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Holding Space

Author: Dr. Cassidy Freitas

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Hey mamas, tune in as Dr. Cassidy Freitas holds space for conversations with experts from around the world and parents who have been through it. With a background in Marriage and Family Therapy, Dr. Cassidy offers education in topics ranging from pregnancy, fertility, postpartum, parenting, wellness, creative living and more! This podcast is not a substitute for therapy and if you're struggling you should seek help from a licensed provider in your area.
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Pregnancy, birth, and postpartum care for mamas across the world are NOT created equal. We often just assume that whatever care we get in our area or country is just the norm, but no one knows better than my guest today that this couldn't be further from the truth! Today I am joined by my longtime friend Isobel Benesch. Having experienced birth and postpartum both in the United States and New Zealand, Isobel is sharing with us today the major differences between her experiences and the interviews she has conducted with mamas and experts across the world about differences in perinatal care. We're comparing and contrasting the experiences between countries like the United States and Sweden that have vastly different approaches when it comes to perinatal care. In our conversation we're talking everything from maternity/paternity leave, gender expectations, and how to navigate with your partner the big change of returning to work after maternity/paternity leave. To help you and your partner navigate the going back to work stage of postpartum, we also have created a Back to Work Conversation Card Deck. This card deck features key conversation starters and tips to help smooth the process of returning to work as a family. You can click here to download the card deck: https://mailchi.mp/drcassidymft/conversation-cards
In this episode I am sharing my conversation with psychotherapist, Jessica Vanderwier, the creator of the Instagram account @ourmamavillage. Today Jess is sharing with us how we can teach our children about consent. In this episode Jess shares tangible ways and age-specific tips in which we can teach our kids from an early age about how to honor the boundaries of their bodies and to respect the boundaries of others. You can learn more from Jess in her free workshop 3 Secrets to Punishment Free Parenting here! While what we discuss in this episode is incredibly important, I also realize that today's topic might be triggering for some of you depending on your context, comfort-level, and your own history and experiences. If after this episode you find yourself needing a little more personalized support, we have some resources listed below where you can find a therapist in your area: Psychology Today Open Path Collective (if you're looking for a therapist who offers a lower fee) Postpartum Support International  
Have you ever wondered what it might be like to reach out to a perinatal psychiatrist? In this episode I share my conversation with Dr. Sarah Oreck, a Columbia University-trained psychiatrist focusing on women's mental health. Join us as we chat about options for support and treatment when you’re struggling during pregnancy, after baby and beyond. Together we demystify the process of getting help and dive into both common and unexpected symptoms of postpartum mood and anxiety disorders for BOTH parents. If you'd like to learn more from Dr. Sarah, you can follow her on Instagram at @sarahoreckmd!  --- Looking for more support in preparing your family for postpartum or thriving in that first year with baby? Prepared Postpartum will support you and your partner in putting in place all the strongest protective factors when it comes to your postpartum mental health through video lessons you can watch together. If you’re already in the thick of the postpartum year we’ve got you covered with our course Flourish. Click here to learn more about Prepared Postpartum and Flourish in the First Year.    
As we talk about here often on Holding Space, it's not uncommon for our "own stuff" from our past to come up in our parenting journey. Our relationship with food and our relationship with our body is no different. In today's episode I am joined by my friend Crystal Karges. Crystal is a maternal child health specialist, food and body image coach for moms, and lactation consultant. She is passionate about helping moms ditch the diet culture, heal their relationships with food and their bodies and raise children who can trust, honor, and nourish their bodies. In this episode Crystal offers insights into how we can do our own work as parents to heal our relationships with food and our bodies through pregnancy, postpartum and beyond. You can learn more about Crystal at her Instagram, @crystalkarges.  ----- Looking for more support in preparing your family for postpartum or thriving in that first year with baby with video lessons on topics such as healing after birth, feeding baby, and emotional wellness? Click here to learn more about Prepared Postpartum and Flourish in the First Year.
