Hello Selma, welcome to the podcast. I’m so thrilled to have you on the podcast today. How are you doing?

I am doing well. I’m thrilled to be here with you. It’s so exciting to speak continents away. Yeah, thank you for having me.

Now we’re going to be talking about baby mental health today, which is a fascinating topic. I can’t wait for us to dive in. But before we do, would you mind just introducing yourself to the listeners if you could please.

Absolutely, my name is Selma. I live in Florida, United States and I’m a psychotherapist who specialises in working with infants and toddlers who have been hurt through trauma in their early childhood. So whether it’s through abandonment, neglect or abuse that they’ve suffered through and then help them reconnect with their caregivers and heal whatever trauma they have gone through. So a lot of baby mental health topics come up for me in my work.

Let’s just rewind a little bit because I would imagine that when we say those terms, we say those words to people a lot of people will be like, “Hang on a minute, what do you mean baby mental health? They’re like brand new and shiny they haven’t had time to develop mental health problems?” So can you just explain a little bit more about baby mental health for those that don’t understand what that might be.

Absolutely. So whenever we hear the term psychotherapy or therapy or counseling in general, we think about a couch sitting on a couch and telling the stranger all about our problems and then waiting for advice to come back at us right? With baby mental health, or infant mental health, as it’s called in the professional world. It is not really like that babies don’t have the vocabulary to tell us what’s going on. So baby mental health is essentially ensuring that every single baby out there has the capacity to learn social and emotional skills in a safe, secure and well connected environment with a caregiver who is consistently present. And unfortunately, a lot of times that is not true for a lot of babies because moms and dads come with a lot of their own stuff that needs to be dealt with. Sometimes there is traumatic birth experiences. Sometimes there are perinatal mood disorders that affect a parent child relationship. So an aspect of it is to help moms and dads ensure that there is a safe space and a secure connection for their babies to thrive. And we call the early childhood years – so between birth and five years of age – prevention years. So what we want to really essentially do is prevent any mental health issues from affecting a baby down later in life and other sad, sad part truth is, we can be born with organic mental health issues, right? We can be born with depression with anxiety with with different things and we want to ensure that if we intervene early, give the baby and the parents obviously, skills to help the baby, and learn how to live with them or completely eliminate them from from their life. So they’re not struggling for the rest of their life.

There was so much and what you just said, I literally don’t know where to go next because I have so many questions. I mean, you’ve talked about what I just shared with you. Yeah, because you talked about perinatal mood disorders. You talked about the birth experience. You talked about mothers and parents stuff that needs to be processed. The place that I think I want to gravitate towards based on my own personal interest in because my work within the pregnancy and birth arena is the birth experience and how you feel that that is showing up in, you know, how does that show up in terms of baby’s mental health and and what can we do about that?

So when I think about and you’re probably more of an expert in the birth experience than I am, but when I think about the birth experience, I think about the pregnancy. And they think about the labor and delivery part. So some moms may not be ready to have a baby. The circumstances in which they got pregnant may not be safe and secure for them. They may be actually dangerous for them. And sometimes moms get pregnant by accident too, right? So there’s a disconnect emotional disconnect between what’s happening to their bodies, and what’s happening inside their minds. So a lot of times, for example, I’ll think of some examples where moms have come to see me in my practice. They’re trying to decide whether they should keep the baby or have a different plan for the pregnancy, whether that’s abortion or whether that is coming up with a plan for adoption, or whether they want to keep the baby and parent to baby themselves. So there’s a lot of turmoil there that that can affect the in-utero experience for the baby. If a mom is stressed, if a mom is experiencing a lot of adversity in her pregnancy, it’s going to raise the cortisol levels in her body, which then in turn affected the baby’s brain is developed, how their nervous system is developed. And then we fast forward – really fast forward – and I chuckle at that, because I’m 33 weeks pregnant. Come on 40 weeks, get here! We fast forward to the labor and delivery part and those experiences themselves can be very traumatic. We all want to have a birth plan, right how we envision our birth experience to be and then what I’ve learned from my previous pregnancy is that usually that’s not how it ends up working right. We have to meet the babies and sometimes moms experience very traumatic experiences there which in turn, can create perinatal mood disorders, which affect the relationship between the parent and child or the parent and baby. And essentially, when that’s affected, the mental health of a baby is is in grave danger. I guess I could say that way. Or it’s in grave danger of being affected itself. So when the birth experience is a safe and secure and supported one and it’s close to what we envision, then mom is able to bond and be there for the baby. But let’s say a experience goes from we have a plan to all of a sudden, we have an emergency c section, and we have to go to the NICU because the baby came early.

