The “Courageous Conversations” series aims to reduce the stigma associated with topics related to perinatal mental health such as, pregnancy, infertility, loss, depression/anxiety/psychosis, parenting, and other related topics in the general public. The goal is to model and spark conversations that lead to the normalization of talking about tough topics with honesty and without shame. Maternal Mental Health NOW hopes to bring the stories of survivors and affected family members to light, believing that these personal narratives can be healing for the storyteller and the catalyst for individual and systemic change.

Our goal is to host a Courageous Conversation once per quarter throughout the year. The current 2021 series is focused on book talks with authors publishing works that address topics impacting mothers, birthing people and their families. These events will be marketed to the general public, those with lived experiences and their families. Our network of birth workers, clinicians and providers will be invited to learn from these experiences which grounds our work in empathy and vulnerability, and allows us to understand that the goal of even our most ambitious systemic efforts is in small and immeasurably impactful moments of human connection.

To participate or host future Courageous Conversations:
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Event Schedule

December 7, 2021 at 2 pm PST via Zoom

Courageous Conversation: Through My Eyes, A Journey to Healing

For our last conversation of the year we are presenting a candid discussion on the range of fears and challenges experienced by those on the journey of parenthood. These sometimes include scary thoughts and may at times progress to perinatal mental health disorders. Our dynamic panel will share their stories of what life looked like along their journey, as well as how they found support to address their fears and how they navigated perinatal mental health treatment and healing. This discussion is inspired by the book “Good Moms Have Scary Thoughts: A Healing Guide to the Secret Fears of New Mothers” by Karen Kleiman and Molly McIntrye.

Maternal Mental Health NOW | Courageous Conversations September 27 2021
September 27th at 12 pm PST via Zoom

Courageous Conversations: Pregnant with the Stars

Join author Renee Cramer, author of “Pregnant with the Stars” and “Birthing a Movement” for a discussion on the impact of Hollywood and celebrity pregnancies in the media on society and pregnant people. We are exploring topics such as the pressure to keep up with the stars (think gender reveals, expertly designed nurseries, looking beautiful during pregnancy, ect), “bouncing back” and the expectation to do so, and other ways we might be subconsciously (or consciously) influenced by the way Hollywood stars are put up as the “standard”.

She will be joined by the dynamic husband and wife team behind the Mid-drift Movement, Angie and Mike Sonrode who will be sharing about their project aimed at changing the conversation about postpartum body image.

We will also be hosting two of our dynamic storytellers, Kimberly Osuna and Karyn Chen who are both survivors of postpartum depression and perinatal mental health disorders. They will share from their personal experience.

Video recording password: ZG08$eEh

Event Recording
June 24th from 9:00 am to 10:30 am

Courageous Conversations: Motherhood and Madness

An intimate conversation with Catherine Cho, author of “Inferno: A Memoir of Motherhood and Madness” and Liz Song Mandell. Catherine is a postpartum psychosis survivor and Liz is a survivor of postpartum PTSD. They will discuss their journey through pregnancy, birth, PTSD and psychosis and finally healing and adding to their family. They will explore the role of culture and societal expectations along with the need for compassionate education, treatment and support.

Video recording password: %54S#I!G

Speaker Bios
Event Recording
April 20th from 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm

Courageous Conversations: “First Foods” and Race, Past, Present and Future

A panel conversation with Andrea Freeman, author of “Skimmed: Breastfeeding, Race and Injustice”, along with Adjoa Jones, Shamiesha Johnson and Jadah Parks Chatterjee. They will discuss the lasting legacy of racism and injustice on breastfeeding and public health as it applies to Black mothers, birthing people and families today. They will also explore advocacy and systemic changes needed to address inequity today and in the future.

Video recording password: bT3fy%vw

Speaker Bios
Event Recording

Please stay tuned for additional information and event dates for the 2021 Courageous Conversations series.


Stay up to date on upcoming trainings, events, advocacy activities, new perinatal mental health resources and opportunities to get involved.