Trauma, New Parenthood and the Pandemic

“In these challenging times,” “we’re all in this together,” “stay at home.” If no one has given you permission to scream from hearing these phrases, allow me to do that. Being exasperated does not diminish the value of these statements that are 1) acknowledging what is happening, 2) normalizing the experience and 3) making a plan to be well – that is all perfectly sound messaging. However, it is also perfectly human to be frustrated, angry, exhausted, triggered, sad, and overwhelmed by this world health crisis. If you are also pregnant or postpartum, it’s okay to express disappointment that you feel robbed of your planned birth experience, or that you are scared to navigate having a new baby with fewer supports in place due to social distancing, or that it’s terrifying to walk into a hospital where you know so many people are ill and dying. If you are also one of many people in this world that has experienced trauma or Adverse Childhood Experiences, you may be feeling particularly vulnerable and overcome by this trifecta of events. While many of our healthcare systems have been working to become trauma-informed, this is not yet a universal approach. Trauma-informed care seeks […]

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Therapy: A Sneak Peek Inside

BOUND TO HAVE BOUNDARIES Listen to me. You may find yourself in this scenario. For months you have been miserable. Maybe years. You have spoken to friends, confided in mentors, consulted with rabbis, and vented to sisters. And you just couldn’t seem to feel better. So you let your husband, your friend, your Rav, even your own dear self, convince yourself to try therapy. And you do. And, it must be a coincidence, but within a few weeks of beginning therapy, you are actually feeling better. Like I said, a coincidence. Probably nothing at all to do with therapy; but okay, you will continue with therapy because just in case it’s therapy actually that’s making you feel better….. But not only is therapy starting to bug you, the therapist is beginning to bug you, too. You feel stupid paying her just to talk to her. I mean, can’t you just talk to your sister? And you hate the way it’s exactly fifty minutes a session and as soon as that stupid clock ticks and tocks onto the fiftieth minute of the hour, your therapist tells you that time is up. Like, why can’t she just let it be an hour, […]

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I am a new mother and feeling very overwhelmed and torn between all my obligations, my baby, my job, my husband, my parents. Don’t even have time to think about myself! Any advice?

When you were single, the focus was on yourself. Dont you laugh how you sometimes thought life was hectic back then? You got married and then there was someone else’s needs to consider. But now there’s a baby and you feel like, “who comes first?” It’s great that we have the Priority Pyramid. In Birchas Hamazon we specifically request Hashem to bless us in the following order “Harachaman Hu Yevoreich Osi, Vees Baali, Vees Zaari, May He The compassionate One bless me, my husband, and my children and all that is mine”. Guess who’s on top of the pyramid?YOU!Your relationship with Hashem and your physical and emotional well being comes first. Doesn’t it sound selfish? Actually, it’s selfless. A women who takes care of herself can take care of others. If you’re nursing, you can see the message very clearly, ‘If you nourish yourself, you can nourish your baby. When we were in the desert we were given the well in merit of Miriam Hanevia. We women are the sources of life-giving waters to those around us. However, we must be connected to the Source of all Waters; Hashem. By respecting our bodies which house our greatest gift; our souls, […]

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I’ve just been diagnosed, NOW WHAT???

In this section of our Blog, we hope to be submitting questions and topics to various social workers, doctors, Rabbis and other professionals that are involved with counseling or treating women diagnosed with PPD. If you have a specific question that you’d like to see addressed here, please email our office at blog@yadrachelnj.org   If you have been recently diagnosed, or you suspect you have a perinatal mood disorder, its time to find a doctor. We cannot stress the importance of finding a professional that SPECIALIZES  in woman’s mental health, preferably in reproductive psychiatry. Having a discussion with your OB-GYN is a good start, but it’s not something we encourage. Just like you wouldn’t go to your pediatrician for a root canal, seeking guidance with someone who hasn’t been trained in this particular specialty can backfire. We encourage you to either ask your PCP for a referral, or reach out to a referral agency for a suggestion. You deserve the best care possible!! Sometimes it can take awhile for the effects of the treatment to kick in, or at times medication needs adjusting. Unfortunately, we can’t just take a simple blood test to determine the diagnosis and treatment. It’s a […]

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