202: Coping with a Fetal Diagnosis and Supporting New Parents through Occupational Therapy

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By Katayune Kaeni, Psy.D. and Katayune Kaeni. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

Whether you are a parent or hope to be a parent someday, we all have assumptions about what pregnancy should be like. What we can’t control is how it will go in reality and how we will feel during the process. Today’s show explores how the journey can be navigated when unexpected circumstances creep in and sabotage our well-crafted plans.

Leora Rozin felt blindsided and lost when welcoming her first child in 2012. She wishes she had someone with her background as an occupational therapist to help her navigate pregnancy and postpartum. After having a second child in 2014, Leora was expecting another child in 2019 when a fetal diagnosis at the 21-week anatomy scan rocked her world. This experience ultimately became a source of motivation to become certified in Perinatal Mental Health. Today, Leora is passionate about helping moms when their pregnancy and postpartum journeys feel off course. She lives in New York with her family and is the proud mom of three busy kids. Since April is Occupational Therapy Month, I’m excited to share Leora’s life and work in today’s show.

Show Highlights:

  • Leora’s first pregnancy in 2011: a breech baby prompted an emergency C-section and a cascade of events that she wasn’t prepared for
  • In the postpartum, Leora struggle with pain control, feeding the baby, and daily duties; she felt isolated and alone
  • How Leora reached out to her pediatrician for support and got immediate help
  • How Leora never realized the magnitude of stress, adjustment, physical recovery, and the total reorganization of her life
  • Two years later, she had her second child, and she felt more successful and better prepared
  • How the management of two kids, a household, and a job was challenging in unexpected ways
  • How Leora shifted her work as an OT to focus on pregnancy and postpartum
  • The link between postpartum issues and the lack of self-care
  • Why we can’t ignore the “middle space” between function and dysfunction in the lives of new mothers
  • Why Leora’s work focuses on proper support for at-risk mothers
  • How to find an OT who can help you
  • After a miscarriage, Leora was pregnant with her third child when the 21-week scan showed an omphalocele, a severe abdominal wall defect
  • After further tests and an immediate amniocentesis, Leora was able to share her story and find an outpouring of support
  • Why it became Leora’s mission to help every woman in pregnancy and postpartum never to feel alone
  • Update: Leora’s daughter was born and had surgery just a few hours after birth; she spent only six days in the NICU and is now a happy, healthy one-year-old
  • Leora’s words to parents: You are not alone. We each have a unique journey, so just know that you should seek support from friends and family and trained professionals.

Resources:

Connect with Leora: Motherhood OT

instagram.com/motherhood_OT

Check out this directory to find an OT who specializes in maternal health: Motherhood OT

208 episodes