APRIL 2014
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Postpartum Depression and the New Baby – Welcome to the Jungle
by Jill Diana Chasse

Everyone gets a bit blue now and then. It is normal and natural for humans to experience an array of emotions. Children learn that feelings are natural as they watch feelings expressed. They experience different sensations and ways to deal with various sensations as they mirror and digest the collection of emotions being expressed by the humans around them. But when their budding life is saturated with an environment of utter sorrow, disregard, and loneliness through a depressed mother, the exposure ceases to be helpful.

When that mother is clinically depressed, there is some hard evidence that is difficult to ignore, including reduced cognitive and language skills, social skills and irritability. If a new mother's mood doesn't improve after two or three weeks, she may have postpartum depression (PPD). Not only is a mother's mood affected, her body is as well. Sleeping and eating patterns change, likes and dislikes often cease to matter, including the new baby. Only about 10 to 20 percent of new mothers develop PPD, and carry the same symptoms as clinical depression. This can last up to a year, a vital development time in her child's life.

With a mom who is diagnosed with PPD, it is as if the child is in a jungle, never knowing if the lion is going to attack from behind a tree, or be nuzzled in her den sound asleep and peaceful. This puts the child in an uncomfortable situation. Starting at 2 months of age, negative effects can be seen in the child of a depressed mother including developmental and cognitive issues. Secure attachment can be threatened if the mother's is emotionally absent, leading a baby to have difficulties interacting with his or her own mother. It ends up being a vicious circle in any case. The mother's behavior agitates the child, which in turn agitates the mother. The key is to recognize and treat the cause of the initial agitation.

Acknowledging the existence of depression is the first step. Attending a peer group for emotional support is a helpful way to share and recognize feelings and emotions, as well as obtaining support, a shoulder to cry on and a hand to hold. Sometimes this is all it takes to make a stressed new-mom see the sunshine and begin to share the warmth with her child. For more serious cases, where emotional support, sleep and sharing don't help, a healthcare practitioner could help pull a depressed mother out of the jungle and show her the light. With love, support and understanding there is an excellent chance of recovery and a healthy, happy future for both mom and baby.


Dr. Jill Diana Chasse is maternal/child public health practitioner, an author and a counselor. Jill has been working with the mother-baby dyad in birth and psychology for over 20 years.

She has studied midwifery at both Ancient Arts Midwifery Institute and Institute of Holistic Midwifery, holds Master's degrees in Psychology and Public Administration, and a Doctorate in Health Administration.  

Personally, she loves the ocean, skiing, horseback riding, and cuddling up with her kids, hot coffee and a good book in front of a fireplace on a snowy evening.

Currently, she works in public health for the federal government and teaches classes for the Childbearing Year at Wise Woman University, online, including the childbirth education method she founded, BEBE- Baby-Empowered Birthing Education.

Listen to a 30 minute radio interview with Jill Diana Chasse

Study with Jill Diana Chasse Online

~ Pregnancy and Postpartum Mental Health Support ~
  ( link to detailed description of Pregnancy and Postpartum Mental Health Support )

Manage pregnancy and postpartum emotional challenges including baby blues and PPD symptoms to help reduce the risk of depression and keep yourself and your baby mentally and emotionally strong.  REGISTER HERE

~ BEBE - Baby Empowered Birth Education ~
( link to detailed description of BEBE )

Baby-Empowered Birth Education is a Complimentary Natural Childbirth method for use with or without medications, at home, birth center, or in a hospital with key concepts of "Experiencing, Understanding and Enjoying" your labor and delivery through emotional support, empowering yourself, and empowering your baby. REGISTER HERE

~ BEBE Childbirth Educator Certification Program ~
  ( link to detailed description of BEBE for Educators )

Become a "Baby-Empowered Birthing Education" Certified Childbirth Educator offering women and babies an empowering, magical, enlightening, and passionate natural choice for childbirth education, encouraging them to "experience, understand and enjoy" the Magic of Motherhood! REGISTER HERE

This is an online workshop intended for parents who have lost a baby during pregnancy or after birth. It is a self paced, guided tour through the healing process to work through grief and bereavement issues. Working through these issues in this format is especially helpful in the early stages of grief when the shock and pain is still raw.

Baby Magic for your Magic Baby
By Jill Diana Chasse

Baby Magic is a Spiritual Guide to Motherhood. Beginning before conception, Baby Magic guides a woman on her magical journey of becoming a mother.


Bio of Author



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