Posts Tagged ‘perinatal mood disorder’

Expressive Art: Birth Trauma – Bead Your Story

A traumatic birth can be physically and emotionally devastating. Social support for those going through trauma treatment and for long-term survivors of trauma can improve quality of life, reducing anger, anxiety and depression.

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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.

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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?

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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.

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BirthTouch® Small Business Saturday Free Book Download!

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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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Featured in Science & Sensibility: One of a Kind: An Interview with Dr. Meltzer-Brody about UNC’s Inpatient Mother Baby Psych Unit

Dr. Samantha Meltzer-Brody, Psychiatrist at with the UNC Chapel Hill Mother -Baby Psychiatric Care Unit in the US

Dr. Samantha Meltzer-Brody, Psychiatrist at with the UNC Chapel Hill Mother -Baby Psychiatric Care Unit in the US

I was a guest writer once again over at Science and Sensibility this week! Take a look below and then mosey on over to Science and Sensibility to read the rest!

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Featured in Science and Sensibility: Childhood Sexual Abuse: The Childbirth Educator’s Role (Part Two)

Photo: Kathy Morelli, LPC

Photo: Kathy Morelli, LPC

I was a guest writer once again over at Science and Sensibility this week! Take a look below and then mosey on over to Science and Sensibility to read the rest!

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Postpartum Depression: Knowing the Signs and Getting Help

Strengthen our mothers!

Strengthen our mothers!

The birth of your child is a very exciting time. From decorating the nursery to shopping for cute outfits, preparing for your little bundle of joy requires quite a bit of planning in advance. Despite this, expectant mothers often don’t take into consideration the changes that a new baby can bring to both their life and body.
While occasional feelings of anxiety, stress and depression immediately following the birth are not uncommon—these feelings are often referred to as the “baby blues” —it can become worrisome when they continue beyond the first few weeks following childbirth. If you continue to feel down, you should seek help, as you may be suffering from postpartum depression (PPD).
Postpartum depression symptoms affect many women and should not be ignored. According to the American Psychological Association, it’s estimated that 9-16% of women will experience postpartum depression. Educating yourself about the risk factors, symptoms and treatments of postpartum depression with the following facts and tips can help you avoid potential health hazards, making motherhood as joyous as it should be.
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Leslie Butterfield, Ph.D. – Postpartum Support Int 2013 Conference

Behind the Scenes

Spotlight: Leslie Butterfield, Ph.D.

Biography: Leslie Butterfield, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist specializing in pre and perinatal psychology and women’s health. She also works tirelessly in several not-for-profit organizations. She is on the Board of the Prevention and Treatment of Trauma in Childbirth (PaTTCH) and volunteers in various capacities for Postpartum Support International (PSI), including serving as the Chair of the 2011

Leslie Butterfield, PhD

Leslie Butterfield, PhD

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