Archive for the ‘Motherhood & Identity’ Category

Maternal Mortality and Birth Trauma: A Call for Woman Centered Birth

In my work as a perinatal psychotherapist, I have had the honor of hearing many women’s oral histories about their childbirth. I often see women who have nearly died in childbirth, usually due to hemorrhaging.  

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Poetry: For My Mom: Memories of 295 Union Avenue

 

For My Mom: Memories of 295 Union Avenue

When I was 3 and very small, I remember napping in a quiet room.
The scent of lilacs entering my dreams along with the sound of steady, gentle rain…. 
The surrounding trees created a soft, energetic circle all around me,
and this was safe like home. 

When I was 4 and still so very small, I would wander the enormous majesty within our home fences…
Touching purple irises, finding praying mantis’ cocoons… 
I’d crouch in a cool cave made of dark branches and  
shake the white snow bushes, blinded by a veil of magical, tiny flower petals.
I watched in wonder as they settled like white snow drops on my hair and on the ground…

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Facing the reality of postpartum depression

Postpartum depression changed my life.

I let my postpartum depression go untreated for a long time after I gave birth and I shouldn’t have done that, I suffered needlessly and caused my husband to suffer needlessly. I did go to a therapist, who very kindly referred me to a female psychiatrist (over and over again!).But, I refused to go see this psychiatrist, as I was nursing my son. My nursing times with him were the best times of the day, it was soothing to relax, sit down, and just feel the love between us! And I did not want to expose him to any form of medication through my breastmilk, especially not daily antidepressants!

Back then, 17 years ago, there wasn’t much perer-reviewed research literature published regarding the risks and safety of different psychotropic medications for use during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Now,  you can easily access accurate, succinct, and professional consumer information about pregnancy, breastfeeding and psychotropic medications on the Mother to Baby website , which is a website run by teratogen specialists. There is a mountain of information, plus free, live counseling with a teratogen specialist,  that can help you make an informed decision with your doctor.

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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.”

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EPDS can help you determine if you are postpartum depressed

Perinatal mood disorders are the most common complication of childbirth. 15 – 20 % of women experience symptoms of depression and anxiety during pregnancy and in the first year after giving birth. Postpartum depression is the most common term used, but there are a few differential diagnoses that can be found in the perinatal mood distress category. Postpartum depression (PPD), postpartum anxiety (PPA), postpartum obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), bipolar disorders, postpartum psychosis and postpartum birth trauma. You can find out more about these categories at the BirthTouch® website or at Postpartum Support International.

Screening

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Mindbody Pregnancy and Postpartum Care

Pregnancy and birth are major adult transitions filled with joy, but the transition to parenthood can also bring up feelings of insecurity, sadness or fear as you and your partner move into this different phase of self-identity. Parenting an infant is difficult, but if one of you had a complicated early family life, parenting is like navigating rough waters, as flashbacks to unpleasant scenes from childhood intrude upon present reality.

If you’ve experienced a previous depression or anxiety or trauma or went through infertility treatments, have a baby in the NICU, or experienced childhood abuse, you have a higher risk that the physical and emotional changes of childbirth could bring on recurrent symptoms. Because of the hormonal fluctuations experienced at childbirth, 85% of all women experience the baby blues, which is a sadness after childbirth that resolves itself in about 2 weeks.

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5 Parenting Myths for New Moms to Totally Ignore!

Family walks!

As the mom of a 22 year old, I wanted to just say “Heeeyyy!”  to all you new moms out there and throw you some love and encouragement!

You don’t need to be perfect! You just need to be good-enough and you and your family will be ok.

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Affirmations for Positive Mothering!

Good self-care  (istock/kzenon)

 Happy Mother’s Day!

Be kind to yourself today.

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Book Review: Broken Pieces: Essays Inspired by Life by Rachel Thompson

“Talking about sexual assault can be conceptualized as a political act….. “

Sarah Ullman, Ph.D.

Istock

Broken Pieces is written by Rachel Thompson, author and activist. She is creator and founder of the Twitter blog memes #MondayBlogs,  #SexAbuseChat and #BookMarketingChat. A sexual abuse survivor herself, she is an advocate for others.  She has given a voice to sexual abuse survivors who have been traditionally silenced. And those who have a voice are empowered. Hers is a positive story as she slowly builds a loving life for herself with her own husband and family.

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Book Review: Dancing on the Edge of Sanity by Ana Clare Rouds

Dancing on the Edge of Sanity

asks once again

How Often Must We Ask for Sensitive Care?

 

It’s easy to connect with Ana Clare Rouds’ personal story of the reality of motherhood in her book, Dancing on the Edge of Sanity. She shares her personal story about her experience with postpartum depression, anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorder, and she eloquently brings out several issues.

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