Or, May 5th 2016

Book- Becoming Us: 8 steps to grow a family that thrives

Becoming us facilitator training…bring the knowledge to your community

Social media links:

Facebook -

Twitter - @Becoming_Us

LinkedIn -



Mar 27, 2017
43: Birth Disparities for African American Moms

Jessica Diggs - Birth Disparities 

Thank you Jessica for being on with us to talk about this, vital to understand and very distressing reality for pregnant and postpartum mothers. We have to be doing better by mothers. Learning from Jessica in this episode is an important part in doing better, being more aware and taking intentional steps to be more supportive to mothers.

We talk about what birth disparities means, effects on pre-term labor and infant mortality, stats on birthrates and effects of disparities on African-American women and babies, how the stress of systemic racism effects health and mental health, what should we be doing differently and how can we be better support and advocate for pregnant and postpartum mothers of color. 

Jessica Diggs is a DONA certified birth doula, ICEA trained childbirth educator, and NCM midwifery student. She aspires to become a midwife who works alongside the obstetric and doula communities for collaborative maternity care. Jessica provides evidence-based information to expecting families and believes in freedom of choice based on knowledge of alternatives in childbirth. Along with her birth work, Jessica is also the proud owner of a small childcare agency called Child & Friend.

Find out more from Jessica here:


Instagram: @jessicaadiggs

Mar 20, 2017
43: Birth Disparities for African American Moms

Jessica Diggs - Birth Disparities 

Thank you Jessica for being on with us to talk about this, vital to understand and very distressing reality for pregnant and postpartum mothers. We have to be doing better by mothers. Learning from Jessica in this episode is an important part in doing better, being more aware and taking intentional steps to be more supportive to mothers.

We talk about what birth disparities means, effects on pre-term labor and infant mortality, stats on birthrates and effects of disparities on African-American women and babies, how the stress of systemic racism effects health and mental health, what should we be doing differently and how can we be better support and advocate for pregnant and postpartum mothers of color. 

Jessica Diggs is a DONA certified birth doula, ICEA trained childbirth educator, and NCM midwifery student. She aspires to become a midwife who works alongside the obstetric and doula communities for collaborative maternity care. Jessica provides evidence-based information to expecting families and believes in freedom of choice based on knowledge of alternatives in childbirth. Along with her birth work, Jessica is also the proud owner of a small childcare agency called Child & Friend.

Find out more from Jessica here:


Instagram: @jessicaadiggs

Mar 20, 2017
42: High Risk Pregnancy? How to talk to your doc

Parijat Deshpande, High Risk Pregnancy - How to talk with your providers. In this episode, we discuss how we don't know what we don't know...That it's okay and necessary to ask questions, talk with providers, ask for needs to be met...why it's okay and important to ask questions...who can be an ally in the process...what kinds of questions can a mom be thinking about?

We are talking about how communication with the doctors or medical team can help manage stress and be supportive to the mental health of the mom.Check back on episodes 21: High risk pregnancy and 27: Bed rest.

Parijat Deshpande is the leading perinatal wellness expert who specializes in working with women during a high-risk pregnancy. She educates and guides women on how to manage their stress and anxiety so they can have healthier pregnancies, decrease their risk of preterm birth and give their baby a healthy start to life. Parijat is a clinically trained therapist, a women’s wellness expert and an experienced speaker on the impact of stress on health and wellness. Parijat is also a certified wellness coach, a certified stress management coach and a certified marriage educator.

Parijat is the creator and host of a Podcast called Delivering Miracles that is all about supporting women who are struggling to get pregnant, stay pregnant, and healing when baby comes home.

Find all of the help here: - Free resources




Podcast Page:

Mar 13, 2017
41: Return to Zero - Healing after Stillbirth

Kiley Hanish - Return to Zero

It's hard to imaging being able to get through the loss of a baby during pregnancy. Kiley shares with us some of her story and how her experience shaped what she does now to help other mothers who have lost a child. Kiley's talks about how the stillbirth of her son affected her, the retreat for grieving mothers and the film "Return To Zero" that she and her husband created.

We talk about ways that stillbirth affects mom and dad, the feelings that can come up, Ideas and ways that you can honor yourself and your baby. It's also important for healthcare providers to understand how to support the family through the loss.

Dr. Kiley Hanish is a bereaved mother, founder of the Return to Zero Center for Healing, and doctor of occupational therapy at the University of Southern California. Kiley and her husband Sean are creators of the Emmy-nominated film Return to Zero, which is based on their personal experience of their son Norbert, who was stillborn. This experience of the film inspired her to create the Return to Zero Center for Healing. Dr. Hanish has dedicated her practice to bringing occupational therapy to the community of bereaved mothers and the providers who interact with them. 

Here are links to the things we discussed:

Next Healing Retreat May 18-21:


Other resources and training for health professionals:

Find a therapist in your


Mar 06, 2017
40: The Art of Holding in Therapy - Karen Kleiman, LCSW

Karen Kleiman, MSW, LCSW

Oh, this is such a great chat! We talk about helping pregnant and postpartum mothers, Karen's scope of work, training providers so they can really help these moms and of course, her latest book "The Art of Holding in Therapy: An Essential Intervention for Postpartum Depression and Anxiety". Great stuff!

Karen Kleiman, MSW, LCSW, is Founder and Executive Director of The Postpartum Stress Center. Founded in 1988, The Postpartum Stress Center is a treatment and professional training center for pregnancy and postpartum depression and anxiety. 

She is author of 9 books on perinatal distress including the groundbreaking title: This Isn't What I Expected: Overcoming Postpartum Depression, now in its second edition, and Therapy and the Postpartum Woman. Her latest book is The Art of Holding in Therapy: An Essential Intervention for Postpartum Depression and Anxiety

All I can say is...Get all of the books!

Please find more of Karen's work and information here:


Twitter: @ppstresscenter

Instagram @postpartumstress

Fb: The Postpartum Stress Center

Feb 25, 2017
39: Psych Medication in Pregnancy & Postpartum

Dr. Samantha Meltzer-Brody

Dispelling the myths of medication use in pregnancy and postpartum

We are talking with Expert Dr. Samantha Meltzer-Brody about psychiatric medication during pregnancy and postpartum.

We will go over some of the fundamental things it’s important to know about med use, risks to mother or baby for treated AND untreated illness, clear up some of the misconceptions of medication use and hopefully give you a good understanding of the risks and benefits.

Dr. Samantha Meltzer-Brody, MD, MPH, is an Associate Professor and Director of the UNC Perinatal Psychiatry Program of the UNC Center for Women’s Mood Disorders. Which is the first program of its kind in the US.

She is currently funded by multiple NIH grants to investigate epidemiologic, genetic, and other biomarker models of postpartum depression and has recently worked to establish an international postpartum depression genetics consortium (PACT). In addition, she is investigating novel treatment options for depression in perinatal women. 

Dr. Meltzer-Brody also studies maternal depression in high-risk groups including adolescent mothers, and mothers of children with neuro-developmental delays.

