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How to Tell a New Mom to “Step it Up”

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A spouse asks: How do you ask your wife who is a stay-at-home mother to “step it up” without being insensitive? Kathryn answers: I think I can explain what’s happening with your wife and how to navigate it with compassion and sensitivity. The simple answer to what you are witnessing is: anxiety is overwhelming her. Taking care of young children 24/7 is an exhausting task, but not in the way we can always observe directly. Nursing a baby and simultaneously watching a 4-year-old requires that she be relentlessly engaged in the...

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Managing That Meltdown Hour

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Many mothers feel the late afternoon and early evening hours to be the most challenging time for themselves, their children and partners. It makes sense: at that hour, hunger, weariness, and restlessness are common reactions to end-of-workday expectations and transitions. From infants to the elderly, sundown is a time when mental health is less predictable than other times of day. Some call it the witching hour, and as I say to my clients, there is a reason they call it “happy hour.” But instead of trying to fight through biochemistry and...

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The Mental Break Mothers Need: A Neuro-Reflective Pause

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The Mental Break Mothers Need: A Neuro-Reflective Pause

What is a NeuroReflective Pause ™, and why is it so important for a mother’s mental health? For years, in my private practice, as well as in my own parenting experience, I’ve tried to articulate a term for a very common mental health need among mothers. Almost every client I see who has young children feels depleted in a way she is challenged to explain. Physical exhaustion is a given. And it’s not about thinking too hard all day. Overwhelmed moms are seeking a reprieve from intention. They seek more inward-facing, restorative moments....

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Letter: Where Did I Go Wrong?

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Letter: Where Did I Go Wrong?

This is an email sent to me from a mom having trouble reconciling her birth experience. Dear Kathryn, I am a planner both by profession and by nature.  Three years ago I planned every detail of my wedding and our honeymoon and, can I just say, both were amazing.  I also planned my pregnancy down to the very month of conception (I know, it’s crazy). My husband and I were so happy that it “worked.” I felt excited and optimistic about my future. During my pregnancy I researched and interviewed five midwives in my community and read...

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You Snooze, You Win

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You Snooze, You Win

As a new parent, getting quality sleep can sometimes be really hard to manage. However, this is not the time to “fight through it,” like you may have done pre-baby when you pulled an all-nighter. Sleep for baby and mom should be a priority — above chores, social obligations and appointments. Here are a few tips: -Try to get four-hour increments of solid sleep (no waking) at a time. -Block out window light, turn off computers, and use white noise in the sleeping room, both day and night if it helps soothe you and the...

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Welcome

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Welcome

At the Nurture Tree you will find a place to be heard, understood, and encouraged along your unique path to parenthood.  New motherhood can be a particularly challenging time.  Sleep deprivation, a steep learning curve feeding and caring for an infant (or three), and postpartum isolation can create a storm of anxiety and depression.  Many mothers experience these feelings.  A professional counselor experienced in treating postpartum depression can help you sort through your emotions,  ensure sure you have not overlooked any special health...

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