Postpartum Depression:Bringing in the Baby

A baby may be sensitive to touch or sound, or struggle going from awake to asleep, or any of a range of qualities that may make negotiating the big, loud, complex world more challenging. If, in addition, his caregiver is struggling with depression, the dance may be further disrupted. Or the problems in the baby may cause depression in the mother, as when the baby cries all the time and the mother never sleeps. When these disruption are not addressed early, significant problems may develop.

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Parenting and Empathy: An Essential Partnership

Last week I had the privilege of reconnecting with Anna Ornstein, a brilliant child psychiatrist and one of my original mentors. In preparation for our meeting, I re-read a paper she had given me back in 2004* (written with her husband Paul Ornstein, MD about 20 years before that), when I was just beginning to develop the ideas now described in my book, Keeping Your Child in Mind. While I do not reference the paper in my book, it is filled with such wisdom that I felt compelled to quote large segments of it in this blog post. Interestingly, much of what she says is similar to what in the current world of developmental psychology is referred to as “reflective functioning, ” or what I refer to in my book as “holding a child’s mind in mind.” While in that language, empathy is included as one component of the more complex task of reflective functioning, in Dr. Ornstein’s language “empathy” encompasses the many components of reflective functioning

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