Temitope Michael-Olaniran, Founder and CEO
Baby blues, loneliness, past experiences, and a strong feeling of incompetency almost interfered with my ability to bond with my first little one. I remember not wanting to kiss my first little one before he was taken away for his first major procedure. Giving one’s newborn a kiss should come naturally, but it did not. In that moment I was going to deny my innocent little one a kiss because I was hurting. I was emotionally unprepared for motherhood.
Subconsciously, my birth experience and past traumatic experiences were beginning to affect my ability to bond. I feared losing my little one just like I had lost my parents and grandparents. Emotional withdrawal was my coping mechanism. I wanted my little one alive but I did not want to miss him if anything goes wrong. I loved him and desired the best for him, yet I was holding back. Education, emotional and spiritual support changed my situation.
In the course of providing behavior therapy for children diagnosed with autism and other developmental disorders, I had deep conversations with parents about their challenges and journey. Postpartum depression, lack of knowledge and emotional support, late diagnosis, and being placed on therapy waitlist were presented as stressors and factors that adversely impacted their children’s development.
These interactions and my personal experience stirred up a passion for perinatal mental health and parent education. It was not difficult to combine this passion with my passion for children’s mental health. With further research, I realized perinatal mental health education and support is an important preventive approach for reducing the growing rate of developmental disorders/delays. This is why Little Ones focuses on Perinatal, Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health.
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