At Parents Connect we support the idea that the emotional wellbeing of parents carries significant long term benefits for every baby born.
The first relationship that a baby experiences is usually with his/her mother, although this may be with another primary carer, often followed closely by interaction with his/her father, siblings, grandparents.
How well these first relationships go can determine how an individual’s relationship with him/herself and subsequently, with others, develops.
The emotional circumstances surrounding the early days and months of a person’s life is therefore fundamental to shaping his/her future mental wellbeing.
Being pregnant, giving birth and becoming a mother or father is a major life transition, whether for the first or fifth time. While for some, the process may be relatively straightforward, for others, it can be distressing, confusing and traumatising. Sometimes, the first birth or parenting experience may mirror the mother or father’s own experience of being born or parented, which may or may not have gone well.
Parents who experience prenatal distress, traumatic birth or extreme breastfeeding challenges with a current baby, are more at risk of developing postnatal depression or postnatal PTSD. This may also be the case where a mother or father has experienced childhood trauma her/himself.
While the value of talking to family, friends or other new parents who have been through a similar experience should not be underestimated, having access to a professionally trained counsellor at this time can also make a difference. Talking therapy offers you a neutral space in which to tell your story without feeling judged, and supports you to begin to make sense of why you are feeling this way and to find your emotional balance again.
A supported mother and father means a supported baby. A baby who is more likely to grow up with a secure sense of self, to enjoy healthy relationships and to feel well resourced in his/her mental health.