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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

Sep 30, 2019

Today’s show is another moving, personal story of the journey from pain to healing, and all that happens in the middle. My guest tells the story of how cultural challenges added yet another layer of complexity to her postpartum depression and anxiety experience.

Esmeralda Cardenas is a bilingual Licensed Professional Counselor in San Antonio, Texas. She is the owner and provider at Pillars of Life Counseling. Besides being a mental health provider, Esmeralda is a wife and mother of two sons, ages 6 and 8, with both pregnancies bringing her postpartum depression and anxiety. After working with children in different settings for many years, Esmeralda became an advocate and provider for parents experiencing perinatal mood and anxiety disorders. She realized that she needed to own her story and overcome the many fears that came with it. Taking this step has allowed Esmeralda to serve moms and dads in her community with an effort to decrease stigma and help parents know that they are not alone.

Show Highlights:

  • The issues Esmeralda faced as an undocumented immigrant from Veracruz, Mexico
  • Her first pregnancy, with no complications until the C-section delivery
  • How Esmeralda was triggered with anxiety, pressure, and judgment from others because of the cultural stigma attached to not having a “natural birth”
  • The symptoms of anxiety and depression, along with the guilt and shame
  • How the pressures of new motherhood and a therapy practice led to Esmeralda’s struggles with rage and intrusive thoughts
  • Why Esmeralda was terrified to let anyone know how she really felt
  • How she finally shared with her husband what was really going on with her
  • With her second pregnancy, two years later, she was much more anxious, but going back to work helped with the depression
  • How the feelings piled up on Esmeralda
  • How Esmeralda dug deeper into grace in owning and sharing her story---and redefined herself
  • The challenges of being a working mom AND a stay-at-home mom
  • Esmeralda’s advice for other moms
  • The evolution we go through to become a happier parent in a better place
  • Why there is hope for everyone, and no mom is ever as alone as she might feel


Pillars Of Life Counseling

Instagram: polcounseling

Facebook: Pillars of Life Counseling