Healing from an Unwanted Cesarean

Sometimes birth plans don't unfold the way we want, and that may mean more medical intervention such as a cesarean. If a cesarean is needed, how can you overcome initial feelings of frustration and disappointment? After your birth, what key steps can help guide you toward self-forgiveness? Today moms who have had cesareans share their personal experience.

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Episode Transcript

Preggie Pals
Healing from an Unwanted Cesarean

Please be advised, this transcription was performed from a company independent of New Mommy Media, LLC. As such, translation was required which may alter the accuracy of the transcription.


Shelley Rahim: As women, our birth stories are an important part of who we are, but, unfortunately, the birth plans we pictured in our heads can unravel before our eyes, and lead to serious medical interventions, such as a Cesarean. So how do we heal from the unexpected turn of events? Or, if scheduled to a Cesarean, how do you learn to accept this outcome and birth with love and awareness? I’m Shelley Rahim, a birthing from within Childbirth Mentor and Prenatal Yoga Instructor and this is Preggie Pals, episode 56.

[Theme Song]

Sunny Gault: Welcome to Preggie Pals, broadcasting from the Birth Education Center of San Diego. Preggie Pals is your weekly online on the go support group for expecting parents and those hoping to become pregnant. I’m your host, Sunny Gault, have you joined our Preggie Pals Club? Our members get all of our archived episodes, bonus content, after each new show, plus special giveaways and discounts. You’ll also get a free subscription to Pregnancy Magazine. So you can see our website, preggiepals.com, if you’d like some more information. Thanks to everyone who is listening to this episode to our awesome Preggie Pals app, that’s available on Apple and Android market place; this is the best way to listen on the go, like when you’re out pushing your stroller, or waiting for your next OB appointment. And it’s absolutely free, so you can download it today. OK, let’s introduce our panelists here, on the studio. You guys know me, I’m Sunny, I am thirty-five years old. And I’m pregnant again with my third baby. I’m assuming it’s the beginning of December, that’s what BabyCenter tells me, and I obviously I don’t know the gender yet. I do have two little boys at home, Urban and Sayer. Stephanie!

Stephanie Saalfeld: I am just about to turn thirty, I’m a gemologist by train, but I am now a producer for Preggie Pals. I had my baby girl, Sauviana, in January of this year, so she’s just four months old, and we did have an unplanned Cesarean.

Sunny Gault: And Lata.

Lata Srinivasan: Hi, I’m Lata Srinivasan, I’m thirty-six, I’m a home maker, and already have a baby, she’s seventeen months, Anushka. And I’m pregnant, again, but twins this time.

Sunny Gault: O my God, we didn’t know that! Congratulations!

Lata Srinivasan: I’m due in September; I had an unplanned C-section the first time.

Sunny Gault: Hoping to avoid the C-section this time, but twins, that’s kind of hard… I know they like to take the mearl away…

Lata Srinivasa: This is the fight I’ve been having with my doctors, but I’m hoping for the best, and let’s see how babies turn out to be.

Sunny Gault: We’re in your corner, Lata. We’re waiting for you. Tracy, what about you?

Tracey Jackier: Hi, I’m Tracey Jackier, and I’m thirty-nine, and, by profession, I’m a social worker, but right now I must stay at home, mom. I have a four year old daughter, named Kaiya, and I just had my son, Asher, and he is now six years old. I also had two Cesarean births. The first one was planned, but it was planned near the end of the pregnancy, so I had, like, the whole nine months to prepare for a natural birth and I ended up having to go with a C-section. So that’s the type of birth I had.

Sunny Gault: I forgot my types of birth: my first time was a vaginal birth, but I had some complications with him, and then, moving forward with my second, they told me “You know, we can’t tell you have to have a Cesarean, but you basically have to have a Cesarean, or these complications could erupt and turn into stuff you don’t want to deal with. And so my second was a planned Cesarean, I knew from the very beginning, after my first son was born, they told me “A future baby is going to be C-sectioned”.
We are in the Cesarean club today. Ladies, thank you so much for joining us.

[Theme music]

Sunny Gault: Here’s a question from one of our listeners. This comes from Jamie from Maine, and Jamie says: “I had stitches with my last C-section, and my scar healed beautifully. My new OB had a hard time even finding it that it healed so well. My new OB does staples, but said he would do stitches if I prefer. Apparently, he thinks staples heal better, and the scar looks better. He said my staples would be removed before I left the hospital, but I had such great success with the stitches, I don’t worry about the staples not healing as well as the scar being ugly. And, Jamie, I have to say this before passing this to our experts, I had a C-sections, I was very concerned about staples, too, actually I didn’t even think to ask the question of staples versus stitches, but I’d heard bad things about staples, so I have to say that I’m pretty pleased with my scar, but I also did hear that it depends on the OB. But anyway, let’s get a take on this from our resident OB, Dr. Capetenakis.

Nick Capetanakis: Hi, Jamie, this is Dr. Nick Capetanakis, I’m in San Diego, California, and I think you posed an excellent question. The debate range between staples or stitches prevents scarring, both have their use points, but I will tell you that if you talk to plastic surgeons and look at the latest written literature, you probably ask why I have suture versus staples, and that’s not everybody, but overall sutures will probably give you better results. The other thing is that if you already have a great result, you know how you’re gonna respond, so that your other examiner can always get the operative report and see what sutures were used when in the exact same sutures and hope for the exact same outcome that you did receive. The points of using staples I always say that they say when using staples for three days and then you get to remove them, but they are a foreign body, and then your body does not necessarily respond well when they are removed, which may cause scars. Sounds great in theory, I don’t think it’s pinned down as well as they’d like. Again, I don’t think either way, I’d stay away from staples or sutures, but I will tell you that I do prefer suturing. You can always talk to your OB and let them know that, and you know that the majority of OB’s are willing to suture that incision close. If you have any questions, let us know and have a great delivery and a great rest. Thank you very much. Bye-bye.

[Theme song]

Sunny Gault: Today’s episode is very important because it deals with how to process and overcome unpleasant feelings with an unwanted Cesarean section. We have three panelists here in the studio, including myself, whose birth plants did not involve C-sections, and still that’s how our children were born.
For all of our pregnant listeners out there, this episode is not intended to scare you, we certainly don’t want to do that, but it is information we believe will be helpful should you find yourself in a similar situation, and, of course, we’d want you to be as prepared as possible.
Shelley Rahim is our expert. She is a birthing within mentor and a prenatal Yoga instructor. Shelley, welcome to our show!

Shelley Rahim: Thank you.

Sunny Gault: So, before we dive into how we heal from this, I think first we need to share more of our experiences, because we do have three panelists plus myself here in the studio. Unfortunately, we can’t afford spending a lot of time of our birth stories, but I still wanted to give our listeners an idea of where we’re all coming from.
Stephanie, I’d like to start with you. Share some brief things, the type of birth you wanted, how you knew you needed a C-section, what led up to that and then your feelings after the birth.

Stephanie Saalfeld: With it being my first, I didn’t know exactly what to expect, so I wasn’t saying for sure that I was going to have a natural birth, but you know I played it by ear an d see what’s gonna happen. So going into it, I started having contractions, I started having prodromal labor for a few days, and so just labor that didn’t progress. Finally, after a several days of contractions, I woke up one morning and I was like, “OK, this is the real thing!” So I went to the hospital, I was forced… But I was exhausted already, because I’ve having contractions for three days. So I didn’t end up getting a draw right away. It naturally just progressed, I got to the stage of pushing, and I ended up pushing for three hours, and Savanna was posterior, she was standing right up, and her head was tilted back. They couldn’t turn her, and I had the epidural, so they couldn’t do different positions, and I just got the epidural, and so I ended up having a C-section. So I pretty much had no warning.

Sunny Gault: And how did you feel when they suggested the C-section? What was going through your mind at that point?

