Updated: Aug 20, 2022
We have all heard the stories of the very first moment when you see your newborn baby. We don’t see gooey things that cover them but their little crunched-up face feeling the world for the first time. At that moment, everything feels magical, the world around you disappears and all you can feel after a long, laborious, and painful day is the immense love that you have for this baby. Don’t get me wrong, fathers, even though they didn’t push out a melon between their legs, also feel this feeling. So the question is, is this real or is it our imagination?
Moms all around the world will tell you that that moment is 100% real. There is no denying it. It’s an experience that really only mothers can understand. So far, science has made one thing clear: the way to develop a healthy human brain from infancy is through bonding. Indirectly, this means that moment is not magic, in fact, it is the start of the healthy development of your newborn and mothers only want the best for their children. In fact, according to an article published in 2017 about the perception of distress between mothers and their children, it is an innate biological wiring that parents are empathetic to the needs of their offspring almost as if the needs were happening to the self(Lee, Qu, & H Telzer, 2017). Not only are mothers hardwired to meet the needs of their children, but the bonding during early childhood helps the emotional, social, and cognitive development of the infants allowing them to fight off diseases and build more resilience.
In essence, it is magical and miraculous that we are so perfectly hardwired to ensure the survival and thriving of our children.
Not every system is going to function perfectly 100% of the time. As human beings, we experience different challenges throughout our lives that may affect our well-being and the well-being of those around us. For this reason, I would like to take special notice of women that are suffering from post-partum depression.
Every mother will experience the natural anxiety, fear, and possibly even the baby blues which come with mood swings. This tends to happen to most moms for the first few weeks, especially since they are losing sleep. However, postpartum can be so much more intense and last much longer than the “baby blues”. Symptoms of postpartum include but are not limited to:
Difficulty bonding with your baby
Withdrawing from family and friends
Changes in appetite
Fear and guilt of not being able to take care of your baby
As we mentioned earlier, being able to bond with your baby actually helps their health and emotional well-being. For a mother with postpartum that is struggling with this bond, this can be very triggering since the bond is so fragile or emotionally draining. Please know that you are not alone. A chemical imbalance in your brain does not make you a terrible mother. There is no reason to carry shame when seeking help. It is absolutely not your fault and there are many resources available to help, including medication and therapy. The sooner you seek help the sooner you will be able to bond and enjoy the early days of motherhood that everyone cherishes even when they’re sleep-deprived.
As a therapist, my mission is to create a safe, nonjudgmental space for my clients to explore within themselves, learn, and grow in the process.
Stress, anxiety, depression, life changes, ADD/ADHD, eating disorders, neurological disorders, emotional disorders, career counseling.