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Episode 6: Postpartum Emotional Healing with Dr. Lydiana Garcia

, February 26, 2020

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Jacqueline Kincer  [0:01]

Welcome back to the podcast! I’m so excited to dive into today’s episode. And I know I say that for every episode, but honestly, I’m genuinely excited. The interviews are so fun for me to do. And today’s interview with Dr. Lydiana Garcia is no exception. She is a personal friend. She’s a wonderful, wonderful mental health practitioner in the LA area, you’re going to get to know her more in this episode. And quite honestly, this episode is really, really special to my heart.

 

She shares some really impactful information. And since I did this interview, I’ve really been thinking about just the things she said and applying them to my own life and the clients that I work with. Because it’s important that we take such excellent care of ourselves. And it’s not just physical health. It’s also that mental and emotional health. So this is just a jam-packed episode full of some amazing information.

 

And before we get into the interview, I did want to share with you thank you so much for those of you who have left a review on iTunes so far. I’ve got mama Lizzie who left a review, and she said she just listened to this podcast. And it was truly the most honest, thorough, and informative session. The convo was helpful, realistic, and amusing. At the same time, I learned things about the postpartum body expectations I would never have known otherwise. And great advice on how to deal with not just the physical body changes but the just as important mindset. Can’t wait to listen to all the episodes from Jacqueline Kincer and Holistic Lactation. Thanks, ladies. Awesome.

 

Thank you so much for that kind review, mama Lizzie. And that is a perfect intro to today’s episode because, as you said, not just physical body changes happening with postpartum and breastfeeding, but also the mindset, and that’s such a huge portion. So as I told you in episode one, and it’s the tagline for the podcast, this podcast is about milk, motherhood, and mindset. And we’re going to do a deep dive into that motherhood and mindset piece with Dr. Lydiana Garcia. So here’s the interview.

 

I want to welcome officially Dr. Lydiana Garcia. She is a licensed psychologist in Los Angeles, California. And she has over 10 years of experience facilitating healing trauma. And it wasn’t until five years ago that she actually started her own personal healing journey right after having her son and experiencing postpartum blues and depression.

 

And then during this time, and she’ll talk about this in our interview today, she said she felt like she was out of her body, confused, and had a constant feeling of wanting to go away. And then she felt like a horrible mom. She ended up seeking somatic therapy yoga, healing her body, and restarting her spiritual practices. So currently, she has an online course teaching many of the skills that she personally has and continues to apply to our own healing journey.

 

It’s called The Healing Village. Besides this and her private practice, she’s also the host of an incredible podcast called The beyond resilience life bilingual podcast, focusing on providing tools to overcome adversity, and find new meanings and purpose in life. And she’s actually expecting her daughter, who’s due in May. And so, she’s currently creating a pre and postpartum plan to help her navigate the new adventure of being a mom of two. So welcome to the podcast.

 

 

Dr. Lydiana Garcia  [4:04]

Thank you. Thank you for having me. I’m so excited for this.

 

Jacqueline Kincer  [4:07]

You’re welcome. And congratulations on baby number two. I feel like it’s such good timing for you to be on this podcast. And I know you’re in the midst of launching your own sort of series about pregnancy and birth and motherhood on your own show. So for anybody who has not checked out yet, definitely go subscribe to the Beyond Resilience Life Project Podcast. It’s incredible. I’d love to just hear more about you and your own journey because that’s such a huge part of what you’re doing today with your own clients and patients.

 

Dr. Lydiana Garcia  [4:37]

Yeah, definitely. So let me start when I actually graduated, well, part of one of the requisite bio was good, bad word confused, but part of what I needed to do before graduating was do an internship. And because I studied in Puerto Rico, and that’s where I’m from originally. And when I went to that whole process, I was selected in an internship in LA. That’s how I ended up here. It was not in my favorites. I was so scared, there was that movie that came out with Denzel Washington and the trainee or something like that. And he showed a lot of areas of LA. But I ended up here, and I started my journey in trauma. I did not know, I did take some classes in school.

 

But when I started, it was like, Hey, you either have to choose. I mean, besides the therapy, where you either have to choose to do a group with sexual abuse survivors, and in my case, there were going to be preteens, girls, or work with domestic violence. And I was like, oh, okay, this is reality. And I chose a sexual abuse survivor group. And that’s when I started my whole journey, I got so much training, I got so many models under my wing, I was like, I got this, I’m a trauma therapist and all that stuff.

 

Within around five years later than I started looking for a baby, which took a little while. For me, the journey took like about eight months, and I did seek out some help in that area. And as soon as that month that I said, I’m doing a cleanse, I’m not going to look for baby, that’s the month that I got pregnant with my son. And then a lot of things started coming, you know, all these doubts, all these worries about I’m a psychologist, I know this about children, developmental stages and health. But when I had him, I feel like, I mean, most people say this, that you don’t get prepared for what’s coming. And I can see why, you know, moms might not want to talk about that because a lot of them are still dealing with it. But it was a real-life check. I feel like I fell into the mod, and I was in this very dark confusion stage, I started feeling a lot of things. I had some issues. I had mastitis, I think it was around a week and a half after delivering a baby. And then I lost a lot of blood during my delivery.