Find all of the resources we discussed here:


Twitter: @uncwomensmood



Feb 20, 2017
38: PSN Africa- Supporting African Mothers

Onyedikachi Ekwerike

I’m honored and excited to have Onyedikachi Ekwerike, speaking with us from Nigeria about maternal mental health for African mothers. He discusses some of the culture specific challenges for African mothers, how maternal mental health has been historically understood, stigma around maternal mental health issues, the work being done in Nigeria and throughout Africa to spread awareness and advocate for mothers.

Onyedikachi Ekwerike is a clinical psychologist and the founder of Postpartum Support Network Africa (PSN Africa) an organization he set up in 2015 to raise awareness about PPD in Africa and provide support for mothers suffering PPD in Africa.

He's a member of the international task-force that planned and executed the first ever 'World Maternal Mental Health Day' held May 4th 2016. 

Find out more about this essential work here:


Instagram, Twitter @psnafrica

Facebook: psnafrica

Feb 13, 2017
37: Playing Monopoly with God - Personal Story

Melissa Bangs tells us parts of her personal story of postpartum mania and psychosis, a hospitalization, how her husband and supports helped her through and how her experience transformed into a powerful stage performance.

She is a writer, director, storyteller and comedian who is currently on a year-long West Coast tour with her husband, Eric, four year-old daughter, Adelaide and 130 pound Bernese Mountain Dog, Etta James.

They are touring Melissa's nonfiction storytelling performance PLAYING MONOPOLY WITH GOD & OTHER TRUE STORIES, a tragicomedy unlike anything you have ever experienced.

In September 2012, at 40 years old, Melissa Bangs gave birth to her beautiful daughter Adelaide.  A month later, dramatically hormone depleted and sleep deprived, Melissa is admitted to the an in-patient psych unit in a complete manic state.  After nearly a month, she is sent home with a bipolar diagnosis and on lithium.  What comes next is an extraordinary journey.

Find Melissa Here:

You can watch the trailer, read reviews, purchase tickets, check tour dates (upcoming dates and locations listed below)!


Facebook: Playing Monopoly With God & Other True Stories

Twitter: @melissabangs1

Follow the tour and connect others with the show up and down the West Coast and far beyond by LIKE-ing Playing Monopoly with God & Other True Stories on Facebook or Melissa Bangs on Twitter and then sharing posts and tagging friends.

Upcoming Shows!!!!

Pasadena, March 17th & 18th

Santa Cruz, April 26th

Santa Barbara, June 3rd

Portland, August 4th, 5th & 6th

Dates to be set soon in San Diego and the Bay Area!!!

Feb 06, 2017
36: What is Postpartum Psychosis?

Postpartum Psychosis

I’m honored to have expert Dr. Diana Barnes back with us today to discuss Postpartum Psychosis. This is a highly-misunderstood part of postpartum mental health and it absolutely needs to be understood and clarified so that mothers get the help they need. See below for supportive resources. We will go over:

-What IS postpartum psychosis?

- Who is at risk?

-"How" does this happen?

- The most important things for people to know about PPP

-Speak to the stigma and how that damages mothers

-How can we support and better interact with a mom who is suffering?

Please go check out Episode 7: The Good Mother, where Dr. Barnes discusses the psychological gestation of motherhood. It’s an essential and fascinating look in to how we become mothers.

Diana Lynn Barnes Psy.D, LMFT is a past president of Postpartum Support International is a member of the training faculty of Maternal Mental Health Now in Los Angeles as well as the California statewide Maternal Mental Health Collaborative and the 20/20 Mom project. She also sits as the mental health consultant for the California Commission on the Status of Maternal Mental Health Care.

In addition to private practice specializing in women’s reproductive mental health, Dr. Barnes presents nationally and internationally. As an Expert witness, she has had close to 60 cases in the last 15 years all over the country covering everything from pregnancy denial and neonaticide to postpartum psychosis and infanticide to child abuse causing death.

More from Dr. Barnes:

Book: Women’s Reproductive Mental Health Across the Lifespan (Springer, 2014)   



Postpartum Psychosis resources/support/information:

Action on Postpartum Psychosis (UK):


Jan 30, 2017
35: Coping with Perinatal PTSD

Sarah Randall, Psy.D.

Coping with Perinatal PTSD

We are talking with Dr. Sarah Randall today about PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) related to maternal mental health and how it can show up during pregnancy, birth and postpartum. Trauma can result from a real threat to life, to a moment where a person feels that they don't have control. It is really in the eye of the beholder, sometimes others may not even realize that you have experienced something traumatizing.

-We talk about what PTSD can look like or feel like

-Vulnerable times and how to cope

-What to do and what kind of help to get

Many mothers (and fathers) deal with the symptoms of PTSD and may not know what is happening. We will discuss what PTSD is, how it affects moms, and considerations for healing or treatment.

Dr. Sarah Randall is a licensed psychologist at Calabasas Behavioral Health specializing in peripartum mood and anxiety disorders.  She also has extensive experience with trauma resolution.  Dr. Randall received her doctorate from Pepperdine University, where she is an adjunct professor at the Graduate School of Education and Psychology.

Jan 23, 2017
34: ASK HER: Preventing Postpartum Suicide

Gabrielle Kaufman LPCC, BC-DMT, NCC

Postpartum Suicide is a very real risk to new mothers. In this episode we are discuss Suicide as it relates to maternal mental health and postpartum, resources to support prevention of suicide (see below), as well as:

-Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of postpartum maternal deaths!

-Asking about suicide does not “give” someone the idea to do it.

-what to look for and how to be there for a new mom.

-Suicide is preventable when we get mom the right help

Clearly, this is a very difficult topic, but it is essential that we talk about this so we can all be aware of the very real impacts of mental health for new moms, and more importantly making sure that moms are safe and well cared for so that we can prevent suicide in postpartum.

Gabrielle Kaufman is a dance/movement therapist and licensed professional clinical counselor with over 20 years experience in the helping profession. Currently, she is director of Training and Technical Assistance for Maternal Mental Health NOW. Ms. Kaufman has spoken widely, published articles on parenting, and served as editor for Bringing Light to Motherhood.

She serves as Los Angeles coordinator for Postpartum Support International, is on faculty of PSI/2020 Mom, and UCLArts and Healing, and has a private practice in Los Angeles providing services in both English and Spanish languages.

Maternal Mental Health NOW


Instagram: @maternalmentalhealthnow

Twitter: @MMHealthNow

Gabrielle Kaufman :

Suicide Prevention Resources:

APP (support)

National Suicide Hotline: 1-800-273- TALK (8255)

Postpartum Support International (warmline, leave a message, non-emergency) 1-800-944-4773


This episode was sponsored by 2020Mom

2020Mom is hosting the 7th Annual "Emerging Considerations in Maternal Mental Health" This year's Forum will be held in Los Angeles on February 13th and will discuss the MMH link to hormones and inflammation, as well as the role of diet. You can register for the live event in Los Angeles or view a webcast from the comfort of your own home or office. So, anywhere in the world you are, you can watch this forum! Learn more at

*** Listeners of this podcast will also receive a 15% discount by using registration code MOMANDMIND ***

Also, Listen back to episode 11 where I interview Joy Burkhard, the founder and executive director of 2020 mom. 

