Oct. 20, 2021

EP92- What if You Don’t Fall in Love with Your Baby & Negative/Intrusive Thoughts with Dr. Alice Pickering

EP92- What if You Don’t Fall in Love with Your Baby & Negative/Intrusive Thoughts with Dr. Alice Pickering

If you plan on having a baby or building a family, sometimes, you find yourself in a big bubble of bliss as you daydream about the day you finally become a parent. But what happens if that day comes and you don't feel anything like you imagined? If you're not aware that this can be a very common feeling, this can be very heartbreaking. In this episode, Dr. Alice Pickering talks about the impact of negative thoughts and intrusive thoughts and how we can overcome them. She also touches on postpartum depression and anxiety, cognitive distortions, her own experience with early parenthood. She teaches us about Exposure Response Prevention and how talking about issues and experiences as well as getting support helps destroy stigmas.


Listen to the reason why not automatically loving your baby shouldn't be shamed in this episode of the Mamas in Training Podcast with Dr. Alice Pickering!


Negative and Intrusive Thoughts 

In the discussion, Dr. Alice Pickering describes these types of thoughts as cognitive distortions. If you're a new parent, these mental processes may affect you, whether you're the mom or dad. Another way to coin these thoughts is called "thinking traps" because they're usually harmful and can be very disabling. These thoughts, in a way, trap the parent in ideas that taint their bond with the baby. Having doubts is normal when you're new to something, but negative thoughts are more than just doubts. These thoughts begin when a parent disregards good efforts and fixates on parent roles that they feel the need to be perfect at, pressuring themselves in the process. It is a series of ideas that bolden what you must do, must enjoy, must improve at, and all the other unrealistic 'musts' and 'shoulds' that come with rigid thinking.

On the other hand, intrusive thoughts come more randomly. They pop out of nowhere, typically stemming from subjects that are upsetting, concerning, and disturbing. An intrusive thought, to some, may sometimes present itself as a dominant voice. Because they come up at random times and at unexpected timing, it is commonly a cause of distress to the person due to its likelihood of bringing up unwanted concepts that can be harmful and sometimes even violent. Even though they don't totally define a parent's intentions, having intrusive thoughts can lead a parent to believe that they're no good for the baby —especially if they don't know how to work their way around it.

Figure out how Dr. Alice Pickering battles these distortions in this episode of the Mamas in Training Podcast!


About Dr. Alice Pickering

Dr. Alice Pickering is a licensed clinical psychologist who believes that prioritizing your mental health should be a non-negotiable. She has worked with a wide array of mental health concerns from her varied clinical experiences, and she has also taught multiple undergraduate college courses. She combines her teaching, clinical, and training experiences to offer educational resources and practical tools online in order to help women and mothers during pivotal life transitions.

Dr. Pickering owns a private practice where she specializes in treating issues related to depression, anxiety, trauma, and relationships. She has a passion for serving women and mothers through various life stages and specializes in perinatal mood and anxiety disorders.


Outline of the episode:

  • [04:00] It comes with so much shame when moms feel this.
  • [05:30] Are you just hormonal?
  • [08:07] What are the red flags to postpartum depression/anxiety?
  • [11:55] The Baby Blues and beyond…
  • [14:44] Asking for help can buy you and your baby time to bond.
  • [18:55] A vital statistic about new-struggling parents
  • [20:21] Thinking traps as experienced by Dr. Alice Pickering
  • [26:27] How do you handle cognitive distortions?
  • [30:47] Keep the conversation going!
  • [36:05] The 5 'S' for a Successful Fourth-Trimester Transition



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