If mama ain’t happy…

16 Oct

There’s an old saying, “If mama ain’t happy, ain’t no one happy.” Recent research shows this is true: children with depressed mothers do not meet developmental milestones and are at risk of suffering attachment disorders.

The best thing you can do for yourself, your relationships, and your child is to get out into the world. Explore new places and bring your baby to your favorite coffee shop or library branch. Integrate this new person into your life and stay connected with your world.

Isolation is a major risk factor for depression. In most cultures, multiple generations live together and extended family shares in child rearing. Children are seen, heard, valued and integrated into all aspects of life.  This is good for developing baby’s immune system and helps spread the responsibility for socialization across society. Parents and babies receive input about how to get along with the rest of the community.

This type of support also helps reduce the risk of postpartum and post adoption depression.

Many things can trigger and/or worsen depression, and there are many ways to cope with this debilitating condition. If you or someone you know suffers from depression, seek professional help. Talk to your primary care provider about counseling, medication, and other ways to feel better–for your sake and for the well-being of your entire family.

Resources for new parents after the jump…

First Weeks, Next Months, Crawlers & Cruisers, and Toddler groups: drop in groups at Birth and Beyond, suggested donation $10. Facilitated by Ann Keppler.

Postpartum Support International 1-888-404-7763 (PPMD) Many groups, call or check the website.

Listening Mothers also offered through Wellspring Family Services

Bring your baby to this eight-week group class and nurture one of the most important relationships you will ever have.

Program for Early Parent Support (PEPS) Home based groups.

Parent Trust has a variety of workshops & resources.

Adoption-specific resources:

Local pediatric clinic specializing in adopted children: http://www.adoptmed.org/
Excellent piece in NYT about pot-adoption depression
The research, published in this month’s Western Journal of Nursing Research, found that the depression experienced by adoptive parents often stemmed from unmet or unrealistic expectations of the parenting experience. One reason is that during the adoption process, prospective parents go to great lengths to prove they will be fit parents. After the adoption, some struggle with the fact that they aren’t the “superparents” they promised to be, Dr. Foli said.
Other great information:

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