Thank you 2020Mom for supporting this Podcast!

Jan 16, 2017
33: Pregnancy and Neonatal Loss Grief

Deb Rich, Ph.D.

Understanding perinatal grief. We are talking with Dr. Deb Rich about pregnancy loss and neonatal loss. This is a very difficult topic for folks to hear about, but even harder for those families who are trying to deal with the loss of a child. Its so important for us to be talking about pregnancy loss…the impacts on the family…and how to support people who have experienced loss.

We discuss:

-The different kinds of pregnancy loss and neonatal loss.

-The importance of understanding loss as how it may impact the transition to parenthood.

-This type of grief needs a deeper understanding for the complexities that it brings.

-Being informed is important because mothers, fathers AND Providers will either experience loss or be in a position to support others who have.

-How to get support and be supportive during this difficult time.

Deb Rich, PhD. is a licensed psychologist with over 25 years of specialty experience. She provides patient care, consults with local health care professionals, teaches graduate, medical and nursing students, and lectures nationally. She is the founder and clinical director of Shoshana Center, which is named in memory of Dr. Rich’s first child, a daughter, who was stillborn in 1985.

Dr. Rich is the creator and facilitator of MommaCare training and Perinatal Bereavement Training in St. Paul Minnesota. I have taken this training and I HIGHLY recommend this for psychotherapists working with perinatal mothers.

Connect with Dr. Deb Rich




For more support in your area, check out Resolve Through Sharing:


This episode was sponsored by 2020Mom

2020Mom is hosting the 7th Annual "Emerging Considerations in Maternal Mental Health" This year's Forum will be held in Los Angeles on February 13th and will discuss the MMH link to hormones and inflammation, as well as the role of diet. You can register for the live event in Los Angeles for $95, or view a webcast from the comfort of your own home or office for $50. So, anywhere in the world you are, you can watch this forum.

Listeners of this podcast will also receive a 15% discount by using registration code MOMANDMIND.

Learn more at   

To learn more about 2020Mom, listen back to episode 11 where I interview Joy Burkhard, the founder and executive director of 2020 mom. 

Thank you 2020Mom for supporting this Podcast!

Jan 09, 2017
32: Supporting Asian American Moms

Dr. Juli Fraga

Asian American Moms: Cultural Sensitivity in the perinatal period.

In this episode, we discuss maternal mental health in the context of Asian cultures. There are many different cultures under the banner of Asian American, so we are giving an overview of some cultural considerations to keep in mind when supporting an Asian American mother. We will talk about some of the cultural challenges faced by pregnant and postpartum mothers, and how to better support their mental health.

Some of the important topics we discuss:

*Individualistic (western) vs. Collectivist (non-western) cultural perspectives on family, pregnancy and postpartum

*Thinking about cultural components that providers can be sensitive about for the mother

*Some of the “non-western” concepts of birthing and motherhood.

Dr. Juli Fraga is a psychologist in San Francisco where she specializes in maternal mental health concerns. She also co-facilitates a postpartum support group, "The Afterglow" at UCSF, as well as a three-week pregnancy support circle, "The New Nest." Dr. Fraga is also a freelance health writer and she's written about women's health concerns for Refinery29, NPR, Quartz, Psychology Today, The Huffington Post and the Washington Post.

Connect with Dr. Fraga here:

Twitter @dr_fraga

Jan 02, 2017
31: Maternal Ambivalence and Our Bodies

Helena Vissing, Psy.D.

Our bodies, our minds and how we understand them in the change to motherhood.

In this episode we are talking with Dr. Helena Vissing, about maternal ambivalence and some of the feminist psychanalytic and somatic perspectives on how women feel about their body related to pregnancy and postpartum. We are looking at how to broaden our understanding of maternal ambivalence and how ambivalence comes up how our body in motherhood.

We discuss the mental changes of becoming a mother and the mixed feelings we sometimes have about our children - Love and Hate -

Dr. Vissing has a Psy.D. in Applied Clinical Psychology. She has experience working as a School Psychologist and in private practice from her home country Denmark. She moved to Los Angeles in 2010, where she conducted a doctoral dissertation study on the experience of becoming a mother in the Psy.D. program at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. She has published peer-reviewed articles and book chapters on the psychology of the emotional and somatic changes related to motherhood.

 She is active in the non-profit organization Maternal Mental Health NOW She works in a group practice called Triune Therapy Group, where she runs a moms group. She is also Adjunct Faculty at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology.

Helena is contributing with a chapter to a book titled "A Womb of Her Own: Women's Struggle for Sexual and Reproductive Autonomy" which will be released in January. Helena's chapter is an exploration of the Birth Rights Movement and the psychology of birth. Check it out here:


 Connect with Helena here:


Blog: All Things Maternal

Twitter: @allthingsmat


Triune Therapy Group facebook:


Facebook group called Maternal Studies Scholars Network


Dec 26, 2016
30: Sleep Deprived Moms

Lauren DePaola, LCSW


We are talking about a very important topic…SLEEP! We’ve all heard that new moms and parents don’t sleep when they have a baby, but its actually a pretty huge deal. Lauren DePaola is going to give us the information we need to know about how it Impacts us and why we need to be taking a closer look on protecting our sleep as much as possible.

We cover stages of sleep, how much sleep you really need and what kind, what can happen when you don't get enough sleep and why its so important!!!!

Lauren DePaola, LCSW is a wife, mother of two boys and a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Florida.  She owns a private mental health practice with a focus on reproductive mental health: Postpartum Wellness & Family Counseling, located in Gainesville, FL.

Lauren is the founder of the Alachua County Perinatal Mental Health Coalition, the President of the Florida Chapter of Postpartum Support International and Co-Chair of the newly formed Florida Maternal Mental Health Collaborative.






Alachua County Perinatal Mental Health Coalition website:


Dec 19, 2016
29: From Pain to Meaning & Empowerment

Lisa Cross, LMFT

Finding Empowerment and Meaning through your pregnancy or postpartum experience.

On this episode we are talking with Lisa Cross, LMFT about finding empowerment and meaning in your pregnancy, birth or postpartum story. This is an essential piece of making your way through the struggle that can come with pregnancy and postpartum. As you find your way through, your meaning may be very personal, your empowerment may only be known to you, or it could be a huge life changing experience. In any case, finding meaning or empowerment in our experiece can be incredibly healing.

Lisa is a licensed marriage and family therapist who is in private practice in Plymouth Minnesota and also serves as the Co-Director of a non-profit organization called Pregnancy & Postpartum Support MN.  She has a certificate of training in Perinatal Mental Health through Postpartum Support International.  12 years ago this, Lisa welcomed her first child into the world.  Along with her daughter came an illness called Postpartum OCD.  Unprepared for this disorder, she embarked on a battle to understand and overcome her illness.  It was this experience that lead her to focus her career in Perinatal Mental Health.

