While pregnant the stress hormones and other physiological consequences of depression and anxiety that circulate in the mother’s system, are also picked up by the developing fetus, through the placenta and the womb. This can alter the way a baby’s stress system develops.

http://theconversation.com/mental-health-depression-and-anxiety-in-young-mothers-is-up-by-50-in-a-generation-10091

The Podcast (3) Week Mini-Series: If Mama Ain’t Healthy

If Mama Ain't Healthy
“Clothed in strength and dignity, she can smile at the future.”
-Proverbs [31:25]

I’m trying something new in hopes that I can streamline and add even more value to your life. Instead of uploading the transcripts of our Wednesday Wisdom podcast episode, I will be posting additional thoughts, remarkable resources, and any other “things” I mentioned on the episode. Many of you have asked me to do this because you don’t have a Facebook page anymore. I get that and applaud you for making that decision. Let’s try this and see how it goes. I want to engage with you, so keep telling me how to best do that!

S2E13, If Mama Ain’t Healthy

“A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.”

Ecclesiastes [4:12], NLT

A big thank you to our fellow community member, Vilbert Vallance, from Bangalore Baptist Hospital in Bangalore, India, for asking me to “go deeper” into what the three-fold cord of emotional health and spiritual authenticity really means. In S2E13, I begin answering his question by talking about what the first cord, a healthy sense of self, “looks like” in our personal and professional lives.

What is a Healthy Sense of Self?

“If you want to be different, you need to shift at the level of identity.”

Dr. Benjamin Perkus


There are many “proper” psychological definitions of a healthy sense of self, but I tend to lean towards the wisdom of the late D. L. Moody. He writes, “Character is what a man is in the dark.” A healthy sense of self is simply knowing whose you are and who you are. You are secure, safe, and stable in your God-breathed identity and are the same person “in front of people,” and “when you are alone.” No facades. No performance. Just you. I write in detail about this in Overcoming Hurtful Words: Rewrite Your Own Story, Practice 3, Choose Healthy over Unhealthy. If you need a little guidance “coming home to your true, healthy sense of self,” I offered these resources

S2E14,If Mama Ain’t Behavin’

If Mama Ain't Healthy
“You can use talks and open discussions as a way to increase your child’s emotional intelligence and social skills. You can also boost their self confidence and self image by helping them to become aware of their thoughts, feelings, and emotions and in helping them to understand those experiences and to gain insight into what
they are feeling and experiencing.”
-Patrick Wanis

When I think of our second cord, healthy behavior patterns, one word comes to mind: absorb, meaning, “To take in or soak up energy.” In childhood, we absorb the emotional energy of our first caregiver(s). We absorb the emotional energy of the home or place in which we develop. Most of the time it is unseen, intangible, and “in the air.” Because most of communication is non-verbal, we don’t “hear” it, we “see or sense” it. Our childhood development depends on the health of that home’s emotional atmosphere. If it is unhealthy, we have to develop coping mechanisms and defense strategies to survive. If it is health(ier), we have a firmer foundation of emotional health and ultimately, healthier behaviors as adults. It really is that simple. More resources can be found right here.

S2E15, If Mama Ain’t Communicating

If Mama Ain't Healthy
Stress and anxiety wear us down. When we’re worn, we are more prone to lack the self-control to speak wisely. That is why we are right here,
doing our heart work.

Our third cord, healthy communication skills, might be the most challenging of all. Learning to use our words WISELY and with great self-control is something we face day after day. One word can change the entire course of a life. Stupid. Worthless. Messy.

As parents, we hold our children’s hearts in our hands. Quite a daunting experience. I know. Now that my three are ADULTS, I see more and more how absolutely critical the emotional atmosphere of the home really is. That is WHY I pound the table on this three-fold cord and WHY I call back with great passion. Raising children is a right-now job. You get ONE chance. Here are a few resources to help you hone your communication skills:

Above ALL Else

Before I go, please read this:

We are not perfect people.
We will make mistakes.
That is why we need God.
That is why we need each other.
Healing and LIFE happens inside of community.
My heart and mind need YOU.
Your heart and mind need ME.
Together, we will practice and progress
and ultimately find true freedom in Christ.

Until next time,

Janell Rardon Author