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The Ins and Outs of Early Intervention

The Gift of Being an Anxious New Mom

Published March 5, 2015 10:08 AM by jasna cowan

I feel very fortunate to have battled my own bouts of anxiety and the baby blues with the birth of one of my own children. When I was suffering of this debilitating battle, I would wonder why? Why me? It's hard enough being a new mother of a baby that needs me 24/7, she cries, she poops—she never takes a break!

Why, on top of all of that, did I all of sudden become so scared of the world? I was supposed to protect my baby, be a good example to her and model for her what I had seen mothers do in movies. They clean the house, they have dinner ready on the table when their husband gets home, and they are prepared with their little baby bag and everything they need inside of it. It was an overwhelming time in my life when I felt like a child trying to learn who I was again and battle demons that kept me from enjoying my new life as a mother.

At the same time, I realized that this huge challenge was actually a gift in disguise. A gift that I received so that I could understand and empathize with the many mothers and fathers I was to meet on my road in my life as a speech-language pathologist.  This gift allows me to read their cues, their non-verbals and to understand what those anxiety provoking moments might be.

You see, I feel like I am aware of the anxiety, the depression and the identity change that occurs in some mothers. I share the gift of courage with the mothers I see are suffering. And every mother I work with teaches me a little bit more about the strength that mothers can activate within themselves.  The anxiety and the depression I experienced allowed me to help support other mothers that I see are suffering of the same debilitating battle.

The mothers that have children who scream and cry of panic and fear when they go out in public from having sensory disorders, e.g., autism, or just a child with speech delays. Mothers tell me they prefer not going to restaurants, and public places any more. We work through them as a team, the child, the mother, and I as their coach, trying to guide and inspire to challenge the limiting beliefs the mother may have that directly affect their own child's daily routine.

I also know that as I treat the children, sometimes the mother needs the expertise of a mental health professional.  Without help, It can affect how the mother talks and interacts with her child, it affects the places the mother is willing to take their child, and it can directly affect the child's language skills in my opinion. Because at the end of the day, when the mother is present, healthy, and strong, the child always follows suit,  growing and progressing in so many ways.


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