Ep. 4 – The downsides of over-researching with Zoe

In this episode of Beyond Postpartum I got to interview Zoe, who is not only a mom of two kiddos, she is also a postpartum doula, is on her way to becoming an Internationally Board Certified Lactation Consultant, and is one of our amazing volunteers. Her thoughtfulness and introspection always blow me away, and I am so grateful that I get to share this conversation with all of you.

In this episode, Zoe and I talk about:

  • Studying pregnancy and birth like it was for her PhD thesis, but not thinking about what it would be like to actually have a baby
  • The feeling of sheer panic that was her initiation to parenting
  • Struggling to breastfeed her first child and how that contributed to her anxiety
  • How and why she started her Facebook parenting group
  • The feeling that everyone had everything under control except her
  • Not feeling able to open up to anyone about how she was feeling, until she joined a therapy group at BC Women’s Reproductive Health
  • Why ‘fake it till you make it’ was not a philosophy that didn’t work for her to get over postpartum depression and anxiety
  • The impossibility of perfecting the ‘job’ of parenting
  • What happened when she came out of the ‘fog’ when her son was 2 years old
  • The tools she used to calm her anxiety during 2nd pregnancy
  • Rallying her support system and community – and how this was the hardest part
  • How limiting the sources she used to research from was key to not spinning out with anxiety
  • All the opinions that are out there about perinatal health and how few facts
  • What she sees as the difference between postpartum depression and anxiety and ‘regular’ depression and anxiety
  • How drastically a challenging start to breastfeeding can affect one’s mood
  • How having unrealistic expectations for postpartum increased her suffering, and how re-framing these expectations helped her cope when she had her 2nd baby
  • The decision process she went through to decide whether medication was the right fit for her – and the difference that it made in her experience
  • Her path to becoming a postpartum doula and how she started on her journey to become an IBCLC
  • How breast/chest feeding can be intertwined with mental health challenges
  • What she would say to her younger self when she was struggling the most
  • How she is coping with the Covid-19 pandemic

Resources and links from the episode: