Wednesday, October 20, 2010

House to home

For women who grew up in abusive/neglectful households...I encourage you to make your home now really feel like a home. It doesn't take a ton of money to surround yourself in comfort and beauty. Take time're worth it and it's safe now...
and if it's not safe get the support you deserve to make it safe. You're worth it.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Healing Birth Trauma

Warning: the above article is very triggering for birth trauma.
I’m not even sure where to start after reading this article. First of all, I want to be clear that as a professional I am not interested in crucifying every person out there who is a medical doctor. I know there are wonderful medical doctors who deeply care about women and want to serve their patients with the best most respectful care. I also want to acknowledge that it’s the SYSTEM that seems to be sick and that very system seems to also traumatize good doctors, midwives, doulas, and lactation consultants. I have had many conversations with my own clients and friends who provide women’s health care that are so frustrated by how broken the system was they suffer vicarious trauma and burnout. But that’s another post.
The debate about whether childbirth can cause PTSD or medical interventions used in an intrusive way are abuse or not is irrelevant to me. Clearly there is a history of women suffering trauma in these situations and that is not theoretical, those symptoms are real. I am interested in making sure these women get TREATMENT so they can go on and bond with their babies as deeply as possible and choose whether or not to have more babies without the intrusive symptoms of PTSD getting in the way. I want fathers and partners to be able to concentrate on supporting the mom and getting to know the new baby, not having to be on high alert to protect the best interests of his new family.
Symptoms of PTSD can include:
-Experiencing an event where you felt your life or the life of somebody else’s was in danger and you were helpless to do anything about the situation.
-Intrusive memories of the event also known as flashbacks.
-Efforts to avoid anything that might remind you of the distressing event.
-Difficulty feeling close to your baby or other loved ones.
PTSD is real. PTSD is treatable. PTSD is probably very under recognized in new moms for many reasons that need to be fixed, but if you see yourself in the above symptoms please consider getting help. Talk to a counselor familiar with PTSD who believes childbirth or medical interventions can be traumatizing. If you have a supportive midwife or doctor talk to them. Talk to a supportive clergyperson or find a local or online support group through ICAN or
When Survivors Give Birth: Understanding and Healing the Effects of Early Sexual Abuse on Childbearing Women

Saturday, October 2, 2010

The CDC says nearly 1 in 10 US adults depressed

This seems to me like it is practically an epidemic. I found this article so interesting:

The psychologist in the article noted that depression can cause and exacerbate chronic health conditions such as diabetes, and heart disease. I would add chronic pain and autoimmune disorders to this list. Also work, family, and relationships tend to suffer when somebody is depressed.

The good news? Depression is very treatable. There are many simple self-help lifestyle changes that can cause major improvements in mood. For example studies have shown 30 minutes of exercise 3-4 times per week can reduce symptoms of depression. Omega-3 fatty acids have a similar effect. And of course, counseling has been shown to help depression.

So don't suffer. The consequences of not treating depression are significant. Treatment is available even if you start out with exercise and nutritional remedies before moving towards counseling or medication. Get help and get out to enjoy your life.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Miserable or strong?

The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge We either make ourselves miserable or we make ourselves strong.  The amount of work is the same.  -Carlos Castaneda

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Facebook Fan Page

Hi, everyone,
Please check out my Facebook Fan Page for my "Healing Mommies" counseling practice.  I will, of course, still be blogging here!

Healing Mommies

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

PTSD in childbirth.

I recently saw this article in

It says that around 9% of women meet the criteria for post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after childbirth. Trauma can look like:
-Intrusive memories that are upsetting about an event.
-An event where you felt helpless and horrified, feared for the life of yourself or another person.
-Efforts to avoid any triggers that might remind you of the event.

Please know that good treatments are available. EMDR is one, as is cognitive behavioral therapy. Don't let PTSD rob you of precious moments bonding with your baby. The author says that PTSD never goes away and that's not true, it can be resolved or at least improved for most people. It is not unusual for somebody with a history of PTSD to have it re-triggered with a new traumatic event. For example, a childhood sexual abuse survivor whose trauma is resolved as a young adult might find it re-opened after a traumatic event in adulthood like a traumatic birth experience. This does not mean that you are weak or back at "square one." This means that you already have many of the skills needed to get through the trauma and you deserve support. Talk to a counselor, your midwife or doctor, or find free local support groups for postpartum women. There are also online forums, such as where you can talk to other moms, or use their warm line for support.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Advice to new moms

I saw this great video on motherhood:

My favorite quote? "YOU are the expert." Yes, new moms, YOU are the expert.