Lies of the Magpie Ch 40 & 41

women read on bench

Ep.84 Listen to the pinnacle chapter of Lies of the Magpie. Maleah’s struggles and months of searching for how to heal her body finally come together in an unexpected way. Did you predict this twist?

Lies of the Magpie Ch 38 & 39

Woman reads Lies of the Magpie while doing laundry

On Ep.83, you can listen to chapters 38 & 39 of Lies of the Magpie by author Maleah Day Warner.

Lies of the Magpie Ch 36 & 37

Woman read Lies of the Magpie in kitchen

Ep. 82 In Chapters 36 & 37 of Lies of the Magpie, Maleah finds herself caught in a tug-of-war between allopathic and homeopathic medicine. She struggles to decide whether to take the prescribed thyroid medication or continue homeopathic treatment in hopes that her body can heal itself naturally.

BONUS AUDIO: Lies of the Magpie Ch 22 & 23

Lies of the Magpie Readers

Listen to sample chapters from Amazon’s #1 Hot New Release, Lies of the Magpie, a memoir and discover the book readers are calling “riveting.” 

Things begins to unravel for Maleah as she juggles running a business and caring for newborn Jack while Kate starts kindergarten and Tanner resists giving up his crib to his new brother. 

BONUS AUDIO: Lies of the Magpie Ch 18 & 19

Lies of the Magpie Book Cover

Ep. 72 Today’s episode is a FREE bonus audio selection from Maleah’s memoir, Lies of the Magpie featuring Chapters 18 -19.

In these chapters, baby Jack has joined the family in a hectic way and life for the Warners is spinning like a merry-go-round. These chapters pull readers into the heart and mind of a woman who has just given birth and is struggling to manage the needs of a newborn along with family life and obligations that were already in full motion before baby Jack joined the picture. 

In Ch. 18 a near drowning at a resort pool causes Maleah to come apart at the seams. And Ch. 19 introduces us to that dubious character, Mr Why? who Maleah must entertain while struggling to remember, “What is that one important thing I needed to do today?”

Stay tuned for exciting announcements about the paperback release of Lies of the Magpie.

Mother’s Day 2016

Maleah Warner website sliders

Four Years Ago . . .

Mother’s Day 2016


Leading up to Mother’s Day 2016, I was launching the Grand Opening of my website:

This Mother’s Day I am remembering significant events of four years ago that have impacted my life. Isn’t it interesting how events line up to change your trajectory?

At that time, I had decided to stop working on my memoir—the story of my healing journey through postpartum depression and chronic illness—which at that time was titled Prozac & Prayer. Writing my story had been an essential part of my healing process. But in 2016, it was ten years after the events of the book had taken place. Certainly women were no longer struggling with postpartum depression. I figured that the medical world had long since solved the issues and that new mothers were receiving the diagnosis and treatment they needed.

So it was time to move on to other projects. I outlined a series of nonfiction mothering books and brainstormed a website called where I would teach and share all things related to mothering. The vision was a website where mothers take classes, learn tips, find awesome tools and resources, and be part of a mothering community.

The website included a bookshelf (because I love a library!) where women could check out blog posts, classes, books, videos, and sample my favorite things.

screen shot library

I worked hard creating headers, learning javascript, and trying to make friends with technology. My goal was to build the website on my own as much as possible without running crying to my husband (the real technology genius) every time the computer was mean to me.

The preparation included writing blog posts, recording video, designing webinars, and teaching a mothering class at the Provo Library. 

There were sweepstakes and giveaways. Subscribers could win my favorite books or my favorite family movies. I was excited, but still, my heart wasn’t one hundred percent invested in this idea of teaching housekeeping tips and organization. (I mean, organization tips from me?)

Then something else also happened it 2016

The Emily Effect

In the process of planning, building, and preparing to launch, I learned about the passing of Emily Cook Dyches due to complications of a postpartum-induced panic attack. Emily and I both went to Snow College. My brother was her middle school science teacher. She dated my husband’s best friend. Her passing was the wake-up call for me that maternal mental health issues had not been fixed and that there were real women still struggling to find help and healing.

As Emily’s family bravely shared her story, they taught me the power of story to bring healing, hope, light, and change.

So while going forward with mommaleah, I also pulled out my manuscript and tried to figure out how to transform my experiences from personal therapy into crafted literary narrative.

Working with an editor helped me learn how to let the story speak for itself. The manuscript got a new name: Lies of the Magpie and won 2nd place in the Utah Arts Council Original Writing Competition that year. The prize was $500, the first money I’d ever earned from writing.

Since that time, I have worked to fine-tune the story and also learn how to get it published. That is a long story for another post. 

Here, four years later, this story is ready to go into the world. 

I hope it will be found by a woman in need, so that she’ll know she isn’t alone and that another woman has been where she is. Most of all, I hope through story she will find relief, humor inside darkness, and the assurance that healing is possible. 

Today looks like this:

screen shot

Typing into your web browser now brings you to, an awesome website designed completely by Mr. Warner. You’ll notice that I have been podcasting for over a year and that the book Lies of the Magpie is available very soon. The vision for mommaleah is not gone, but revised. Rather than tips, tricks, and home organization secrets (I’m still looking for those), the website focusses on teaching healing for heart, mind, and body. 

It is interesting to reflect on the past four years. The Emily Effect has impacted major changes on legislation to increase screening and resources for postpartum mothers. This is a mission I’m excited to be part of.


Ch. 10 Lies of the Magpie

Maleah Warner

Ep. 32 Left at the Table

Three is the hardest number of children.

We adored Tanner, but adding the third child threw us completely off balance. For several months after bringing Tanner home from the hospital, we struggled to find our groove. “I’ve got Danny,” Aaron would say taking Danny by the hand when we’d arrive at a baseball game, a neighborhood swim party, or a church barbecue.  I’d hoist Tanner’s car seat with two hands and balance the over-flowing diaper bag on my shoulder. Aaron would look at me, I would look at Aaron, and we’d both look at Kate who was poised ready to sprint away the second one of us unbuckled her safety belt. “I’ve got Danny and Kate,” Aaron would concede.

With two parents and three kids, there always seemed to be one child left unattended. It used to be that I would cut Kate’s meat and Aaron would help Danny. Now, during dinner, I sat on the couch nursing Tanner. “Kate, why aren’t you eating?” Aaron chastised. Kate looked up shyly, “Nobody cut my meat.”

The worst was the day we drove out of the neighborhood. I knew something felt off…“Go back! I left Tanner.” I unlocked the front door and came out carrying Tanner’s car seat. He’d been buckled in and was waiting on the living room floor to be carried to the car.

We carried on like this, completely off-kilter until a miraculous thing happened in July. Annice and Calvin went to Hawaii and left their three kids with us. We became parents to six kids under the age of nine. Annice showed up one week later with a gorgeous tan. I hadn’t brushed my own teeth in seven days. Going from six kids back to three seemed to reboot our system, and Aaron and I found a good rhythm balancing our own Danny, Kate, and Tanner.

Tanner was an easy baby an once again I began to wonder if being a mother was enough.  Should I be doing more? 

In the fall, Danny started preschool, Aaron went back to night school to become a Certified Financial Planner, and I started a part-time job selling advertising and writing articles for a local magazine. I thought it would be the perfect outlet for me—a way to keep my intellect sharpened and get out of the house a few hours a day. After two weeks, it was obvious the job situation wasn’t working. By the time I buckled the three kids into my car, dropped them off to three different locations, and drove twenty minutes to my sales area, I had forty minutes to contact business clients before it was time to pick up Danny from preschool.

“You’re always the last mom here,” Danny would say, the sweat dripping down his face from waiting outside for me.

One night in bed I leaned up on one elbow and told Aaron, “I need to quit my job.” I hoped he would say, “I agree. I don’t know how you keep up with three kids, working in the morning and teaching piano lessons in the afternoon.”

Instead, he said, “Why?”