Connect with Lisa and PPSM here:

Pregnancy and Postpartum Support Minnesota


Twitter and Instagram @ppsupportmn

Lisa Cross, LMFT  Twitter @lisacrosslmft

Dec 12, 2016
28: Couples Life with Baby

Jessica Scales, LMFT

How much do we really think about how a baby will impact or change the relationship that we have with our partner? Generally, not enough! This episode discusses that topic and how to be intenetional about life with a new baby!

In this episode we will talk with Jessica Scales about how to help couples navigate the changes that new parenthood brings. It can be hard to know if you need that kind of support or not, most folks think they will be fine, but really, everyone can use this kind of support.

Jessica Scales is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist practicing in the greater Seattle area. She works with both individuals and couples to navigate life transitions with intention, specifically, couples transitioning from a childless couple to parenthood. She teaches a Life with Baby class to help couples identify and plan for common relational challenges couples face when becoming parents.

Dec 05, 2016
27: Bed Rest & Mental Wellness

Parijat Deshpande - High Risk Pregnancy Wellness Expert

I'm excited to share the second interview in our series with Parijat Deshpande. In our first interview, Episode 21: High Risk Pregnancy? Who, What, How & Thrive, We discussed how high risk pregnancy might lead to bed rest, so please go check that out too!

In this episode, we are discussing Bed Rest, what that is, how it impacts mental health and how to cope. 

Parijat Deshpande is the leading perinatal wellness expert who specializes in working with women during a high-risk pregnancy. She educates and guides women on how to manage their stress and anxiety so they can have healthier pregnancies, decrease their risk of preterm birth and give their baby a healthy start to life. Parijat is a clinically trained therapist, a women’s wellness expert and an experienced speaker on the impact of stress on health and wellness. She has over 4 years of experience as a Psychology Lecturer UC Berkeley and is the founder of MySahana, a South Asian mental health nonprofit. Parijat is also a certified wellness coach, a certified stress management coach and a certified marriage educator.

Find Parijat here:








Nov 28, 2016
26: Supporting Black Mothers

Jessica  A. Walker B.S, RADT

Jessica shares some of her personal story of working through postpartum depression. We talk about some of the stressors that Black, African-American and women of color face during motherhood. Our conversation is a small part of the necessary conversations around how race, ethnicity and culture impact motherhood. 

Jessica is a Joyologist, Reseracher & Your New Media Producer works as the president of JAW Research Institute, an online business education institute and social advocacy media enterprise.

Jessica is a standing contributor to California Task Force on the Status of maternal mental health with 2020 Mom, Speaker for stop stigma Sacramento a multimedia projects which aims to reduce stigma and discrimination that face individuals living with mental illness, NAMI California peer support workshop facilitator, Media start youth educator for national inst., Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development volunteer, bridge network helping incarcerated teen mothers, and works along side physician and psychologist to increase cultural competence in service delivery to mothers &  ethnic groups.

When SHE ISN'T IN HER CLOSET HIDING OUT eating cookies and drinking milk. You can catch her using social media as a tool to spread awareness, educate the world, teach people how to use happiness in a professional and  personal context to  make a positive impact in the lives of others, show up in the world and make it happen every day. As a mother of 6, wife, dancer, sister and daughter, daily she suffers from lack of sleep and dehydration among other things but she wouldn't have it any other way.

Author of the forth coming book & Online course Happily Depressed - The Work  set to be released in 2017

Her mission statement is Wellness in life & in business. Jessica A. Walker (JAW)

Sign up:


Nov 21, 2016
25: "Adventures with Postpartum Depression"

Courtney Novak- Personal Story, postpartum mental health

This episode contains content that may be sensitive for some listeners.

In this episode, we are talking with Courtney Novak about her personal experience and journey through postpartum mental health struggles. Her story and experiences like hers are so important for us to hear and understand.

She discuses some important details about how breastfeeding concerns impacted her, what can happen in our thoughts, intense feelings, interactions with family and with health care providers. We need to know that these mental health complications are very real and they happen to very real people. Also… that help and healing is possible. Courtney will share with us her experience and how she is now helping moms through her own podcast and community support.

Courtney had postpartum depression, postpartum anxiety, and postpartum OCD after the birth of her daughter Pippa in 2013. As part of her recovery, she started writing a memoir, Adventures With Postpartum Depression, that will be published in early 2017. She wanted to share more than her own story, though, so she started a weekly podcast called Adventures With Postpartum Depression.

She also runs a weekly peer-to-peer support group for moms who have or had a maternal mood disorder. See below for ways to connect with Courtney

Social media:

IG @courtney_novak



Nov 14, 2016
24: When The Bough Breaks - Lindsay Gerszt

Lindsay Lipton Gerszt shared her story about the difficulty she experienced after the birth of her son. Her story is highlighted in a new documentary called “When the Bough breaks- a documentary about postpartum depression”. I was able to see this documentary when it screened and can attest to the power and necessity of this film.

If you’ve been listening to the podcast and hearing stories from mothers, you may be seeing that pregnancy and postpartum mood changes happen to a lot of women. Hearing their experiences is so important, so that we can really have a heartfelt understanding of moms during this time of life. I’m honored to have Lindsay here to share her story.

Lindsay was born and raised in Miami, Florida.  Lindsay had the pleasure of working with, managing and doing PR for some of the biggest artists in the music industry. In 2007, she stepped back from the music industry to begin her beautiful family. It was at this stage in her life, that she came face to face with postpartum depression. She has now committed herself to raising awareness for PPD, it's many faces and the path to a healthy life and family.  Her commitment to PPD has included working on the important documentary...When The Bough Breaks-a documentary about postpartum depression, as well as fundraising, producing and telling her story, along with helping other women tell their story. This effort has become her passion.  

About the Film (from the website): "When The Bough Breaks is a feature length documentary about postpartum depression and postpartum psychosis. Narrated and Executive Produced by Brooke Shields, this shocking film uncovers this very public health issue which affects one in five new mothers after childbirth.

The film follows Lindsay Gerszt, a mother who has been suffering from PPD for six years. Lindsay agrees to let the cameras document her and give us an in depth look at her path to recovery. We meet women who have committed infanticide and families who have lost loved ones to suicide. 

Babies are dying, women aren't speaking out and the signs are being missed. When The Bough Breaks takes us on a journey to find answers and break the silence.  This film also features stories from singer Carnie Wilson, actress Tanya Newbould, celebrity chef Aarti Sequeira and Peggy Tanous of The Real Housewives of Orange County."

The Documentary can be found:


Documetary Trailer is on YouTube

FB: When The Bough Breaks - A Documentary About Postpartum Depression

Twitter: @boughbreaksdoc

Nov 07, 2016
23: "He's not talking about it", A fathers journey

Mark Williams: Paternal Postpartum Depression “He’s not talking about it”

This episode contains sensitive content for some listeners.

