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Welcome to the Mom & Mind Podcast!

This podcast focuses on the Maternal Mental Health struggles related to becoming pregnant, being pregnant, birth and early parenthood. We talk about all of the stuff that you wish someone would have told you BEFORE you tried to be pregnant or have a baby. Postpartum depression is only part of the story.

The goal of this podcast to put all of this info out in the open. There’s no need to hide these very human experiences…so many people deal with these struggles. So, the podcast provides real life stories of moms, dads and family AND we will talk with experts, leaders and advocates in the field of maternal mental health and maternal health. You deserve to be informed!!!!

For more information and resources, go to www.momandmind.com

Sep 2, 2019

Today’s show is an interesting look into how postpartum issues were dealt with, or not dealt with, in the past. We are looking from the perspective of a daughter who has been on a quest to discover the truth about her birth, her unusual childhood, and her mother’s illness.

Nyna Giles is the author of The Bridesmaid’s Daughter, a deeply personal memoir about family, mental health, and revisiting the past. We’ll hear her perspective about growing up with a mother who had mental illness, and how she now knows that her mother had untreated postpartum psychosis. Back then, there was not much knowledge or support for mothers going through any perinatal crisis. We get to hear from Nyna’s perspective what it was like to grow up in that environment and what she reflected on as an adult that she shares through writing The Bridesmaid’s Daughter. Nyna is the youngest daughter of Carolyn Scott Reybold, a Ford model best known as one of Grace Kelly’s bridesmaids. Nyna has worked with leading media organizations and is the COO of Giles Communications. She’s an advocate for the mentally ill, traveling the globe to share her story, revealing the challenges brought on by her mother’s untreated mental illness and her own lost childhood and education. Nyna is a board member of NAMI Westchester and serves on the NAMI New York State Legislative Committee. She is also a volunteer with Postpartum Resource Center of NY. She lives in Westchester with her husband and has three children and three stepchildren.

Show Highlights:

  • How the book tells the story of Nyna’s mother’s untreated mental illness
  • A summary of her mother’s glamorous life as a successful model in the 1940’s and 1950’s and best friend to Grace Kelly
  • How her mother married, built a dream house on Long Island, and gave up her career to become a full-time mother to Nyna’s two older sisters
  • How Nyna’s birth was traumatic because she was almost 11 lbs.! Her mother had to have her third C-section and a hysterectomy
  • How Nyna’s father had an affair while she was an infant, and her mother had no family close by and no support
  • Why Nyna had a lack of formal education, no friendships, and was trapped with her mother in a cycle of dysfunction
  • The only diagnosis her mother ever received was paranoid schizophrenia in her 50’s
  • How the change was evident in Nyna’s mom in pictures before and after Nyna’s birth
  • As a child, Nyna never felt connected to or safe with her mom---even though she was with her all the time
  • Nyna’s social anxiety as a teenager, and why she left home at age 14
  • Why mental illness was a topic that no one talked about back then
  • Now Nyna’s father started staying away from home because he didn’t want to deal with his wife and her mental illness
  • How Nyna’s mom gave away all her money and became homeless
  • Why Nyna has to balance and limit the pain she feels from the past
  • Nyna’s transition to motherhood with her three children
  • Why Nyna felt compelled to get her school records
  • What Nyna learned through her discovery in understanding her birth and what really happened to her mother
  • The revelation Nyna learned about the sexual abuse of her mother by her stepfather
  • How we can each help with mental health by engaging in real conversations

Resources Mentioned:

Find out more about the book and Nyna:  The Bridesmaid's Daughter

Facebook: Nyna Giles Author

Twitter: Nyna Giles

Instagram: Nyna Giles Author