So for those that have that maybe have had a difficult birth experience, how do you? How do you know to… Like, what is it about what’s going on in the situation in the family that tells you that we need to look at baby’s mental health? Is that something that you’re observing and the baby? Is it with the parents? Like, how does that situation come about the you’re now looking at babies mental health?

It’s actually both. Usually when parents come into my practice, they’re the ones coming in with a concern saying, “Hey, we’re having a really hard time bonding with a baby the way we imagined because of the traumatic birth experience we had. were so worried…  We’re constantly in anxious or constantly worried that something’s going to go wrong with a baby. And we think that’s preventing us from having that secure bond and secure connection. And and we feel that it’s affecting their attachment toward us.” And then they’ll say, “You know, the baby’s very colicky cries throughout the night, we don’t know how to soothe to baby, their babies very stiff, they’re not you know, they’re having a lot of reflux.” So a lot of these things that are observable in normal infant behaviour, but multiplying it by like 10 to 20 on a larger scale, and they usually tell parents “Hey, if your intuition is telling you something is wrong, address that” because statistics have over and over show and again, that moms mental health is a direct link to her infants and babies mental health. So for moms mental health is telling her mom something is off something you know, you need to talk to someone or you need to get help. Because of feeling anxious all the time or feeling worried about things all the time, then this also translates into the baby’s psyche because mom is the primary caregiver. And the way she relates to the baby is going to be affected through her interaction with the baby based on her mental health needs.

So, when you talk about the the interaction between mother and baby, how much of that do you think could be happening when she’s carrying her baby? Like, how much do you think could be embedded in in utero when it comes to babies mental health?

A lot because our brain is probably is not probably, but it’s the first thing that starts developing in utero. And the first trimester is really where all of the connections in the brain start to form, but they’re getting ready to connect to a baby when it’s born. It’s born with all the necessary skills to survive.

We have to give it a safe and secure environment to start connecting all of these neurons and connections in the brain in order to learn a baby who has been affected by mom stress in utero, so if mom is going through other stress, let’s say she’s not happy with her partner, she is stressed at work. She is not receiving perinatal care or prenatal care. There are previously ongoing mental health issues like anxiety or depression that she’s dealing with. Sometimes moms who have gone through early childhood trauma themselves, you know, were absolutely fine and handling their symptoms and emotions until they got pregnant and realised, “Oh, I’m about to carry and, and and be responsible for another human being.”

So are you saying then that there is a direct link between mothers mental health babies?

Absolutely. Research has actually shown that mom’s mental health is directly linked to her infant mental health. Because she’s the primary caregiver. When the baby is in utero, obviously she’s the only caregiver at that point. And then after delivery, she’s the primary caregiver. And if mom is struggling with mental health needs and mental health issues or mental health problems, then these are going to be affecting her little ones. If they’re left untreated, many, many, many, many mom’s parents absolutely beautiful, with depression, with anxiety with trauma, but they’re they’re getting their stuff taken care of through psychotherapy, through doctors through medication through social supports, and they understand what their triggers are. So as long as moms are aware of these things, then they’re going to be more than fine. But if left untreated or if there’s a lot of things stigma surrounding mom’s mental health and she’s unsure how to get help or who to ask for help, or She’s embarrassed about it. Because let’s face it, mental health is still such a big stigma, right? It’s seen as a weakness, if we’re struggling with mental health issues, all of a sudden, we’re not good enough to be anything other than mothers who are raising wonderful children. But, you know, that’s absolutely such a big mess and so far from the truth.
It actually is a pretty big pet peeve of mine, you know, so, yes, to not to get back on track with your question. It’s absolutely a direct link. And mom should really rejoice and love that because no one else gets that amazing opportunity to be. That’s such a big influence on their little ones. Mental health. That is, that’s huge right? And if if we are taking care of
ourselves, then our babies are going to be more than Okay, you know and I say more than Okay, I mean, I don’t want to say perfect because there’s no such thing as perfect but they’re going to be more than okay.

