effects of post natal depression on the baby

I am just watching a program on ABC “Help Me Lover My Baby”.

Its about a mum with post natal depression. I thought post natal depression was only about the mum, and perhaps the dad trying to support the mum.

But this program shows how much the baby needs the mum’s appropriate interaction. The baby needs the smiles. The mum in the program was ill with post natal depression early on, so the baby looks away from her mum. And the mother has trouble comforting the baby. They said the baby is really good at picking up on emotion queues – the baby in the show looks about 6-9 months old.

This really scares and upsets me. As I am pretty my daughter’s mother had post natal depression. Iwas always the one that went and helped M at night. The mother’s only way to comfort M was breast feeding. M just wants smiles, and being held close, and physical comfort and safety. Breast feeding isn’t really an appropriate response.

I am even more upset thinking about how formative the first 2 years of a babies life is, and how much the mother restricted me seeing M, and how artificial the environment was. M really needed me in those first 2 years, and I wasn’t there for her. I am so sorry M, I know I can never make it up to you, I know I can probably never fix it for you. All I can do is really really focus on being a support for you, helping you develop a feeling of being safe and supported. The time I do have with you we really need to help you to bond better with me.

It was really important that I balance the time with the mother, to help support M and her development, her feeling of comfort and safety. Even more important if the mother wasn’t providing the right queues and emotional support.

M already shows some signs of being insecure, and unsure. One of the words she knows is scared. I have encouraged her to talk to me about when she is scared, so that is working well. But there is no real reason 2 year old should be able to know fear.

I’ll make sure you never see anger on my face, or in my voice.

I am going to make sure I protect you, both physically and emotionally.

They finished saying the relationship with her mum, will help her the baby lay down an emotional blueprint. I want to help M with that emotional blueprint. I simply need more than a fleeting hour of time with her twice a week.

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