Up to one in five new mothers experience some type of perinatal mood and anxiety disorder when they are pregnant or soon after welcoming a new baby.
One of the best things a woman can do during pregnancy is to speak to their partner, family, friends or a trusted health care professional such as their GP about the stress they may be feeling at this time.
Usually a chat might be done over a cup of tea or coffee, but with COVID-19 it is important to continue reaching out as much as possible over phone or video chats.
While pregnancy is a time of great joy for most mums, it does come with added stress – changes to hormones, adjustments to lifestyle, balancing doctor appointments and work commitments to name a few (in addition to the stressors that arise through COVID-19).
Taking time to talk
Mother’s Day, for pregnant women, can be a day of celebration but also an opportunity to chat with loved ones about the stresses and how they feel about the upcoming birth and motherhood.
It can also be a good excuse for partners and family members to check in on their pregnant loved one to see if she needs a hand with anything.
This can be practical support such as helping them shop for baby items either physically or online, or emotional support such as a chat in person, over the phone or internet, or even just going for a light stroll (maintaining the required social distancing).
Tips for celebrating Mother’s Day with your pregnant loved one
Showing you care on Mother’s Day doesn’t have to be about showering mums with gifts, it can also include:
- Calling and asking about how they are going
- Asking about how they are feeling about pregnancy, birth and beyond
- Letting them know you are around if they need
And what if you are concerned?
Help is available. If you are worried about your emotional wellbeing, speak to your GP or call a helpline where you can get directed to the support you need.
This may include:
- Mother and Baby Unit at St John of God Burwood Hospital, Sydney the only inpatient perinatal mental health unit in NSW
- St John of God Raphael Services – provides free telephone and telehealth counselling for mums and dads with a referrals and Mental Health Treatment Plan from a GP (MHTP not required in NSW)
- Perinatal Anxiety and Depression Australia (PANDA): Free helpline – telephone: 1300 726 306