So Selma. Tell me then, What do we need to do – when we deliver a baby, give birth to babies – to help them thrive emotionally and mentally? When should a woman start looking after a mental and emotional health?

Mind you, I am a therapist. So my, my answer is going to be a little bit biased here. But I think every single human being on this planet needs to check in on their mental health the same way they do on their physical health. And I always recommend everyone seeing a therapist once or twice a year even if we don’t think anything is going on. Definitely prior to getting pregnant, and then eventually when we do get pregnant, and I don’t know how it is over in your part of the world, but in my part of the world, mental health carries a big stigma. So when moms find out they’re pregnant, this literally happened to me now several times, but you go into your OBGYN office, and they do the tests and they confirm your pregnancy. And the nurse comes in with a little sheet that has two questions on it. That is supposed to screen you for depression. And the first question is, “have you been on interested or unhappy more than not in the last seven days?” And usually when a woman is in her first trimester, is not feeling so hot, right? What with hormonal changes and feeling tired, etc. So the answer to that question can vary. And then the second question is, “have you thought about hurting yourself or anyone else in the past seven days?”, depending on how your husband is treating you, or your partner is treating you during that time

That answer can vary as well. And that’s really as far as it gets with mental health screening here. And then moms who are struggling with perinatal mood disorders, or even moms who have struggled with mental health problems prior to getting pregnant, are all of a sudden being told you have to stop taking a medication. You have to stop doing the things that really helped you thrive and really helped you live a successful and very healthy lifestyle. You have to stop doing these things because it could affect a baby. And then we spiral into very, very different things. So, to answer that question, I think every single mom that is considering becoming a mom, and a mom who maybe by accident or surprise, became a mother, or or is in the process of becoming a mother should definitely seek a mental health provider who specialises in pregnancy and perinatal mood disorders, or baby mental health to ensure that she’s doing well for herself, because when she’s doing well for herself, her baby will be doing well.

It is so the bond that a mom has toward her baby is incredible. It’s nothing. There’s nothing else like it on on earth. And the hormones and the chemical changes in our brain that happened during pregnancy are phenomenal. And I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard and I can vouch this for myself. When moms become first time moms, where they tell you you know, I don’t remember who I was previously to having a baby. Not because I’m stressed or stressed or tired of being a mom or overworked which all moms get to that point. But it’s because the chemical changes and our brain change how we perceive the world. All of a sudden, two things that were not so important become very important. All of a sudden, two things that we didn’t think were so dangerous back then, all of a sudden become very dangerous, right? Because the way our brain changes, and sometimes the brain changes do occur. If we have underlying mental health needs or underlying mental health issues, they can really accelerate or exemplify or make different feelings become bigger than they actually are. And this in turn can affect the baby’s mental health. So, again, you’re speaking to a baby mental health clinician. But I really do think that every single human being needs mental could retain mental health care. And then when we get pregnant, why is it that we’re only checking how the baby’s growing and doing but not really asking how mama is feeling? doing, you know, and we go in, at least here in the States we going once a month for the first few months, and then it’s every other week. They’re out by the time you reach like 35 weeks, and not once Are you asked, “How are you doing? You know, what, how, how is this pregnancy affecting you and your life? Are you feeling happy? Are you feeling nervous? What is what is it that you’re feeling?” It’s in, don’t get me wrong, we should care about how the baby’s doing physically. But we should also care about their emotional mental health and taking care of that is by taking care of moms mental health.

