138: The real toll of parenting on mental health with Alexandra Sacks, M.D.


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As a reproductive psychiatrist, Alexandra Sacks, M.D., helps people navigate the emotional toll of pregnancy and parenthood.

A lot of her work is normalizing the ups and downs of motherhood. In the age of highly curated Instagram posts, Sacks breaks down the myth that being a parent is all joy all the time. She helps patients differentiate between the emotions that are to be expected with new momhood—ambivalence, isolation, and frustration—and more serious conditions like postpartum depression. She likes to use the phrase "matrescence" to describe this complicated time, which can mirror the awkwardness and discomfort of adolescence.

Sacks lectures at major corporations on attitudes around maternity and paternity leave, and her work has appeared in the New York Times, Time, and on NPR. She also hosts a weekly Motherhood Sessions podcast, where she has honest conversations with new moms to learn about their experience and her new book What No One Tells Youhas been dubbed "the new essential book for soon-to-be-parents" by Vogue.

This podcast episode explores the intersection of feminism and medicine. In it, Sacks walks us through how to prioritize mental health before, during, and after birth; how to maintain quality bonding and attachment with your kids as a working parent; and so much more. If you're not expecting any time soon, Sacks also has sage advice on simple ways to support the new parents in your life.

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