Stephanie Saalfeld: A part of me, because I was so tired, I just wanted it done; a part of me was like, “Do it already! Cut me right open. I don’t need more drugs; just do it!” And then the other part of me was so disappointed, because I’d put in so much work, so I felt like I just had two births instead of one.
For her, Savanna, too, because they were forced to use forceps in the C-section, because she was all pushed into my pelvis. She knowing against my bones, her little head was so misshapen. She was not a typical C-section baby.

Sunny Gault: So how did you feel after all this went down?

Stephanie Saalfeld: I felt like missed out. I felt like what I had hoped for just went out the window. I felt removed from it a little bit, just like stand out the window looking in. Because my husband had to do everything, and he was amazing. He was absolutely wonderful. And I couldn’t get out of the Hospital bed for two, and even when I did so, that was not fun, because all of my energy was completely gone. So he did everything, and I felt like he had that bond with her first, and I was like, “That’s my bond!” But I couldn’t get up to change her diaper; I couldn’t do any of the things I had hoped to do. So it was disappointing. I felt guilt. I felt all kinds of emotions.

Sunny Gault: Guilt because it was not a natural birth?

Stephanie Saalfeld: Guilt for not having a first time bond with her, but it got better after.

Sunny Gault: What kind of emotions are you feeling now? She is four months old?

Stephanie Saalfeld: She is four months old. I’ve come to terms with it, I couldn’t do it any other way. But I still have weird pains, and I still have that ugly scar that I look at and I wish it hadn’t happened that way. And so not having been able to prepare for it, I still have some feeling for it. But, you know, it was what it was meant to happen.

Sunny Gault: OK, thank you! Lata, tell us more about your experience.

Lata Srinivasan: Well, I was prepared for a natural vaginal birth. And I had been taking Shelley’s prenatal Yoga; and I was this warrior, and I knew I would have a normal birth, so I was like confident about it. Well, like Stephanie, I had these contractions for a day before. And then, after a whole day and night, in the morning the contractions were intense, and I went to the Hospital, and they admitted and nothing happened. They broke my water bag, and then I advanced to seven. And that was it. I was there, but my body did not respond to anything else. So they could not wait any longer, so they had to give some medicine to help my labor, and my body did not respond to anything. I was exhausted, because I didn’t sleep for one day, and my back was hurting like crazy. I wouldn’t let my husband go; he had to hold my back the whole time. Towards the evening, they said that my body is very stiff, and that I would have to relax; so they gave me epidural, and I slept. When I woke up, the doctor said that I would have to go through a C-section, because they had waited long enough. When I got to know that, I cried, I broke down, but I think it was necessary for me to cry to let go of all those emotions that built up. And somehow I accepted it, somehow it just came to me. I don’t feel cheated. I tried everything. I did the right things, and if my body was not responding, because it was a body-mind war thing, I accepted this, that this is the way. They made the right decision now and I don’t feel cheated.

Sunny Gault: After you were able to process it, maybe in the coming weeks afterwards, how did you feel about Cesarean? Did it stay with as something that you were able to move past it, or is it still something in your head?

Lata Srinivasan: It still keeps coming back, and then I feel like I did everything by me. But then, this is something it must have to be. You feel like there is something beyond you, and that you’re not in control all the time.

Sunny Gault: Right, because it is in the past. So many times we beat ourselves up, what could we have done differently. But it is in the past, and we have a tendency to dwell on it, and honestly I thank goodness we have medical technology, like Cesarean, for women who are at a point where their bodies won’t continue the natural way they had intended. We still have this ability to give birth to babies and have healthy babies, and sometimes I don’t think a lot about it. The baby’s here, and the baby’s healthy, and I’m healthy. And maybe it didn’t turn out like in my head, but that’s the most important thing.

Sunny Gault : So, Tracey, tell us a little bit of your experience.

