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How to Prevent Postpartum Depression Naturally

reusable baby feetby Lindsay Germain

Lots of us feel depressed when our babies are young. Maybe you’ve been there with your last baby, or maybe you know someone who struggled with postpartum depression. It’s easy to get scared about losing yourself, and feeling low when you bring your baby home. It can also be hard to believe – Having a baby is supposed to be the most fulfilling time, right? Or is it?

There are real challenges in parenting for each of us. Every parent has days where we feel overwhelmed. The tricky part is figuring out how to manage these days, and how to relate to ourselves and our loved ones when we’re struggling.

There is a way to navigate overwhelm, discouragement, hopelessness, and even despair without getting lost in the woods forever. Continue reading

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Intuitive Mamahood : You Can Choose a Path that Makes Sense

by Lindsay Germain

There is so much judgement in our culture toward mamas. From pregnancy to parenthood, our interactions are filled with unsolicited stories and advice. It’s enough to feel exhausted, and more than a bit misunderstood.

Yet, you are the best person to know what’s right for yourself and your baby. You’re the only one with the ability to sense the choices that are right for you. Maybe a tip worked perfectly for one mama with her babies, but wouldn’t work for you at all. Or maybe, just maybe, it’s okay to say, “no thanks,” to hearing a third traumatic birth story today.YOU KNOW

So many people have been left alone with strong feelings about their pregnancy, birth, and parenting experiences and really need an outlet to talk about them. Then, you walk by, and your sweet round belly reminds them of all the stuff they haven’t yet worked through. And voila! You’ve become a therapist who – unbeknownst to you, has been enlisted to help this person process those feelings.

Well, it’s about time for you to get to choose. You can set a beautiful boundary that makes space to stay grounded and centered in nurturing yourself and your baby. Here’s how.  Continue reading

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“No, we can’t send her back”: five keys for preparing your family for the birth of a sibling

Originally published by Hand in Hand Parenting

Two days after my son was born, his five-year old sister carefully and quietly carried his bouncy chair to a room in the back of the house that wasn’t used much. When I walked back into the living room and found him gone, she said, “He has gone to the baby dungeon, and that’s where he should stay!”
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A good cry can promote secure attachment

from Hand in Hand Parenting

Most of us parents want, more than anything, for our presence to be the elixir that banishes our children’s upsets.  We want our touch, our cuddles, and our sweet words to heal the hurt.

Our son cries over a stomped-on paper airplane, and we put an arm around him and tell him we will make another. He sniffles and slowly comes around.

Or our daughter tantrums over a balloon that floated away and can’t be caught, and we gather her up, wriggling in protest, and talk her down until she’s quiet, if not exactly sunny.

Or neither child wants to sleep in their own bed, so we lie down next to them, one after the other, night after night, glad that we can keep their tears away, but wishing we could get an hour to ourselves instead! Continue reading

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Learning to “Speak Baby”

by Angela Jernigan 

My six year old tells me from the back seat of the car, “Mom, babies are really very smart, it’s just that they don’t speak like bigger people.” She is looking at me earnestly in the rear view mirror with her serious blue eyes, “If only grown ups could learn to speak baby, they’d know: babies have lots to say.”baby dad

I think my daughter knows exactly what she’s talking about. She was, after all, a baby who had a lot to say.

Even from our very first long night together after she was born, my daughter cried a lot. Until dawn she fussed and squawked, wriggled and writhed, her belly against my chest, my body exhausted from giving birth and aching for rest.

But the rest never came. After a few weeks, I began to face it: I had a fussy, sometimes inconsolable, baby. It was harrowing. My husband and I called on doctors, lactation consultants, baby massage teachers, cranial sacral practitioners. No one could find a problem, yet my daughter still could not find peace. She cried so much, my little one, while I work anxiously doing whatever I could think of to stop the crying: bouncing, walking, sound machines, sh-shing, standing in the backyard in the middle of the night, sobbing to myself.

By the time she was four months old, I was desperate and utterly exhausted.

And then I learned about a a way of listening to babies and children called Parenting by Connection from a woman named Patty Wipfler, and everything in our life slowly began to change. Continue reading