Welcome to the Healthy Happy Mami podcast! This show is for women at all stages of the motherhood journey: from preconception, pregnancy, postpartum, and beyond!
Each week, we’ll be exploring topics related to women’s health. We’ll be chatting to some of our good friends (who are also experts in their field) about how to experience a happier, healthier mamihood.
- Why is Dr. Carrasco so interested in the pregnancy and motherhood space?
- Dr. Maren’s fertility journey
001: Why We Created Hey Mami TRANSCRIPT
Dr. Maren: Welcome to The Healthy Happy Mommy Podcast. Our mission is to help women achieve a healthier and happier mommyhood. This podcast is for women in all stages of mommyhood: preconception, pregnancy, postpartum, and beyond. We are your hosts, Dr. Christine Maren and Dr. Alex Carrasco.
Dr. Carrasco: I’m so excited for this long-awaited first- [crosstalk 00:00:21].
Dr. Maren: I know.
Dr. Carrasco: … podcast.
Dr. Maren: Long-awaited. We’ve been talking about recording ourselves talking on the phone for a long time.
Dr. Carrasco: I know. I remember, I think, even being pregnant, and talking about, “Wow, it’d be kind of interesting if we recorded our conversations and shared with the world. There’s a lot of good nuggets in here.”
Dr. Maren: Yeah, for sure, and it’s fun to see how it’s evolved in the last year. We’ve been planning this for a good year, but busy with babies and family and medical practices.
Dr. Carrasco: That’s right. That’s right.
Dr. Maren: I’m super excited we can collaborate on this.
Dr. Carrasco: Finally. Happy to be here. [crosstalk 00:00:53].
Dr. Maren: So excited for all of our awesome guests, too. This is just going to be really fun.
Dr. Carrasco: Yeah, definitely a dream come true.
Dr. Maren: Yeah. So tell me … I want our audience to know a little bit about your background and why you’re so interested in this kind of preconception and pregnancy and motherhood space.
Dr. Carrasco: Well, so I, like you, am a functional medicine physician and trained in family medicine. Board-certified. And took a long road to find functional medicine when my health fell apart, and I think that’s a really common story for a lot of functional medicine doctors who are practicing. So luckily, I was able to conceive very easily. I was a resident with my first child when I got pregnant, and I had a pretty rough last trimester, where I developed preeclampsia. Had to go on bed rest and ended up having an induction. Had a postpartum hemorrhage. Had to have a blood transfusion. I had a transfusion reaction. Had all sorts of really kind of scary, traumatic things happen during that birth.
Luckily, I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl, but what was shocking to me was that even though I was a physician, a resident delivering babies while I was having my own baby, because part of family medicine training requires that we deliver hundreds of babies. I was just shocked when I reflected upon this outcome. What could I have done differently? What could I have done better? And what did I just kind of blow off and ignore or not dig deep into, given my interest in integrative medicine and functional medicine?
So that kind of set me off on a journey for trying to optimize any other pregnancies that I was going to have in the future. And I have two more children. And then also for people and for patients, rather than saying, “Well, here are some bad outcomes or some challenging outcomes; there’s really nothing we can do about it. So tough luck.” So that’s kind of why I became very passionate about preconception health. And then supporting a woman through pregnancy and the postpartum experience. What can you do, beyond just kind of suck it up and suffer? And then how do you support moms?
So I think living it personally has really been the game-changer for me. And then how can I help other women maybe not have the same challenges that I had? And I think that’s when, Christine, you and I really started talking about motherhood and the functional medicine wellness aspect that’s overlooked.
So why don’t you share your pregnancy journey or your fertility journey with the audience? And then we can share how this all evolved.
Dr. Maren: We are soul sisters in so many ways, because our stories are so similar, which kind of brought us together. So like you, I did my board certification in family medicine, but knew, going into family medicine, I had a very holistic upbringing. And I came from Boulder, and I knew I wanted to do something more holistic, but it really took my health sort of falling apart to find functional medicine.
So my initial pregnancy, I was also a resident, and that is when I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes, which was really an out-of-the-blue sort of thing. I had zero risk factors that I knew of, at the time. I was eating gluten, which now I know I totally shouldn’t have been, but at the time, I think that that was probably the thing that pushed a lot of inflammation. But I was otherwise eating what I thought was a very healthy diet.
So that was a challenge, and that sent me down the road to really looking and diving into holistic nutrition and really intense interest on blood sugar and hormones and that sort of thing. But it wasn’t until we tried for our second, when we had recurrent pregnancy loss. That was really devastating, and also was just the thing that kind of uncovered everything, because I knew there was something wrong. I could tell there was something wrong with my body. Things weren’t functioning right. I had skin stuff and thyroid stuff, and I just knew there was something deeper.
And so I took the deep dive into functional medicine, and my professional and personal life changed forever because of that, and so I’m really grateful. But subsequently had a child, but lots of complications with platelets and hemorrhage and all the things. Luckily, had a healthy baby boy, and then kind of got my health back and was feeling really good. And then had a surprise third. So I always tell my patients, “When your health returns, so will your fertility.” And so I think that’s a really important message. [crosstalk 00:06:02].
Dr. Carrasco: I remember.
Dr. Maren: I know. You do remember very well, because you’re the first person, I think, that really knew, besides my husband. So I think you’re the first person I called. So yeah, it’s been a crazy journey for both of us, and I’m excited we can help other women walk through this, hopefully in a more educated and empowered way.
Dr. Carrasco: Yeah, with so much more ease. And I think, really, the backstory is that we basically both were pregnant with our third child at the same time. I was due a few months before you. My son was born in January; your daughter was born in April. But we talked a lot during our pregnancy about aches and pains and what we were dealing with and how we were feeling.
And then postpartum, I just remember being like, “Whoa, this is my third kid, and I just don’t remember things being this hard.” And I guess it gets compounded with each child that you have, because by that time, I had two kids that I was taking care of, and my practice, and life. But I just remember being like, “Man, what are these after-pains? I don’t remember learning about that in med school, or even talking to patients about that when we would deliver them.”
Or just deep-diving into the postpartum healing. That’s really one of the things that I think we would talk about. I’d be like, “Hey, I’m trying to research this one piece on how to postpartum recover better, but there’s nothing online, and there’s really not a lot of good info, and no one’s really talking about these things.” And we were like, “We need to just make it better.”
Dr. Maren: Yes, and I’m smiling and sort of laughing, because you know when you really remember this thing that happened? So I remember I was going to the hospital, and you’re like, “Bring a heating pad. The after-pains are going to suck with your third.” And that heating pad was my saving grace. And honestly, nobody ever told me to bring that. I don’t know. Nobody ever told me to pack the heating pad, but that was the thing that saved me. And I was just lying in bed with my heating pad, like, “Thanks, Alex. Thank you, thank you.” So thanks for that warning.
Dr. Carrasco: Yeah, I remember going home and having these terrible contractions, and everyone, Danny and my kids, being like, “What is wrong with you?” I’m like, “I don’t know. I feel like I’m still in labor.”
Dr. Maren: Yeah, they’re intense. Yeah, totally, yep. So I’m super excited. We get to record our next podcast soon, and for all of you listening, just tag along. It’s going to be a really good journey. We’re going to have a lot of awesome guests. We’re really blessed to have some amazing, smart, brilliant friends in this space, and we’re excited to introduce you all to them and pick their brains.
Dr. Carrasco: Yeah, and I think that if you guys have any questions at all, topics of interest, please let us know, because of course, we have our list, but there might be things that we haven’t thought of that we could answer. Just to make this whole mommyhood experience just a better … Like Christine said, more empowered and just easier and supported experience.
Dr. Maren: Absolutely. All right, well, stay tuned.
Dr. Carrasco: Yeah.
Dr. Maren: We’ll see you next time.