The Gotcha Mama Podcast Episode 26 – My Postpartum OCD story with Larken Lech

Did you know that the intense postpartum mood swings commonly referred to as “the baby blues” are reportedly experienced by 80% of mothers (National Institute of Mental Health)? 80%!!

Okay, maybe you knew that already. But are you aware of the range and variety of postpartum mood disorders outside of “the baby blues”? Mothers can experience anything from postpartum depression, postpartum obsessive-compulsive disorder, postpartum post-traumatic stress disorder, postpartum bipolar disorder, and even postpartum psychosis.

I’d love to contribute to the conversation around the importance of maternal mental health and appropriate postpartum care for mothers. Sharing honest stories, without judgment can play a vital role in creating awareness around the issue.

And it can help to break down the negative stigma associated with mental health for mothers. So I’ve asked my guest Larken Lech to share her story of postpartum Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD).

Larken is a mama of two and a powerhouse COO for her digital strategy agency. She shares openly and transparently about the terrifying mental health challenges she experienced postpartum with her first child. And she walks us through her mental health journey since the birth of her daughter and then her son.

*Disclaimer: We talk about some things that may be triggering for you if you have in the past or currently suffer from depression or similar mental health challenges.

I do think it’s important to share these very real, although sometimes scary thoughts and emotions. Both to allow ourselves to get the help we need and also to help other moms who are experiencing similar issues. 

More about the guest

Larken has been in the digital space for over a decade. She’s lent her expertise to a variety of businesses, from solopreneurs to elite athletes to national brands, including CMT. And she’s served as a lead Digital Strategist for a Fortune 40 Company.

Her life experiences and her passions led her to build her own firm where she helps brands build a digital strategy based on revenue and results.  She is now the COO & head strategist behind Digitally Pretty.

In addition to running her business, Larken is a Boss-Mom leader for Nashville, the Event Chair for the Women in Digital organization, and a two-time Nashville Emerging Leaders Award (NELA) nominee.

She loves to share her knowledge and jumps at the chance to speak publicly. In her spare time, Larken enjoys spending time with her husband, two kids,  singing (bad) karaoke, and sampling whiskey.

Larken on Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/pretty_digital_/

Larken on Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/digitallypretty/

Links and resources

National Institute of Mental Health key terms and definitions about postpartum depression

Anxiety and Depression Association of America – Postpartum Disorders definitions. Includes other links with blog posts, articles, books, and websites for postpartum anxiety and depression.

“Postpartum Mood Disorders: What New Moms Need to Know” on the Johns Hopkins Medicine website

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

We talk about

  • How the birth of her daughter unexpectedly affected her mental health
  • The terrifying and intrusive thoughts she had postpartum with her daughter
  • How those thoughts took over her life and what she did about them
  • What happened at her lowest point
  • The responses she received after sharing her self-diagnosed postpartum OCD
  • When she finally stopped experiencing symptoms of OCD
  • And what she learned about herself through this difficult season

More about the Gotcha Mama Podcast:

The Gotcha Mama Podcast is where we share honest stories of the joys and struggles of mom-life with young kids.

Each week host Amanda Bennett interviews a mom about topics ranging from awkwardly making mom friends, to chasing BIG dreams and finding purpose, to managing crippling anxiety and depression. You’ll hear stories from moms like you with the purpose to inspire, encourage, and entertain you.

We understand that motherhood can be lonely and make you doubt yourself. The Gotcha Mama Podcast exists to let you know that you are not alone as a busy mom of young kiddos, no matter what you’re dealing with.

The show is all about tearing down our insecurities as moms by honestly sharing our stories and a little of what we’ve learned along the way.

We believe it’s a whole lot better riding the rollercoaster of motherhood together!

Please subscribe on Apple Podcasts. Also, please take a second and leave your honest rating and review on Apple Podcasts.  Ratings and reviews are important and greatly appreciated!  And I do personally read each and every one of them.

You can also listen on Stitcher, Spotify, or Google Podcasts.

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2 comments on “Episode 026 | My Postpartum OCD Story with Larken Lech

  1. Hello Amanda!

    My name is Dyane Harwood and I’m a perinatal mental health advocate and author. You and your podcast listeners are welcome to complimentary PDF copies of my book “Birth of a New Brain–Healing from Postpartum Bipolar Disorder.” I’m honored my book has received almost 80 five-star Amazon reviews.

    ”Birth of a New Brain” has been endorsed by Kay Redfield Jamison and by 20 other mental health luminaries such as Mark Lukach (author of the bestselling book “My Lovely Wife in the Psych Ward) and Wendy N. Davis, Executive Director of Postpartum Support International.

    Thank you for including postpartum bipolar disorder in your PMAD list💞
    If you’d like a PDF, please email [email protected]

    Thanks and take care!

    Dyane

    p.s. I love podcasts! I admire you so much for creating “Gotcha Mama.” I was thrilled to be on the The PsychCentral Show Podcast to discuss postpartum bipolar disorder.

    https://psychcentral.com/blog/tpcs-podcast-what-is-postpartum-bipolar-disorder/

    • Amanda Bennett Nov 24, 2019

      Thank you so much for your support of Gotcha Mama, Dyane! And thank you for what you do for moms!! What a great resource you’ve offered here. I’ll be in touch via email. All the best!

      Amanda