So with all this focus on Mother’s mental health, so I can feel I can sense that mothers are really feeling the pressure. They feel like everything’s at their door. They’ve got to be the one that supports their health during pregnancy and now they’ve got to look after their mental health. What about partners in all this? How important is partner’s mental health, in the great picture of the family mental health, especially babies.

Very important. I mean, If the partner is causing distress for the mom, or if there are mental health is causing chaos and the relationship that needs to be addressed, mom in this in this state is in a really fragile state because she’s going through so many changes and we cannot put keep putting other stressors on mom. If a partner is struggling with mental health issues, if they’re struggling with stress, if they’re struggling with an array of things that are affecting how they’re treating their partner, how they’re treating the mother, how they’re relating to the pregnancy themselves, it needs to be addressed. So whatever I say for the mother also applies for the father or other applicable partner in this relationship, because they’re directly linked to the mother as well, right? So it all goes to say that mental health is extremely important, and not only can cause relationship issues and chaos and in their relationship, but it can lead to physical developments it can lead to physical illnesses to, that we really don’t want to be dealing with, especially during a very fragile time when we are growing another human being that’s eventually going to become a part of the world as a citizen. And we definitely want to ensure that this new human being has a base that is secure and stable that they can spring off of.

So earlier on, right right in the beginning, when we talk about mental health and babies mental health, you talked about how the, you know, just the pre existing mental health and emotional health of adults who becoming parents and how a lot of their own stuff, their own triggers, will play out and also almost get amplified once they become parents. And so actually a lot of the stuff that you and I asked, you know, how does it show up for you or how does it show in terms of observing the babies? Is it just because of their own stuff that’s showing up as adults? And actually, that’s what needs to be worked on. Yeah, other than baby directly. So talk to me a little bit more about that because I’m totally with you on this one where we just need to be looking after our own head trash and dealing with that before baby arrives so that we’re because babies kids are just going to push all our buttons. So the way I see is you want to get rid of as many of those buttons as before baby arrives. That’s my spin on it my perspective. So what’s yours?

So in the infant mental health world, we call those ghosts in the nursery, right? All of a sudden things that we could control because they affected only us are all of a sudden amplified, and we start thinking, “Oh, I can’t control this other person the way I can control me. So how do I protect them?” First, let me back off and say in the world that I live in and work in, I do not believe that there is any parent out there who sets out to be a bad parent. any parent out there who decides, ‘Today I am just going to do everything wrong and have my child hate me for the rest of their life”, right? Children don’t hate their parents. Babies see superheroes when they look at their moms, they see superheroes when they look at their other caregivers. So when mom’s stuff comes up for her, and we call those ghosts in the nursery in the infant mental health world, it’s really important to address them because we don’t learn how to parent from reading books. We don’t learn how to parent we make it influenced by certain things right that we read. But most of the time, the parent based on how we were parented.

It’s like riding a bike. You look how to ride a bike when you’re a kid, and then you may not ride it for several years, and then you decide in your early 30s, you want to be getting on the bike again, you sit on the bike, and you may struggle here and there to like, get control of it. But within a couple of minutes, you’re back to like, oh, I’ve never not driven them by, you know, in the last 15 years.

Same thing with parenting. We pull from the information we received from our own parents and how they parented us. And then we take two stances. We say, “I am not doing any of this terrible stuff my parents did to me, I’m going to do something completely different and opposite.” Or we say, “Hey, I really liked how my parents did this. I want to do better. I want to, you know, do better in these aspects”, and those are our angels in the nursery. So, unfortunately, most of us have ghosts in the nursery where we say “Remember how my mom made me feel when she did this? I remember how my dad made me feel when she did this when my grandparents made me feel when they did this.” And then we promised ourselves, you know, we are never ever, ever ever going to do this. And then we become parents. And then mom comes out, right? And you’re like, “Oh, my God! We’re like, Where is this coming from? How is she here? I said, I would never do this!”

And that’s because we didn’t address our own stuff. We didn’t become aware of it more than just saying, I don’t ever want to do that. When we’re not consistent in changing behaviors and changing our mindset. There’s not really much that’s going to change by by us just saying I will never ever do this. And even when we, when we come up with a plan, certain things will creep up on us. But at least then we have a plan to rely on and say okay, just came up for me. I can go talk to my therapist and figure out where this is coming from. Because I do not want this to affect my relationship with my little one. Whatever they do and just first five years of their life is going to permanently affect them for the rest of their life. It is entirely our job to create a safe and secure connection with the baby. So that’s when they’re teenagers and young adults. And you mentioned pushing buttons. They’re not really pushing buttons from from the perspective of babies mental health. They’re really just voicing what they’re seeing, right? Babies and toddlers and adolescence, teens and young adults. They don’t do what parents tell them to do. They do what they see their parents do. And when we become aware of our own misguided patterns and behaviors that are not so healthy, emotionally or physically or mentally, we can really make a big impact on how to be.  Babies mental health is going to be down the line. So if we invest ourselves in the first five years of a baby’s life, and we address our own mental health issues as the baggage or use you call the head trash, I love that. If parents addressed their head trash before pregnancy during pregnancy and throughout their parenting experience, then their children are going to learn different methods of taking care of themselves, different methods of parenting, and we can really change how we parent actively not passively through just saying, oh, I’ll never do that, that my mom and dad to me like I’ll never repeat that same mistake. Eventually that mistake will come up and how we come back from that mistake is what matters to a child.

It’s important to remember that parenting is 100% emotional experience. We respond to our little one’s needs, because it triggers an emotion inside of us. We want to protect, we want to make sure they’re okay. We want to, we love them, right? So we want to make sure that they’re given everything that we possibly can provide for them.

And without this emotional response, we would be like any other mammals out there, right? Turtles come and deliver their eggs in the beach and make sure that eggs are protected and safe and they go off. And then the little ones are off to figure out how to get back into the hot air and survive on their own right. If that were the case for human babies, many of us most of us, none of us would survive. So our brains are triggered to really read and respond to babies needs because our emotions are very closely associated to that.

So what I’m hearing there is actually if you want to work at being a good parent, if being a good parent is important to you, it’s not necessarily about buying the stack of parenting books. It’s about doing the emotional work.

So yeah, you do not pass on your head trash. Yes. you said that beautifully succinct. Yeah.

And that’s really interesting because I kind of feel that, you know, we often get distracted by wanting to read something. I see this a lot in the pregnancy and birth work that I do as well, where women are devouring all those pregnancy books. And actually, I think that if you work on the emotional stuff, you build your emotional resilience that can help you handle what’s coming. And and that’s, that’s been my guidance. Being a parent. I’ve read one parenting book. And actually, yes, I’ve gone back to the emotional journey every single time and that’s been a guide for me by not being triggered so easily by my stuff because I’m working on it, but also enables me to connect my intuition because there isn’t a right or wrong when it comes to parenting. There isn’t a right or wrong in terms of how they sleep. Or you’ve got to feed them like this. Every baby is different, every child is different. And so you need to tune into the baby. And the unique energy or life that exists between the two of you. And you can’t do that if you’re referring to a book or if you’re full of anxiety and fear. So that’s been my own kind of take home. And so it’s interesting that you’re saying similar thing, actually. Is that is that?

