Parent infant relationship mental health

Becoming a new parent can be an exciting and hopeful time for many people. It can also be a time of heightened anxiety, worry and can arouse many unexpected feelings, moods, thoughts and behaviours.

All parents want to do the best for their babies and want to establish a strong and secure relationship with their infants. Babies are completely dependent on their caregivers to help them feel physically and emotionally safe, understood and to experience feeling comforted.

Sometimes, this does not happen in the way that parents had hoped. In the post-natal period, some parents begin to develop depression, or anxieties which may be triggered by having a baby. Others have had complex and difficult past experiences or mental health concerns which begin to impact on the way they want to parent their babies. Traumatic birth experiences and having a baby with additional unexpected needs can impact the way parents feel able to be with their babies. Having a baby with a difficult temperament can also be very triggering for a new parent.

Through a more secure bond, babies can have a better beginning, feel safe and confident, which in turn helps their development and sets them up to be more confident children and then adults.

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