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EP 73 - Myths of Motherhood: What No One Is Talking About

From the Show: Dr. Taz Show
Summary: Pregnancy and resulting motherhood are supposed to be all unicorns and rainbows, right?
Air Date: 3/13/18
Duration: 30:07
Host: Dr. Taz
Guest Bio: Catherine Birndorf, MD
Catherine-BirndorfCatherine Birndorf, MD, is Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Obstetrics/Gynecology and founding director of the Payne Whitney Women's Program at The New York Presbyterian Hospital/Cornell. She is also the founder of the Women’s Mental Health Consortium, a New York area network of women’s mental health clinicians and researchers.

Dr. Birndorf’s area of psychiatric expertise is in reproductive mental health. She specializes in treating women's emotional issues before, during and after pregnancy.

A Smith College graduate, Dr. Birndorf attended Brown University Medical School and did her psychiatry residency at New York Presbyterian Hospital/Cornell. She has received numerous awards, and writes and teaches about women’s mental health. For 10 years, Dr. Birndorf was a regular mental health columnist for SELF Magazine, and has appeared on television programs including The Today Show, Good Morning America, CBS Evening News, and CNN. She is a currently board member of Postpartum Support International.

In 2010, Dr. Birndorf co-authored a self-help book entitled The Nine Rooms of Happiness. She is currently co-writing a new book about the emotional side of pregnancy and postpartum to be published by Simon & Schuster. She co-founded and is currently the medical director of The Motherhood Center, a newly opened perinatal day program and outpatient center in NYC.
  • Book Title: How Come No One Told Me? The Emotional Guide to Pregnancy and The First Year of Motherhood
EP 73 - Myths of Motherhood: What No One Is Talking About
Pregnancy and resulting motherhood are supposed to be all unicorns and rainbows, right?

Most of us know that's a complete and utter myth. Postpartum depression has long been recognized as a real medical issue new moms face.

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There are other considerations that women encounter prior to pregnancy, during pregnancy, and long after -- some aren't as severe as postpartum, but they all deserve the closest attention.

Dr. Catherine Birndorf, co-author of the book How Come No One Told Me? The Emotional Guide to Pregnancy and The First Year of Motherhood, joins Dr. Taz in this interview to provide some insight as to what women are going through, as well as some of the myths surrounding becoming a mom -- whether for the first time or after previous births.

One big misunderstanding is that of "mother's intuition." Of course you'll figure out what to do once the baby comes... won't you? Not in the least. There's often a difficult and unexpected adjustment women experience. Dr. Birndorf herself didn't know what to do with her newborn and went back to work sooner than she should have, simply as an attempt to restore normalcy.

Awareness is a large piece of the puzzle, and talking about all the emotions that accompany motherhood makes it part of the common experience. The more aware you and those in your inner circle are about the potential for uncomfortability, the better equipped you are to address it.

That's not saying the emotions won't come -- that part will be what it will be. But at least you'll hopefully be able to navigate them as they fluctuate.

Dr. Birndorf also stresses that women need to try to get over the idea of "failing" at motherhood. No one woman's experience is going to be the same. Bliss is not typical, much less guaranteed.

If you're looking for some answers but don't know where to start, www.postpartum.net is a great resource for syncing you up with someone who can advise next steps.

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