Archive for the ‘Baby’ Category

Attachment Theory and Good Enough Parenting

Attachment theory is a complex, broad theory that encompasses human, primate and mammalian behavior. It’s a biologically based relationship defined and strengthened (either positively or negatively) by the quality and quantity of social interactions with the baby’s immediate family and social environment.

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DBT Skills for the Fourth Trimester

 

DBT for Managing Emotions for New Moms 

Taking care of a newborn is all encompassing. It is exhausting. And it’s natural to want to give our all to our baby.

How can a new mom maintain emotional balance?  It would be insulting to give a simple answer to this complicated and nuanced question. 

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Breast-feeding Moms: Yummy Mocha Coconut Coffee Recipe

Directions

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ACOG Recognizes the Fourth Trimester

In May of 2018, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) expanded the definition of postpartum care of mom and baby and embraced the inclusive concept of the “fourth trimester.”   For decades, American mom-baby advocacy groups have used the fourth trimester as a way to conceptualize newborn care in the first three months.  And now ACOG validates and identifies this conceptualization of the fourth trimester as a sensitive period of development for both mom and baby.

Since the 1950’s, the mom-baby advocacy groups, such as La Leche League, conceptualized newborn parenting in the fourth trimester as informed by the human evolutionary scale. They normalize baby’s crying by framing it as a signal to be picked up and comforted by his or her caregivers. La Leche League says that it’s normal to provide comfort for a newborn baby by way of nursing, carrying and co-sleeping. All these behaviors imitate the womb environment of warmth, movement and lots of touch. La Leche League normalizes that a baby’s crying is his or her way of communicating with and connecting with their loved ones, and is not a form of manipulation. La Leche League says “It’s normal to ‘Pick the baby up!’ ” Using the construct of the fourth trimester, La Leche League is a positive community intervention for education about and parenting the newborn.

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Postpartum Depression, Shame and Stigma

Postpartum Depression, Shame and Stigma

Clara just had a baby. But she was not feeling very…well, happy. Yes, she felt overpowering love for her new baby. But she also felt irritable, depressed, nauseous and she was crying alot.  Even worse, she started having nightmares. Scary nightmares that she dared not talk to anyone else about. They were, well, just plain disturbing. They centered around things that she imagined could just happen to her baby that were outside of her control.  She was trying to hide behind a veil of smiles and perky laughter.

Clara felt very scared  and very, very, ashamed of herself. She wondered why she wasn’t happy. She didn’t want to admit she was  depressed. After all, she couldn’t possibly have a mental illness! Weren’t people who are depressed kind of crazy and lazy? What couldn’t she talk herself out of this?

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5 Mindbody Ways to take care of mental health during pregnancy

5 MindBody Ways to Care for Mental Health During Pregnancy

Be mindful of your mental health during pregnancy.  For many women, pregnancy is the most joyous times of their lives, but for some women it can be a time of increased anxiety and depression. If you have certain risk factors, such as a personal or family history of trauma, depression, anxiety or bipolar disease, you have an increased chance of  becoming depressed, anxious or having a manic episode in your perinatal time.

Stress during and after pregnancy increases the likelihood of depression or anxiety.  Mindfully taking care of yourself is just as important as your doctor visits and decorating the nursery!

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Hire a postpartum doula to help in the fourth trimester

Hire a postpartum doula to help in the fourth trimester 

 

What is a postpartum doula?  A postpartum doula is a woman hired to “mother the mother” after childbirth. Sometimes postpartum doulas say they are “grandmothers for hire!”  Usually a postpartum doula is an experienced mother herself, so she knows what type of help is needed during the babymoon. The postpartum doula fills multiple roles in emotional support, babycare, and helps with light household chores. But, a postpartum doula doesn’t provide medical advice or assistance.  

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Part One: Recovering from birth trauma

Part One: Recovering from birth trauma

 

 

Betty was feeling very down, anxious and disconnected. She had given birth to her third child just twelve weeks ago! Her new baby was a joy. He was beautiful and perfect. And so much work as well!  Betty had never missed sleep so much in her life! He was her second baby, her first son. She thought she should feel very happy.  But she just felt empty. There was so much work to do, so much laundry and so much responsibility!  She was crying often and felt distant from her family: her baby,  her other child  and her husband.

She felt happiness sometimes, but often felt removed from her life, like she was standing outside her body.  Her husband researched some therapists she could try to see close to her home. At the urging of her husband and her mother, she called three and settled on someone who was trained in perinatal mood disorders and trauma therapies.

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How much stress in pregnancy is too much?

Good question – how much stress in pregnancy is too much?

Like many things in life, the question of how stress affects a woman’s pregnancy does not have a simple answer. Because each individual has her own emotional and physical tolerance for stress, exactly how much stress is a causative factor for depression and anxiety is not known.

Plus, there are different types of stress. There is chronic stress, major negative life events and everyday stress.

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Facing the reality of postpartum depression

Postpartum depression changed my life.

I let my postpartum depression go untreated for a long time after I gave birth and I shouldn’t have done that, I suffered needlessly and caused my husband to suffer needlessly. I did go to a therapist, who very kindly referred me to a female psychiatrist (over and over again!).But, I refused to go see this psychiatrist, as I was nursing my son. My nursing times with him were the best times of the day, it was soothing to relax, sit down, and just feel the love between us! And I did not want to expose him to any form of medication through my breastmilk, especially not daily antidepressants!

Back then, 17 years ago, there wasn’t much perer-reviewed research literature published regarding the risks and safety of different psychotropic medications for use during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Now,  you can easily access accurate, succinct, and professional consumer information about pregnancy, breastfeeding and psychotropic medications on the Mother to Baby website , which is a website run by teratogen specialists. There is a mountain of information, plus free, live counseling with a teratogen specialist,  that can help you make an informed decision with your doctor.

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