Oh, the big tantrums...can I speak for all of us when I say it's definitely one of the harder parts of parenting to navigate?  These moments can also bring up old stuff from our own childhoods. When tantrums happen maybe we respond by just doing what our parents did with us, or maybe we're just trying to do the exact opposite of our own parent's parenting styles. Neither can feel like solid direction in how to truly support our kids (and ourselves) when big feelings spill over. Today I am so excited to share with you this conversation with Mr. Chazz. Mr. Chazz is an Educational Specialist who, “teaches teachers to teach” in a chain of Child Development Centers. His vision is to help adults see, guide and build WITH their students and children. In this episode we demystify tantrums and talk about ways in which we can embrace the teaching that can happen within discipline while still feeling connected to our children.   You can learn more from Mr. Chazz at his Instagram: @mrchazz In addition you can support his work and access his resources at: https://www.patreon.com/Mrchazz
The month of May is Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month! I am incredibly grateful that Dr. Therese Mascardo of @exploring.therapy is joining us on the podcast again for this very important episode that explores and recognizes the pain and resilience of the AAPI community. Dr. Therese is sharing with us some of the unique challenges that the AAPI community has faced over the past year as well as the strengths and resilience of Asian Americans. She also shares with us different resources for and ways to support the AAPI community including: @asiansformentalhealth @asianmentalhealthcollective @i_weigh Ayana Therapy - Therapy for BIPOC Individuals stopasianhate.com    
Do you find yourself being anxious about whether or not your baby is meeting developmental milestones? Maybe you're constantly googling or checking a milestone app to see if your baby is "normal." Or maybe you find yourself comparing your baby's progress to others. When you feel like your baby is falling behind it can be followed by a wave of parent guilt. Trust me, I know...I've been there before! In today's episode I'm joined by pediatric physical therapist Kailee Noland. You may know her as @themovementmama on Instagram! In this conversation Kailee and I are talking about the experience of measuring and tracking milestones as a parent and how that can often lead to comparison and guilt. We validate the fact that there is a range with these milestones and how no baby fits perfectly into a box. Kailee also shares some tangible tips and guidelines for motor milestones. --- Looking for more support in preparing your family for postpartum or thriving in that first year with baby with video lessons on topics such as taking care of baby, emotional wellness, and mom guilt? Click here to learn more about Prepared Postpartum and Flourish in the First Year.
Do you find yourself constantly going to Google with all your questions or maybe feeling overwhelmed by all the information that is out there? Maybe you feel confused by all the conflicting opinions, or feeling drained by endless scrolling and comparison on social media?   If so, don't worry, you are not alone! There is nothing wrong with you. If you're a millennial facing these experiences, this is what my friend and business partner, Dr. Christine Sterling, is now calling the Millennial Parent Problem.   In this episode Dr. Sterling is breaking down the four main elements of the Millennial Parent Problem and we're chatting about how we can begin to feel more confident and more calm when it comes to parenting in the modern age.   You can learn more about Dr. Sterling at her Instagram @drsterlingobgyn or join her FREE workshop on the Millennial Parent Problem at the link here. --- Looking for more support in preparing your family for postpartum or thriving in that first year with baby with video lessons on topics such as communication and boundaries? Click here to learn more about Prepared Postpartum and Flourish in the First Year.
Have you ever wondered how to support your little one's speech from the start? In this episode I'm sharing my conversation with Brooke and Bridget, a.k.a. The Speech Sisters. Brooke and Bridget are speech-language pathologists, moms, and sisters! Their mission is to educate and empower parents in their child's language development. In this episode Brooke and Bridget demystify speech therapy and share tips and tricks for naturally supporting speech milestones through every day activities from the start. I share our family's personal story of going to speech therapy and my experience with mom guilt over missing some speech development red flags early on. Learn more about Brooke and Bridget's online speech and language courses for parents of babies and toddlers here! You can follow the Speech Sisters for daily tips on instagram here! --- Looking for more support in preparing your family for postpartum or thriving in that first year with baby with video lessons on topics such as communication and boundaries? Click here to learn more about Prepared Postpartum and Flourish in the First Year.
Did you know we are wired for comparison as human beings? Yet, in the modern age where we have so much access to the curated highlight reels of other parents and access to so much information, we can sometimes find ourselves comparing our real lives to unrealistic expectations.   To breastfeed or to bottle-feed? What should go in your birth plan? How much screen time should your older kids have? We have so many decisions, advice, and opinions from others to navigate.    In today's episode I am joined by Certified Nurse Midwife, Ailsa. I love this conversation because Ailsa validates the fact that as moms we each have a unique story and context. What works for someone else, might not work for your family. And that is okay!  If you would like to soak up more from Ailsa you can follow her on Instagram at @_happygocurly_. --- Looking for more support in preparing your family for postpartum or thriving in that first year with baby with video lessons on topics such as communication and boundaries? Click here to learn more about Prepared Postpartum and Flourish in the First Year.
Becoming a parent often brings a lot of experiences from our own childhood to the surface. Patterns of interacting and engaging within a family system can be passed down through generations. Sometimes this includes special and meaningful family traditions and ways of connecting, but other times this can include unhealthy dynamics and patterns. For many of us, we don't have a choice of what we are exposed to as children, but in this week's episode I am talking with my good friend and fellow therapist Dr. Ann-Louise Lockhart about how we can make the brave decision to break old parenting patterns when we are adults with our own families. In this episode we talk about exploring these patterns, identifying your triggers, and taking meaningful steps to break toxic dynamics that you want to stop with your generation. Dr. Ann-Louise is a Pediatric psychologist, parent coach, author, and business owner of a thriving practice in San Antonio, TX. You can learn more from her and follow on Instagram at @dr.annlouise.lockhart where she has links to her website, courses, and services. --- Looking for more support in preparing your family for postpartum or thriving in that first year with baby with video lessons on topics such as communication and boundaries? Click here to learn more about Prepared Postpartum and Flourish in the First Year.
The journey and longing for a baby can be incredibly hard. You might be early on in your fertility journey and finding yourself surprised by the intense emotions and disappointment when you get a negative pregnancy test. Or maybe, you're further along and beginning to explore fertility treatment options. No matter where you are in your journey, I'm glad you're here. I am joined this week by Dr. Temeka Zore @temekazoremd to talk about fertility burnout. Dr. Zore is a Fertility specialist and Board-certified OB/GYN, who completed a fellowship in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility at UCLA. If you have been in the process of trying to conceive before or you're in the thick of it, you know that this journey can come with a lot of questions, uncertainty, hurdles and a slew of emotions. For many, it can take longer than expected to get pregnant and though most doctors will tell you that it's totally normal to take up to six months to a year for most couples, that often doesn't make the emotional experience easier. What I love about this conversation with Dr. Zore is that she provides insightful and evidence-based information while also acknowledging some of the emotional aspects and challenges that are often overlooked for those trying to conceive. You can learn more about Dr. Zore here.
Whether you're one month in, 6 months in, or over a year into your fertility journey, it can be overwhelming to say the least. The mental and emotional load can be a lot to carry both on an individual level and within your partner relationship. Not to mention, it can be challenging to navigate and sift through all the information and myths around fertility.   That's why this week I asked Dr. Danielle Lane, a highly regarded endocrinology and fertility specialist, onto the podcast to talk about all things fertility. Dr. Lane de-mystifies the fertility experience by offering insights and information into when you should reach out to a fertility specialist, what tests and treatments are available to you and your partner, what options are available to same-sex couples, we talk about some of the myths around fertility, and we explore the emotional experience that is bound to be a part of this journey for you and your partner.   You can learn more about Dr. Lane at her website or follow her on social media at @drdaniellelane!
Did you feel an instant connection with your baby after they were born? Or maybe, did it take a little longer to bond and grow in love? If your experience was more like the latter, you are not alone....and I share my story here. In this episode I am joined by my friend Rachel Rainbolt. Rachel was one of my greatest resources of support when I was struggling with bonding with my baby. In this episode she offers compassionate and supportive tips for how to embrace the imperfect and new relationship you have with your baby. Rachel is the Sage Family coach, writer, podcaster, and advocate for gentle parenting, natural homeschooling, and simple living, with an MA in Marriage and Family Therapy and decades of experience guiding families to peace and joy at sagefamily.com. She works from the Pacific Northwest, where she lives wild and free in connection with her 3 wildlings and the papa bear in their fixer upper on the beach. Rachel's Baby Massage Video: https://youtu.be/5qkSW1V-0fs
Do you ever feel a sense of overwhelm when you're scrolling on social media? Or maybe you log off the app feeling not enough or like you're a project to be improved? In today's episode I am joined by LMFT Whitney Goodman of @sitwithwhit and we are talking about wellness overload in digital spaces. Maybe you follow a number of mental health professionals on Instagram or experts in the postpartum and parenting wellness arena. While these accounts are intended to be helpful, sometimes we can begin to feel overwhelmed by the overload of advice and wellness content.   In this episode Whitney and I talk about how this can be overstimulating, how to become aware of if this is something you're experiencing, and ways you can set some tangible and healthy boundaries to empower you in your own personal wellness journey.
A big fear and struggle for many postpartum parents is the impact that having a baby will have on their partner relationship. With postpartum there is more responsibility, less sleep, and less time to connect and repair with your partner. If your relationship feels disconnected in postpartum or you have a fear this could happen one day in the future, this is the episode for you. Today I am joined by relationship coach and therapist, Sheina Schochet from @loveafterbaby, and we are talking about all things intimacy, communication, and connection. In this episode we bring you tangible tips to help improve your communication and reconnect.   --- Looking for more support in preparing for postpartum or thriving in that first year with baby with your partner? Click here to learn more about Prepared Postpartum and Flourish in the First Year, the two E-Courses I created with Board Certified ObGyn Dr. Christine Sterling.  
