The Baby House Gives Struggling Moms Much-Needed Love & Care

Over the course of their five months in the House, mothers work on bonding with their babies, get career counseling and training, and even look for jobs and housing for when they leave.

Jun 7, 2018
The Baby house provides mothers a chance to stay with their child by giving them loving care

People tend to portray the early days of parenthood as pure bliss and newborn cuddles, but one of the many unspoken truths of life is that becoming a parent truly is not easy. The physical recovery, combined with sleep deprivation and major life changes proves to be a challenge for parents with even the most stable support systems. For people who have little to no help, the early days tend to be unbelievably difficult, and can even lead to postpartum depression.

Barbara Muller recognized this challenge and decided to found the Baby House. The Baby House, which today has three branches in the Dutch cities of Dordrecht, Leiden, and Rotterdam, is a place where mothers can come to stay with their infants for up to five months. During this time, the mothers and babies work hard towards building a stable life together. Muller had been working for Child Protective Services and witnessed too many babies being taken from mothers that the country deemed unfit. Barbara felt that with proper support, these families could stay together.

Initially, the Baby House was just a place for the babies, to give the mothers some much-needed rest. But, soon the mothers asked if they, too, could stay overnight. Eventually, the facilities at the house were adapted to accommodate mothers as well.

The biggest goal of the House is to help mothers bond with their babies. Women can come to the House starting from late pregnancy in order to learn how to bond with their children. Over the course of their five months in the House, mothers work on bonding with their babies, get career counseling and training, and even look for jobs and housing for when they leave. The therapy and guidance that the women receive in the House begins with a focus on bonding, and eventually leads towards independence and being able to care for the child on their own.

The early days of motherhood are essential building blocks for the lifelong bond between mother and baby. The Baby House is here to stabilize that bond and help the mothers build real-life skills, to prepare them for independently taking care of their children. Muller’s initiative has kept families together and provides mothers with the proper tools for caring for their children for years to come.

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RISI ADLER FINKEL, CONTRIBUTOR
Risi has a passion for reading, traveling, and food. When she isn't writing about those things, she is experiencing them with her husband and son. One of the reasons she loves to travel is to learn about all the good in the world, and share these stories with others.

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