“It’s too much,” I rambled. “I’m always late to pick up Danny, Tanner doesn’t get a good morning nap, and the money I make barely covers Kate’s babysitter. The kids are cranky. When I started working for the magazine, Tanner stopped sleeping through the night. I don’t think he’s getting enough milk. I’m tired. I’m falling asleep during piano lessons.”

“It’s only a few hours a week,” Aaron said.

“By the time I get everyone dressed, out the door, buckled into the car, dropped off and picked up again, it takes the whole morning.”

“You’re the one who wanted something productive to do,” Aaron offered.

I called my boss and told him my decision. “I wondered how you kept it going so long,” he said.

After that, I decided to slow down. Three kids took a lot of time. I needed to make a conscious effort not to over-schedule myself.

In December, Aaron asked if we could have his Client Christmas Party at our house.

“No,” I said.

“Why?” he asked.

“Because our house has only second-hand furniture and I have no idea what to cook for retired millionaires who have dined in the best restaurants around the world.”

“It wouldn’t have to be fancy,” Aaron argued. I held my ground.

The next day, while Aaron was at work, I saw Laiah sitting on my window sill. I hadn’t heard from her in a few months. “Aaron is disappointed with you. Your house should be more nicely decorated. That is your job as a homemaker. And you should know how to cater fancy work dinners. Your husband should be able to bring his clients home any time.”

A week after I declined hosting the client party, Aaron said, “Let’s drive to Utah for Christmas this year.”

“No,” I said again. “Why?”

“Because it’s been four years since we stayed home for Christmas. I want to have our own family Christmas at our own house where we can open presents and play with toys all day and never change out of our pajamas. I want to relax and enjoy Tanner’s first Christmas.”

“You can relax in Utah,” Aaron answered. I stood my ground.

Listen to the full chapter here: Chapter 10 

Listen to past chapters here:


Ch. 9 Lies of the Magpie

Ep. 31 BABY #3

In the meantime, I got an epidural that nearly paralyzed me for life.

Aaron fled to the furthest corner of the room and hid his face in his hands, peeking occasionally through his fingers to see if I was dead yet. The anesthesiologist inserted, pulled out, and reinserted the epidural needle four times. “You’re so skinny, there’s no fat to stick the needle into.” I didn’t think this was a good time to comment on my boniness.

Suddenly, with a five-inch needle searching its way around my spinal nervous system, I felt my entire abdominal area expand, like someone had opened an umbrella inside my pelvic bones. At that moment, everything on the inside of me urgently wanted to get outside of me.

“Aaahhh. Never…mind…the…epidural,” I said grimacing. “This… baby…is… coming……NOW.”

Tina dropped on top of me, bracing my shoulders in the gentlest tackle ever administered. “DO NOT MOVE.” she said, “You have to hold completely still.”

“Aaahhh. Stop the epidural. I can feel the baby coming.”

“Too late to stop now.” The anesthesiologist was not going to let this bony specimen get the best of him. “I’m almost finished.”


“Call the doctor,” Tina shouted to the hallway. She couldn’t make the call because she was holding me in a half nelson. “Hold still. He’s almost done.”

After an eternity, the anesthesiologist removed the needle and taped the tubing against my back. Tina rolled me gently; I winced as the epidural rubbed against the sheets “Aaahh.” More opening and Ooouuuuccchhh, something hard and round trying to squeeze through a hole ten times too small. “I can feel the baby’s head!”

“Don’t push. We have to wait for the doctor,” Tina ordered.

Seriously? Not with the waiting for the doctor, again.

“Lay on your side,” Tina helped me roll back. “Be strong and keep your legs together.” She should have told me that nine months ago.

“Does no one believe me? I. Really. Have. To. Puuush.”

Everyone in the room (except the anesthesiologist who’d disappeared from the room faster than a cub scout who’d broken the cookie jar), screamed in chorus, “DON’T PUSH.” This included Aaron. Whose side was he on anyway?