Tracey Jackier: Just like Lata, I had planned most of my pregnancy to have a natural birth. A had spoken with a Doula, maybe have a home birth. I was a little concerned, because I have asthma, and some risk stuff.
My daughter would not go head down. She would not engage. And I actually had my baby in Colorado, where they are very dedicated to having natural birth, they don’t allow you schedule C-sections or anything like that. And my doctor said, I think we can probably reschedule, wait and see how it goes. And in that moment I was devastated. In that moment I was devastated. I had prepared, I had taken Yoga classes, I was the warrior, I did birth blessings, all these different things to be that woman that I needed to be, to have that courage and strength. A big part of who I am and the wisdom I have gained over time is acceptance, and I think that’s a huge thing for women to have your determination and plan and your desire, but understand like Lata was saying, you don’t have control over everything, I had to just accept the fact that what I had planned all along was not going to happen and I ended up being scheduled. It was only a couple weeks before, but it was enough to embrace this and accept this. Because this isn’t about me, this is about my child, and she is offering me some wisdom that I don’t know about, and it was really an inspiring experience for me, and it really allowed me to go back to my heart and love, and to recognize that this isn’t about me, that it is something about the gift and the blessing coming my way, and that it just became this really beautiful experience for me, and I would describe it as just very peaceful and pleasant, because I had embraced what was going to happen, and I decided maybe my daughter knows that my body wasn’t going to be able to handle that and she wanted me around. Maybe I would’ve died. I was open to it, and the experience was shockingly pleasant.

By the way, I had never been in the Hospital in my entire life, so it was my first time. I was very nervous, and it was very sterile, the lights and everything. And there were a lot of people in the room, and they were talking about random stuff. I was just really just trying to stay in the heart, and with my breath trying to keep my body calm so that the baby felt as calm as possible. And afterwards, they brought here over right away, and they put her lips on my lips and we kissed. And it was like this magical moment; also when they pressed on my stomach, they induced a contraction, and not a lot of women have told me that they had this experience, but I literally felt like I had seen God, like this rush of feeling came over me, and maybe that’s how it feels when the baby is coming right out of you, like the vaginal birth. And it was so magical, so I just burst into tears, and it was this amazing moment. And I was very grateful for that. And I did have similar experience stuff, I was really drugged out afterward, but it gave her father the opportunity to bond, and a lot of times men don’t have this experience, because women want to deal with all that stuff, and I just got to observe him doing it. I did the breast feeding; my milk came within two hours just right after the birth.

Sunny Gault: Oh my God! Your full supply?

Tracey Jackier: The milk came up the next morning, and I filled up the entire refrigerator, all the nurses were coming in there, they were laughing and asking me to be a donor. It was so bizarre for a C-section; even after a natural birth it can take several days. I had fortunately a very good experience, and with my sun that I just had six weeks ago, I did wrestle with should I do a V-back, my doctor basically convinced me that, due to my condition, it isn’t the best choice. So I wrestled with that, because I met a lot of women who were saying “Maybe you should consider that”. I just decided to schedule it again. And it was even easier, and just as magical. I think it’s a big thing for me. It’s great to be determined and to be passionate about your choices, and really know what you want, but recognize so you don’t suffer through the process. And you keep perspective on what’s important, which is really your health, the baby’s health, and that you’re getting this beautiful blessing. And just try not to be attached to the outcome of it.

Sunny Gault: Ladies, what is one word you use to describe your Cesarean experience?

Lata Srinivasan: I think it is really a great technology, but what I would use to describe it is “defeat.” Because that’s what I felt. I felt so defeated.

Sunny Gault: What about you, Tracey?

Tracey Jackier: Well, because mine was scheduled, I would say “surprisingly pleasant”. Because I’ve never been in the Hospital, and they really know how to take care of you. And I mean I had my baby in 25 minutes. So he was in my arms.

Sunny Gault: It’s a whole new experience.

Tracey Jackier: It was scary, it is very scary and it is kind of a strange experience in knowing they all these things in your body, and you can’t feel it even though you’re awake, but I do appreciate being awake, because I think it’s important, and I have to hold the courage for both of us.

