Archive for the ‘Perinatal Mood Disorder’ Category

PeopleMaven’s Perinatal Mental Health Specialist!

I am very humbled and honored to have been chosen by PeopleMaven as a Postpartum Specialist !

Read the rest of this entry »

Book Review: Are You There Alone? The Unspeakable Crime of Andrea Yates by Suzanne O’Malley

Are You There Alone? is written by Suzanne O’Malley, an investigative reporter. She followed the tragedy in real time. She was present through Andrea Yates’ 5 weeks of court proceedings. To write this book, she read all of the transcribed trial testimony, 2000 pages of Andrea Yates’ medical records and interviewed nearly 100 people, including Ms. Andrea Yates and Mr. Rusty Yates, her ex-husband, to write this book.

Read the rest of this entry »

ACOG Recognizes the Fourth Trimester

In May of 2018, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) expanded the definition of postpartum care of mom and baby and embraced the inclusive concept of the “fourth trimester.”   For decades, American mom-baby advocacy groups have used the fourth trimester as a way to conceptualize newborn care in the first three months.  And now ACOG validates and identifies this conceptualization of the fourth trimester as a sensitive period of development for both mom and baby.

Since the 1950’s, the mom-baby advocacy groups, such as La Leche League, conceptualized newborn parenting in the fourth trimester as informed by the human evolutionary scale. They normalize baby’s crying by framing it as a signal to be picked up and comforted by his or her caregivers. La Leche League says that it’s normal to provide comfort for a newborn baby by way of nursing, carrying and co-sleeping. All these behaviors imitate the womb environment of warmth, movement and lots of touch. La Leche League normalizes that a baby’s crying is his or her way of communicating with and connecting with their loved ones, and is not a form of manipulation. La Leche League says “It’s normal to ‘Pick the baby up!’ ” Using the construct of the fourth trimester, La Leche League is a positive community intervention for education about and parenting the newborn.

Read the rest of this entry »

Postpartum Depression, Shame and Stigma

Postpartum Depression, Shame and Stigma

Clara just had a baby. But she was not feeling very…well, happy. Yes, she felt overpowering love for her new baby. But she also felt irritable, depressed, nauseous and she was crying alot.  Even worse, she started having nightmares. Scary nightmares that she dared not talk to anyone else about. They were, well, just plain disturbing. They centered around things that she imagined could just happen to her baby that were outside of her control.  She was trying to hide behind a veil of smiles and perky laughter.

Clara felt very scared  and very, very, ashamed of herself. She wondered why she wasn’t happy. She didn’t want to admit she was  depressed. After all, she couldn’t possibly have a mental illness! Weren’t people who are depressed kind of crazy and lazy? What couldn’t she talk herself out of this?

Read the rest of this entry »

Hire a postpartum doula to help in the fourth trimester

Hire a postpartum doula to help in the fourth trimester 

 

What is a postpartum doula?  A postpartum doula is a woman hired to “mother the mother” after childbirth. Sometimes postpartum doulas say they are “grandmothers for hire!”  Usually a postpartum doula is an experienced mother herself, so she knows what type of help is needed during the babymoon. The postpartum doula fills multiple roles in emotional support, babycare, and helps with light household chores. But, a postpartum doula doesn’t provide medical advice or assistance.  

Read the rest of this entry »

Part two: Recovering from birth trauma

Last week, we discussed the story of Betty’s traumatic birth here. This week,  we’ll discuss Betty’s healing plan from a traumatic birth. Betty ‘s husband helped her find a therapist who specialized in trauma and perinatal mood disorders by using Google and looking through Psychology Today profiles.  Betty was fortunate in that she had babysitting assistance from her mother and mother-in-law. Betty also was able to take extend time off from work, as she had been steadily employed at the same company for many years, her work was well respected and she had an understanding supervisor. Not all woman have these options. Betty knew this and she was grateful for the foundation that she had in place.

Betty approached her first visit with her therapist with trepidation. Betty was cautious. Like many trauma survivors, she didn’t want to endlessly talk about her trauma, because, somehow, talking about the incident felt like it might be re-traumatizing to her.  But she was feeling bad and she was curious about the new trauma treatments called Somatic Experiencing® (SE) and EMDR.  She had researched EMDR and found there was 30 years of research supporting its efficacy, so she was hopeful.

Read the rest of this entry »

Part One: Recovering from birth trauma

Part One: Recovering from birth trauma

 

 

Betty was feeling very down, anxious and disconnected. She had given birth to her third child just twelve weeks ago! Her new baby was a joy. He was beautiful and perfect. And so much work as well!  Betty had never missed sleep so much in her life! He was her second baby, her first son. She thought she should feel very happy.  But she just felt empty. There was so much work to do, so much laundry and so much responsibility!  She was crying often and felt distant from her family: her baby,  her other child  and her husband.

She felt happiness sometimes, but often felt removed from her life, like she was standing outside her body.  Her husband researched some therapists she could try to see close to her home. At the urging of her husband and her mother, she called three and settled on someone who was trained in perinatal mood disorders and trauma therapies.

Read the rest of this entry »

Book Review: Birth of a New Brain by Dyane Harwood

 

Dyane Leshin-Harwood, mother, professional freelance writer and thriving! Diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder after the birth of her second daughter. Photo courtesy of Dyane Leshin-Harwood.

Dyane Harwood is my June 2018 shero.

Read the rest of this entry »

BirthTouch® Small Business Saturday Free Book Download!

  Read the rest of this entry »

Interview with Kathy Morelli: Journey of a PPD Survivor

Ivy Shih Leung, postpartum depression author, activist and award winning blogger,  interviewed me for her blog. She is a passionate, outspoken advocate for women, families and social justice.

Some background about Ivy from her blog:  Ivy is  a PPD survivor.  She had her daughter in December 2004 and suffered from PPD about 6 weeks later.  Fortunately, with the help of Paxil which she started taking in February 2005, her frightening experience came to an end 4 weeks later.   Tom Cruise’s infamous rantings “There’s no such thing as a chemical imbalance” triggered an intense reaction and an overwhelming desire to tell him, and others like him, to “Shut up unless you’ve been through PPD yourself.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Welcome to my mental health blog!

Kathy Morelli

What is BirthTouch®?
Character and kindness is all.
Perinatal Mental Health
Mindbody Pregnancy Tool!
Mindbody Partner Support in the NICU
Amazon’s Custom Wedding Registry!
Amazon Fresh and Delivered!
New Features from Amazon Making Life Easier for You!
Blog Categories
Blog Archives