Telling a woman who has the burning need to push is like exploding Hoover Dam and telling the water to stay put. “We don’t need the doctor.” I pleaded. “I trust you, Tina. You deliver this baby.” I was thrashing around on the sheets.

“No, no. They don’t like us to do that.” She patted my head gently. “You can hold on. He’s on his way.” Tina put her hand over my ear and screamed, “Did anyone get through to the doctor?”

Was anybody even out in that hall? Finally, a desk clerk or maybe a janitor poked his head in the door, “He says he’s checking out at Walmart and will be here in ten minutes.”

Walmart? No one ever checks out of Walmart in ten minutes.

“Aaron, honey,” I looked up grimacing. I needed to push more than I’ve ever needed to do anything in my entire life. “One push and this baby will be here. You can catch it. I trust you.”

Aaron backed towards the corner again waving his hands in front as he retreated. “No, no. Wait for the doctor.”

Tina rubbed my back, “This will sound strange, but if you curl into a fetal position, it will help relieve the pressure.” I tucked my legs up to my big belly pretending that the lower half of my body was not attached to the upper half. “Remember to breathe,” Tina encouraged.

I inhaled and sighed as the epidural medication kicked in.

“The doctor is on the elevator,” the janitor/clerk stood in the door holding a phone. Tina opened a cupboard and grabbed a surgical gown and gloves. The janitor/clerk helped Tina stretch out the gown like a ribbon across a finish line. “He’s on the floor. Get ready, and in five…four…three…two…”

The door swung open and Dr. Juarez walked into the gown and gloves, crouched down, looked side to side and yelled, “Go.”

That was my signal to snap the ball, but I couldn’t believe what I’d just seen. Did Dr. Juarez bypass the sink? What happened to official scrub-in policy? I didn’t let my own husband touch me if he didn’t wash his hands after shopping at Walmart.

If I weren’t such a lily-livered coward, intimidated by his medical degree, I would have asked him to turn back around and scrub. With soap. Instead, I stared.

“Go ahead. Push,” Dr. Juarez ordered.

I just mastered not pushing and now he wanted me to push! Having a baby can really give a girl schizophrenia. I felt strangely floaty and heavy at the same time, like a concrete cloud. I gave a wimpy push.

“No. Wait for a contraction. Push during the contractions.” Dr. Juarez rolled his eyes like I was the biggest idiot excuse of a delivering mother he had ever seen.

“I can’t feel when I’m having contractions,” I said. My abdomen was as still and peaceful as a glass lake with no wind. The epidural was working and I had found my happy place.

“I’ll tell you when you’re having a contraction.” Dr. Juarez watched the monitor. “Now. PUSH!”

“I am pushing.”

“Push harder. Come on. Put some determination into it.”

My determination skipped town about the time I realized we hadn’t brought any DVDs. Ten minutes earlier I could have sneezed the baby out. Instead, we endured fifty-five minutes of everyone yelling at me to push harder and me shouting back, “I am pushing…I think…I can’t really tell. Will I ever be able to feel my legs, again?”

A head and shoulders appeared just before five o’clock. Dr. Juarez declared the delivery time with unspoken emphasis that he had predicted exactly the time of birth. He was also gloating in the fact that he’d broken his own record for longest episiotomy. He stood up from stitching, and I imagined that I looked like a kindergarten class’s first patchwork quilt project. At this point, when one would expect a hearty “Congratulations!” Dr. Juarez said, “The nurse will give you the information for direct deposit to my bank account. Holidays are double time.” Then he looked in the mirror, wiped blue powder off his mouth, and disappeared into the hall.

The epidural had been stronger than Schwarzenegger on steroids. My legs were cinderblocks. Aaron helped to hold the baby on my chest. “Hello there little man.” I traced the shape of his nose and cheeks while he blinked his eyes. “Welcome to this big, wide world. I’m so happy you made it here.”