Sunny Gault: I think if I were to pick a word it would probably be “surreal”, and you actually used this word, Stephanie, so maybe you want to tag one to my word. Because after my experience was planned I knew from the moment I had my child was first born that any future births were going to be Cesarean. So I had a really rough time in the beginning processing that, and I didn’t understand why, and it was a really difficult process for me. But by that time, when it was the time to have a Cesarean, everything was so regimented, and I had had the experience of a vaginal birth with my first born, or nothing was really planned. I forgot my birth plan at home, so everything was off the wall. But it everything was good, and it was so refreshing. So my Cesarean was planned and structured. And that’s not what I thought a birth should be, so I think it was very hard for me to grasp the whole situation. I remember the morning, me and my husband were brushing our teeth, and getting ready to go to the Hospital and have a baby today. I had to keep telling myself that this was happening. It seemed so surreal to me. And then once he was here I was asking “How did you come out? I don’t understand. I didn’t physically see you come out”, I didn’t have one contraction, and, like I said, it was thirty minutes, and then they’re in your arms. So I just felt it happened so fast. And I had months and months to prepare. It wasn’t like I didn’t know it was going to happen, but for me just very surreal.

Stephanie Saalfeld: Out of body, if I can call that just one word.

Sunny Gault: When we’ll come back, where going to hear up from Shelley. I know Shelley’s been quiet this section, because we’ve been sharing all of our experiences. So we’re going to talk to Shelley about steps that we can take to overcome any negative feeling we had whether our Cesarean births were planned or if it’s something that’s last minute. We’ll be right back.

[Theme song]

Sunny Gault: Welcome back. Today we’re discussing on how to heal from an unwanted Cesarean birth. Shelley Rahim is our expert; she is a birthing within mentor and prenatal Yoga instructor. She also works with moms healing from birth trauma. So, Shelley, I know you’ve been with us all along, but welcome to Preggie Pals, thank you for being here. I wanted to talk about advice that you have for women who know that they’re going to have a Cesarean section; on some level it’s planned, in another words, they didn’t go into natural birth, they didn’t have the contractions, and all that kind of stuff. And that’s what myself and Tracey kind of experienced. We knew in advance, it was something we had to process beforehand, I’m not sure that this makes things any easier, but for women who are in that position what are some advice that you have in order to process this and to overcome these feelings that we have of not having this experience we’re about to have?

Shelley Rahim: Good question and I think that Tracey so eloquently explained some of the things intuitively in order to prepare and to really connect to the experience, is a really good advice for women who go into this, go into the pre op and stay in their heart, and breathe into their heart, and bread into their connection with the baby, and watch the mind, and have a good sense of awareness of the way the mind will go down different paths that aren’t really the healthiest places you should be, such as how I could’ve prevented this, and instead of following that path, really just coming back to the breath. It’s a discipline, it’s a practice, it’s really difficult, but if you can apply it in these situations to really be present, then, as a mother, you’ll be able to tap into that throughout life. Then you’ll know when a Cesarean is actually happening, you can plan out: “I am planning my baby, my planning my baby.” These are all angels here, helping you to be born. See the team as a really beautiful team of people all helping me birth you.

So you don’t feel helpless and powerless, because it can be very demoralizing and helpless, and powerless when you’re just lying there, but you again go back to the mind and soul, and connect to that baby, and practice that connection during your pregnancy and it will come very naturally in the birth. And immediately after the baby comes out, they will take the baby right over to the warmer and do all the checking in, and that’s when the dad can come in, just like Stephanie was saying: he was right there, he got to see the baby, but he can have a really crucial role in bringing that baby over quickly. As long as everything is good, we don’t need to fuss around for five, ten, fifteen minutes. We can bring that baby right over cheek to cheek. Bring that baby soon, because that mom that’s laying on the table every fiber of her being that baby needs to be on my chest. And she’s aching physically for that baby on her chest, but also neurologically it’s a reaction in her body, physiologically, hormonally, it is like survival instinct: “I need that baby on my chest.”

And so that has to be acknowledged and honored immediately, so the father could be that person to bring that baby over, and smell right there, cheek to cheek, even turn the baby. A lot of time the nurse or the father will bring the baby, saying “Here’s your baby” but she’s seeing the baby upside down, and that awkward. But if the dad or the nurse can turn the baby, the mom can see the baby’s face but not upside down. That memory of the baby’s face goes right into her soul. And so the separation is not as hard.

