It goes without saying that mom does a lot for baby. In fact, mom does a lot more for baby that she may realise at the time. During pregnancy, literally everything a mother does has an impact on the baby’s growth and development. From what she eats to what she drinks, especially when it comes to junk food and alcohol, mom is having an impact. From what exercise she does to where she spends most of her time, mom is having an impact. And obviously, mom wants to have the best impact on her baby that she can.
What is less thought about in terms of baby’s growth and development is how mom’s psychological state can influence the baby, during pregnancy and after birth, and all throughout baby's life. Basically, changes in a mother’s mental state has the ability to influence how the baby comes out and grows up. So because there is such an inherent need from baby to mom, it is incredibly important for mom to take care of her mental health so that baby gets the best outcomes in life.
While psychological disorders sound obvious and seem like something you’d obviously notice you have, many mothers don’t. This isn’t necessarily their fault, either. Many mental health problems can develop during pregnancy and are attributed to the changing hormones. However, when these states of mind linger and become more prevalent is when they cause real problems for the baby.
Postnatal depression is the most obvious condition that women are aware, but there are so many more things to be aware of when raising a baby. Moms need to place their mental health as a high priority, so that their kids don’t struggle with any of these issues throughout their life.
15 Actual OCD Behaviours
A lot of people have a tendency to claim they have OCD because of bizarre behaviours they exhibit, such as compulsively hanging socks on the clothesline in the colour of the rainbow. However, there is a big difference between a compulsive action and actual Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Basically, for someone without OCD, hanging the socks in the colour of the rainbow is a semi-active choice and an incomplete rainbow will cause a frown to appear, but nothing more than that. For someone with OCD, this would lead to an anxiety attack or intense argument in the mind, and eventual break down. And not out of choice.
Maternal anxiety is something that can pass through to the child and cause OCD. While there is nothing wrong with your child being a little compulsive and particular at times, full blown OCD is something you want to avoid. Raising a child in a calm, rational, and flexible state of mind is the way to go to skip this one.
14 Insecurities In Bonding And Relationships
Forming a bond in the early postpartum days is so important to both mom and baby. This bond is stronger than anyone can imagine and literally changes everything, from the hormone levels to brain function in women. If this bond isn’t nurtured properly, it can lead to many troubles later on.
An affective disorder such as postpartum ‘blues’, postnatal depression, and puerperal psychosis have a very negative affect on how a child develops relationships. The postpartum ‘blues’ are typically temporary but can lead to postnatal depression. Puerperal psychosis is rarer, but the former two can lead to it. For the child growing up with a mom suffering from these affective disorders, the result can be serious trouble creating relationships and major social insecurities. These obviously become more serious later in life, as the baby grows into a child who goes to school. Positive social development is fundamental for overall holistic health and stability.
13 Separation Anxiety Later On
A major mental health problem that many are aware of, but may not fully understand, is schizophrenia. In any walk of life, schizophrenia is a hindrance to fully engaging with society. When a baby is the picture and mom suffers from schizophrenia, bigger issues are waiting.
Schizophrenia is something that can come to light during the postnatal period. It is often temporary in postnatal terms as it more conditional than a syndrome, but still serious. Unfortunately, with this condition and the strain is causes on the emotions, it often leads to a total breakdown from the mom. This can lead to separation of mom and baby, for the wellbeing of the baby’s emotional health. Of course, taking a baby away from its mother is never ideal, but sometimes it is necessary until mom can recover. When any separation occurs, it can lead to confusion and overwhelming emotions for the developing baby, leading to separation anxiety later in life.
12 Split Personality Problems
While it can be easy to joke about kids having split personality when they go from acting angelic one second to having a tantrum the next, there is nothing funny about an actual split personality. Bipolar disorder is something that can affect anyone from any age. This is basically a disorder that messes with the brain and reactive processes, so people who suffer from it experience extreme mood swings and emotional spectrum reactions.
For children who experience bipolar disorder, it is extremely difficult to integrate in society and make friends. There is no definitive one thing that leads to schizophrenia, but it is possible for it to be passed from the mother. It is more a circumstantial thing than genetic, so growing up in a schizophrenic environment can result in developing it. For moms who suffer from schizophrenia, getting it treated and controlled is super important for the child’s wellbeing and development.
11 Trouble Concentrating And Focusing
There’s always that one kid in class who takes on the role of class clown and loves creating trouble and causing a ruckus, generally out of humour rather than harm. This child can either be extremely creative and energetic, or can have attention deficit hyperactive disorder. Either way, this child just needs to learn how to harness their energy and use it in a productive way, which is often more effective than ritolin medicine.
Mother’s can pass ADHD onto their children in circumstantial ways. Through a lack of attention to not providing creative outlets in early stages of infant development, ADHD is something that can develop, or something that a baby is born with. In terms of treatment and strategies for management, ADHD can be dealt with relatively easy. However, it can still have problematic affects for children in making friendships and thriving at school. A child with ADHD needs to be understood first, then treated second.
10 Difficulties Processing Situations
Understanding the world is hard for any baby, let alone a baby who’s mom has a personality disorder. Borderline Personality Disorder is basically when the mom sees the baby as her lifeline in an unhealthy way, where she uses emotions to manipulate the child to take responsibility for her and always be there with her. Obviously, this isn’t a sustainable way to raise a baby.
For babies who grow up with a mom with a personality disorder, the world can become a confusing place. As their cognitive processes develop, it can be hard to understand the real reasons a situation is happening because mom is manipulating the thought process. This leads to misunderstanding scenarios and not having the right resources to deal with difficulties properly, which can result in a personality disorder of their own. For babies in the early stages of development, a mom with a personality disorder can already have a detrimental impact, such as manipulating baby’s sleeping pattern when mom wants attention.
9 Biological And Psychological Disorders From Substance Abuse
There is so much evidence and knowledge around the fact that drugs and alcohol are just a big old no-no during pregnancy. This is for the health of everyone involved. Mom needs a healthy body to grow a healthy baby. Putting drugs and alcohol inside that body is going to make anyone unhealthy, plain and simple.
For the baby, a range of biological and psychological disorders are associated with maternal substance misuse. Mothers who use drugs and alcohol tend to be more insensitive and neglectful of their baby, which can lead to anything from attachment disorders to anxiety and depression in childhood. In terms of biological disorders, babies are more likely to experience health problems like eczema and weakened immune systems when their mom’s have abused substances during pregnancy. None of this leads to a settled and stable childhood, so these are things that just have to be given the flick during pregnancy.
8 Mind Over Matter Out Of Control
When a baby is raised in an emotionally unstable environment, they can have trouble controlling how their mind processes different things. In infancy, this can manifest in uncontrolled crying and irrational anger. As a baby raised in these conditions grows up, in some cases they can develop somatisation.
Somatisation is when psychological symptoms and distress are so bad and unbearable that the person starts to experience them as physical pain and discomfort. This is literally mind over matter when processing abilities just aren’t there yet. Somatisation can include things like throwing up from anxiety or feeling shaky from nervousness and stress. These are legitimate and serious problems that need to be handled in a careful and respected manner. Babies need a calm and approachable environment around their mom to understand how to deal with these thought processes. Otherwise, somatisation can get out of control and affect all aspects of life.
7 Inability To Demonstrate Loving Actions
Learning to love and demonstrate loving actions appropriately is a major social function that children learn. Ideally, babies learn this from a young age in the environment they are raised. However, if a mom doesn’t show the right type of love and affection to her neonate, that baby can end up with reactive attachment disorder.
This is basically a disorder that means when the baby becomes a child, they simply can’t form normal, loving relationships with those around them. Obviously, this leads to complicated outcomes in growing up and finding emotional stability and happiness. This is a relatively new condition to be clinically diagnosed, but there doesn’t need to be much more said than every baby needs a loving nurturing relationship early on in life to truly thrive and survive. We all know that love helps people grow and reach their full potential, and it is up to mom in the early stages to give this to their baby.
