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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!!!!

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Nov 12, 2018

How is perinatal loss handled in the Orthodox Jewish community, or in any other faith-based culture? Today’s show takes a deep dive into a new perspective as my guest shares how she offers faith-based support and understanding of perinatal loss in a unique culture of rich traditions.

Dvora Entin, LCSW, developed and directs JFCS Ma’oz in Philadelphia, a unique initiative to engage the Orthodox community on mental health issues. With specialized training in maternal mental health and perinatal death, Dvora moderates the Pregnancy Loss phone support calls for K’nafayim and for Yesh Tikvah Yeesh on infertility. In 2017, her BLOOM program to engage the Orthodox Jewish community on Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders won the Perinatal Mental Health Society Innovation Award. Dvora provides private sessions for supportive counseling and consultation and presents nationally about perinatal loss and compassionate bereavement. She resides in Philadelphia with her husband, Isaac, and their children. 


Show Highlights:


  • How stigma and shame play a role in perinatal loss and seeking support in a culture and religion with a very long history
  • What orthodox Judaism is
  • The need for a niche approach with mental health, one that is specific and tailored to the needs of the community
  • Dvora’s work as an emotional doula and mental health counselor with 50-100 women monthly from the US and other countries
  • Why mental health is not openly talked about, especially in light of the tendency to help “arrange” marriages 
  • The community’s approach to loss and bereavement with the 7-day Shiva
  • Why there is no ritualistic tradition for any loss of a baby who hasn’t lived 30 days
  • How families are given a meaningful space for grief
  • The orthodox community is in tune with mental health, and wants to increase awareness, as long as it doesn’t conflict with religious law
  • Why some women wonder what they’ve done “wrong” to encounter a perinatal loss
  • Why they question their grief and the strength of their faith, wondering if their faith is not strong enough, since they are grieving
  • The stigma around having only 3-4 children, when the norm is many more than that
  • The deeply driven core identity of motherhood for the Orthodox Jewish woman
  • The norm: marry young, have children quickly, and have many overall; if they don’t, then something MUST be wrong
  • In Dvora’s work, she sees the transition from an anonymous phone support space to an in-person space
  • Why early losses are isolating because pregnancy isn’t announced until the 2nd trimester, so women have to act like “everything is fine” if they suffer an early loss
  • The blend of faith and American Jewish heritage
  • The struggle with faith questions and shame
  • Why support is available for men, but it’s difficult to engage them
  • The challenges for husbands to support their wives when there are strict rules about physical contact when a woman is bleeding
  • The challenges in communication skills with a very young couple who now must deal with the intricacies of a multi-layered loss
  • The goal is to more deeply understand the impact of perinatal grief on a woman, her husband, their children, family, and community
  • How Dvora helps them find the pathway to OK and allows them to ask the questions
  • The challenges of different kinds of losses and disenfranchised grief
  • The deep hole that occurs after making the decision to terminate a life-threatening pregnancy
  • Why there is room for growth in any faith community and how remembering their pain helps bring connection