Yeah, yeah. Yeah, yeah. One of my aunts, so she loves her books. And when she became pregnant, she read every single book available at the time for how to take care of a baby. So her first child gets sick the first time and he had a very high fever. And that’s a time doctors would be making house calls. So she called the doctor the doctor came over and she like, ran up to him with with this book that, you know, she was reading and said, Hey, this is what the book is suggesting I do. And he just looked at her and he was like, “how about you throw away the book and you parent, based on your intuition? Let the book be. This is your baby”

We’re talking about their human being with a specific set of needs, that’s very different from another humans being a human being set of needs. So just read what they need based on their body language. And sometimes when we’re dealing with our own mental health stuff, it’s where we don’t trust ourselves. We don’t trust our intuition. And when we have somebody we can, who we can speak to about our own head trash, it’s a really good outlet to be able to say, I need help with this, or I think I’m wrong with this. What do you think? I’ll use this example I had one mom come into my practice. And she was like, I’m having such a hard time bonding with my baby, because all my anxieties interfering with our relationship, and my husband keeps telling me that, you know, I could be doing things better.

This was my initial session with her. Meanwhile, she’s holding her baby. Her baby was about six months at the time. She’s holding her baby. Her baby is like goo-ing all over her making eye contact with her mom is responding to her emotional cues and emotional needs. So when I was describing to me, I am not observing in this relationship between the two of them. And then for the next session, I invite the father to come along. And what she is telling me is not what I’m observing between their body language and the body language between baby and dad. So I invited her to come in alone for the third session, and it just turned out to be a lot of her own stuff from her own being parents and experience.

From from her childhood, the way she observed her father treating her mother, the way her mother treated her, her mom would lock herself in the room for days at a time and not come in. And she missed out on the lot of the relationship building there with her as her daughter. So a lot of this stuff crept in for this mom, without the mom being aware of how it connected when we were able to connect the dots for mom between her being parented experience to how she is entirely not the same as her mom, she is a completely different person.

Mom’s own mindset changed in that split second, and the change in the relationship between her and her daughter and her husband. It just all got eliminated. And sometimes it’s really scary for us to look at not sometimes it’s always very scary to look back into our past and connect the dots certain behaviours that we are experiencing or seeing and our role in our life. And it takes a lot of courage to do that. Moms and dads who are able to be reflective and say, “hey, my own stuff is coming up. Let’s deal with that” They are true superheroes, because they’re really actively doing something to not allow that cycle of trauma to continue happening, the cycle of head trash to continue happening.

And they can do a lot to prevent future problems in their relationship with their little one as well as mental health issues for their little one because it all starts there in the relationship between them and their infant and toddler.

So the the final thing I want to ask you now is when you are started, you know, you talked to the beginning about mental health and so in my mind, I was kind of imagining that you would work directly with the baby in some capacity. So would you? But what I’ve been hearing during this conversation is actually maybe you go and spend a lot of time working with the parents to kind of address their stuff and actually it’s by working almost through them that that will empower baby. Did I interpret that correctly or would there be anything where you actually do do level of work directly with the baby themselves?

In the modality that I am trained and I am a child- parents psychotherapist, all my work is focused on the relationship the client is not the mother is not the father is not the child, the relationship, the relationship between them is the client for me, my, my patient. And sometimes that means working with the mom alone. Sometimes that means working with a dad along, but most of the time, it means all of them being together in my session with me, where we are addressing their concerns, observations, and I am waiting for windows of opportunity to present themselves where I can say “Hey, Mom, that was beautiful. That was amazing. Let’s let’s build on this.” Or, “Hey, Mom. I’m noticing this, is this something we can talk about in here? Or would you prefer that we have a session alone where we can really dig deep into figuring where this is coming from.” But most of the time, it’s us working together, and teaching parents how to respond to their babies cues, emotional cues, by providing them the tools and skills that they need to, to read their baby’s behavior, emotional cues and how to soothe a baby that may be struggling because they experienced trauma in utero, or trauma during delivery or early childhood trauma, due to whatever may have happened in their life.

And, if parents are coming to you with some level of challenge, what kind of timeframe can they expect? And I know I’m asking this that it’s impossible to answer because everyone is so different, but I can’t help them thinking that my audience people listening and wondering “Okay, so hang on, we have got some some issues. What you know, can we resolve this in six months?” or is it a lot more longer term? For parents that will have those kind of questions, what would you say to them in terms of what kind of time frame is a reasonable one to kind of turn the situation around?

