Transitions in Motherhood

& Other Resources From Holly Kelley, LMFT

Transitions in Motherhood | Potentia Therapy

The fact that you’re worried about being a good mom means you’re probably already a really good mom! – Holly Kelley, LMFT

Honoring Transitions

No matter what transition you’re going through in life, it’s important to honor it and be present with how it impacts your life, emotional well-being, relationships and physical and spiritual health.

One of our therapists, Holly Kelley, who specializes in perinatal mental health, shares with us some of her go-to resources when it comes to transitions.

Keep on reading to find out what you really need to be preparing for during the 4th trimester in pregnancy, why you should be embracing emotional discomfort and what book she recommends for adult children who have parents going through dementia.

Holly Kelley’s Three Resources for Those Going Through Transitions

1.  This blog post that covers the very real things you have to prepare for during the 4th trimester. Many women prepare for the birthing process like it’s their job during the final weeks of pregnancy. What many women don’t realize is that the 4th trimester (which occurs after birth), is just as important to plan for.

In many ways, not only is a baby born, but a mother is also born that needs to be cared for and tended to, just like the baby.

Dr. Christine Sterling, an Ob/Gyn, offers some honest, straight forward information that women should be aware of as they are transitioning from pregnancy to motherhood, including how their bodies are changing and what they should be aware of related to BabyBlues vs. Postpartum Mood and Anxiety disorders.

2.  This article that discusses what John Gottman and Brené Brown have to say about running headlong into heartbreak.

As a society in general, we’re not typically prepared to embrace emotional discomfort. Most of us are taught to run from or shut down, a relationship that causes us pain.

While there certainly are unhealthy/unsafe relationships which running from is appropriate, how many relationships might be safer and stronger if we were willing to run towards heartbreak in our relationships and risking being vulnerable with our partner?

Kerry Lusignan offers insight and compelling reasons on why it might be worth running towards heartbreak in our relationship rather than away from it.

3.  This book, titled “The Tide” by Clare Helen Welsh that tells a story about families, laughter, and how we can help a loved one with dementia live well.

As older adults in children’s lives begin to experience memory impairment, it can be challenging for children to understand why they are no longer remembered or why things feel so different with a loved one.

This lovely book offers a window into a little girl’s experience of this transition with her grandfather in easy to understand language and beautiful illustrations.

Need some more support for your perinatal mental health? Click here to sign up for our upcoming Rooted in Motherhood workshop!

To learn more about Holly Kelley, click here.

To download Potentia’s journal prompts for those going through transitions, click here.

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Transitions in Sports Nutrition

Relative Energy Deficiency in Sport (RED-S) and What Every Athlete (& Their Loved Ones) Needs To Know About Changes To The Female Athlete Triad

 Transitions in Sports Nutrition | Potentia Therapy

The Female Athlete Triad (FAT), coined in 1992 by the American College of Sports Medicine, described the intersection of and relationship between disordered eating, irregular menses and osteoporosis (bone less), and is a phenomenon very commonly seen in athletes. 

Since 1992, new evidence has emerged, suggesting that this is not merely a triad of symptoms, as inadequate nutrition influences countless aspects of our physical and emotional health. 

Further, FAT excluded men, despite the fact that male athletes also suffer from disordered eating, and the subsequent effects on health and performance. This prompted the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to develop a broader framework, Relative Energy Deficiency in Sport (RED-S).

RED-S is defined as “impaired physiological function including, but not limited to, metabolic rate, menstrual function, bone health, immunity, protein synthesis, cardiovascular health”, all of which are driven by inadequate calorie intake/nutrition.  

The undernutrition then results in a cascade of dysfunctional issues with hormone regulation, mood/cognition and metabolic fitness, to name just a few. This may ‘show up’ in the athlete as a cardiovascular problem, frequent infections or illnesses, anemias, fatigue, depression, lack of menses, premature bone loss or physical injury. 

Contrary to popular belief, undernutrition does not only suppress estrogen in females in terms of hormonal dysfunction…..affected hormones include leptin, grehlin, cortisol, growth hormone and insulin (and many others).  

As a clinician who often sees this in practice across the gender spectrum, I’m thrilled that we now have a more comprehensive term to describe the dangers of restricted intake, especially in athletes, for whom adequate nutrition is vital for performance, injury prevention and overall health/quality of life. 

I tend to see this most in female runners and dancers, and in male runners and cyclists, though this is prevalent across all sports. It requires a concerted effort to fuel properly for activity, and timing and attention to macronutrients, adequate calorie intake and hydration are absolutely crucial concepts for athletes to understand. 

It is not always enough just to eat ‘normal meals’ or to mimic what peers are eating, as the needs of each athlete are unique and can vary considerably. 

My hope for the future is that uniform screening tools are developed and adopted by athletic programs that allow us to identify these struggles early on (before irreparable damage is done, via injury or bone loss, for example). This would require a multidisciplinary effort (dietitians, therapists and physicians specializing in disordered eating and sports nutrition/athletics), and an openness to collaboration with local athletic departments and family members. 

We are fortunate in San Diego in that many of our local university athletic departments are very proactive around collaborating with us in order to best help these individuals return to a state of optimal functioning. It truly takes a village to properly support our hard working and beloved athletes!

At Potentia, we acknowledge how important it is for an athlete to be able to return to their sport, and our collective hope is for them to do so in a way that is safe and sustainable.

Consequences of RED-S (note the limited nature and reach of Female Athlete Triad as depicted). *Psychological consequences can either precede RED-S or be the result of RED-S. Adapted from Constantini.

Consequences of RED-S | Potentia Therapy

Effects of RED-S on Athletic Performance (Adapted from Constantini)

Effects of RED-S on Athletic Performance | Potentia Therapy

Reference: 

Mountjoy M, Sundgot-Borgen J, Burke L, et al. The IOC consensus statement: beyond the Female Athlete Triad—Relative Energy Deficiency in Sport (RED-S). British Journal of Sports Medicine 2014;48:491-497.

To learn more about Dr. Megan Holt-Hellner, click here.

To learn more about how Potentia could help you with food + body issues, click here.

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