The Wellness Pod

A journey into mindfulness, wellness, reproductive & maternal mental health with Dr. Shari-ann James
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The Wellness Pod







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Nov 27, 2022

On this episode of the Wellness Pod, I chat with Stephanie Mair, a specialist perinatal mental health midwife based in Scotland. We talk about her journey into this field and the importance of midwifery in maternal mental health. You can follow Stephanie on Twitter at @mwstephmair

For further resources, please visit

Mar 22, 2022

On this episode of the Wellness Pod, I chat with Dr. Meyleen Velasquez, a licensed clinical social worker. We talk about infant attachment and infant mental health. 

To learn more about Dr. Velasquez, please visit

For more info about Dr. Shari-ann James, and resources for maternal mental health, please visit

Aug 12, 2021

On this episode of the Wellness Pod, I chat with Dr. Erin King-Mullins, a Colorectal surgeon in Atlanta who created the blog Corona Mamas after delivering her first child in February 2020, and experiencing the isolation of shelter-in-place due to COVID-19.

Jun 19, 2021

On this episode of the Wellness Pod, I chat with Regina Townsend, infertility awareness advocate and the founder of The Broken Brown Egg. Regina works tirelessly to provide women and families with the resources and tools to navigate their journeys through infertility and towards parenthood, especially in under-served and under-represented minority communities.

For more info on Regina and the Broken Brown Egg, visit

May 31, 2021

Welcome back to the Wellness Pod! It's been a while since we've uploaded any interviews, but we're back with a great guest.

On this episode of the Wellness Pod, I talk to Paola Sur, and author, journalist, and blogger. We talk about her new book, "The Anxious Mom Manifesto". You can learn more about Paola and her new book at the urls:


For more info about the Wellness Pod and maternal mental health, visit Perinatal Wellness and Psychological Services:


May 9, 2020

Hey everyone,

In this episode, I chat with actor/director/film-maker Taromi Lourdes from Trinidad & Tobago, my home country! Taromi wrote, directed and stared in the film "Hush-a-Bye", a story about postpartum depression. We talk about her motivations for making this great film and shedding light on the postpartum depression.





Jun 18, 2019

On this episode, I speak with Jennifer Summerfeldt. Jennifer holds an MA in counselling psychology and is a Certified Canadian Counsellor with over 17 years of experience in maternal health and psychology studies. Located in Edmonton, Canada, she uses her expertise and voice to help advance the dialogue on motherhood and healing. Her deep desire is to inspire women and mothers to discover lasting peace in their hearts.

For more info on Jennifer, visit her website at

Oct 22, 2018

In this episode, I talk to Dr. Kendra Flores-Carter, the CEO of Caribbean Moms Network. Dr. Flores-Carter is a Prof. of Social Work and a researcher in the social and behavioral science field. She is an expert in maternal mental health and has dedicated her career to bringing awareness to issues affecting women and children.

Caribbean Moms Network
California Baptist University
Postpartum Support International
Emilia Ortega-Jara
Corazon Counseling
Inland Empire Maternal Mental Health Collaborative
San Bernardino County Mental Health
Oct 1, 2018

In this episode, I talk with Helen Adrienne. She is the author of On Fertile Ground: Healing Infertility. Helen is a licensed clinical social worker in general private practice since 1979, with a speciality in infertility. She uses her training in mind/body therapy and clinical hypnosis to provide powerful stress reduction strategies to individuals and couples.

You can learn more about Helen and her work at


You can also pick up her book on Amazon at

Aug 2, 2018

Hey everyone, in this episode I had a lively chat with Dyane Harwood, the author of "Birth of a New Brain. Healing from Postpartum Bipolar Disorder".

Birth of a New Brain, is a gripping account of the awful juxtaposition of childbirth and the onset of bipolar illness. Check out her book and other resources in the links below.



Forest Bathing Link:"Pine Soul" - a great and brief article that explains
how amazing walking in the woods is for holistic health.

International Bipolar Foundation: "Campfire" Online Support Groups:

The Inspiration Behind  Founding "Campfire " -this blog post interesting &
was written by a young man with bipolar disorder for the Intl. Bipolar

My Postpartum Bipolar/Postpartum Psychosis Webinar for the Intl. Bipolar

Dr. Mohammad Alsuwaidan's "Exercise and Mood: From Science to Action"

Dyane's Blog "Birth of a New Brain" — although I'm taking a hiatus from
blogging, it's still active and has 440 posts about a variety of topics.

Dyane's book on Amazon:

Dyane's email:

May 15, 2018

In this episode, I chat with Lisa Tremayne. She is the founder and director for the Center for Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders at Monmouth Medical Center in NJ. This Center is one of the few mother/baby programs for PMADs in the United States. Lisa also started the Bloom Foundation as a response to the extraordinary lack of maternal mental health resources, support and treatment available to pregnant and new moms. As a survivor of postpartum anxiety and OCD after the birth of her triplets and then fourth child, Lisa is dedicated to using her voice to decrease the stigma surrounding postpartum anxiety and depression.


New mom mental health checklist:


Center for Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders at Monmouth Medical Center:


The Bloom Foundation:

May 2, 2018

In this episode, I had a lovely chat with Anna Gannon. Anna is a mom, the Community Guide and Editorial Lead at Expectful, a Writer and a Yoga & Meditation Guide. Her work has been featured on The Huffington Post, MindBodyGreen, Yoga Today and The Expectful Blog. Anna is passionate about the importance of the mind, body, and sometimes baby connection.

You can find Anna at:

Mar 4, 2018

In this episode, I chat with Lauren DePaola who is the co-founder of the Florida Maternal Mental Health Collaborative. We talk about the great work being done in the state of Florida to bring awareness to maternal mental health. Lauren is also the founder of the Alachua County Perinatal Mental Health Coalition, and the FL chapter liaison for Postpartum Support International. Lauren is a licensed clinical social worker (LCSW) with a private practice in Gainesville, Florida.


Lauren's private practice:

Florida Maternal Mental Health Collaborative:

Alachua County Perinatal Mental Health Coalition:

Dec 12, 2017

In this episode, I chat to Aurélie Athan, Ph.D. Aurélie is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist and member of the faculty in the Department of Clinical Psychology at Teachers College, Columbia University, my Alma Mater. Aurélie is a co-founder of the Sexuality, Women, & Gender Project with its first graduate-level training certificate in Reproductive & Maternal Well-being. Her scholarly interests center on women’s development across the lifespan, with a current emphasis on the transition to motherhood, or matrescence. She researches the psychosocial risk and resilience factors of women who become mothers and has presented her findings in numerous conferences and journals. Her hope is to contribute to the creation of an educated workforce able to address the much-needed and complex questions arising from the changing procreative lives of 21st century women and families locally and globally.

Oct 2, 2017

On this special episode of the Wellness Pod, I am joined by my five year old daughter Maya. Maya is an energetic and full of life kindergartener, who had much to say on her podcast debut about school and home life.

Aug 31, 2017

On this episode, I chat with Andrea Schneider, MSW, LCSW. Andrea is a licensed clinical social worker in private practice in San Dimas, CA.
She specializes in maternal wellness, narcissistic abuse recovery,
special needs parenting, and grief/loss. She is also a co-coordinator for Postpartum Support International in her state of CA, and provides volunteer phone support and resources for women and families
experiencing perinatal/postpartum mood challenges.

Andrea also has experience in helping children and families
deal with loss and trauma issues and she integrates art
intervention in her treatment with both children and adults. She is credentialed in Trauma-Informed Expressive Arts


Additional Resources:

Aug 1, 2017

On this episode, I talk to Maureen Fura, the writer and director of the very important film, "Dark Side of the Full Moon".

"Dark Side of the Full Moon delves into the unseen world of maternal mental health in the U.S. It will uncover the disconnect within the medical community to effectively screen, refer, and treat the 1.3 million mothers affected each year, giving a face and voice to the countless women who have suffered in silence." -

Maureen shares her experiences with perinatal mood disorder, that eventually led her to become an advocate for maternal mental health, and to make her groundbreaking documentary.

Jul 1, 2017

On this episode, we turn our attention to infertility and how it relates to aspects of womanhood and maternal mental health. I interview Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Amber Rukaj. Amber specializes in the treatment of perinatal mood disorders, infertility, and reproductive psychology. She was instrumental in the integration of mental health programs in OB/Gyn, Reproductive Endocrinology, and Infertility clinics at the Univ. of CA, San Diego. For more info on Amber and her practice, visit

Jun 14, 2017

On this episode, I chat to Paige Bellenbaum LMSW. She is the program director of the brand new Motherhood Center of New York. They provide supportive services for new and expecting moms, including a range of treatment options for women suffering from perinatal mood and anxiety disorders (PMADs).

For more than 20 years, Paige has been committed to social work and focuses her efforts on direct service to have a micro impact, and on public policy to have a macro impact. Paige shares her personal story with me, one that many women can identify with, and how that story has led her to the important work she does today.

For more info on the Motherhood Center of New York, visit

May 29, 2017

In this episode, I interview Dr. Amanda Bouque, a board certified Acupuncture Physician in the state of Florida. We talk about her journey into Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine, and her special interest in women's health including infertility, pre and postnatal care.

You can find out more about Traditional Chinese Medicine at

Dr. Bouque also recommends the following resource for integrative medicine


For further resources on Perinatal Wellness and Psychological Services, visit


Apr 26, 2017

In this episode, I interview Dr. Susan Liipfert Shelton, nurse educator and researcher. She is interested in the well-being of mothers as they transition from pregnancy and birth to motherhood. She is a coordinator for the Tallahassee chapter of Postpartum Support International (PSI). She is also an Assistant Professor of Nursing at Florida State University, where her research focuses on exercise and other non-pharmacological interventions for Postpartum depression symptoms.


Postpartum Support International (PSI),


For further resources, visit

Apr 4, 2017

In this episode, I interview Suzannah Neufeld, MFT, RYT. She is a psychotherapist and yoga therapist in Berkeley, CA. She specializes in supporting women’s mental health through evidence-based psychotherapy, mindfulness, and yoga. She is a co-founder of Rockridge Wellness Center in Oakland, where she has a private practice. She leads yoga therapy workshops for those recovering from eating disorders and body image struggles, and issues related to pregnancy/motherhood. Suzannah is currently working on a book on mindfulness in pregnancy and early motherhood for Parallax Press. Visit her website and learn more at


For further information and resources, visit

Mar 15, 2017

In this episode, I interview Dr. Wendy Davis. She is the Executive Director for Postpartum Support International (PSI), where she coordinates PSI services, programs, and 300 U.S. and International Support Volunteers. Wendy is the Founding Director of Baby Blues Connection, Oregon’s first perinatal mental health support organization, and now serves as their clinical advisor and volunteer training consultant.  She chaired Oregon's Maternal Mental Health Workgroup convened by legislation in 2009, and the subsequent committee that wrote Oregon’s Maternal Mental Health Patient and Provider Education Act in 2011. She is a founding member of the National Coalition for Maternal Mental Health, and consults to community, clinical, and public health systems. She is the mother of two children and a survivor of postpartum depression and anxiety. She is dedicated to improving public awareness and provider capacity to increase resources for pregnant, post-loss, and postpartum families.

For further info on PSI, visit

For additional resources, visit

Feb 17, 2017

On this episode, I interview Maria Fontanez, the founder of Aisha Neris Postpartum Depression Awareness foundation. Maria loss her daughter Aisha to postpartum depression, and is committed to increasing awareness of maternal mental health disorders. She shares her daughter's story, hoping it will help another family avoid this kind of loss.

You can find more information about Maria's foundation at:

For further resources on Postpartum depression and other maternal mental health disorders, visit

Feb 2, 2017

On this episode, I interview Allika S. Alce, IBCLC. She's a Board Certified Lactation Consultant, practicing in Orlando, FL. Allika shared her inspiring story as a young mother breastfeeding for the first time, and how the challenges she endured and her triumphs led her to become a lactation consultant and an advocate for breastfeeding.

Apart from her lactation consulting practice, Allika also runs a free breastfeeding support group, Lika's Leaking Ladies. You can find her support group on Facebook at


For further resources, visit

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