November 18, 2020

How to Overcome Mom Guilt, Martyr-Mode, and Perfectionism with Dr. Pooja Lakshmin, MD

Why do so many mothers suffer from mom guilt, martyr-mode, and perfectionism?

In this episode of Yoga | Birth | Babies, I speak with board-certified psychiatrist and founder of Gemma (the first digital education platform dedicated exclusively to women’s mental health) Dr. Pooja Lakshmin, MD, about the pressure many mothers feel to fulfill unrealistic expectations put on them by themselves and society. Dr. Lakshmin offers solid take aways to break the habits and mentality of mom guilt, martyr-mode, and perfectionism as well as learning to say no and set boundaries. This conversation can help break the strain and stress often felt by new mothers allowing for an easier transition into parenthood.

What we discuss:

  • Learn about Dr. Lakshmin and what drew her towards perinatal psychiatry. 
  • Defining the “Triple Threat”: Mom Guilt, Martyr-mode, and Perfectionism.
  • Where the idea of Mom Perfectionism stems from.
  • Why mom guilt so prevalent in our culture and how we break this strain and stress on mothers.
  • Did past generations feel the same pressures as mothers today? What has changed and caused these new pressures? 
  • Why the mental load is so heavy for parents, particularly mothers.
  •  How to restructure families to lessen the mental burden.
  • Ways to break the habit and mentality of mom guilt, martyr-mode and perfectionism.
  • Learning to set boundaries and say no.
  • A final tip/piece of advice Dr. Lakshmin has for new and expectant parents.
  • Where to find Dr. Lakshmin’s work

About Dr. Lakshmin:

Dr. Pooja Lakshmin, MD is a board-certified psychiatrist and writer specializing in women’s mental health and perinatal psychiatry and a frequent contributor to The New York Times Parenting section. She is a clinical assistant professor of psychiatry at the George Washington University School of Medicine, where she is a clinical supervisor in the Five Trimesters perinatal psychiatry clinic. Dr. Lakshmin maintains a private practice in Washington DC, where she applies an integrative approach to taking care of women suffering from maternal mental health conditions. She is active in advocacy work and community building through online platforms, including her Instagram account @womensmentalhealthdoc, and her company Gemma, the first ever digital education platform dedicated exclusively to women’s mental health featuring the online course Unloading the Triple Threat: How to Overcome Mom Guilt, Martyr-Mode, and Perfectionism. Dr. Lakshmin is most passionate about empowering women and sees her clinical work as a perinatal psychiatrist as an extension of this mission. Her writing appears in The New York Times, and her advice has been featured in Glamour, Marie Claire, Self, Harper’s Bazaar, Bustle and various other media outlets. She is working on a book about the tyranny of self-care.


Connect with Pooja:

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