The term “OCD” is often misused, with people saying things like “I’m totally OCD” when referring to being meticulous, highly organized, or extremely clean. The reality? OCD is so much more than that. It’s a mental health condition that can really affect a person’s quality of life. Like other mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety, OCD can be triggered or exaggerated by pregnancy. Being a new parent is already incredibly tough, and perinatal OCD can add a layer of challenge to a person’s experience. That’s why it’s so critical that we address the issue...

Zara Hanawalt • May 20, 2024

The third trimester of pregnancy with my twins was anything but ordinary. I was commuting 30 minutes to and from the office daily, spending most of the workday just trying to get comfortable. I had a standing desk that I used whenever a little leg was snuggled too close to my rib cage. I napped in my car during lunchtime. I had to excuse myself from most meetings for a bathroom break (or two). There was a cushioned bench outside my office that I sometimes laid down on with my laptop when my colleagues weren’t around....

Abby Mercado • May 19, 2024

When a Times Square digital ad featuring cookbook author Molly Baz made its debut, I imagine a lot of pregnant and breastfeeding mothers felt seen and celebrated. The ad featured Baz, who is pregnant, wearing an unbuttoned shirt and holding two lactation cookies over her breasts. This is fitting: The ad was for Swehl, a brand that creates breastfeeding essentials, and was meant to advertise lactation cookies. It’s refreshing to see a product meant to help mothers breastfeed that actually acknowledges the role a woman’s body plays in that process. Baz’s body and the incredible work...

Zara Hanawalt • May 15, 2024

While postpartum depression can manifest itself differently for every person, it can begin pretty quickly after birth — and can make it almost impossible to do all the daily tasks required of a parent. For Katlyn*, a 24-year-old full-time student from Ohio, it all happened about a month or so after her now three-year-old son was born. Not only were her anxiety levels through the roof, but she couldn’t bring herself to do anything she used to enjoy (like horseback riding) and she was barely taking care of herself. It was a chore even to take...

Mara Santilli • May 12, 2024

No amount of preparation, no number of birth stories, no level of research can fully prepare you for the reality of having a baby and going through the postpartum period. There’s a prevailing narrative about the experience: That those first few weeks after you welcome your baby are just blissful. Exhausting, yes, but blissful.  People refer to the day they gave birth and the weeks following it as the best, most magical times in their life. They talk about falling madly, instantly in love.  That’s the narrative that’s considered socially acceptable, but it’s not the only...

Zara Hanawalt • May 9, 2024

Mental health is a part of whole health, even during pregnancy. While parts of a pregnancy may spark joy and immense gratitude, some triggers can surface or exacerbate mental health conditions.   Everything from family history to past personal history with mental health conditions could make an individual more likely to experience perinatal mental conditions, explains Dr. Meggie Smith, Attending Physician at Nashville Fertility Center.  According to studies, it’s 1 in 5 birthing individuals who will be diagnosed with perinatal mental health conditions during pregnancy.  Dr. Sarah Oreck, MS, Reproductive psychiatrist and the CEO and co-founder of...

Vivian Nunez • May 7, 2024

“I imagined myself getting hit by a school bus and not caring, because at least that meant I could rest.” –Erin Sarris, 40, content strategist and infertility children’s book author “My thoughts ranged from wondering how I could break a leg just to ‘get a few days away’ to picturing myself pushing the stroller into the middle of an intersection.” –Frenchie Ferenczi, 35, consultant “I went into labor seven weeks early with my first. It's not surprising that when I did the postpartum ‘Are you at risk of postpartum depression’ survey, I was flagged as a...

Sarene Leeds • Apr 26, 2024

“Sleep before the baby comes” is often easier said than done — especially if you’re dealing with sciatica during pregnancy. Sciatica is a pain that originates along the sciatic nerve, which extends from the back of the pelvis down the back of the thigh, and it can be uncomfortable, to say the least. It can also seriously disrupt your sleep, making those precious months of rest before the baby arrives elusive.   If you’re tossing and turning, wondering how to manage your sciatica pain so you can enjoy a more restful night’s sleep, look no further. Here,...

Kristyn Hodgdon • Apr 14, 2024

We’ve all seen it depicted in mainstream media: A woman vomits in the early morning hours and soon realizes she’s pregnant. We can’t say it isn’t true to life. Morning sickness is a common condition experienced by around 70-80% of pregnant women, and it can be an extremely uncomfortable and challenging aspect for expectant mothers.  No one wants to experience nausea and vomiting during what is supposed to be one of the most exciting times of their life. However, amidst the discomfort of the first (and sometimes also second and third) trimester of pregnancy, there is...

Kristyn Hodgdon • Apr 13, 2024

Let’s face it: Pregnancy can be equal parts beautiful and terrifying. Growing a life is one of the most world-changing experiences a person can go through. But for some expectant mothers, pregnancy can be fraught with challenges — one of the potential complications being preeclampsia.  Between 5-8% of all pregnant women develop preeclampsia or another hypertension-related disorder, including 400,000 in the U.S. annually. So, what is preeclampsia, exactly, and how do you know if you are at an increased risk for the condition? Let’s dive in.  What causes preeclampsia? Preeclampsia is characterized by high blood pressure...

Kristyn Hodgdon • Apr 13, 2024