It all depends on what type of therapist you’re seeing. If you’re seeing a therapist like me, we are focusing on the relationship between you and your child. And that is going to be on the baby’s terms. However long the baby needs to make sure to for us to make sure that they’re showing signs of having a safe and secure connection to you. Sometimes that can be a month. It all depends on how well mom and dad are able to get through things. And sometimes it takes years. It depends on all your own stuff. I have parents who have very severe, severe early childhood trauma from abuse to neglect to severe illnesses experienced in their, in their early childhood to serve family members that are incredibly, still affecting them at an incredible level. And sometimes the shame surrounding that takes a lot of time to process. And I don’t know any therapist out there who can sit and say, it’s going to take you five sessions to get better. I mean, if I had that great magical power,

I think that would eliminate a lot of issues for the world. But it’s really hard to gauge how long it’s very, just like every pregnancy is different, like every child is different. That is that question. To be answered is very different for every person walking through the door.

And it’s okay if it takes time because certain things didn’t develop overnight. Certain things took their time to develop, and behaviours and patterns and the way we think those things take some time to learn new skills and to adjust. And even when we learn new skills, it still is hard to make the actual changes to trust ourselves. And it takes some time to really find a therapist with whom not only do you click with, but also somebody who can create a space for you to feel genuinely heard, to feel where you can really become naked, emotionally naked. I’m not talking about physically naked never ever be. That is a no no, no!

Unless you go out with them!

Yes. Unless they’re not your therapist that’s fine. But if they are your therapist is saying “let’s get naked”, then run! What I’m saying here is where you can become emotionally vulnerable and really show show up the way you truly are. And truly, what you truly need from this therapist is, is being met for you, where they create that safe space for you.

It’s going to take some time to get to that level. So there is no rushing through this. The important thing to know is that when you become aware that you need help in this aspect, and I’m going to share I have a therapist, I go to my therapist because I need to make sure that my head is where it needs to be. For all the different aspects of self that I am, I am a daughter, I am a wife. I’m a mom, I am a colleague, I’m a sister, I’m a friend. So in all of those aspects of my life, I need to make sure that I am healthy enough to come forward as my true self. And seeing my own therapist is essential. And there are moments in my life where I go see them once a week for some time. And there’s moments in my life where I go see them twice a year just to check in and just to say, Hey, I’m doing well. But how about you ask me some questions and see if you notice certain things. Or, hey, I’m not doing so well, and I need help and different stressors, different parts of your life will become more exaggerated when you when you become a parent. Yeah.

Wonderful. Well, some of this has been a fascinating conversation and I have so many more questions, I feel like I’ve asked you, but feel like I have at this point. Is there anything that I haven’t asked you that you think is essential for families to know around babies mental health?

There is definitely a lot to we could go on and on and on and on in this conversation. But I think the most important thing that parents need to know is that good enough is good enough. And that’s hard to believe sometimes, right? Because we live in such as society to perfection is expected. And there’s no such thing as a perfect parent. So as long as you are doing what you need to do on your end, know that you’re going to be okay, your baby’s going to be more than okay.And that things will be wonderful for for the rest of their life. And and it’s okay to ask for help. So those are my parting words for this interview. That you know, don’t expect perfection but good enough is good enough.

Brilliant. Thank you so much. Now if anybody wants to find out more about your work, and you’ll see got a podcast coming out soon, where can they go to find out more about you?

Sure. My podcast Raising Babies coming out December 4 2019. So in just a couple of weeks, actually, I’m excited about that. They can go into my website, parent-child relationship Institute dot com and they can also follow me on Instagram. I am pretty active and Instagram
My handle is Salma underscore Parent Child relationships. And I am more than happy to connect with anyone who has questions or wants to touch base. Brilliant.

Thank you so much for coming on the podcast. I really appreciate it. I will be sharing all of those links in the podcast and it’s for today’s episode so thank you once again.

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Alexia Leachman
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