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Guide Overview

Mental Health

Discover how vital a parent's mental health is in creating secure attachment with your child. The video addresses essential topics like managing postpartum depression, coping with the sensory overload of caregiving, and the necessity of seeking help when overwhelmed. With practical tips on self-care and managing mental well-being, this video is a lifeline for new parents.
July 26, 2023
Summary Notes
  • Your mental health is a crucial aspect of forming a secure attachment with your baby. It's challenging to be responsive and meet your child's needs if you're not doing well yourself.
  • Postpartum depression is a mental state induced by hormonal and lifestyle changes, resulting in feelings of being trapped, low, and lacking motivation.
  • Extreme cases can lead to postpartum psychosis, where you may hallucinate or lose a sense of who you are.
  • If you're experiencing postpartum depression or psychosis, reach out to a medical professional for help.
  • It's normal to feel a bit lost when becoming a parent, but it's important to seek help if you're consistently feeling lost, overwhelmed, or angry.
  • In a negative mental state, you might make different choices, possibly leading to extreme frustration or anger towards your baby or others.
  • Sensory stimulation from constant caregiving can lead to a sensory overload. It's important to take small breaks, use positive smells to help you relax, and use noise-reducing earplugs to help regulate your nervous system.
  • Always remind yourself that the challenging stages of parenting will pass. You're not designed to do this alone, so it's okay to ask for help.
  • Maintain a support system to help co-regulate with you, so you can effectively co-regulate with your child.
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One of the most crucial aspects of secure attachment with an infant or a baby is your own mental health. It can be challenging to be highly responsive, attuned, and meet the constant needs of your child when you're not okay yourself. Let's discuss postpartum depression. It's a mental state induced by hormonal changes and lifestyle shifts, like going from no kids to having one or more. Your brain chemistry is affected by the constant needs around you and sensory experiences. You might feel trapped, low, lacking motivation, or hopeless.

In extreme cases, this can manifest as postpartum psychosis, where you may hallucinate or lose a sense of who you are. This state is a result of hormonal, biochemical, and social changes. If you're experiencing this, reach out to your doctor or therapist. There are treatments and medications that can help. Conversations with others can also help reduce your sense of overwhelm.

It's important to assess if you still feel like yourself after having a baby. Feeling a bit lost when becoming a parent is normal, but it's different than feeling lost consistently. Postpartum depression can also show up as anger and rage, which could lead to reactive behavior towards your partner, baby, friends, or family. If you're feeling highly reactive, it's a good time to seek help.

When in a negative mental state, we often make different choices. You might feel overwhelmed by your baby's crying or constant needs, leading to frustration or, in severe cases, shaken baby syndrome. Always seek support when feeling overwhelmed, angry, consistently lost, trapped, or hopeless.

Another severe mental health issue to address is sensory stimulation. Caregiving involves constant touching, feeding, and being attentive, which can lead to a sensory overload. If you're feeling this way, you're not alone. Take small breaks when possible. Use positive smells in your environment that help you relax. Use noise-reducing earplugs to help regulate your nervous system.

Remind yourself that this stage will pass. Do the best you can based on your child's needs, your capacity, and the resources in your community. If you're feeling bad when your baby is born, or if it starts months later, it's okay to ask for help. Remember, you're not designed to do this alone. We're relational creatures, and you need people to help co-regulate with you so that you can co-regulate with your little person. I'm so glad you're here.