Why can motherhood be so overstimulating at times? The noise, the mess, the touching, it can all lead to sensory overload. Sometimes we respond to this overload with irritability, followed by guilt or shame for our behaviors. Can you relate? This is the topic for today's episode with psychologist Dr. Ashurina Reams. You can continue to follow Dr. Ream's work and find her offerings through instagram @psychedmommy. Resource mentioned in the episode: Simplicity Parenting by Kim John Payne and Lisa M Ross. This episode was brought to by Storq. Check out Storq.com for comfortable everyday clothing and products for pregnancy and postpartum. Use code HOLDINGSPACE for 10% off your first order. _ Looking for more support in preparing for postpartum or thriving in that first year with baby? Click here to learn more about Prepared Postpartum and Flourish in the First Year, the two E-Courses I created with Board Certified ObGyn Dr. Christine Sterling.
In this episode I share my conversation with Dr. Kelly Fradin, Pediatrician and author of Parenting in a Pandemic. Dr. Fradin demystifies your biggest worries when it comes to the coronavirus and children, and answers questions about steps parents can take to keep their families safe during the upcoming holidays. We explore the social emotional impact of living in a pandemic for both parents and their children, and offer tips for staying well both physically and mentally. To continue to follow Dr. Fradin's work you can find her on instagram @adviceigivemyfriends, and you can buy her book Parenting in a Pandemic here! Join me and my co-host Karrie Locher, RN, this Thursday November 5th for a Workshop for the Worried Mama! This episode was brought to you by Storq, daily essentials to make postpartum life with both cozy and convenient! Get 10% off your first order with code HOLDINGSPACE. 
In this episode I share my conversation with Chasity Holcomb, Licensed Professional Counselor and founder of Momfully You. Together we explore the identity transition of becoming a mother. While we might hope and imagine that we will just connect with that new identity after our baby is born, it is very common to not feel comfortable or confident in your role as "mom" right away! To join Chasity's Momfully You Academy (the doors close Oct 26th at midnight), click here! You can also follow her on instagram @momfully.you. This episode was brought to you by Storq! Bringing life earth-side is a pretty big deal. I love their new mama care kit which comes with their nipple balm, soothing spray, and sitz bath soak! Use code HOLDINGSPACE for 10% off your first order. Looking for more support in preparing for postpartum or thriving in that first year with baby? Click here to learn more about Prepared Postpartum and Flourish in the First Year, the two E-Courses I created with Board Certified ObGyn Dr. Christine Sterling.
In this episode I share my conversation with Lindsey Shipley, RN, IBCLC-certified lactation coach and founder of Lactation Link. In this episode Lindsey shares her story of grief and loss that she experienced after having a baby and being diagnosed with cancer. Together we explore how Lindsey found joy even amidst the grief and pain. I put together a supportive worksheet with prompts to help in identifying the high and low emotions you may experience in postpartum, which you can find here! To continue to follow Lindsey and discover her incredible resources for lactating parents, you can visit the following links: Milk Drunk 101: 3 secrets to a great milk supply Confident Breastfeeding Course link Find Lactation Link on Instagram @lactationlink Follow her personal journey @lindsey_shipley  Check out what's new on lactationlink.com   This episode was brought to you by Storq. Storq makes amazing comfortable clothing for pregnancy and postpartum, but do you know what goes on behind the scenes at Storq? Storq donates second and gently used merchandise directly to the Homeless Prenatal Program in San Francisco, an organization that provides critical resources to families in need. So when you buy from Storq you are not only getting something SUPER cozy and stylish, you're also supporting a company that's doing good for their community too. You can get 10% off your first order with code HOLDINGSPACE when you visit storq.com.   Looking for more support in preparing for postpartum or thriving in that first year with baby? Click here to learn more about Prepared Postpartum and Flourish in the First Year, the two E-Courses I created with Board Certified ObGyn Dr. Christine Sterling.
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Comments (1)

Danielle Colombatto

Cassidy's thoughtful, warm, and above all, real, approach to self care is something I've personally grown to value, and I'm so happy she is now sharing it with the world on this podcast! Her interviews with creatives are amazing, but I'd stick around for the metaphors alone 😉 A must-listen if you're a creative, or have any interest in de-bunking self-care. Can I 10-star this?!

Mar 27th
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