Ch. 8 Lies of the Magpie

Maleah Warner Memoir

Ep. 30 Invisible

Last night when I packed my suitcase, I opened my linen closet to find my bag of travel size items which I keep in a plastic storage bin on the bottom shelf.  A wave of shame made me tremble and I retrieved the bag, closed the lid and stuffed the container back in the closet as fast as possible. I rarely think about the closet incident, but every now and then something will trigger the memory and I’m washed with humiliation. Was that really me? Did I really lock my children in their bedrooms and hide in the bottom of a closet? 

Aaron and I have grown closer over the past four years, but he doesn’t know about the closet. I don’t want to freak him out. Nor have I ever told him about driving away from home in the middle of the night planning to change my identity and start a new life in Vegas.

When Kate was about 18 months old, I heard Marie Osmond give an interview talking about her experience with postpartum depression. “One night I got in the car and started to drive,” she said. “I didn’t know where I was going or what I was going to do. All I knew was that I was unfit to be a mother and that everyone—my kids, my husband, even the Osmond family would be better off without me.”

I took in every word. I’d always felt a tiny connection to Marie Osmond. We’re both Mormon and we both have a lot of brothers. And at about the same time, we both got in our cars and drove away from our babies. She traveling north on the Pacific Coast Highway. Me traveling northwest towards towards Las Vegas.

That was the first time I’d ever heard the term “postpartum depression.”

At the end of the interview the audience applauded. She was hailed as courageous for sharing her story, for talking about a taboo subject. She’d had postpartum depression and audiences applauded her for it.

I don’t know if I had postpartum depression.

But I do know, that no one applauded.

Nobody even knew.

I was no Marie Osmond. All the attention, the demands of notoriety were a burden for her. My burden was that nobody noticed me.

Nothing I did was admirable or worthy of attention.

I was invisible.

(continued on podcast)

Click HERE to listen to the rest of Chapter 8

Click HERE to listen to Chapter 7

Click HERE for all Chapters to date.

Ep. 16 Postpartum Depression with Amy-Rose White, LCSW

Maternal Mental Health Awarenes

Conversations on Maternal Mental Health

Postpartum Health is a major concern for mothers, fathers, families, and has heavy societal impact. Worldwide, maternal depression is the most common serious health complication of maternity. I speak often about my own experiences with Postpartum Depression and the goal of this podcast is to share the healing principles I learned during my journey to recovery. 

So it’s fitting that on May 1st, 2019, World Maternal Mental Health Awareness Day, I got to sit down with Amy-Rose White, one of the leading voices on maternal mental health policies and treatments.  

Introducing Amy-Rose White, LCSW

Amy-Rose White, LCSW  is a Maternal Mental Health & Couples Counseling Specialist based in Salt lake City. Through her counseling practice she has helped hundreds of couples navigate the enormous stresses related to pregnancy, infertility, miscarriage, loss, birth trauma, the postpartum period, and parenting through early childhood. She has a special interest in the impact of trauma, nutrition, and hormones on physical and emotional health.

In September 2014, she founded Utah’s Maternal Mental Health Collaborative which has joined forces with other maternal health advocacy groups and has become the official state chapter of Postpartum Support International.

Under her leadership, PSIUT has succeeded in passing state legislation to increase awareness, treatment, and funding for postpartum health. They have several project in the works including postpartum educational training materials, postpartum screening, telehealth services for rural areas, and the creation of a massive database of postpartum resources for individuals and providers. 

It was a great privilege to have her as a guest on Power Principles the Podcast to share her knowledge and experiences working with Postpartum Depression/Anxiety, and illnesses currently lumped under the term Perinatal Mood Disorders.

Q: What influenced you to become an advocate for maternal mental health?

A: My own experience. I was in my second year of graduate school working as a medical social worker on a labor and delivery floor having no knowledge at all about the realities of postpartum depression and anxiety. A traumatic birth left me with symptoms that I didn’t recognize, neither did the doctors or colleagues I worked with. 

“It has been a journey of mine to find the support that I couldn’t and to help providers educate and prepare and help prevent, when they can,  maternal emotional health complications. That led me down this path and is why I sit here today.” 

Q: Do the terms "Mood Disorder" and "Depression" prevent people from getting real help?

