Maternal Mental Health

JillianDowling/ March 6, 2019

When we think of becoming parents for the first time we think about the love and beauty of bringing a new child into the world. Our children are such a blessing and we spend 9 months preparing for the most special time of our lives.

Unfortunately, we don’t always plan for when it doesn’t work out that way.

The physical pain, the emotional strain, and the mental drain can be so overwhelming at times that it can feel like it will never get better.

Most often this is just a bit of the “baby blues”. For many women, however, they may be dealing with more serious postpartum depression, anxiety or postpartum psychosis.

Over the last 7 years, I have spent most of my time learning about sleep. Learning about infant and toddler sleep, child sleep, adolescent sleep, and adult sleep.

I want to be able to support my clients the best I can and be on top of the latest information, research and sleep products.

I realized last year that a big part of my job as a sleep consultant is to support the parents of the children I work with. More specifically, moms.

New moms have a complex list of changes they are going through. Physically, mentally and emotionally they have become a new person.

Sleep deprivation is only a small part of what new moms are challenged with and I love that I am able to help them become well-rested. I was feeling, however, that I was missing something in the way I was supporting new moms and new parents.

Sleep is connected to every process of our bodies. It affects everything we do. It affects our mental health in ways we are just starting to understand.

Learning about postpartum depression and anxiety, as well as more serious mental health issues associated with being a new mother, has given me a better understanding of what they are going through and how I can support and help.

In 2018 I completed the Maternal Mental Health Professional Certificate Training so I can understand the families I work with and have the best tools to help them.

We understand now that 1 in 7 new mothers are affected by postpartum depression and anxiety. With over 385 000 babies born each year in Canada, there is definitely a need to help new moms find the resources to keep themselves healthy both physically and mentally.

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