PROTECTING OUR CHILDREN FROM THE NEGATIVE IMPACT OF PPD.

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This past weekend I attended the 2nd annual Postpartum Progress Warrior Mom Conference in Atlanta and it was beyond amazing! I know I will have so much more to share about all the things I learned, but today I really wanted to focus on what I feel is one of the most helpful tools for new mothers who are currently struggling and that is, PROTECTING OUR CHILDREN FROM THE NEGATIVE IMPACT OF PPD.

The conference opened with a keynote presentation titled “Successful Peer Support” with Dr. Nicole Letourneau from the University of Calgary. Dr. Letourneau has spent the last 20 years researching the maternal/infant relationship as well as the key role of social support as a strong treatment for PMAD’S. She was the speaker I was most looking forward to hearing at the conference and she did not disappoint!

During her presentation, she discussed the fact that even though it is very difficult to connect with our babies and be fully present during this challenging time, that children are still very much protected if we as mothers, and other care providers for that matter, can create strong and consistant “Serve and Return” interactions with the child.

Unfamiliar with the basics behind this concept? Below is a great video to walk you through titled “In Brief: The Science of Neglect” from the Centre on the Developing Child at Harvard University

For me, this was a MAJOR guilt trigger when I struggled. The thought that my baby would be “harmed” only added to my stress level. I’m just going out on a limb here but I’m sure some of you can relate?

Now knowing that all the times I’d coo, play peek a boo, make eye contact, even though I could barely make it through the day,  was actually helping to protect my girl and encourage normal brain development, brings such a huge relief that I had to share it with all of you. The “Fake It Till You Make It” idea is actually helpful in this situation.

This may sound like a very normal concept, but when viewed through the lens of postpartum depression and anxiety, it’s very important that moms know there is a tangible way to help their baby while they regain their health. To the moms who are struggling now, it might not be a perfect day, but I hope this small bit of information here can help you learn that the little things matter and you are doing a great job!

Here’s a quick link for tips on how to build a strong and secure relationship with your child you may find helpful. https://www.verywell.com/ways-to-build-attachment-with-baby-289733

Postpartum Depression is a family issue and above all, is TEMPORARY and TREATABLE!

Postpartum Progress was a site I happen to stumble upon in the heat of my PPD. Now, just over three years later, I am proud to be working alongside this strong team as a 3 time Climb Out Of The Darkness® Team Leader, and official Warrior Mom® Ambassador doing as much outreach and education as possible in my community.

If you need help figuring out where to start in terms of a “treatment” plan, please head over to Postpartum Progress and check out the FREE tools available, connect with your local health nurse and ask about the new Maternal Wellness Program that has recently launched via the Health Line, screening and support tools throughout the province at Maternal Mental Health Sask or by all means, email me directly at sara@familyfirstdoulas.com and I’d be glad to help!

Postpartum Depression is the #1 MOST common birth complication to date and not only do you deserve to feel better, but you don’t have to figure it all out alone…

Sara