6 What Is Basically Medical Child Abuse
Munchausen syndrome is a serious mental illness that has a dire impact for both mom and baby - in the case of Lacey Spears, the situation resulted in her killing her own son. If a mom who has Munchausen syndrome has a baby, that baby can develop Munchausen syndrome by proxy, or MBPS. Basically what happens is that mom causes or creates symptoms in her baby. She ultimately convinces and deliberately misleads those around her, and medical professionals, that her baby has an illness or condition. In truly awful cases, moms can poison, medicate, or mistreat their baby to get the symptoms to show.
All in all, this is medical child abuse. It stems from a need by the mom to get attention and sympathy. It is easy for moms to cover this up because they seem so caring and devoted, tending to their child. Obviously, this kind of manipulation and abuse is going to lead to some serious psychological damage for that baby later on in life.
5 More Common Mental Health Issues
It is no real surprise that a mom with anxiety or depression can pass these on to her baby. Postnatal depression is very common and can be handled better and better with more understanding. However, when a mom has depression or anxiety prior to giving birth, they need to be much more attentive to their mental health state. Children of parents with these mental health condition experience a lot of problems of their own as a byproduct.
A study from the Mental Health Branch of Australia in a community 701 families found that one in five children live in families where the parent has a mental illness. Parent mental illness is found to lead to less autonomy in the child, increased levels of anxiety, and a lack of confidence in day to day life. None of this is ideal for a developing child trying to find a good balance in their social, emotional, and physical health and wellbeing.
4 Detachment From Normal Social Values
Babies essentially need to be taught how to find their place in society as they are growing up. Social values and what is important in the community around us greatly impact how we think, act, and feel in every day life. Children who are raised by narcissistic parents have more trouble finding their place in society because of psychological disorders, and become at risk of developing it themselves.
A narcissistic mother is someone who seeks out attention from their child because they need something. This can be something practical, like help with housework, or something more emotional like a need to be validated. Narcissism is selfish and immature and unhealthy for motherhood. For children of narcissistic parents, they are left feeling invisible at times and undervalued in society. Their confidence levels are lessened and they can be easily embarrassed or feel the need to apologise even when they aren’t at fault.
3 Troubled Relationship With Food
Eating disorders are becoming more and more prevalent amongst children and teenagers. This is something that can stem from how they were raised as a baby. Eating disorders are also something that can be passed from mom to baby in subtle and passive ways. Basically, if a mother has experienced or is experiencing an eating disorder, their unhealthy relationship with food can be noticed by the child and this influences how they eat. Even for babies, a mom with an eating disorder will be subconsciously training the baby to be wary of food.
For children and teenagers, eating disorders are associated with a range of unhealthy psychological states. Those who suffer an eating disorder tend to be have lower self esteem and less confidence. Food is really something that needs to be loved and respected, not abused or neglected. This is something kids learn from moms earlier on than you might have thought.
2 Extreme Emotional Range
Balancing emotions and processing them is never easy. In day to day life, we all flutter through the emotional spectrum and experience things from happiness to anxiety. However, we typically do it in a sensitive and controlled way, understanding and processing what and why we are feeling. For some babies and children, this is even harder than normal because of psychological problems passed on from mom.
This comes back to Borderline Personality Disorder. Ultimately, a child whose mom has BPD has to work even harder to consolidate their self, their self esteem, and the way that they think. As they go through life and grow up, these children have to tip toe around what their BPD mom is thinking and feeling and what impact this has on them. Children of BPD often need extensive therapy to truly come to terms with their childhood and work through their psychological issues.
1 Unresolved Trauma Later In Life
All these psychological problems we have discussed lead to serious trauma and impairment in development for babies, children, and adolescents who have to experience them. It isn’t a pleasant way for children to grow up. Since so many psychological conditions and disorders can be passed along, children who have experienced these things are at risk of continuing the cycle. On the other hand, if childhood trauma is resolved, there is room to learn and grow from the experiences and not repeat the same mistakes mom may have made.
Any unresolved trauma from childhood can come to being at any point in adulthood. Someone could be happily living their life, thinking that the childhood issues no longer affect them, then one day have a mental break down on the spot without understanding why. This is why it is so important for caregivers, family, friends, teachers, and mentors to be switched on to the warning signs of psychological problems in children early on, to avoid problems continuing into adulthood.
Sources: Bustle.com, Medicalnewstoday.com, BJPsychAdvances.org