A: The term “postpartum depression” is a complete misnomer. In fact, I had a history of adolescent depression, so I was bracing myself for an experience like that, but when none of my symptoms were similar, I assumed I didn’t have Postpartum Depression. It wasn’t until years later I realized I had Postpartum PTSD, which I didn’t know was a thing. After my second child I thought I was a terrible mom, but I actually did have depression, but it didn’t look like depression I’d had in the past, or anything anyone had informed me about. 

The reality is that more and more women experience agitation, irritability, anxiety, and insomnia. The term in the field of clinicians was Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders. Now technically our diagnostic bible calls them Mood, Anxiety, Obsessive Compulsive and Trauma Related Disorders, which of course, nobody says.

The verbiage I think is more accurate is Emotional Health Complications. There are seven common diagnoses that happen to women in percentages much higher than gestational diabetes, preterm birth, and preeclampsia which women are educated about. Yet women are not informed about the variety of different emotional health complications.

These various health complication don’t generally present as a women under the covers crying all day, not functioning, feeling really sad and down. Typically women with these illnesses are taking really good care of their children, they are finding a way to get out of bed. They might have passive thoughts about it might be nice to not wake up so this nightmare could be over, but they don’t feel depressed

Q: Does calling a disease after an emotional symptom propagate the stigma? What is the physical cause of these emotional symptoms.

A:  Historically we have in our medical model an unfortunate separation between emotional and mental wellness and physical health. What we now know from the field of neuro psycho immunology is that every thought and feeling has a physical reaction in the body. One answer is an inflammatory response in the body as well as a dysregulation of the stress response processes in the brain in the HPA (Hypothalamic Pituitary Adrenalacdes) access. So most women presenting with the emotional symptoms we’re talking about today have very clear changes in their stress response physical system that results in the emotional or mental health symptoms.

And the average person doesn’t know that, although it’s becoming more and more understood, and I think it’s largely because we have these very siloed fields of mental health, emotional wellness, and physical health. And then within those parameters we have traditional or allopathic western medicine and “alternative medicine” and the language in the way we talk about these symptoms in all those silos is very different.  

Q: How can we change the label so we can change the stigma?

A: Consumers, those of us who care about emotional wellness and are treating it or we are survivors ourselves, we are in charge of that. We as consumers and advocates actually get to determine the labels which hold or don’t hold. I think we are going to see a real shift in that paradigm as a result of women demanding to be screened and treated accurately and given good information. And also that the stigma around emotional health change, because when anyone hears the term mental illness or disorder, I mean, who wants to be disordered? The word “disordered” suggests a permanence. It has the connotation of a character flaw. And that’s what people think of when they hear mental illness is that it’s a weakness, it’s a flaw, you’re not strong or you’re not capable of putting that smile on your face. That’s why the  handouts I make always say Emotional Wellness or Emotional Health Complications.

Q: What impact do thoughts, feelings, and the environment have on emotional health?

A: The field of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy argues that thoughts create feelings and feelings create physiological  responses in the body. It’s difficult to know which came first with someone. 

In this world we have an enormous toxic burden around pollutants, pesticides, plastics, electromagnetic frequencies. Our endocrine systems, I don’t think evolutionarily have caught up. And pregnancy is an inflammatory state, it’s an immunosuppressive state. So during postpartum, if you have a high toxic load  or you have a bunch of viruses in your body, such as Herpes 1 or Epstein Barr Virus,  or viruses and different genes allow our bodies to metabolize toxins at different rates. I think we are going to see that a lot of the physiology around mental health has to do with our bodies grappling with our environment. And if you have a woman who has a hormone sensitive brain, which many of us do, the enormous changes of pregnancy and postpartum tip that over.

Q: What's your advice for expecting mothers?

