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Jessica Zucker, Ph.D.
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Dr. Jessica Zucker is a Los Angeles based clinical psychologist. She specializes in women’s reproductive and maternal mental health. Informed by her extensive international public health work, Dr. Zucker speaks and consults globally on projects related to women’s health and the motherhood continuum. She has contributed to The New York Times, Modern Loss, PBS, and Every Mother Counts. Jessica has been featured on NPR. Dr. Zucker earned advanced degrees from Harvard University and New York University. Find her at and follow her on Twitter @DrZucker.

Entries by Jessica Zucker, Ph.D.

Stretch Marks of the Soul

(0) Comments | Posted September 30, 2014 | 5:37 PM

OK, OK. We all know how it goes. We want our bodies "back" after giving birth. That's a fair desire. Why would we want to remain a larger version of ourselves once the baby has emerged? It makes all the sense in the world to want to get back into...

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I Was Pregnant for Over a Year

(1) Comments | Posted February 9, 2014 | 5:11 PM

In my clinical practice as a psychologist, I specialized in women's reproductive and maternal mental health long before being pregnant for over a year.

Getting pregnant with my son was easy. The subsequent months of his development were filled with surprising enjoyment, international travel, and wild anticipation of who...

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The Skin You're In: 4 Notes on Pregnancy and Postpartum Body Image

(7) Comments | Posted September 19, 2013 | 11:32 AM

Pregnancy stimulates a wide range of feelings about the body. Even a seemingly sturdy pre-partum body image can be ravaged by the subtle and permanent changes that often accompany the process of becoming a mother. Our culture, especially among certain social classes, makes no secret of how very important it...

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5 Ways to Revolutionize How We Think About Pregnancy Loss

(3) Comments | Posted September 10, 2013 | 12:12 PM

There is no one "right" way to feel after experiencing pregnancy loss. The trauma continuum is vast and varied. Every woman comes to this loss with differing maternal hopes, historical disappointments, pregnancy fantasies, relationships with their bodies, interpersonal support, psychological and spiritual resources and mental health landscapes. However, in my...

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Part 2: In the Minds of Mothers: How Mental Health Impacts Mothers Worldwide

(5) Comments | Posted October 23, 2012 | 11:05 AM

Part two of a two-part Q&A between Christy Turlington Burns and Dr. Jessica Zucker about motherhood and mental health around the world. To read part one, click here.

CTB: We often talk about the upside of the global maternal mortality tragedy as being the fact that pregnancy and...

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In the Minds of Mothers: How Mental Health Impacts Mothers Worldwide

(9) Comments | Posted October 23, 2012 | 10:55 AM

Part One of a two-part Q&A

Ever since I experienced a childbirth complication, after delivering my daughter in 2003, I have been a global maternal health advocate. The focus of No Woman, No Cry, the documentary film I made in 2010 and Every Mother Counts, the...

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PBS's 'This Emotional Life': Postpartum Depression

(50) Comments | Posted August 3, 2010 | 8:00 AM

"Am I ever going to want to hold and nurture my baby?"

"Do these feelings mean that I'm a bad mother?"

Paradoxical emotions amalgamate as motherhood emerges. The convergence of biological changes, a shifting identity, and a lifestyle metamorphosis galvanizes a spectrum of previously foreign feelings. It's customary to traverse...

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PBS's 'This Emotional Life': The Politics of Postpartum Bodies

(13) Comments | Posted July 29, 2010 | 8:00 AM

A close friend of mine from graduate school was in town over the weekend, someone I hadn't seen since I was mid-way through my pregnancy. As we briskly walked toward each other, arms outstretched, brimming with wild enthusiasm about our long overdue rendezvous, Amalia blurts out from across the toddler...

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PBS's 'This Emotional Life:' Connecting With Baby Before Birth

(11) Comments | Posted June 10, 2010 | 1:29 PM

Ubiquitous prenatal gadgets tempt pregnant women at every turn as the market is saturated with ever-changing options for mommy, daddy and baby. Stroller technology alone is enough to baffle the mind -- maybe next year we'll see an organic, Tempur-Pedic option for some ungodly amount of money that recycles used...

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PBS's 'This Emotional Life': Maternal Self-Esteem

(0) Comments | Posted June 3, 2010 | 3:10 PM

Body change is shrouded in fear. Iconic female bodies are tiny, toned, tight, and most definitely without the permanence of stretch marks. Pregnancy creates a cultural conundrum. On the one hand, culture secretly (though not so quietly sometimes) mandates that women work their hardest to look as though their bodies...

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PBS's 'This Emotional Life': Parenting Begins Long Before Baby Arrives

(2) Comments | Posted May 9, 2010 | 8:00 AM

In our wildest fantasies we rarely imagine feeling anything other than pure unadulterated joy upon meeting our babies for the first time. Unfiltered expectations and blissful daydreams often accompany pregnancy and the process of preparing for motherhood. On the precipice of one of life's most profound journeys, women are hopeful...

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PBS's This Emotional Life: Prepartum Healthcare Can Impact Postpartum Mood Disorders

(1) Comments | Posted March 5, 2010 | 9:27 AM

Perinatal mood disorders have been called the most common complication associated with childbirth. Mood struggles during the postpartum period run rampant but are consistently quieted by our culture's focus on the overly idealized "glowing" new mother. Though many women gracefully transition into mothering, many others feel they are riding an...

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PBS' 'This Emotional Life': The Building Blocks Of Connection, Part 2

(0) Comments | Posted February 24, 2010 | 2:19 PM

Q: How do the earliest moments between infant and caregiver impact future relationships?

A: Healthy development and attachment security flourish when resonant, competent, attuned, loving, and consistent parental behaviors mark the initial months of a baby's life. Babies bask in a comforting balance between connection and exploration as a direct...

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PBS' 'This Emotional Life': The Building Blocks Of Connection, Part 1

(2) Comments | Posted February 17, 2010 | 2:21 PM

Connection is created, navigated, broken, and repaired almost daily from the moment we are born. At the heart of being alive lies the vitality of being connected to others -- feeling that what we do matters. What's more is that we rely on being deeply understood by those around us...

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