Episode 12: Exploring and Understanding Maternal Mental Health

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EPISODE INFO: In this episode of The Family Couch we chat with Dr. Katayune Kaeni (Dr. Kat), a Perinatal Psychologist about the potential emotional and mental struggles that a mother or family may go through from conception to postpartum, the importance of advocating for yourself with your healthcare provider and how to do so, and the likelihood of development a mood disorder.

Dr. Kat shares what perinatal psychology is: mood changes related to infertility, conception, pregnancy, a loss, and postpartum. We discuss how the news categories most things as postpartum depression when they really are not, ie. like hurting themselves or children (which would be a rare postpartum psychosis). Dr Kat shares that “baby blues” are a two-week period right after birth. Anything more than this may be a form of depression that one should seek support from a healthcare provider.

We explore the societal norms and expectations that have been created about it should be like after you have a baby: feeling happy, grateful, and enjoying carrying for the child. In turn, the mother may feel guilt, pressure, stress, and like she is being judged if the joy does not come immediately for her. The impact that this can have on her first few days of motherhood can be devastating.

Next, Dr. Kat gives strategy on how to identify if you may need help and are not sure if your thoughts are veering towards depression.

  1. Are you thoughts something you would not say to your friends?
  2. Do you wonder if your baby likes you?
  3. Are you severely lacking in sleep?
  4. We examine why most women do not know there is a possibility a mood disorder can occur during pregnancy or after.

Dr. Kat shares how therapy before or during birth may help manage moods and how awareness and preparations of your mental and emotional state during this time is beneficial.

Dr. Kat shares how a mom should advocate for herself at the doctor during her pregnancy to help explain the emotional state she is. She gives specific wording to share with your doctor and explains how doctors do NOT always know your feelings. It is important to stand up for your emotions. We dive deep into scenarios that may come up in the doctor’s office and share how important it is to advocate for yourself, no matter the provider’s response.

Lastly, we discuss the likelihood of development perinatal mood and anxiety disorder. Dr. Kat explains that there is nothing the mother can do to control this, we understand that it is NOTHING she wants, however there is a lot chemically that creates this. The important part is to know that it is treatable and in part, can be preventable with the right knowledge.


Dr. Kat is a psychologist, so she works with people in therapy to make the changes they seek for themselves and their families. She also host the Mom & Mind Podcast, where we take deep dives into all of the shadowy parts of motherhood and fatherhood. The stuff we NEED to know about so that we can prepare, prevent and recover back into our lives.
We discuss things like postpartum depression, postpartum anxiety, intrusive thoughts, birth trauma, pregnancy loss, relationship changes and so much more…all to help you heal and be well.


Website: https://drkaeni.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DrKaeni
Google +: https://plus.google.com/u/0/114315046470344329989/posts/p/pub
Instagram: https://instagram.com/momandmind
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/katayune-kaeni-psy-d/5/488/126/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/drkaeni


Postpartum Support International: http://www.postpartum.net/
Mom and Mind Podcast: https://drkaeni.com/podcast/

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