1. Keep Moms Number One Priority

The top level answer is to continue the same level of care after delivery that a mother experiences during pregnancy. During pregnancy women are considered special, people open doors for us, give us their seats, want us to eat the best food, ask how we are doing.  Then after delivery it becomes all about the baby and the mother is sort of neglected. Keep the mother numero uno. You can’t pour from an empty vessel. The example I use with clients is that cars have to be fueled up and get regular maintenance and oil changes. We don’t neglect changing a car’s oil for ten years, then get angry at the vehicle for breaking down going up a hill. 

In American culture, the mother has tremendous pressure to be perfect, look perfect, to love every minute, do it well, figure out the educational needs and dietary needs and allergies of each child. And if she gets it wrong, she’s a failure, which leads to women neglecting their nutrition, their sleep.

2. Prioritize Sleep 

You have to fight for sleep. During pregnancy, plan for how you can get a 4 to 6 hour stretch of sleep as soon as possible after the baby is born. Most people look like I’m nuts when I say that, but for preventative purposes, sleep is the most important thing you can do. It’s difficult for women to take naps or ask someone else to feed the baby because we feel like people are watching and judging us and expecting us to do it all.

3. Food and Water

Drink a ton of water.  We have an acronym snowball and the s stands for sleep and the n stands for nutrition. Keep your nutrition just as it was during your pregnancy. 

4. Ask For & Accept Help

Get rid of the thought, “If I don’t do this, no one will.” A lot of women over-function. We think, I’m tough. I’m strong. I’m going to bounce back quickly. I’m going to get this done and it will make me feel accomplished. There are a lot of losses of control when we have children. Sometimes overdoing it is one way we compensate and feel like I got something done. We long for that sense of accomplishment, but over-doing doesn’t fill up the tank. This running on empty will burn-out your physiological components and your brain will complain. You will start to see break-through, bleed-through symptoms. Which is why sleep is the most important thing. We don’t know if a woman truly needs medication, if she needs a certain nutrient if she’s not sleeping. Sleep is always the first place to start because sleep can resolve a vast majority of symptoms or at least make them manageable.  

Q: What is the solution for better and more frequent health checkups for new moms?

The policy team at PSI-Utah includes representatives from the American Academy of Pediatrics. One thing we’re working hard on, and this comes from the AAP, are recommendations that at well-baby checks moms also are routinely screened for depression & anxiety and then referred to a qualified therapist or support group, and also given information about nutrition and sleep. I think the pediatrician’s office is the place because most moms do take their children to well-baby checks for at least the first year and often beyond. Whereas a woman might get a six-week obstetrician checkup, then no one sees her again, so the pediatricians are really the only medical eyes on mom.

The benefits of moms being screened by pediatricians beyond that traditional six-week OB postpartum visit are numerous. For one, the well-baby checkups are already on mom’s calendar; it’s not an extra appointment she has to schedule. Also, often symptoms haven’t presented or regulated by six weeks. The first six weeks are pretty rocky anyway, so it’s hard for mom or doctor to know by six weeks what is “normal” postpartum recovery and what are “abnormal” symptoms signaling a more serious postpartum illness. Pregnancy and becoming a mother is such a personal transition anyway, that oftentimes women don’t recognize for three, six, ten, eighteen months that they aren’t themselves. I advise women to pay attention to not feeling “right.” Listen to the intuition that says, “I don’t feel like myself. This is not me.” Instead of defaulting to believing it’s a character weakness, know that there is likely more going on physiologically that can be treated and can get better.

In nearly all cases, although women are at highest risk for emotional health concerns during their reproductive, child-bearing years, women also tend to respond to appropriate treatment far faster than at any other time of their lifespan. When you get the right combination of treatment—talk therapy, sleep, nutrition, social support, medication—women are much better within weeks, not even months. I expect women to have a turn around within a session or two of coming to me. In the vast majority of cases it is totally treatable, completely recoverable. Sometimes I see women who have experienced mild life-long depression or anxiety who, with treatment, feel better than before they had children.

People in general, we settle for not feeling well, and we don’t have to. And we aren’t making the world better for our daughters by not speaking up and expecting better treatment.


Postpartum Support International:

Postpartum Support International UTAH:

Amy-Rose White, LCSW:

The Emily Effect: