97: OB & Midwife Aviva Romm on PPD, Thyroid Problems, & MTHFR

97: OB & Midwife Aviva Romm on PPD, Thyroid Problems, & MTHFR

00:00 / 01:02:58

OB & Midwife Aviva Romm on PPD, Thyroid Problems, & MTHFR

You all know how I feel about birth and midwifery, and Aviva is both a Yale-trained MD specializing in Obstetrics and a midwife and herbalist.

Talk about the best of both worlds!

Beyond her amazing credentials, Aviva Romm cares deeply about the health of women, including their mental health. In this episode, she shares practical ways to address problems like postpartum depression, thyroid and adrenal problems, and even how to manage MTHFR.

She’s just an incredible resource and I can’t wait to dive into some of these topics with her.

Hormones and Mental Health

With a busy obstetrics practice, Aviva is no stranger to the health issues women face. Depression is on the rise (more on that below) and too many moms find themselves struggling with post-baby blues or even postpartum depression.

But why?

Aviva explains exactly why in her most recent book The Adrenal Thyroid Revolution, tackling topics like chronic disease, inflammation, weight gain, food cravings, hormone imbalance, and the impact of stress, diet, and environmental toxins on health.

She wrote the book in response to some genuinely scary statistics:

  • 1 in 2 people have chronic illness (and the primary underlying cause of chronic illness is inflammation!)
  • 30% of all depression is caused by inflammation
  • Up to 20% of new moms have thyroid disorders
  • 15% or more of new moms have an undetected thyroid condition

I’ve captured as much of Aviva’s practical and detailed advice as I can in the resources below, but you’ll want to listen so you don’t miss a word!

In This Episode You’ll Learn

  • Aviva’s fascinating life story, including her beginnings as a child prodigy
  • all about how the postpartum thyroid functions, and how to recognize if things are abnormal (despite what your doctor might tell you)
  • risk factors that might make you more predisposed to depression
  • warning signs of postpartum depression (PPD), and how to recognize them
  • why having PPD once doesn’t mean you’ll get it again
  • practical, concrete things you can do to lower your risk for depression
  • tips for putting a support team in place for postpartum
  • TPO: what it is and why moms worried about PPD should get it tested during pregnancy
  • strategies for sorting through postpartum thoughts and emotions
  • Dr. Romm’s protocol for MTHFR genetic mutation
  • why removing gluten and dairy can help prevent PPD
  • what studies show about magnesium and omega-3 supplementation
  • a powerful antidote to depression that doesn’t require a doctor and doesn’t cost a dime!
  • clearing up the controversy about St. John’s Wort and depression
  • and more!

Resources We Mention


Book: Aviva Romm, The Adrenal Thyroid Revolution: A Proven 4-Week Program to Rescue Your Metabolism, Hormones, Mind & Mood (2017)

What New Moms Need to Know About Thyroid Problems

Depression in Pregnancy: 10 Things You Can Try Instead of Medication

MTHFR: What the Bleep Is It?

Aviva’s Recommendations for PPD Prevention

Methylfolate – take during pregnancy (800 micrograms)

Vitamin B12 and fish oils – 1200 micrograms a day

Vitamin D3 – 2000 IU a day

Prenatals (postpartum too)

A light box (for any kind of depression) 20 mins each morning (or sunshine!)

SAm-E – 400 milligrams 1-2x a day (not for bipolar depressive or postpartum psychosis)



St. John’s Wort

Lavender EO



Siberian ginseng

Maca (not for pregnancy but great for postpartum)

Selenium for thyroid support (200 micrograms daily)

Eliminate inflammation-causing foods like gluten and dairy

Do you fear PPD or a thyroid condition? Did these tips help? What questions would you ask Dr. Romm?

Special Thanks to Today’s Sponsors

Today’s podcast is brought to you by Four Sigmatic. If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve probably seen me mention them before. I have been using and loving and Instagramming their products for years. They have an amazing instant mushroom coffee.

I know it sounds weird, but hear me out! It’s not only the best instant coffee I’ve ever tried, it’s also pretty high up on the list of best coffee I’ve tried, period! It’s made with superfood mushrooms like Lion’s Mane, Cordyceps, and Chaga mushrooms. And these mushrooms have some big health benefits, plus give you energy and mental clarity without the jitters from traditional coffee.

If you aren’t a caffeine person, they also have a variety of mushroom teas and other caffeine-free products. I love them so much that I reached out and they agreed to give a discount to my listeners. So, go to foursigmatic.com/wellnessmama and use the code “WellnessMama” to get 10% off.

This episode is sponsored by Kettle and Fire Bone Broth. If you love the benefits of bone broth but don’t love the time it takes to make and how tough it can be to find quality bones to make it, Kettle and Fire is for you! Their bone broth is a regular staple in my kitchen these days, and it was what I used to create the recipes in my new bone broth e-book (releasing later this year).

So they use only bones from 100% grass-fed pasture raised cattle that are never given hormones and antibiotics. It’s also unique because they focus on bones that are especially high in collagen, which is one of the healthiest things you can put in your body. You can find them in many Whole Foods on the west coast and you can also order online at Kettleandfire.com/mama.


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Reader Interactions

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Reader Comments

  1. An excellent interview. Thankyou so much for such valuable information. When you know the options it’s not so daunting. Post natal depression can be helped in so many easily accessible ways. Fabulous.

  2. I really enjoyed listening, even though I did not have typical postpartum depression. I actually got a type of postpartum bipolar disorder – I was so excited she mentioned it because it doesn’t seem to be well known at all!! Anyway I was able to fix my situation naturally (and with a lot of faith both in God and the ability of the body and mind to themselves) but it took a long time, I’m a little concerned about trying for baby #2 because I don’t want it to come back (even though parts of it were really just sublime), I’d love if you could ever get someone on here to talk about postpartum bipolar, especially from a natural/holistic angle. Love your blog!

  3. What a wealth of information!!! I just sat down and listened to this with a 4-year-old, 2-year-old and 3-month-old here with me… it’s such important information. THANK YOU, Katie, for making this accessible to moms everywhere! You are truly changing lives.

  4. My postpartum mood disorder manifested as hypomania (the “lesser” form of mania) as well as a rare condition called hypergraphia, which is nonstop writing. Because I seemed elated, my hypomania wasn’t detected. That was just the beginning of my story. Thank goodness there is much more awareness of perinatal mood and anxiety disorders than there was in 2007, and I’m very hopeful for the future that it will continue to improve for all new parents.

    I enjoyed listening to this podcast during my walk and love how inspiring the podcast medium is. Thank you, Wellness Mama!!!!

  5. Oh my, Aviva Romm, what a beautiful soul. Her kind voice and compassionate words are so soothing for someone struggling somewhat with these issues. This is such an informative podcast – I’ve listened to it twice to absorb it all. And that she brushes aside opportunities for self promotion and publicising her new book only proves how dedicated she is to helping the cause. Wonderful woman – as are you Katie for all you do xx

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