Any mother who has felt fear and anxiety surrounding the birth of her new baby might wonder if these disquieting feelings could affect her newborn. This was Trina’s concern.…
With her ruby lips and lush, black hair, Tatiana was exquisite. But her delicacy in form was balanced by a strong and feisty temperament. She reflected her parents’ passionate personalities, and Trina and Mirko could not have been more thrilled. However, as the weeks went by, they became more and more frustrated as Tatiana’s feistiness turned into prolonged periods of screaming.
Trina called one afternoon after her four-week-old daughter had been particularly cranky. She confided, “I’m a very sensitive and intuitive person. Is it possible that Tatiana is too? Is it possible she’s upset because of all the stress I’m under?”
It seems that the joy Trina and Mirko had felt after Tatiana’s birth was tempered by Trina’s painful recovery from a cesarean section and then the destruction of their possessions from a flood in the apartment above theirs, days after they brought Tatiana home.
“The nest we created for our baby collapsed like a house of cards and we had to move into our friend’s living room. When Tatiana developed colic at three weeks of age, I couldn’t help but think her screams stemmed from all the anxiety she felt from me during this terribly upsetting time.”
The birth of an infant brings with it such a wonderful but weighty responsibility that it’s a rare parent who doesn’t feel some anxiety and self-doubt. Many new mothers confide in me that they feel overwhelmed because:
Caring for their baby is unexpectedly stressful.
No matter how much you thought that you were prepared for your new baby, it still may hit you like a ton of bricks.
They have little baby experience.
Most of us have had very few opportunities to care for small babies. That’s why our generation may well be the least experienced … in history!
They feel like everybody is criticizing them.
New parents are very vulnerable to everyone’s advice and criticisms. “Pick her up!” “Don’t pick her up!” “Feed on demand!” “Feed on a schedule!” Getting peppered by all these comments can whittle down your confidence and magnify your self-doubts.
The responsibility falls predominantly upon their shoulders.
Mothers feel a pressure to know what they’re doing because they are the ones who are expected to be able to soothe their baby when no one else can.