August 2019 News and Events
I hope everyone is enjoying the sunshine and perhaps a slower pace of life/work. And if you’re not, that’s okay too (last summer was the WORST for me - it stinks when your anti-anxiety meds stop working!).
I didn’t send out a newsletter last month because I’m purposely trying to do less this summer and give myself a break. But, I feel like I have so much to share with everyone so I couldn't resist sending out something for August.
First, I’m super excited to announce that beginning October 15th, I’ll be offering a free 6-week Support Circle for *new* mothers with babies ages 0-12 months sponsored by the Sea Cliff Village Library. If you’re local, and you or someone you know would like to join, please reach out! Registration will begin in September and is limited to six women.
At the end of June, I presented at the Postpartum Support International conference in Portland, Oregon. I spoke about how Occupational Therapists can play an important role in the treatment of women during and after pregnancy. I was grateful to have the chance to share what I’ve been learning, and I was even more excited to meet so many smart people dedicated to maternal mental health. Some of my favorite speakers were:
Shafia Monroe is a renowned midwife and co-founder of the Traditional Childbearing Group and spoke about the different pressures on both white and back women, saying, “It’s so much pressure for white women to look a certain way, act a certain way ... this contributes to your mental anguish and postpartum deaths. Black women, we don’t have that pressure. We’re dying of preeclampsia and hemorrhaging. It’s all an assault on women’s rights.”
Dr. Katayune Kaeni, a psychotherapist and founder of the Mom & Mind podcast, gave a fascinating presentation on “Supporting the Highly Sensitive Parent.” Her presentation was based on Dr. Elaine Aron’s work surrounding Highly Sensitive People and I definitely related to it. To find out if you’re a highly sensitive person, you can take this online quiz. It was validating to hear why many mothers (includingmyself) might need more time away from their kids to process parenting “stuff.”
Dr. Lee Cohen, the Director of the Center for Women’s Mental Health at Massachusetts General Hospital, told us he wanted the takeaway from his keynote speech to be the idea that “nothing trumps keeping women well.” Meaning, there is a lot of misinformation out there about taking medication during pregnancy and breastfeeding that is simply wrong and thatthe effects of depression and anxiety can be much worse than most antidepressants. He believes “white knuckling it is toxic" and that the next frontier is leveraging access to smartphone apps to increase screenings and intervention for women - exciting stuff!
Our August Mother’s Support Circle will take place Wednesday August 14th at 8pm at the Glenwood Life Center. As usual, please register in advance as space in all of my circles are limited.