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063: What OBs, Medical Providers and Postpartum Women Need to Know About Maternal Mental Health with

There are far too many misconceptions and incorrect stereotypes about maternal mental health. From believing a woman is crazy to labeling her as ungrateful, these judgments prevent women from receiving the help and support that they and deserve to be happy, healthy moms.

OBs, pediatricians and other medical providers play a key role in helping women receive the appropriate care as quickly as possible to help them manage postpartum mental health challenges.

On this episode, I speak with perinatal mental health specialist Dr. Kat Kaeni about what physicians need to know and do to help more women access mental health support postpartum. Plus we discuss what women can do to advocate for themselves if their OB or pediatrician is not supportive.


Episode highlights...

  • How stories in the media of mothers harming their children are feeding into the wrong beliefs about maternal mental health (Postpartum mental health issues do not make women monsters.)

  • The big reason why maternal mental health is not treated seriously is because of the huge disconnect in the medical field between physical and mental health.

  • Suggestions for OBs on how to improve assessment and referral rates for their patients who are showing signs of maternal mental health challenges.

  • How easy it is for OBs and their offices to learn how to screen for postpartum depression.

  • Physicians' "do no harm" oath is wrapped up in being able to provide access to mental health support for their patients.

  • Two things women can do if their OB is not taking their mental health challenges seriously.

  • Will your children be taken away if you're diagnosed with postpartum depression? Almost always, no.

  • Red flags that you need to find a new OB postpartum.

  • The story of Jessica Porten and how lack of compassionate care and postpartum mental health awareness landed her in the ER for hours with a newborn.

  • Why listening to your intuition and trusting is essential to getting access to postpartum mental health support.

  • How to keep reaching out for support even when you're overwhelmed.

  • What postpartum depression and postpartum anxiety typically look like.

  • What Dr. Kat has to say to women who tell themselves, "I'm strong! I can do this on my own."

Your mental health matters and is critical to your health and the health of your baby. There is nothing wrong with you for needing support postpartum. Speak up and you will find the support you need and deserve.

Resources from the show...


Just because your doctor doesn't understand it doesn't mean it's not real for you. (Tweet that!)

OB's "do no harm" oath is wrapped up in being able to refer patients for mental health support in a timely manner. (Tweet that!)

About the Guest

Katayune Kaeni, Psy.D., also known as Dr. Kat, is a psychologist specializing perinatal mental health and the creator and host of the Mom & Mind Podcast. She a private practice seeing individuals, and groups. She also volunteers with Postpartum Support International and works with San Bernardino Co.’s Maternal Mental Health workgroup as a subject matter expert to provide training to local mental health and allied healthcare providers.

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