Tuning into Channel Mom
Teaching new mothers who are dealing with postpartum depression how to relate to and respond to their babies’ cues can help to lay the groundwork for healthy mother-baby attachments.
That’s the key finding from a study conducted by researchers at the Universities of Alberta and New Brunswick reported in the March 2007 issue of the Journal of Affective Disorders. The 11 pairs of mothers and babies involved in the study participated in weekly sessions over a five-week period. The mothers were taught about child development and infant behaviour and provided with tips on how to read and respond to their baby’s cues.
The babies in the study clearly benefited from the support their mothers received. While just 39 percent of the babies showed interest in their mothers’ facial expressions when the group started, just five weeks later, 67 per cent of the babies were similarly tuned in to their mothers’ expressions—an important step to forming healthy attachments with their Mom.
Ann Douglas is the author of numerous books about pregnancy and parenting, including The Mother of All Parenting Books and Sleep Solutions for Your Baby, Toddler, and Preschooler. Visit her online at www.having-a-baby.com