Moxie was born from my early experiences in hospitals, clinics, cancer support groups, military new parent support programs and parent coaching prior to opening a private practice. My own struggles with painful periods, getting pregnant over 35, staying pregnant, delivering a healthy baby and surviving postpartum anxiety led to a growing passion to support others through their reproductive journey. Now as I navigate raising a child and closing a chapter on my reproductive self, I have been equally drawn to support women through life's challenges and post-reproduction changes.
Moxie Motherhood is focused on supporting the strongest version of you. I help with this through counseling and life coaching. My educational background is in the fields of psychology and clinical social work. I enjoy supporting people impacted by PMS, PMDD, decisions on conception and family planning, infertility and fertility treatments, pregnancy, loss, pregnancy after loss, adoption, surrogacy, postpartum and postplacement adjustment, child feeding challenges, perimenopause and menopause, gynecological conditions, perineal trauma and recovery, obstetric violence, cancer, hysterectomy, lumpectomy and mastectomy.
"Prioritizing our maternal mental health before and after baby needs to become the norm — not the exception." -Jen Schwartz
Persons trying to conceive and those who are pregnant will likely spend most of their time managing nausea, fatigue, swelling, moodiness and other discomforts. Their diets and schedules will change. They, along with their partners (and those anxiously awaiting to adopt) will weed through a multitude of appointments and paperwork, plan for childcare, navigate maternity/paternity leave and prepare their home life and work life for the possibility of growing a family. Even before a bump or a "bundle of joy", prospective parents, parents-to-be and parents-again often sacrifice their own needs in this effort.
Women experiencing illness, trauma and hormonal shifts across a lifetime are left in the dark, often to cope in isolation.
“We live in a youth-obsessed culture that is constantly trying to tell us that if we are not young, and we’re not glowing, and we’re not hot, that we don’t matter. I refuse to let a system or a culture or a distorted view of reality tell me that I don’t matter. I know that only by owning who and what you are can you start to step into the fullness of life.” —Oprah
During the post-reproduction stages of life, perimenopause and menopause, women have few outlets to process the taboo topics of of weight gain, depression, hot flashes, incontinence, general moodiness and loss of sex drive. The prevalence of depression increases 2-14 times in women during perimenopause versus the premenopausal years.
Many of the mood changes associated with these experiences go unrecognized and untreated in our community. People deserve better.
Here’s what I wish was part of every assessment by a Women's Health Provider:
Conversations about the association between health and decision-making as well as reproductive mental health, post-reproductive mental health and treatment.
Mood and Anxiety Disorders are real and deserve attention by specialized providers versed in women's and maternal and paternal mental health, trauma-informed care and cultural humility.
You are not alone. When possible, a support system should be identified and appropriate community resources provided to assist people in addressing their mental health.
There is a lot of stigma associated with mental health, particularly directed at people from marginalized groups. There are also assessment and treatment options that honor language, gender, orientation and culture.
Take control of what you have control over. For example, set aside your birth plan and spend time on a postpartum support plan. Speak up if your provider is minimizing your mood changes during your periods or as you approach menopause. Seek a second opinion if a provider is not listening to you or is making you feel uncomfortable.
There may be something "wrong", but there is nothing wrong with YOU. Mental illness is treatable. Suffering can be replaced by hope. Relationships can recover.
Here are a couple of other services that I believe are crucial to bridging the gap between medical knowledge and wellness for women's pregnancy and early parenting.
If you are looking for wellness services that promote healthy pregnancies, contribute to safe and satisfying birth experiences and ease the transition into parenthood, check out Mother Wit.
If you are a parent or parent-to-be, check out Postpartum Support International.
Motherhood brings you to your knees in a way that doesn't leave room for you to judge others. It makes you see that there's no ideal - a constant struggle, constantly compromising, but ultimate love. -Maggie Gyllenhaal
Force of character; determination; nerve; vigor; verve; pep; courage; resolve; spunk; tenacity; skill; know-how. The ability to face difficulty with spirit and courage.
Licensed Clinical Social Worker
California License No. 82213
Texas License No. 35678
Master of Science in Social Work, University of Texas at Austin, 2000
Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, University of Texas at Austin, 1998
Associate of Arts Degree in Spanish, Monterey Defense Language Institute, 2012
(there have been many over the past 20 years, but here are a few worth mentioning)
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) Intensive
Gottman Method Couples Therapy
Your Beyond Coaching
Group Coaching Expands the Independent Practice
Common Sense Parenting
Postpartum Support International Maternal Mental Health Certificate Training for Mental Health and Clinical Professionals
Postpartum Support International
2020 Mom Ambassador
National Association of Social Workers