Mom & Mind
Postpartum Depression, Anxiety, and OCD - Alisa's Story
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Postpartum Depression, Anxiety, and OCD - Alisa's Story

Perinatal mood and anxiety disorder can leave you feeling lost, alone, and confused by the symptoms. This is why it’s so important that we hear personal stories of others that show us we are not alone.

Alisa Pastecki is a Sales Executive for a network equipment and services provider that works with telecommunications companies all over the US and Canada. She lives in Batavia, NY--just outside of Buffalo--with her husband Doug, two-year-old daughter Gloria, and their dog Lily. The family spends as much time outdoors as possible, enjoying hiking and camping. After the birth of her daughter, Alisa suffered from postpartum depression, anxiety, and OCD. She has since realized just how important it is to raise our voices in the fight against maternal health stigmas, and she wants to help normalize PMADs for moms in her community.

Show Highlights:

  • How depression and OCD tendencies began for Alisa even before she was pregnant
  • Trying to conceive, an endometriosis diagnosis, surgery, and plans for IVF
  • An unexpected pregnancy just in the nick of time led to insensitive comments by a nurse that escalated Alisa’s anxiety about the pregnancy
  • With an easy pregnancy, Alisa’s daughter was born full-term, but Alisa’s anxiety kept escalating with the pressure of her doubt in second-guessing every decision
  • Midwife and doula plans, induced labor, painful procedures, and a C-section
  • What Alisa wishes she had done differently
  • Why Alisa had never been so scared before as she was during her C-section
  • Problems with breastfeeding and weight loss for her baby
  • How Alisa felt about being constantly bombarded with a black and white approach to each obstacle she faced
  • Problems with OCD, disconnected feelings, and anxiety in the first few postpartum weeks
  • How the anger and rage set in for Alisa and led to irrational fears about her daughter
  • How intrusive thoughts began around three months postpartum
  • How Alisa stumbled onto the PSI (Postpartum Support International) website and found helpful resources
  • How Alisa found a therapist who let her know that she would be OK; now, two years later, she is still working with that therapist who provided her the tools and meds to change her life
  • The difference that therapy and medications made in giving Alisa confidence as a new mom
  • Lessons learned for Alisa:
    • Many medical practitioners aren’t sufficiently educated on postpartum care, so you need to find a doctor who understands PMADs
    • Reach out to peers and a support group who will honestly open up about the bad and ugly of the postpartum experience
    • Be vocal and help break the stigma around mental health issues

Resources:

Alisa Pastecki  

 

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