 

So then, I was low in iron. And I was dealing with all the physical peas, and then the must Titus. And I really wanted to nurse, and I just felt like my soul was somewhere else. And I know a lot of moms describe that experience for me that I was like, Okay, what’s going on? Because I really wanted to know, Why am I feeling all of this?

 

And she did come to my house to do therapy with me. While I was nursing While I was when my son and that was so convenient and so helpful.

 

My mom was here helping, but I was feeling this weird feeling towards her, maybe some anger. And I’m like, where’s this anger come in? And as I started going in and learning about some things that my mom went through that, I knew it was like, a story that I was new. But then he started making sense of, like, wow, she did go through some kind of postpartum blues and depression that at that time in the 80s, it was not cold that way.

 

And then I started learning some stuff about my maternal grandmother, also my mom. And then it also dawned on me that my mom had, when she was an infant, had a very difficult surgery. And this was in the 50s in Puerto Rico. So you can imagine that, and she survived, but the hospital gave her back to my grandma and said, We don’t have anything else to do. So, of course, all this kind of intergenerational trauma was being passed on.

 

And my whole fear of there’s something wrong, that I’ve always had it but after having a son, it’s been so hard, because when you have a little one, and you don’t know, it’s like, Is there something wrong? What can I do? So, in that whole minute, I remember when I was like about four weeks or so, there was a group at a support group at our breastfeeding and mom kind of agency that they’re in Santa Monica. And I told my parents because they were helping, and they’re like, we’ll drive you along, like now that that morning, I was like, whatever. I didn’t sleep last night. And they’re like, we’ll drive you, and we’ll stay with you. And probably they saw that I was like going downhill.

 

And that was the most helpful thing. Because when I went there, I saw that I was not alone and that I thought my son was the hardest, but I saw other moms struggling with their kiddos. I was like, wow, wow, this is not how I thought you know. And after that, there was a support group that started on my midwife, the midwife center, and I started going there, it kind of fell off. But we continue to meet, and we did like a Facebook group of Monday moms kind of hang out. And that was very supportive.

 

And then, when I started feeling more relaxed, I started my own therapy. And this time, I want more for somatic because I was trained a lot of CBT mindset and all that kind of stuff. And that was not helping me because it’s trauma, it’s more in the body. And that helped me a lot.

 

And then, later on, I got my own training into somatic therapy because I was like, I want to integrate this I thought I knew a lot, but I’ve been missing this big part of helping people regulate. And it still is a journey. I mean, my son is going to be five. So there’s obviously, and now I’m expecting. So a lot of those fears and doubts are returning a little bit like, oh my god, what if I go again into that whole thing? So I’m planning to start writing myself some letters, remind myself of the skills that I know and all that and get into the support, find new support groups for mom, find, again, a breastfeeding support group and all that, because I know that was what helped me get back into somewhat of a normal path.

 

Jacqueline Kincer  [10:31]

Oh, my goodness! I love everything you shared, there’s so much and what you just said, and we’ll definitely unpack it because you made some excellent points. But what I really love and want to acknowledge you for is your vulnerability and sharing that I think sometimes people go, Oh, well, yeah, she’s the trauma psychologist. So you know, she’s perfect. She doesn’t suffer as I do! No! We all do. And maybe that’s even our why for why we have our practices and do this work. And I know that’s the case for me with my own breastfeeding struggles.

 

I was a stockbroker when I had my son. I didn’t choose this half, it sort of chose me. And it sounds like it may be similar for you as well. And it’s important for us to tell our stories because what you just said, I can guess that there’s gonna be a lot of listeners who see themselves in your story as well.

 

And I wanted to kind of dive into something for a moment, which was that you had mentioned, your mom coming, and I think even your grandma coming to the support group with you, I have to say that I love that.

 

And I’ve always just thought, Wow!  Whenever I have a client come to my office, and they show up with their extended family like that, it’s just this beautiful thing, or I go to their home, and grandma’s there taking care of her. And I’m like, she’s gonna be okay. The fact that those people around you support you. And, obviously, you see that in your work, too.

 

And then what you said about intergenerational trauma. I know that I think I made at least a social media post on this one time, but I’ve had moms tell me that there’s a bit of trauma, even in the breastfeeding journey where they weren’t breastfed as a child.

 

Sometimes that conversation starts coming up during pregnancy. And sometimes, those wounds are there. And their mom might say something like, oh, yeah, it was the worst pain I’ve ever experienced, Oh, you don’t want that to happen to you. And they’re already kind of setting it up for failure because they’re trying to protect their child from that trauma, but not working out.

 

And then you hear the grandmother and the aunt and all these other women in the family have struggled. And I know historically that a lot of things have been going wrong with breastfeeding for a very, very long time. And so some moms feel like when they are able to successfully breastfeed, that that’s actually a piece of that healing! They’re not just healing themselves. They’re healing these past generations, and they can show their mothers and their grandmothers that this is doable, it’s possible.

 

And then for that child, they’ve breastfed, now that sets them up for future success. So we can stop that. And I’d love for you to chat more about not just even breastfeeding, maybe even birth or anything else there about what you see across generations.

 

Dr. Lydiana Garcia  [13:16]

Definitely! I’m here like light bulbs because, as you’re talking, I’m also realizing a lot of new things, because when I felt it was part of my whole intergenerational kind of trauma was passed on from my maternal, you know, lineage.

 

My grandma was separated from my mom when she was like about three or four months because she went to the hospital. And it was one of those exploratory surgeries because she was just throwing up everything. And she had some issues with her intestines. And this was in a time that in 1958, in Puerto Rico, and even though she was in the capital, and to maybe one of the best hospitals, it was still a very primitive. So I bet my mom was placed in one of those, kind of like NICU and also in that time, I mean, NICU, nowadays can improve a lot.

 

But at that time, probably my grandma did not have any access. So there was a sudden separation from my mom. And if you think about it, I was already an ovum in her ovaries, her potential down the road. So all that probably is in my genes of that separation and not touching, not being close by.

 

And when my mom had me, she did not breastfeed me and was not supported at that time. And she said she tried, but then she was separated from me for another story, too. They had a vacation, and I’m like, Oh, my God, you guys were so irresponsible. Well, that was it, you know?!

 

They bought the tickets way in advance. And my father was like, we have our moms here. They can take care of her, and they went out for labor, I think it is Labor Day because I was born in August.

 

Labor Day weekend, they went for a long weekend getaway. So I have separated again from my mom, in a way.

 

Jacqueline Kincer  [15:07]

So it’s like it repeated!

 

Dr. Lydiana Garcia  [15:09]

So when I had my son, I felt this in part of me that just wanted to run away, it was that whole thing. But because I was breastfeeding, I was connected to him for so many hours. And for so many days in that way. So I feel like breastfeeding was all like, that’s why I was so intentional about making it work, because I’m like, I want to break this pattern besides all of the positive outcomes that come from it.

 

But also now I’m realizing that I was also breaking the pattern of being in proximity, just even that simple thing in being touching my son without any kind of separation because the first time I went away for a weekend or something was way later because I was breastfeeding on demand. And so, I was also breaking those patterns.

 

What I would say, in terms of intergenerational trauma, is when you start exploring, I mean, postpartum might not be the best time to explore them because you’re going through so much. But if you start exploring that even before, right now, in the work that I do in the healing village, when I meet with my clients, we talk about that. And I’m like, I wish somebody would have talked about that to me. I mean, I was a trauma therapist, and I did not, I heard about it, but it was not talked about with my supervision and training. And it was not until I experienced it that it was like, Oh, this is very real. And now I’m very into it.

 

Jacqueline Kincer  [16:32]

That’s such an excellent point. Because, as most things mean, even if we’re talking about preparing for breastfeeding, a lot of people will say, Oh, probably the best time to eat with you is when I’m pregnant, I’m like: well, actually, preconception is even the better time and a lot of people won’t give it that much forethought. But well, let’s make sure your health is good there first, because if it’s not good there, either it can cause problems with breastfeeding, like on a physiological level.

 

Or it can cause problems for your pregnancy, which then if something goes wrong there, could cause problems with breastfeeding. And what you’re saying is even the mental health aspect as well.

 

And so there is a conversation-starting, and celebrities have come out and said, Hey, I had postpartum anxiety or depression. And now I’m hearing too from clients is even postpartum rage is the thing. And I think that really has to do with a lot of those generational wounds.

 

And it’s so important that we acknowledge that because I do feel like now there’s a lot of attention on postpartum depression and anxiety. And I don’t know, if you saw this, there’s a company out there, I guess they had an advertisement that was supposed to air during the Grammys, and it got banned. And it showed a mom getting up out of her bed at 4 am with her Perry bottle and her pad on, and the baby’s crying. And I guess it was banned because they didn’t allow commercials with sanitary napkins. So that’s technically what they were advertising. But a lot of moms were like, this needs to be shown, this needs to be seen because we need to talk more about this.

 

And so, for a mom who might be listening to this, and she’s thinking to herself, I don’t know if everything is quite right with me mental health-wise, or she knows this is probably not okay. As you said, it’s always great to address it ahead of time. But if she hasn’t, what would you suggest for her at this point? How do they even find the kind of the right person to work with? And feel really supported?

 

And I think you mentioned something that it doesn’t have to be just one thing like you went to that breastfeeding support group, and just even that was so helpful. So I’d love to hear your thoughts on where mom can go. If it’s a feeling, not sure about where they’re at? Or if they know, there might be a problem?

 

Dr. Lydiana Garcia  [18:46]

Yes, definitely! Would say that, I feel in my opinion that the first step should be about regulation. And that can be done individually. But most helpful in that stage, especially during this first, that third, that fourth trimester. And later on, to support with other moms, with people that can get you and people that might not judge you because some moms will judge, right?

 

So that piece, I feel, is so important because that was started for me, that was the Oh, I’m not alone in this. My son would scream bloody murder if you would change him and put him on his back, and later on, I learned that probably during birth, he had some issues in his back, and I took him to cranial sacral and all this kind of thing. But I thought I was the only one struggling because I would see all these moms, and I was taking care of my cousins when they were growing up, and I never saw any baby screaming bloody murder by being changed a diaper or being put in his back.

 

And then the whole medical field like you cannot put him to sleep on his belly and all this kind of. And I’m like, but he can’t, he screams! So when I went to that support group, I saw all these moms’ struggles with other things.

 

For me, at that time, we were able to have a good breastfeeding kind of pattern, and he would latch what I thought was okay. But I was still this mom that kids will scream before getting latched and all these kinds of things. And I’m like, wow!  we’re all in this together. Maybe my son screamed that day, he did poop or pee or something. And I had to change him in the support group. And he was so calm. And I was like, wow, I mean, after that he came back to the old screaming bloody murder.

 

Jacqueline Kincer  [20:31]

Of course?! He had an audience!

 

Dr. Lydiana Garcia  [20:35]

But it was that whole piece that  I’m not alone in this because we forget that we feel like we’re by ourselves. And it’s so isolating, especially those first days, if you are staying home, and breastfeeding and all this kind of things. And if you don’t have any other mom or friends, which in that time, a lot of my other friends were not even married, they did not have children, I did not have that much family here in LA. So I felt like I’m doing I’m dealing with this all by myself. So I would say finding a support group. And there are so many. There is the postpartuminternationalpsi.med.

 

Jacqueline Kincer  [21:13]

Yeah. Postpartum Support International.

 

Dr. Lydiana Garcia  [21:21]

Yes. And they even have support groups that are online. I did not know that until I interviewed some people for the second season of my podcast. And I’m like, that’s amazing. Because here’s the other thing. Who wants to go to a support group? Nobody. I mean, even myself, I was pushed by my dad, the person that remembers, that helped me the most because my mom, I think she went a little bit through her own trauma when she came to help as well because probably was triggering for her seeing all that.

 

But I remember my dad saying no, no, no, he was carrying cars that he’s like, we’ll take you, we’ll wait there, and you go in and, so I had people like that. I was so blessed at that time to have someone to kind of encourage me to go.

 

So I would say seek out because a lot of times, they will not come knocking on your door, like, Hey, I think you need help, let me come. So it will take that first step of looking either it’s in person, whether it’s online, whether it’s free to the psi, or there’s some that are $15, which I think I’m thinking of LA, which I think is affordable, we spend $15 on something else.

 

And that’s another thing that I noticed for many new moms if you’re struggling or kind of like making ends meet, and you’re kinda like Oh, my God, and all this kind of things. And I remember because I was on maternity leave, I was not getting paid the same. And this time, there is no maternity leave in terms of paid maternity leave because I’ve had my own private practice. But you kind of like start going like, I cannot do that. Because I need to pay for this, I need to pay for that. And your mental health should be one of those priorities, the same as with diapers and all these kinds of things. Because when you’re not okay, everything else will fall.

 

So I would say the first step would be to seek some kind of support because there’s some La Leche League has free support groups everywhere. There are so many ideas.

 

Jacqueline Kincer  [23:11]

Yes! There are so many!

 

Dr. Lydiana Garcia  [23:13]

Yeah! And then the second would be ideally, and this is something that I’m applying for now! Ideally, it would be before you, when you’re getting ready OBGYNs “s should get better at this and anyone that works in this area, but to prepare you with different skills that you already know, work and help you regulate yourself. A lot of the ones that I like are simple because this whole self-care, boom, a lot of it has to do with the spa, and this and that. And when you’re a new mom, you might not be able to go to a spa for a long time for like four hours.

 

So little things like using your five senses, noticing what’s your surrounding, maybe putting music that is common for you during the whole day with binaural beats that you can put in your earphones. And then  having smells that you like that bring comfort, that’s easy. You can find essential oils. Be careful with some candles that might have some toxicity. But you might be able to find some flowers that have some scent. To recreate a space that feels like a little haven for you and will promote those kinds of sounds. So those would be the first ones that I would say. And then ideally, you can find a therapist, whether there are so many different directories that you can find the ones that are coming to a mind are Psychology Today. And then, if you are looking more for diverse kinds of practitioners, there’s Latin X therapy. There’s melanin therapy, I can give you more for the show notes. But like in those places, or in PSI, I learned that there’s actually a phone number that you can call a hotline, and you can get connected to someone in your county to help you get linked with services. But it will start with you reaching out.

 

Jacqueline Kincer  [25:02]

Yeah, that’s so excellent. And you just gave so many actionable ideas for moms out there. And I love that because one of my goals with this podcast is I really wanted to bring, in particular,  more women of color on here to have their voices heard. And I love that your podcast is bilingual. And you mentioned that too, because I’m here in Arizona, so I have a lot of bilingual clients that I’ve worked with. And it’s always hard for me. I know a little bit, but not enough to really, I don’t know the lingo that I need to work with them. So it’s nice to have places to direct them, and what you said just so simply, though, about bringing a haven into your home, that you don’t need to leave your home to go find that self-care.

 

And that there are very simple things. And even one of the things I’ll teach a lot of my moms when it comes to breastfeeding is they’re very stressed, very anxious, might be kind of already preparing for that latch to not go well. And when we just change their physiology a little bit where we can get them to sit up straight. Take some deep breaths, those little things that can help calm them to create that better experience.

 

And it was so funny, you mentioned your son, who normally screams for diaper changes, and he didn’t, he was like this little angel, I cannot tell you how many times that happens. When someone’s in my presence. They’re like, he’s never normally this good. I’m like, Yes, I understand. But you’re here with support now, and you’re calmer, and that totally translates to your baby. And like you said, your mental health is so important, but it’s not like stuff is a catchphrase, like, all your mental health is important. put the oxygen mask first. You are already parenting this child, you’re already shaping who they’re going to become. And if your mental health isn’t taken care of. You’re in some ways, and not to create, like guilt or anything, but potentially passing on this unhealthy mindset or pattern, feelings about yourself to your child, or they’re seeing that as an example, even as a baby when they’re just soaking up so much. And so it’s really important that if you’re feeling that disconnection with yourself, and maybe it’s translating to disconnection with your child, that you do take care of that. And we need to shout it from the rooftops! Please, moms, go take care of yourself.

 

But like you’re saying, great if you can afford the psychologist at $300 an hour, wonderful, great, let’s go to take care of that. Maybe you have fewer resources right now, which is a real reality, for a lot of families out there, especially in the US, where maternity leave is just very, very poor in terms of what we get for that. And, like you and I, we don’t really get paid maternity leave anymore. So you know, even though, right? So you’re like, Great, I’m an entrepreneur, I have my own business, I have my own practice doing great things. But we’re still challenges for even people like us.

 

So I, like the actionable steps I would love to, but I don’t want to segway too much the conversation. But, I know for myself that I had a really difficult birth experience with my son. So I felt like my mental health was great. I had a career I loved, I had a great relationship. My husband, and I had good friends around me, I didn’t have mom friends with support, but I had planned to have a home birth with him. And it did not go according to plan. And so I wanted really to kind of avoid the hospital at all costs. And I ended up going there. And it was necessary.

 

But I kept having these dreams after I gave birth to him that I would not be terribly graphic, but I was putting him back inside my body and giving birth to him again. And I would just try to, every dream I would have, it was like me trying to like, birth him in the way that I wanted. And it wasn’t until like several weeks later that it actually occurred to me that my birth was actually traumatizing for me that I had to I was unexpected, it was sudden, and that these dreams were just my brain’s way of sort of processing what had happened. And I was so hung up on I didn’t get the outcome I wanted. And I know that a lot of breastfeeding moms as well. And I just wondered if you could, you know, speak to that a bit.

 

Dr. Lydiana Garcia  [28:06]

I think you’re describing something that is very common. And I want to go back in terms from a trauma perspective, our brain always wants to make sense of what happens. And a very simple way of describing it is when we go through a traumatic experience, especially if it’s something that it was something that happened very fast and very intense, or very slow for a long time. Because there’s also those birds that are very slow and you know, like you’re all of that, then our brain kind of like breaks all that and that’s when we call like dissociated, and like all these puzzle pieces are like scattered because it’s too much for us to take, you know into consideration and put it back together. But when we go to sleep, and maybe you were like in the REM stage, which is why am DR is one of the therapists that work really good for processing trauma, then your brain is starting to make sense. It’s trying to make sense, wait, let’s create a comprehensive story. So we can put all the pieces together and process it and integrate them.

 

Because as you integrate them as an integrated memory, and you shouldn’t necessarily trigger, it will still trigger like maybe like that kind of like, Oh, I wish it was this way. But not necessarily like so many physiological triggers, like palpitations or feeling like anger and all those kind of things. So I just want to say that that’s a very common thing. And thank you for sharing that. And I bet that was hard. I cannot imagine I’m also planning my second home birth, and I’m trying to, like, let go. And that’s where I was going to go next. Birthing is like, the most surrendering experience that I’ve ever had. And I’m a very, I used to, I’m recovering from that very go-getter. And this is my way, in very, that American culture, like if you work hard, you’re going to make it and all these kinds of things. And birthing is one of the most humble experiences for women to just surrender to whatever it is.

 

And, of course, there are great ways to support it and all that. But many women, especially in our society, have experiences that are considered traumatic, but that’s something that doctors and OBGYNs or even midwives don’t talk about it. Because it’s kind of like something that is expected. And I know that going like is the most natural thing, and all women have done it forever. So you should be fine. But trauma, from that perspective, is anything that puts you in that state of survival. And you could have gone into like a heightened kind of like a fight or flight mode of like, maybe feel like, you know, super anxious about it and like I need to figure this out, and that kind of hyper-vigilance mode.

 

Or it’s so much that you go to like a shutdown, freeze response or numbing, and there’s alike, there and you feel like it happened in it was like a movie being like happening outside of you. And if that happened during your birth, most likely, it was a traumatic experience. And when we talk that word, the T-word, the trauma, a lot of people again, think like is a huge thing, because it’s now it’s more talk about all these subtle things. And there’s so many interesting Katie, in that word, there are so many different ways of describing trauma. And one of those is like that small tease, big tease, and all that. But in general, is anything that for you that your body interpreted that was a threat to your safety in it, then your body perceived it as trauma, and then there’s a sequela.

 

And then our brain starts to try to make sense of why? Why am I feeling that, and then you start creating a story that would kind of support all of that belief. And then you create stories and beliefs about that. And that’s when it becomes like really difficult, because humans, we like to do that we like to make stories of whatever we sense or feel. So I just want to say that even if somebody else has been like minimizing like, Oh, come on, I went through that as well. If you experience that, then it was probably a traumatic experience. And you’re not alone.

 

I would say there’s a vast number of women that whose birth has been considered traumatic or that they were not able to do things. And I love her, she was my doula. Now she’s the midwife in Florida, my good friend saw and she, she would talk about those things and how to recreate for some people in that she would kind of like if people wanted a water birth, and they weren’t able to do it. How to how to then kind of recreate, like maybe using the water birth and filling it up with herbs and stuff and having with a baby to recreate whatever you need it as a way to process it and still have some kind of closure.

 

Jacqueline Kincer  [34:02]

Yeah, I love that I do teach my clients rebirthing a lot of the time, and it’s an excellent technique to get your baby back to the breast, and you brought up so many really amazing points about kind of how to recognize whether or not something is trauma because do you think there’s a narrative? I know certainly after my birth, I was told, Well, you know, at least you and baby are healthy, and I’m like, Um, hang on a second, I am feeling totally scarred over here and waking up with just in sweats after these like a dream slashes nightmares that I’m having like, I don’t think that’s it the gold standard there is that we’re alive. You know, and, and I do see in my practice specifically.

 

Obviously, you don’t have babies coming to your practice mean they might actually physically come with a mom, but I do see babies who have suffered trauma as you mentioned, you know, separation from mom, that can be a traumatic event for a baby. But if they go to the NICU if they If it’s a long birth, if it’s a very short birth, a vacuum or forceps is used, you know, various things, you know, I know my mom kind of in an intergenerational wounds story would always remind me how I broke her tailbone when she was in labor with me. And I’m like, Well, I didn’t mean to clearly I didn’t know what I was doing. But she was affected by that. And, you know, clearly, I was somehow affected by that birth, it wasn’t going that well. But here I am, right. And so you know, you’ve mentioned something about the body too, and how the body interprets trauma. And a really important distinction to make is that there are some things that your brain is doing that, that’s how your brain as you said, there are these scattered pieces, and it’s trying to make sense of those.

 

And what I’m hearing you say is that there’s nothing wrong with you. It’s not your thinking, or your feelings are wrong, or like, I think sometimes we as women can maybe internalize and start to feel shame even about our own thoughts and feelings. But this is just the way the brain works. It’s not good or bad, there’s no judgment there. But there are ways that we can sort of retrain the brain and to process and move on from those things so that we’re not going through that over and over again, and you made me kind of think of something about, you know, the body and babies back to what I was saying, where I see these babies who have gone through trauma and, and babies, you know, can recover, you know, really, really easily a lot of the time.

 

But if we don’t, if we don’t do something, I see babies who are very dysregulated. And you talked about, you know, moms regulating themselves, where they’re just, you know, they’re very, they’re very tense, very tight, and they’re very just quick to get upset and things like that, it might not even be something that’s physically wrong with them. But when I explore the history of the birth, maybe even the pregnancy could have been very stressful, or the mother had like HG and was throwing up all the time, there are things that affect, and one of the things I recommend a lot for that is something like cranial sacral therapy, or EFT or tapping, you can do that, there are many ways that you can help your even your infants with creating that regulation. And I don’t think that’s talked enough about either I think, oftentimes, it’s dismissed, and fascia really stores the trauma in our bodies.

 

 

 

And so these babies that are tense and tight, and they’re just a little fist all the time, they’re like, Oh, how cute. That’s what they looked like on the ultrasound? Well, yeah, but they’re like three months old now. So they should probably have, like, stretched out a little bit. And it’s important to talk about it on all levels because what affects you affects your baby and vice versa. And there’s just so much I mean, honestly, I could probably just talk to you for hours about this. But I think I’d love for you to even just address a little more of the piece about the body and, and how that’s affected as well because you know, any mom who’s postpartum breastfeeding or not, she’s already got to heal physically from that. But adding in mental health stuff can definitely change that journey there.

 

Dr. Lydiana Garcia  [37:59]

Yeah, and if you were talking, what I was thinking is, I think that’s definitely part of what was going on with my son. I had a super long lever, I was in one centimeter for like, 16 hours. And I was having, from my perception, I was having contractions very consistent every five minutes. My friend saw which I mentioned earlier, she was kind of mentioned that maybe he was not like his positioning in the cervix, you know, was not well, and that’s why I think he probably had some issues in his back, and maybe, you know, that whole piece of being in his back would actually physically hurt him. But here I was, with my own intergenerational trauma, like, there’s some like, whenever the body had an issue, there’s something wrong. My mom was a type of person. I mean, she did study biology, and she did work in a pharmaceutical company. But my house was the house that if you would have something, she would have a medicine for you. There was like a huge medicine cabinet.

 

And I thought everybody lived like that. I thought everybody had all these kinds of medicines in their home.  I remember the first time I was in my early 20s. And I flew to Europe in 2017 days, and I did not have with me Pepto Bismol. And I was like, it was so liberating. You know, that’s how I grew up. So when my son would show those signs, my internal response was like, There’s something wrong with him. And then I went into like, there’s something wrong with me that I don’t know how to figure that out. And I have to fix it. I had to fix it, and probably felt my anxiety, and that triggered him like, Oh, she’s feeling there’s something wrong, then that means that what I’m going through is something wrong. And we had that whole kind of collusion of nervous systems both being activated and something that I did not know then and that I’m learning now as I am an interviewer for the second season that I’m taking so many notes. Are that beautiful, the massage therapy kind of techniques for babies and connection and I interviewed someone, her name is Andrea, she’s a therapist in Florida.

 

And there’s this whole technique that you massage the baby, maybe after bath time or something like a time, and you’re singing a song while you’re massaging the baby, and creating that connection to help both regulate, but also, touch is so important, especially in infancy. So I would say that. And remember when I was talking about how I feel like touch was something that was Miss intergenerational because of the separation of my grandma and my mom, and then me and my mom. So that was enough for me to feel so uncomfortable, even though I was breastfeeding and all that having something tight to me and touching me and my son, he’s the most, he wants hugs all the time. That’s just who he is. He’s like, Mama, hug. And learning, yeah, that is part of me wanting to push away because of my own, kind of intergenerational traumas that I’m still kind of dealing with and working through.

 

So I would say definitely, with infants that touch, which I am really looking forward to integrating now with a baby girl, and learning that song or creating a song. She’s Andrea, she’s a therapist, and she works with the moms about that. But even creating a song, and doing that ratio of touch, and finding ways again to regulate me. Because infants, they pick. Communication is more than 80% nonverbal, and infants are picking up on all of that on your cues.

 

And that’s when the whole attachment builds up. So if you’re like looking at your child, with all the sympathetic nervous system response, like dilated eyes, and kind of like what’s going on, and tone of voice, and all this kind of things. Or rushing through things, they’re picking up something is wrong, and they’re gonna respond to that. And that’s how our bodies are. So we’re always reading cues from people.

 

So something that helps me for that is like, just feeling my feet in the ground and just pushing it down, taking a deep breath, having water, and moving the body. Even maybe self-massage here and there, getting some lotions that you like, but our bodies hold on so much. So I would definitely say it is that combination of you taking care of yourself and also your child.

 

And if you’re listening to this, because that was hard for me. I remember talking to my therapist, at that moment, being like I’m messing up the attachment, and I’m messing up this because I’m so anxious. And I was reading the book, Parenting from the inside out by Dan Siegel. Which is a great book. And she like to stop reading that! Right now, we need to work on you before you go into how you’re impacting your child.

 

So also know where you are. And maybe this is a time for you that if you’re listening to this, and you’re going through that, to just be like, okay, how can I work with me? Simple things that I can do with myself. That would also help the baby because I was more How can I help the baby? How can I help, baby?  What can I do? Where can I take him? And I was forgetting about myself. And that was the missing piece of the puzzle.

 

Jacqueline Kincer  [43:02]

That is absolutely vital. And, honestly, just such a great place to wrap up what we’re discussing, because I do feel like, even in my work, where there’s this big focus on Oh, the baby breastfeeding the baby, baby, baby, you know, it’s baby getting enough for the growing wall. And it’s all these things. And of course, you know, you see the pediatrician on the regular, you see, the OB once, and it’s like, that’s it. So mom is kind of lost in the conversation. But if I can, whenever I do have a one-on-one appointment with someone, or I’m leading a group, I like to just talk to them. Just, you know, Hey, how are you doing? How are you feeling? How are you feeling in your body? How are you recovering? And one of those things is just tuning in to their body language, right, and just seeing where they’re at. And trying to make them feel at ease. And so, like you just described so beautifully, just putting your feet on the ground and just using the five senses, and where am I right now? And just getting a super present.

 

Because we can get so wrapped up in, you know, okay, I want to be the best mom, and I got to research this. And you designed the nursery off of Pinterest or whatever, right? There are all these common things that I think I see a lot of moms chatting about. And let’s just slow down a little bit. And let’s just talk about you and what can you do.

 

And for anybody who goes back and listens to episode three, you mentioned movement, and I had Beverly Simpson on to talk about that. And she was talking about, you know, if it’s just like you sitting in the bathroom for 10 more seconds so you can take five deep breaths while someone else holds the baby. We don’t have to book a spa day. We don’t have to hire a bunch of people. There are things that we can do ourselves, and when we start relying on ourselves more, that builds that resilience that you’re talking about.

 

I would love for you to just wrap up with any thoughts. If there was something, maybe someone could have told you, you kind of talked about that or when you were a new mom. What’s a message that you’d really like for our listeners to hear today?

 

Dr. Lydiana Garcia  [45:05]

That’s a good one. I’ve been thinking a lot about me, preparing for maybe number two.

 

Jacqueline Kincer  [45:13]

You can go back and listen to this.

