On this episode of Food Freedom and Fertility we are joined by Sipra Laddha who is a board-certified physician, trained in psychopharmacology as well as psychodynamic psychotherapy, CBT, and humanistic psychotherapy.
Dr. Laddah discusses a variety of topics surrounding mental health and women who are TTC, pregnant, post-partum or working through grief from a lost baby. During these times in a woman’s life there can be additional stress of medications, financial pressures and the load of their pregnancy journey. Dr. Laddah reminds us that while it is easy to get wrapped up in the medical side of our health we cannot ignore the psychological effects.
Mood changes are part of pregnancy and when a woman’s body is preparing for a baby her body puts up sensors for dangers. Sometimes that can translate to anxiety and depression and is your body’s way of coping. It’s normal for women who have no history of anxiety or depression to present with these symptoms during pregnancy and postpartum. Feelings like this should not be overlooked and starting a conversation with your OB and/or therapy is an excellent entry point into gaining insight to you, your history and what is triggering these feelings during this time in your life.
Dr. Laddah also discusses how certain medications while TTC are not a match for pregnancy. Any time you are trying to get pregnant you should talk to your doctor about what you are taking to find out the risks and effects it can have on unborn baby. Deciphering what is safe for each person is an individual journey and Dr. Laddah emphasizes this point and highly suggests that your OB or your primary physician is a great resource to help you start taking the right step to give you the information you need to make the most informed decision for you and your baby. Certain medications are more can also have the dosage changed or there is an alternate option that could pose less risk. If you know that you are trying to conceive, working with your doctors before conception for medication optimization is a great path.
Pregnancy and post-partum are the perfect storm for brewing ground for mental health issues and screening before for mood disorders is an excellent idea to help you stay in control of your mental health. Each trimester including post-partum offers different hormones that come through each stage, couple that with sleep deprivation, changing hormonal landscaping and any other stress during a critical windows in your life will cause so many vulnerabilities come to the surface. That’s why getting a head start on your mental health could be life altering. Dr. Laddah says that how a mom feels during 18 months of post-partum sets the ground for family mental health for what the next 18th years. She also wants to acknowledge that male partners can also struggle with mental health issues during this journey.
The discussion of how certain mental health medications affects a baby after being born is also discuss in this episode and it should come as no surprise that a mom who manages her mental health well during pregnancy, will lower the chance of her baby’s future mental health as well.
Caitlin and Sophia also ask multiple question for the listeners out there that are living with PCOS and some of the resistance to treat a mental health issue because of some of the side effects such as weight gain that certain medications can cause. Dr. Laddah also explains exactly how certain medications can cause weight gain.
If this podcast feels familiar or sounds similar to feelings you or your partner are having Dr. Laddah says that your first step should be talking to someone you trust, a friend or family member. Start talking about feelings and emotions by having more honest conversations with yourself and these people. Speaking with a therapist is also a great place to start. This will help you gain insight and knowledge is power.
After listening to this podcast if you would like more information here are a few places that could help you with your mental health and pregnancy journey. https://www.2020mom.org which is a national organization focused on maternal mental health. Leaning into your primary care doctor, be sure to actively seek resources from them. Also Dr. Laddah has created Luna Joy, holistic women’s mental health therapy, counseling, and medication management.
To learn more about Dr. Sipra Laddah please review her bio below.
Sipra Laddha is a board-certified physician, trained in psychopharmacology as well as psychodynamic psychotherapy, CBT, and humanistic psychotherapy. She has expertise in Women’s mental health and treating women through the transitions of life including pregnancy and postpartum. She attended medical school in New York, trained at Emory University Residency program and served as Chief Resident at the Veterans Administration Medical Center. Directly after residency, she started her own flourishing practice in Atlanta, GA and also served at the Veterans Medical Center in acute mental health services. In April in 2021, she and her co-founder Shama Rathi, a child and adolescent psychiatrist launched LunaJoy Health, (helloLunaJoy.com) focused on holistic women’s mental health services. At LunaJoy, medical visits are offered via telemedicine and coaching is offered nationwide. She was recently named a top 20 finalist at the Hustle Fund out of over 1,500 companies and selected into the current Y combinator where she is working to rapidly increase awareness and access around common (but rarely addressed) mental health struggles. In addition, she is the mom of 4 wonderful kids ages 7, 7, 4, and 2 who have been her biggest motivators.