On this episode, I get to chat with Mark Williams, a dad who when through paternal postpartum depression and is now an amazing advocate for Dads perinatal mental health.

He is sharing with us some of his own story, some of his wifes journey through her Postpartum Depression and how he is getting the word out as a speaker around the world. He is from the UK, but recently spoke in Melbourn Austrailia at the Marce Sosciety conference, in Seattle speaking on mental health with the PSI and was asked to speak for the campaign with the Royal Family!!! So Cool!

We touch on topics related to Paternal Postpartum Depression, Maternal Postpartum Depression, Traumatic Birth, coping with substance use, suicidal ideation and the lack of services and knowledge that so many families face.

He discusses how the traumatic situation of his son’s birth affected his wife and himself, how things for them worsened quickly and the journey of how he came to be a speaker and supporter of parental mental health. He hopes that providers take a FAMILY FOCUSED approach to caring for people during pregnancy, birth and postpartum.

Fathers Reaching Out - UK @MarkWilliamsROW


Mom & Mind Podcast with Creator and Host, Dr. Kat, Katayune Kaeni, Psy.D.

Mental health during conception, infertility, pregnancy, pregnancy loss, birth and postpartum. More episodes on , iTunes, YouTube, GooglePlay Music and Stitcher Radio. You deserve to be informed! 

Oct 31, 2016
22: Laughter & Empowerment to Heal

Using laughter and empowerment to heal

NaKaisha Tolbert-Banks, LCSW, LCAC, CLYL, CEC, ELI-MP

In this episode, we are talking with NaKaisha Tolbert-banks. She is sharing some of her personal story and journey through Postpartum Depression and how she got through it, as well as her professional role as a clinical social worker helping people through perinatal mood disorders and she is also a Laughter Coach utilizing laughter and humor for therapeutic purposes. 

NaKaisha is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Licensed Clinical Addictions Counselor. She is a Certified Laughter Yoga Leader as well as a Certified Empowerment Coach. NaKaisha serves as Adjunct Faculty for the University of Cincinnati, and has previously been Adjunct Faculty for Indiana University’s School of Social Work.

NaKaisha believes there is no health without mental health, and translates this belief into her private practice, D.U.O. EmpowerMEnt Services. She provides professional counseling and life coaching services, and educates the community through various speaking opportunities on various aspects of mental health and wellness. In her spare time, NaKaisha enjoys spending quality time with friends and family, cooking, baking, and traveling. NaKaisha enjoys laughing with her husband and two young daughters, as it is an important part of her everyday life, because laughter, to her, gives life meaning!

Twitter: @1stladygiggles

FB: DUO EmpowerMEnt Services

Oct 24, 2016
21: High Risk Pregnancy? Who, What, How & Thrive

Parijat Deshpande - High Risk Pregnancy Wellness Expert 

This Episode is Part 1 of the high risk series with Parijat Deshpande who helps women through high-risk pregnancy. We will discuss what high-risk means and some of the associated risk factors, implications for mental health and we will talk about how to cope with the stress that can come with potentially difficult pregnancies.

Parijat Deshpande is the leading perinatal wellness expert who specializes in working with women during a high-risk pregnancy. She educates and guides women on how to manage their stress and anxiety so they can have healthier pregnancies, decrease their risk of preterm birth and give their baby a healthy start to life.

Parijat is a clinically trained therapist, a women’s wellness expert and an experienced speaker on the impact of stress on health and wellness. She has over 4 years of experience as a Psychology Lecturer UC Berkeley and is the founder of MySahana, a South Asian mental health nonprofit. Parijat is also a certified wellness coach, a certified stress management coach and a certified marriage educator.

You can connect with Parijat here:





Oct 17, 2016
20: Supporting Latina Mothers

Latina Maternal Mental Health

Emilia Ortega-Jara, LCSW discusses cultural considerations for Latina Moms who are dealing with maternal mental health issues. We will cover some of the relevant issues about Latina moms during pregnancy and postpartum, some cultural specific practices, some of the barriers to treatment and access to care for these moms and families and taking a strengths based approach to care.

Emilia is a psychotherapist in private practice. Emilia has been a longtime advocate for culturally and linguistically appropriate mental health services for the Latino Community. She has worked and collaborated with social justice organizations as a community organizer and trainer on issues highlighting women and girls. In addition, she has worked with various community based mental health agencies as a counselor facilitating the healing process of youth, women, and families who have experienced trauma. Emilia has extensive experience developing and facilitating both therapeutic support groups and leadership advocacy groups for women.

Emilia took special interest in developing her clinical expertise in the treatment of perinatal mood disorders, after the birth of her son. Emilia is certified by Postpartum Support International and has been the Postpartum Support International Coordinator for Riverside County warm line for the past 5 years. She is also an active member of the Inland Empire Perinatal Mental health Collaborative and the San Bernardino County Maternal Mental Health Working Group. She facilitates trainings and workshops on Maternal Mental Health issues throughout the Inland Empire. She is the founder of Corazón Counseling Service which provides culturally appropriate and affordable psychotherapy to Spanish speaking mothers, couples and families in the Inland Empire.

Emilia Ortega-Jara, LCSW


Other resources listed during the interview:

Ansestral Healing:

Birth Services:

IEPMHC Conference October 27th

Oct 10, 2016
19: Aarti Sequeira, Postpartum Depression

Aarti Sequeira

I’m very honored and excited to have the super awesome Aarti Sequeira on with us today. She is here to share her personal experience and journey through postpartum depression and now She has become a powerful advocate for maternal mental health. After her experience she competed in Cutthroat Kitchen, where she chose Postpartum Support International as her charity for donation, after having been helped by a PSI volunteer. As a result she has helped raise awareness of postpartum depression and the importance of maternal mental health. She is in the documentary called When the Bough Breaks- a documentary on postpartum depression and was keynote speaker at the PSI conference this summer.

Aarti is well known from being on the Food Network and for two things: spinning her Indian soul into American favorites, and her laugh. Armed with both, the former CNN producer won Food Network Star, going on to host Aarti Party a cooking show that grew out of the popular blog and YouTube show shot in her kitchen with actor-director husband, Brendan McNamara. Her cookbook, Aarti Paarti ranked in the top three Indian-Middle Eastern cookbooks on Amazon, outdone only by Yotam Ottalenghi! A judge on Guy’s Grocery Games and Clash of the Grandmas, she also contributes to Unique Sweets, and competes on behalf of Postpartum Support International, the organization that helped her on the road to healing from postpartum depression. Catch her on Today Show, The Talk, Dr. Oz and her podcast, Pass the Salt. She lives in Los Angeles with Brendan and her two daughters, Eliyah and Moses.

Find Aarti in these awesome places...

Pass The Salt Podcast:

When the Bough Breaks – A documentary about postpartum depression:

Aarti Parti Cook Book:

Social media info:

instagram: aartipaartipics

twitter: aartipaarti

facebook: aartifanpage



Oct 03, 2016
18: The Many Faces of Infertility

Rachel Rabinor, LSCW Infertility and Mental Health

With our conversation today, we really want women, partners and families to know that they are not alone, there is support available for them and hopefully continue to reduce the stigma and sometimes shame that comes with infertility struggles. Rachel is a psychotherapist and Licensed Clinical Social Worker. She has a private practice in San Diego, California where she specializes in Maternal Mental Health… She also provides trainings to birth workers including doulas, nannies, lactation consultants, midwives and other allied professionals. Rachel serves on the board of San Diego's Postpartum Health Alliance where she co-chairs their outreach efforts… Their current work focuses on training prenatal birth providers on the risks, signs and symptoms of developing perinatal mood and anxiety disorders so they can help prepare their clients for the adjustment to motherhood and decrease their likelihood of developing a perinatal mood or anxiety disorder. Rachel started her career in New York City working at a pregnancy prevention program. After many years in prevention she began working with pregnant and parenting teens and their families in San Diego…. After giving birth to her first child she knew that some day she would start a private practice serving all women transitioning to motherhood…. What she didn't know at that time was how her own subsequent journey through secondary infertility would shape her future practice…. Rachel is a member of Resolve, the National Infertility Association, and is in the process of starting an open, supportive and judgement-free group in San Diego for those struggling with primary or secondary infertility.

Sep 26, 2016
17: Dads need postpartum support too

Daniel B. Singley, Ph.D., ABPP

Today we are switching gears to talk about DAD and Mind with Dr. Singley. Dads have their own experience and transition into parenthood and we need to be talking about their mental health as well, so we WILL! But not just today, I’m excited that Dr. Singly will come back for a series of interviews to share with us this important information about men and the transition to fatherhood!

-We talk about dads journey into fatherhood 

-Things to keep in mind about his mental health

-Paternal postpartum depression and other mood changes in fathers

Dr. Singley is a San Diego-based board certified psychologist and Director of The Center for Men’s Excellence. His research and practice focus on men’s mental health with a particular emphasis on reproductive psychology and the transition to fatherhood. He is Past President of the American Psychological Association’s Section on Positive Psychology and currently serves on the Board of the APA’s Society for the Psychological Study of Men and Masculinity as well as Postpartum Support International. He conducts trainings and presentations around the country to assist individuals and organizations to enhance their level of father inclusiveness and founded the grant-funded Basic Training for New Dads, Inc nonprofit in order to give new fathers the tools they need to be highly engaged with their infants as well as their partners. In his free time, Dr. Singley likes to cook, surf, read, and take his two sons on hikes to get muddy and throw rocks at things.

Follow him @MenExcel and

Sep 19, 2016
16: Postpartum Psychosis - Personal Story

Postpartum Psychosis and Depression

Lisa shares her personal story of struggle through Postpartum depression and psychosis. This is very important for us to talk about and I'm so grateful to Lisa for sharing her story with us because this is a very human and real experience that we should know about and have compassionate understanding of.

Postpartum Psychosis is very serious and it is treatable. 

Lisa Abramson is and entrepreneur, speaker, executive coach and maternal mental health advocate. She co-founded Mindfulness Based Achievement, the New MBA, which teaches high potential women how to create sustainable success. The New MBA has been taught to thousands of women at Google, Cisco, Salesforce, Mattel, LinkedIn, Microsoft, The Stanford Graduate School of Business and many other organizations.

Abramson has given a TedX talk on her experience with Postpartum Psychosis and Depression and has been featured in Fast Company, sharing 5 Ways To Lean In Without Burning Out. Lisa was recently honored as one of the 100 Most Influential Leaders Empowering Women Worldwide by EBW.

Over 12,000 people have taken part in Mindfulness Based Achievement's free 10 Day Meditation Challenge. Lisa graduated from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN and lives in Menlo Park, CA with her husband and daughter.

Find Lisa's TedX talk on YouTube, "Lets talk about postpartum depression"

Find her on twitter @lisaaabramson

Sep 12, 2016
15: Postpartum OCD. Why am I having these thoughts?!?!

Bethany Warren, LCSW

Postpartum OCD- We talk about how difficult it can feel to have the scary and intrusive thoughts happen with postpartum OCD. The great news is that it’s treatable and you can feel better!

Bethany has a passion for women’s reproductive and health issues and has worked in this field for over 18 years. She specializes in Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders, working with individuals and couples struggling with pregnancy loss, infertility or facing adoption or surrogacy. She is passionate about coaching and guiding parents through their adjustment to their new roles and helping couples develop their solid identities as parents. Additionally, she assists women recovering from birth trauma and families who have children with medical and other health-related issues. Bethany also enjoys being active in the community, and serves on the Postpartum Health Alliance Board and volunteers for other community organizations promoting and supporting women’s health and mental illness. Beth is an adjunct professor at a local University and provides clinical supervision for clinicians working towards their licenses as teaching others in the same field is a passion of hers.

San Diego Resource: Postpartum Health Alliance

Sep 05, 2016
14: Caring for body is caring for mind

Dr. Christina Hibbert

Resources for Support and Exercise for Mental Health

Dr. Christina Hibbert is the bestselling author of 8 Keys to Mental Health Through Exercise, Who Am I Without You? , and the Independent Publisher’s Book Award-winning memoir, This Is How We Grow. Dr. Hibbert is a clinical psychologist specializing in Women’s Mental Health, Grief & Loss, Motherhood,Parenting, Perinatal Mental Health, Self-Esteem, & Personal Growth, and is the host of the weekly radio show, Motherhood, on or iTunes.Dr. Hibbert is a frequent keynote speaker, 30Second Mom contributor, founder of the Arizona Postpartum Wellness Coalition, and producer of the internationally-sold DVD, Postpartum Couples, now available free online. Mostly, though, “Christi” is a wife and full-time mother of six children, ages 19 to 8. When she’s not trying to keep up with her family, Christi enjoys traveling, songwriting & singing, naps, reading & learning, doing almost anything outside on a beautiful day in a hammock, and dark chocolate. Learn more about Christi by connecting with her on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and visit her website and popular blog, “The Psychologist, The Mom, & Me,” at There, you can also download free gifts, watch her YouTube video series, and join her free, online Personal Growth Group or one of her Facebook support groups (Growing Through Motherhood; Women’s Emotions: Overcoming, Becoming, Flourishing; Who Am I Without You? Breakup/Divorce support group; Exercise 4 Mental Health Group; This is How We Grow Personal Growth Group; Growing Through PPD & Anxiety Group;Blog 2 Book Deal Author Branding & Platform Group

Host, “Motherhood," on Author, This is How We Grow & Who Am I Without You? & NEW! 8 Keys to Mental Health Through Exercise

Aug 29, 2016
13: Baby's here... what about us?

Catherine O’Brien

We are talking with Catherine O’Brien from Happy with baby about couples adjustment to parenthood. Catherine O’Brien is a licensed marriage and family therapist, speaker, and educator, and is the founder of which provides counseling and coaching for new and expecting parents, facilitates courses to help parents manage expectations of parenthood, as well as understanding developmental milestones of infants and children. She is a California state co-coordinator in the greater Sacramneto area for Postpartum Support International ( and has been volunteering with them since 2011, she also helped establish A Mother’s Heart a local organization in Sacramento that supports women and families affected by perinatal mood and anxiety disorders (

Catherine found her true passion after giving birth to her first child and realizing that even with a strong relationship adding a beautiful little baby really rocks your world. She wants to help couples have a plan to thrive during this transition instead of just surviving. Catherine is also married to her "perfect" partner and is a mother of a 7 year old son and 3 year old daughter and knows what it's like to be a parent that is overwhelmed, exhausted, and doubting her competency.

Find Catherine Obrien, information, article, tips for new parents on

Instagram, pinterest, twitter and facebook @happywithbaby

Aug 23, 2016
12: Ask her how she's doing.

Crystal Clancy - Screening for Depression in Pregnancy and Postpartum

Topics addressed: Pregnancy and Postpartum screening for depression, Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS), PHQ-2 and PHQ-9, screening is not enough, screening is not a diagnosis, follow up from provider is necessary, talk about responses, this screening doesn’t address anxiety or trauma. Crystal is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with a private practice Burnsville, MN. She specializes in perinatal mental health, stillbirth/pregnancy loss, and infertility. She is co-director and one of the founding members of Pregnancy and Postpartum Support Minnesota, which is also the MN Chapter of Postpartum Support International.

Facebook- PPSM,

Twitter- @ppsupportmn

Instagram- @ppsupportmn


Aug 15, 2016
11: Working together to help moms

Joy Burhkard

Topics discussed: Maternal mental health, local, state and national advocacy and legislative actions, supporting hospitals to be “mom friendly”, training healthcare providers about maternal mental health issues.

Joy is a founder, Executive Director and Board Chair of 2020 Mom, a non-profit 501c3 organization formed in 2011 and formerly known as the California Maternal Mental Health Collaborative. Though the non-profit is still young, 2020 Mom has become well known for it’s work convening, collaborating and inspiring change in the maternal mental health field. Recognizing doctors alone can’t fix the maternal mental health problem, 2020 Mom looks at the common denominators in a woman’s life during this time and identified the best practices in it’s framework for change, called the 2020 Mom Project.

Recognizing the shortage of trained providers and training programs, 2020 Mom launched a web-based training program in MMH, with a sister non-profit, Postpartum Support International, in 2013. Joy also founded the National Coalition for Maternal Mental Health in 2013. The National Coalition brings together the leaders of other non-profits focused on maternal mental health, to engage in collective impact.

In addition to running the non-profit, Joy serves as a compliance project manager for Cigna, where she has worked for 19 years. Before founding 2020 Mom, Joy had a rich volunteer life with the Junior League, serving most recently as the Junior Leagues of California State Public Affairs Committee Co-Chair and was recognized by the Junior League of Los Angeles in 2013 with their Founder’s Cup, given to just 4 women in 85 years. Joy is a wife and the mother of two children Alex (7) and Emelia (6) and lives in Valencia, California (Los Angeles area).

Twitter and Facebook @2020momproject @joyburkhard

Aug 08, 2016
10: "...Pregnant, Depressed and Scared of Pills"

Liz Brown shared her story of depression and anxiety during pregnancy, her struggle with finding the support she needed and trying to decide if she would take medication that had been prescribed for her. This is a story that a lot of mothers can relate to…

Liz is a writer and former social worker specializing in emergency mental health. She holds an MSW from UCLA and was recently published on for her memoir piece about pregnancy depression entitled: "What It's Like to Be Pregnant, Depressed, and Scared of Pills."

Topics discussed: Pregnancy depression, pregnancy anxiety, medication, guilt, alarming article headlines “Internalized stigma of being pregnant and depressed”

Check in soon to @thelizbrownshow on twitter to find more information about Liz’s upcoming blog on pregnancy mental health.


Aug 01, 2016
9: Maternal Mental Health NOW

Dr. Caron Post from Maternal Mental Health NOW is with us to discuss how the organization offers training, advocacy and support for mothers and families who are dealing with mental health stress during pregnancy and postpartum and works with L.A. County to support maternal mental health sensitive services.

Please go to to learn more about their ONLINE TRAINING in maternal mental health, the maternal mental health directory and connect with them to learn how to make changes in your county.

Dr. Caron Post received her doctorate in clinical psychology from New York University. She is a clinical psychologist who specializes in maternal mental health, couples therapy, depression and anxiety, perinatal mood disorders, early childhood development and parent -child relationships. She is the former Director of the Clinical Training Program at the Early Childhood Center-Cedars Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, Program Coordinator of Adult Outpatient Services at Didi Hirsch Community Mental Health Centers and since 2009 has been the Executive Director of Maternal Mental Health NOW, formerly known as The Los Angeles County Perinatal Mental Health Task Force. She maintains a private practice in Los Angeles, California.

Topics addressed in this episode: Maternal mental health, online directory, advocacy, integration into medical offices, screening, online training

Twitter: @MMHealthNow



Jul 25, 2016
8: Making a family - Infertility & beyond

Kate Badey discusses Infertility, Adoption, Post Adoption Depression, Embryo Adoption. Kate is a mom of three who was in the infertility trenches for 3 years before experiencing the joy of motherhood. Her journey led her down a path to adoption, and later embryo adoption. Her experience with post-adoption depression after the arrival of her first son was a struggle she did not expect and certainly did not comprehend entirely at the time. She utilized all these experiences to help women on the same path through education and support. Kate is sharing her story with us today, and the hope is for moms and families to know that they are not alone and that they can reach out for support. 


Jul 18, 2016
7: The Good Mother

Diana Lynn Barnes, Psy.D. LMFT

Topics discussed: The Psychological gestation of motherhood, transition to motherhood, societal pressures in motherhood, Postpartum Depression, Postpartum Anxiety, Body and Mind, how chronic continuing stress has an impact on pregnancy and postpartum, who is the “good mother”.

Diana Lynn Barnes, Psy.D., LMFT is a past president of Postpartum Support International and currently sits on their President’s Advisory Council. She is a member of the training faculty of Maternal Mental Health Now in Los Angeles as well as the California statewide Maternal Mental Health Collaborative and the 20/20 Mom project. She also sits as the mental health consultant for the California Commission on the Status of Maternal Mental Health Care. She is widely published in the academic literature on all facets of perinatal mental health and wrote the guidelines on Assessment and Treatment of Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders for the Perinatal Advisory Council of Los Angeles.

In addition to private practice specializing in women’s reproductive mental health, Dr. Barnes presents nationally and internationally and is often retained by legal counsel on cases of infanticide, pregnancy denial, and neonaticide where perinatal illness has been at issue. In 2009, Dr. Barnes received a Lifetime Achievement Award for her contributions to the field of child-bearing related mood disorders. Dr. Barnes is the editor and a contributing author of a 300 page reference text called “Women’s Reproductive Mental Health Across the Lifespan (Springer, 2014) and the co-author of “The Journey to Parenthood: Myths, Reality and What Really Matters” (Radcliffe Publishing, 2007). Dr. Barnes maintains a private practice in Sherman Oaks, California where she specializes in women’s reproductive mental health.

For more from Dr. Diana Lynn Barnes, check out:

Twitter: @ppddoc

Jul 11, 2016
6: Pain to Healing- a Postpartum Journey

Real and Personal Story from suffering to healing: Postpartum Depression, Anxiety, PTSD from Birth Trauma and OCD 

*Sensitivity notice - difficult content*

Amy Corn, Mom and Advocate, Is a mother of two and a survivor of postpartum depression, anxiety, OCD and PTSD. She is actively working as a volunteer and advocate for maternal mental health in her community north of the Atlanta Georgia area. She's been working with her pediatrician to develop a postpartum assessment program where all mothers with children 12 months and younger will be assessed at each well visit. She recently organized a workshop where 18 therapists received training specifically in postpartum mood and anxiety disorders.

Topics Discussed: Postpartum depression, Postpartum Support International, Postpartum Progress, coping skills, breathing, taking time for yourself- mommy time, Brook shields book: Down Came the Rain was helpful, screening at pediatrician’s offices, medication and recovery


Jul 04, 2016
5: Postpartum Support International

Executive Director of Postpartum Support International, Dr. Wendy Davis!!! Wendy shares some of her personal story and how she came to specialize in perinatal mental health. We also discuss all of the amazing working parts of Postpartum Support International, including the training certifications, advocacy, volunteer opportunities, group support, phone support and much more! Wendy Davis, PhD, has a counseling and consulting practice in Portland, specializing in pregnancy, birth, and postpartum mental health. She is the Executive Director for Postpartum Support International (PSI), where she coordinates PSI services, programs, and 300 U.S. and International Support Volunteers. Wendy is the Founding Director of Baby Blues Connection, Oregon’s first perinatal mental health support organization, and now serves as their clinical advisor and volunteer training consultant. She chaired Oregon's Maternal Mental Health Workgroup convened by legislation in 2009, and the subsequent committee that wrote Oregon’s Maternal Mental Health Patient and Provider Education Act in 2011. She is a founding member of the National Coalition for Maternal Mental Health, and consults to community, clinical, and public health systems. She is dedicated to improving public awareness and provider capacity to increase resources for pregnant, post-loss, and postpartum families.

Postpartum Support International Warm-line 1-800-944-4773

PSI Website

PSI Learn More

PSI Get Help, link to national and international support


Jun 27, 2016
4: Breastfeeding & mental health

Rachel shares her personal story and discusses how breastfeeding complications contributed to her postpartum mental health. This is a story that so many mothers can relate to and connect with!

Rachel is a licensed independent social worker with a background in behavioral health.  She currently writes at about emotional wellness for mothers. 

To learn more from Rachel, visit her blog here:

*Please Note: The Mentoring 4 Moms program discussed in this episode has been discontinued.

Jun 23, 2016
3: Postpartum Action

Did you all know that you can get training or psychotherapy from Dr. Shosh? She is very active in treating, training and advocacy.

Dr. Shosh is with us again today!

We get to delve into the Postpartum Action Institute, that she co-founded with Jane Honikman. They offer small group training, support and guidance for therapists who are looking to serve mothers and families.

Dark Side of the Full Moon Documentary about the maternal mental health and the effects on mothers and the Free app, PPD Gone which offers so much hand-held support for mothers to get support for mental healing!!!

These are great contributions to maternal mental health training, awareness, support and advocacy!

Find this and more from Dr. Shosh


Jun 23, 2016
2: Postpartum Depression - Dr. Shoshana Bennett

Dr. Shoshana Bennett

This amazing woman has pushed the field of perinatal mental health forward with her advocacy, expert knowledge, training for psychotherapist, produced a film on PPD and even has an APP.

Please listen in to this wealth of knowledge and look into the amazing resources that she offers!

Affectionately known as Dr. Shosh, she educates and empowers her audiences while discussing serious and often uncomfortable topics, using humor, the latest research, solution-based protocols and first hand knowledge she gleaned after experiencing life-threatening postpartum depressions.

She is the co-founder of Postpartum Action Institute, Executive Producer of Dark Side of the Full Moon documentary, Author to: Children of the Depressed, Postpartum Depression for Dummies, Pregnant on Prozac and Beyond the Blues: Understanding and treating Prenatal and Postpartum Anxiety and Depression. She has also developed a Free App for postpartum depression called PPD Gone!


Jun 17, 2016
1: My Postpartum Story: Anxiety & Depression

In the first part of the episode, I discuss my own personal story of postpartum depression, anxiety and OCD. 

***I discuss some topics about intrusive thoughts that may be sensitive for some listeners***

In the second part of this episode, I discuss some of the basics of Maternal Mental Health (MMH) diagnosis, which include Depression, Anxiety, Panic, OCD, PTSD, Bipolar and Psychosis. We mention pregnancy loss, paternal depression and post adoption depression as well. While this is not an exhaustive list of what can be challenging during the reproductive years, its a good reference for many of the topics that we will discuss in future episodes.

I'm so glad you're hear with us, being a part of learning, hope, healing and change for moms and families who need to know that they are not alone!

Jun 17, 2016
0: Intro to the Maternal Mental Health Podcast

This podcast focuses on the mental health aspects of becoming pregnant, being pregnant and early parenthood. Just by listening and becoming aware of maternal mental health issues, you are already a part of the change. The reason this topic is so important, is because about 20% of moms will experience a significant and sometimes devastating change to their mental wellbeing during pregnancy and postpartum. So many moms are unaware and surprised that things like anxiety and depression can happen while pregnant, with a loss or after the baby is born. They don’t want to feel bad, but they do. This is a very real thing. For instance, Postpartum Depression is the #1 complication of childbirth, but because we as a society don’t talk about it enough, many moms feel lost, alone or ashamed. Here’s the good news, with the proper information and proper help, moms don’t have to be stuck or alone in their pain. It’s the goal of this podcast to make this information available and also provide real life stories of moms who have struggled and made their way through to feeling better. We will talk with experts, leaders and advocates in the field of maternal mental health and maternal health. We will discuss all of the maternal mental health challenges that so many moms and families face while going through the transition to motherhood. We will address the overwhelming stigma that mothers face when they don’t feel like they are “supposed” to feel. We’re gonna get real. We’re gonna get honest. We’re gonna put on our stigma crushing boots and address the realities of the transition to motherhood. This podcast offers information, resources, real personal stories, expert perspective and community. This is not a replacement for therapy and treatment. If you or anyone you know may be struggling, please know that there is help. You can find resources on Dr. Kat can be found Twitter @momandmind Instagram @momandmind

Jun 17, 2016