Don’t eat that”
Don’t do this or that”
“You must not wear shoes like that or clothes like that.”
“Give the baby this or that”
“You have to do this for the baby”
“Don’t worry, Motherhood is a breeze, it will all come naturally”

I could go on because this list goes on. The things people say to encourage or give advice to new Moms- it’s often with good intentions but it can sometimes be overwhelming.

Every child is different. Every birth experience and the after effects is different. Every person is different and each has their own culture. Every woman is different and so are their bodies. When you think of all of these things to take into consideration when bonding with your newborn, it can be very stressful for some Moms.

We were somehow made to believe that being a new Mom was a walk in the park and perhaps it is just that way for many. But there are some Moms who don’t experience it as such. Mental health wellness is therefore critical for Infant development.

Whilst I myself personally didn’t experience post-natal depression, I know that others have and I’ve read about it’s effects. I’ve also spoken to more than one Mom, who did suffer from post-natal depression and I know from their experience that it’s something that’s not easy to deal with.

They tried so hard to bond with their newborn, but they just could not do that very easily. They experienced feelings of inadequacy, they didn’t even have the longing within themselves to carry their newborn in their arms.

If you didn’t experience or know of someone with post-natal depression, you may not understand what I’ve just stated – you would wonder in disbelief, how any Mom would not want to hold her own child in her arms – but that’s just one of the feelings that comes with post-natal depression. It is a reality.

We have to be supportive. We must not judge. We must not ridicule anyone going through this – it’s not as if they asked to feel this way. It just happens. Then, after birth, her body changes, her mood changes. Her fatigue levels increase. It’s a whole new lifestyle change that she sometimes doesn’t adjust seamlessly into.

To top things off she then hears stories of how her Mom and others gave birth and experienced their first child, making it seem effortless. This makes her feel even more depressed and inadequate. Fortunately, there is support available and let me share more…

GAIMH-SA is an NGO that focuses on promoting the optimal development of infants with a particular focus on their mental wellbeing. GAIMH-SA is an affiliate of the World Association for Infant Health. One of their key focuses is therefore the parent-child relationship during the first 1000 days.

On the 20th of November 2020, #YouAreTheReason emotive video was released as the theme song of the #YouAreTheReason campaign, which is the brainchild of Nicole Canin, Chairperson of the GAIMH-SA and is presented along with Dr Astrid Berg, President-Elect of the World Association for Infant Mental Health.

#YouAreTheReason has taken the Calum Scott original song, re-arranged and produced by Dan Selsick, vocal arrangements by RJ Benjamin with powerful and heartfelt vocals by Chantal Stanfield, Ziyanda Yako and Nicole Canin. The music video has been filmed and edited by Custom Content Collective.

Even though the words were written as a love song, if seen through the lens of a mother and baby, they powerfully conveyed what it might be like for a mother who wants to feel close to her baby, but is struggling to. Viewed in this way – in song, the baby becomes ‘The Reason’ that the mother will do everything she can to get help so that she can connect with her baby. 

This brought back memories of my breastfeeding journey with Kayden, if you missed that post, click here.

Follow GAIMH-SA on Facebook for more information. Share this video and post with Moms to be or new Moms, you may never know who needs such support and it’s nothing to be embarrassed about. Not every newborn experience is beautiful and that’s the reality. So instead of just overlooking it or pretending that it’s all good and well, let’s rather in the spirit of #keepingitreal, do what we can to offer support and what a powerful way to do that through music, like this heartfelt beautiful song.

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