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In this episode I will be joined by Angela Wurtzel, a LMFT/ Psychotherapist of 20 years, who leads pre and postnatal women’s therapy groups. We will be speaking candidly about postpartum distress, anxiety, depression, and OCD, and why we should never, ever feel guilty for struggling with these experiences.
Because this show is about “REAL” motherhood talk, I want to ensure that moms who have previously or are currently struggling with any of these issues have a place where they can listen to stories of other moms with experiences similar to theirs.
I am a mom who has experienced postpartum anxiety and OCD type behavior, starting as early as my first trimester of pregnancy right when the influx of pregnancy hormones entered my body. Anxiety runs in my family, and that, mixed with a somewhat traumatic birth story was a recipe for anxiety and insomnia for almost a year.
Because I was experiencing intense worrying and not depression symptoms, I felt I should simply “snap out of it.” It made me feel very alone in my experience.
Angela will be sharing her perspective as a seasoned therapist who deeply desires to share with our listeners about why we should never feel ashamed to be going through any postpartum distress, no matter how small or large.
05:58: How her therapy groups allow women to feel more empowered and less alone in their motherhood experience. These groups arose from a desire within her community and for her patients who had recently become moms to want to feel less alone in their struggles.
07:04: Here Angela makes an important distinction between postpartum psychosis and the much more common postpartum anxiety disorders experienced soon after a child is born. Because of this fear of postpartum psychosis some moms don’t feel comfortable reaching out, even if that is not what they are experiencing.
09:47: It’s normal to experience anxiety as a new mother. It is a huge life change, so don’t be so hard on yourself if you are feeling a whirlwind of emotions, including worry, depression, sadness, grief, isolation, etc.
15:10: How postpartum anxiety can be debilitating and cause struggles in a mothers life like not wanting to leave the house, or ever have anyone else watch the child, etc.
16:23: Her methodology is encouraging women to do whatever makes them feel the safest. She doesn’t push medicine or formal diagnoses unless she feels it is necessary.
19:10: I share my experience with postpartum anxiety, insomnia, and exhaustion and how it really affected my life during that time.
21:36: Angela emphasizes how it is so important to share our stories so we can be more open and understanding to one another and to ourselves as moms.
25:14: How a lack of sleep is serious and can change how you think, whether or not you are in the postpartum phase.
28:45: Angela reminds us that it is okay to feel and live out these experiences rather than avoiding or resisting them.
31:02: Angela discusses when it might be a good idea to choose to take medicine, and how this doesn’t make you “weak” or less than.
34:36: In her experience as a psychotherapist, Angela says a combination of medicine and psychotherapy often yield the best results-for those issues that can be helped with medicine.
39:05: Nicole and Angela discuss birth stories and why it is so important that women are able to tell there own and are truly listened to. Nicole believes a lot of her postpartum anxiety was a byproduct of a traumatic birth experience. In Nicole’s case, it was a four day long prodromal labor process with a posterior baby.
44:40: How post-tramautic stress disorder is also an anxiety disorder and can certainly be caused by a birth story that didn’t go as planned. This could be ANY experience that didn’t go as planned.
48:08: How the biggest lows in our lives can often lead to the biggest highs and just because a woman might be experiencing postpartum distress does not mean they should feel they can’t live the life of their dreams or a life filled with joy.
Connect with Angela: