#44: What a Body Remembers - Trauma and Mental Health
Katie Breen
November 2, 2017

In honor of Mental Health Awareness Week, Femtastic discusses how trauma can impact lives in the long term.

PTSD used to be thought of as a "soldier's disease," but in 2019 it's finally getting recognition as an ailment that can affect anyone who has been through an extremely stressful life event.

Katie speaks with Karen Stefano, author of the memoir What a Body Remembers: Sexual Assault and its Aftermath. Karen tells the story of the assault she survived while she was in college during the 1980s; the emotional anguish and PTSD she suffered in the days, months, and years after; and how the process of seeking justice was re-traumatizing. She also offers hope - discussing the ongoing ups and downs of her healing journey and offering advice on how to reach out for help and move forward in the wake of trauma.

If you or someone you know is struggling, there are people available to help:

- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 800.273.TALK (8255). Available any time of day or night, 365 days a year, this toll-free helpline AND online chat service has trained volunteers standing by to provide crisis intervention, to offer support for people in distress, and to give information and referrals to people with suicidal thoughts, PTSD, depression and in other mental health crises.

- National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline: 800.656.HOPE (4673) or online chat will connect you to a local sexual assault service provider in your area. Trained staff can provide confidential support and connect you to local resources.

- National Domestic Violence Hotline provides 24/7 crisis intervention, safety planning and information on domestic violence (800-799-7233).

#43: The Power of Solo Moms in 2019
Katie Breen
November 2, 2017

Marika Lindholm is one of the editors of a new anthology “We Got This: Solo Mom Stories of Grit, Heart, and Humor." The book chronicles the journeys of more than 75 solo moms from a variety of diverse backgrounds: some are single parents by choice, some by circumstance, some gay, some widowed...you get the picture. It even includes a story from Amy Poehler! Katie interviews Marika about the ways that it's both easier AND just as hard to be a single mom today than in prior generations, how people who are single parents by choice face their own unique set of challenges and stigmas, and ways that we as a society can help support solo moms - interpersonally AND via public policy.

Marika is the founder of an online community for solo moms called ESME.com - Empowering Solo Moms Everywhere.

Most recently, she wrote about the psychological challenges faced by solo mothers in Ms. Magazine, in a piece called Moms Need Wide-Ranging Mental Health Care. An excerpt from the piece that demonstrates the topics Marika speaks to on the podcast:

"Until we acknowledge and grapple with the significant social challenges to maternal mental health, moms will continue to suffer higher rates of depression, anxiety, exhaustion and PTSD than the general public. We must ensure that mothers get the support they need to understand the structures that make motherhood so psychologically disempowering.

Maybe then we will find the strength and will to fight for a society that frees mothers from socially harmful behavior, judgments and expectations that keep our families from thriving."

You can keep up with ESME on social media by following:

- Twitter
- Facebook
- Instagram

#42: Breastfeeding is Hard
Katie Breen
November 2, 2017

Katie interviews Maddy Sands about the struggles that new parents encounter with breastfeeding—and how the solution to the problem is a community one.

Breastfeeding is described as the “most natural thing in the world,” but many parents come home from the hospital to find it’s not the innate skill it was billed as—and our lack of discussion of how hard breastfeeding can be leaves parents feeling guilt, shame, and frustration when it does not, it turns out, come naturally. Maddy is the director of Help Me Feed, a foundation focused on supporting new parents with breastfeeding. She understands that for new parents to meet their breastfeeding goals (while feeding their babies and maintaining their sanity), they need skills-building, advice, and support that is personalized to them. Maddy details the insights from new parents which led HelpMeFeed to design an innovative new app that creates an on-demand, professionally qualified community of support for parents, at no cost to them. It’s normal to struggle with breastfeeding, but in our connected world there’s no reason scalable solutions shouldn’t exist so that new parents don’t have to navigate these challenges alone.

#41: One Woman's Pre-Roe Abortion
Katie Breen
November 2, 2017

Prior to the 1973 Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade, abortion was illegal in the United States. The court's ruling was, in part, influenced by the hundreds of women dying yearly from dangerous, illegal abortions. A discussion of the hazards of outlawing abortion is unfortunately timely, as a spate of recent abortion bans in the United States means that millions of people are or soon will be without access to safe, legal, and accessible abortion. Katie Breen interviews Patricia Eagle, author of Being Mean: A Memoir of Sexual Abuse and Survival, about Patricia's experience with abortion prior to its legalization. Patricia recounts her desperation to terminate the unplanned pregnancy she experienced while at the University of Texas in 1971, and the grim tale of the illegal and dangerous abortion she received in a dimly lit, private home in Denton, TX. Patricia's story exemplifies the lengths to which people will go to have abortions, legal or not, and discusses how her experience informs her views today that abortion must be legal and accessible to all.

#40: Queer and Pregnant
Katie Breen
November 2, 2017

Katie speaks with Jenna Brown, the queer doula behind Love Over Fear Wellness & Birth. They discuss what it means to doula for queer folks, what clinical and personal challenges queer pregnant people may encounter in the birth process, and ways that healthcare workers (and really, all of us!) can better care for queer parents. Jenna provides fantastic resources for queer AND non-queer parents-to-be, including why and how to hire a doula for childbirth, and where to find their new work-book, Queer + Pregnant: A Pregnancy Journal.

You can find Jenna at @loveoverfearwellness on Instagram and Facebook, or on their website, loveoverfearwellness.com.

Links to resources Jenna mentioned in the interview:

- Jenna's workbook on Amazon: Queer + Pregnancy: A Pregnancy Journal

- Adrienne Maree Brown: site

- Trystan Reese: on Instagram @biffandi // the professional trainings Trystan helped create

- Angela Gallo: @the_angela_gallo on IG // Angela's website

- Girls Rock Philly: site

- Masculine Birth Ritual Podcast: site //  the host, Grover’s article

As always, you can listen to Femtastic via the embedded player in this post, or head to Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Overcast, Soundcloud, iHeartRadio...or pretty much any other podcast player!

Follow Femtastic on social media @femtastic_podcast on Instagram and Facebook, and @femtastic_show on Twitter.

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