Tracey Jackier: Yeah, because I just had him six weeks ago, so it’s still a fresh memory. My husband looked over and watched them pull him out, but when they put him over the sheets to see his face, I couldn’t believe it. He was so adorable. I just couldn’t believe it. And all the other things you’re talking about, Shelley, I had the lavender, I had every song picked out in order to help coach me through it. It really does it amazing.

Shelley Rahim: If you know you’re having a planned Cesarean, these are little things you can do. You can tell them before that it’s your birth plan: “For the Cesarean, we would like you to hold the baby up immediately after the curtain, so I can see the baby”, and then you don’t see the baby. You see the baby straight on. “It’s my baby moment!” put that in your birth plan. So in that moment when your kissing your baby, and your smelling, and your snuggling before you separate, say “Mama’s right here with you, mama loves you so much. And I’m gonna be right there.”

Sunny Gault: So the other side is for women out there who perhaps already started the birth process, they already went into labor and did not progress, and it ends up probably being a Cesarean. I can imagine you in a fog. Everything happens so fast, and I don’t think you have time to process these feelings until afterwards. What advice do you have for mothers out there that have been through a Cesarean that was unplanned, that they didn’t want, but are processing those feelings afterwards?

Shelley Rahim: Processing birth afterward; it’s really good to not be telling your story to everybody, keep it in turn off for a while, until you’re ready. Because it will evolve over time, but when you’re at home, and you’re nursing the baby, and when you’re up late at night, and the thoughts come into your head, often times what will happen is that we will go into and replay the birth in our head and think “If I would’ve done that, I could’ve prevented this; what if?” But ultimately we’re just going down ourselves; we’re blaming ourselves. “I didn’t do enough exercise, I didn’t do enough Yoga.” The other part that we can do is, maybe, blame others: “Maybe, if my doctor would’ve been this, if he would’ve say this, if he wouldn’t say that, I would’ve been more empowered.” Or “If my husband had been more supportive”, we kind of look for either blaming ourselves, or blaming other, to relieve the mind, because it’s really looking for an answer to why it happened the way it did. Some things you can when you’re healing on your own you can really start a journal. And really, this is an advice that I’m giving you from Pam England’s book The Labyrinth of Birth, write down what was your pre-birth fantasy, and then what was that you were hoping everybody to be in that moment, so let it out on paper.

So you close your eyes and go inward, and let your birth story play your mind like a video, you let it start from labor all the way to immediate postpartum, and you play it in your video and you watch for moments that are really charging, emotionally charged moments. And take note of that. Just jot them down. Do some quick notes. And then go in think about one of those that fits wanting to be understood more, one of those charged moments. Go back to that and close your eyes and visualize it again. And write this question down. Allow yourself to answer it from within your heart. What are you telling yourself about yourself because this happened? So things like “I am powerless”, negative self-belief that we carry with ourselves not on a conscious level, but we carry it with us, as a mother. So then what you can do is what I am going to read to you, which is a quote from Pam England, and you can read this and really hope the wisdom sinks in so you can find a new belief and let that old belief die. She says “Self love and forgiveness are the keys to healing. So at this time the unwished for events happen, such as a Cesarean. You were utterly immersed in it. You may have been exhausted, afraid, overwhelmed while having to make these decisions. You wanted to do the right thing, the best thing. Or, perhaps, you just wanted to end the intense experience. So consider this, that on the day you gave birth, at the moment this unwished fore event happened, you did the best you could, based on everything you knew at that moment; based on everything life had taught you up to that moment, you did the very best you could. And the only thing you could do based on who you were in that moment, so the profound mystery of birth including how the birth unfolded as it did can never be really understood with the mind. Your mind can come up with theories, but it can never fully explain why anything happens.”