 

Dr. Lydiana Garcia  [45:14]

What I would say is, and I was listening to your episode number three. And I’m like, Yes, and I want to keep finishing because definitely this time, I want to work out a little bit postpartum. And I love how you were so open and vulnerable, even about using the sports bras and all those kinds of things, because that was some of my questions because I’m a more of a…

 

And so I would say, and you might hear this a lot, but something that I feel is gonna be different this time is that I know that it will pass. And you might hear that a lot. And I hated it. I remember when I would hear, like, hang in there. Mom, I hated that phrase because I felt like it was very like, kind of like, do it on your own, like, you figure it out.  And, and so I tried to not say any like that, but kind of know that this is momentary, it will not stay like that forever.

 

I breastfed my son for two years. And now it’s been basically three years, it’s going to be in May, since I stopped, and I forgot a lot of things in this like you do forget some of these things. And maybe some of them, it might be my body, but I will kind of like if it would move, it would move, nothing is temporary. And that’s one of the hardest things in motherhood, I remember when you’re getting the hang of it of a sleeping pattern, and things will change of whatever. But knowing that it will not stay the same. I wish somebody would have said that to me in a more kind of calm voice instead of like, oh, everything will change the kind of dismissing. No really, no, it will not stay the same like this.

 

There are things that you can do to help you, and I wish somebody would have paused a little bit more with me to be like, it’s also important about you! Baby is going to be okay if you’re okay! That lesson, took me a while because nobody was able to see that I was in the I need to fix this. There’s something wrong with him. I wish somebody would be like, you know, what? What about you?

 

So I would definitely say those are two of the things that I feel are really important. If you’re in those first months, first years, to kind of know that things will change and that you matter. And in the end, the flexibility by you taking care of yourself and doing things that work for you will be much better than actually following up a book about step one, step two, step three of how to raise a child!

 

Jacqueline Kincer  [47:48]

That is so well stated. Thank you so much for sharing your perspective and your story.  I know that you’ve helped a lot of people by sharing this on this podcast. And we’ll link everything up for people to connect with you in the show notes. But, where’s the easiest place for someone to find you and reach out to you if they want to follow you and learn more? Just pay attention to your message. Did we mention the podcast but anything else?

 

Dr. Lydiana Garcia  [48:14]

Yeah! I’m very active on my Instagram account. And  I have my personal, well. My personal one, my business one for my brand. Dr. Lydiana Garcia, and that one will be Dr. Lydiana Garcia, and my name is with a Y, so it’s like Lydia, now. And the podcast one, but I’m mostly active in Dr. Liliana Garcia. Over there, I share a little bit about, and I’ll be sharing more about my own journey as well in this part. Becoming a mom of two. And the other place would be my website, that’s where I have the podcast, and the online offerings. And I’m starting now a blog that I’m integrating into the website as well. So those would be great places where you can find information.

 

Jacqueline Kincer  [49:08]

Awesome. Thank you so much for sharing. As I said, we’ll link everything up in the show notes. I so appreciate you coming on, and bringing this beautiful perspective to the podcast today. And for all the listeners out there. Definitely go check her out. She’s amazing. And if you haven’t already, make sure you’re subscribed to the podcast. We’ve got some incredible episodes coming up for you in the future. And I’ll see you on the next episode.

 

Oh, I am just in love with Dr. Garcia. She’s incredible. And I have to say that this episode again just gave me so much to think about, and she shared so many amazing takeaways. We did say how you could connect with her over on Instagram and also on her website. I will link that up in the show notes. So go check those out. And of course, I know she would love to hear from you and love to hear about The impact of anything that she said in this episode, or if you’re becoming a new listener to her podcast, definitely check that out.

 

I love that she offers bilingual support as well. So for our Spanish-speaking listeners, she’s a wonderful resource for you to check out, I am sure that she would love to hear from you. So if you’re listening to the podcast on your phone, take a quick screenshot of that, upload it to your Instagram, tag her let her know that you found something really valuable. I love when our guests get to hear from the listeners. Because I know that they’re taking this time out of their day. They’re not getting paid to be on the podcast. I’m not getting paid to do this podcast. But they love to hear that at least it was worth their time to put this information out there. So thank you again for your support, and I will catch you on the next episode.

In today’s episode, Dr. Lydiana Garcia, licensed psychologist, joins us to talk about postpartum mental health. We dive deep into strategies for mental and emotional wellness, as well as discuss how past trauma can affect your transition into motherhood. Dr. Garcia shares a compassionate approach and realistic tips for navigating this huge life transition of becoming a new mother, while sharing her own journey of breastfeeding and her second pregnancy.

If you enjoy this episode and it inspired you in some way, I’d love to hear about it and know your biggest takeaway. Take a screenshot of you listening on your device, post it to your Instagram Stories and tag me @holisticlactation

I’ve got a special gift for all my listeners and it’s 38 powerful breastfeeding affirmations to support you on your breastfeeding journey, so go get that free audio now at https://jacquelinekincer.com/mantras

In this episode, you’ll hear:

  • How your diet affects your hormones and mood
  • What kind of diet advice you should avoid while breastfeeding
  • Tips and tricks for staying well nourished while taking care of your baby
  • Why most diet advice is flawed and potentially harmful

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