So, after kind of really going in and really starting the journal again, and play that internal video again but with this level of self-acceptance and what I’ve heard from all of you was this level of radical self-acceptance, which is often times a lifelong journey for us as women to accept, and birth is that moment when we really have to have that radical self-acceptance, and to really have this radical self-acceptance and self-love and then some dump comes in and maybe create a new belief about yourself. I really did birth with wisdom, I really did the highest of what was best. Find those moments when you really were in your heart, you really did to your intuition. Can you find one exception in the midst of it all where you found a connection with your baby? There’s always that we’re overlooking, and we let that really be in the forefront of your healing. And let that be who you really are in that moment. So then you can journal about that and maybe you can write down a new belief: “I am powerful!” or “I did birth my baby!” and then make it on little sticky notes and hanging on all over your house and bring that into your everyday. That’s one way you can find a new meaning for Cesarean birth that is really difficult to process.

Sunny Gault: Well, Shelley, thank you so much for that, I appreciate it. And as Shelley mentioned, that is an excerpt or part of The Labyrinth of Birth book by Pam England, we actually have a copy of The Labyrinth of Birth book to give away to one of our listeners; so, if you guys would want a chance to win that copy, go to our website, look for this episode and in the comment section share one thing you learnt after listening to our episode today, and we’ll select a winner at random. Thanks so much to Shelley and all of our panelists for being here today for opening up your hearts and your minds. I’m sure our listeners got a lot from it and I really appreciate you being here and sharing that with us.
This conversation continues to our member of Preggie Pals Club. After the show we’ll talk about different resources available for women who have had an unplanned Cesarean. To learn more about our club, visit preggiepals.com.

[Theme song] [Featured Segment: Online Pregnancy Resources]

Sunny Gault : Before we wrap our show today, here’s Jeanette McKulack, with some of the best online pregnancy resources.

Jeanette McKulack: Hello, Preggie Pals, I’m Jeanette McKulack of BirthWell. We at BirthWell believe that you, as a mother, will make the right decisions for your pregnancy and birth when you’ll have access to evidenced, information and a strong support system. That’s why I’m here to share with you new media tools to find the information that's right for you. Today, I’m going to talk about a serious topic that deserves our attention. Most of us have heard of postpartum depression, but what we are learning is that mothers can be affected of the mood disorder at any time during the childbearing. It can include not just depression, but also OCD, anxiety, and, in very rare case, psychosis. About 16 to 20 percent among the mother can experience some type of paranoid mood or anxiety disorder. If you or anyone you know is struggling beyond the normal ups and downs of pregnancy or trimester birth, the website Postpartum Progress is a rock solid, peer to peer resource. The site was created by mother Katherine Stone after her own struggle with postpartum OCD. Here you’ll find information written in what she calls “plain vomit English” (40:24), meaning no medical use is booked in here. There’s a comprehensive list of symptoms, including warning signs for when you need to seek immediate help. You’ll also find information on treatment option, including those that are compatible with breast feeding. Dad and partners, if you are listening, there’s section here just for you, too. Most importantly, when you’re reading, you feel like you’re hearing from someone who just gets it. Remember, this is a peer-to-peer resource, and not a substitute for medical attention. You can find the website at postpartumprogress.com, you can also find Katherine Stone on twitter, follow the link from her website. Thanks for listening for today’s tools for finding the information that’s right for you and be sure to listen to Preggie Pals for more great pregnancy tips in the future.

Sunny Gault: OK, that wraps up our show for today. We appreciate you listening to Preggie Pals, and don’t forget to check out or sister show, Parents savers, for parents if new born, infants and toddlers, and our show, The Boob Group, for moms who breastfeed their babies.


This has been a New Mommy Media production. Information and material contained in this episode are presented for educational purposes only. Statements and opinions expressed in this episode are not necessarily those of New Mommy Media and should not be considered facts. Though information in which areas are related to be accurate, it is not intended to replace or substitute for professional, Medical or advisor care and should not be used for diagnosing or treating health care problem or disease or prescribing any medications. If you have questions or concerns regarding your physical or mental health or the health of your baby, please seek assistance from a qualified health care provider.

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