Our guide to supporting positive perinatal mental health: Having a new baby is a wonderful and exciting experience. It can also be an emotional rollercoaster with most expectant and new parents feeling anxiety, stress, low mood, worry or exhaustion at some point. Below are some tips on how new and expectant parents can mind their own mental health and well-being.
- All parents feel exhaustion during this time, and many also feel the “baby blues” for a short period of time. Let yourself express your feelings and don’t feel guilty if you are not feeling bliss at every moment. It is normal
- Talk about your feelings and your experiences with your partner, a friend or family member. This will help you to know that you are not alone
- Consider joining a breastfeeding support group or baby and toddler group. Meeting other new parents will help provide a support network and offer peer support
- Accept any offers of help so that you can spend time with your baby and get some rest
- Give yourself a break. If household chores must be done, break down big tasks and do a little bit at a time. Then, let yourself rest or spend time with your baby.
- Try to keep active–getting out for a walk each day will help boost your mood. Baby yoga or baby massage classes can be a great way to get out and about and will help you bond with your baby.
If your feelings of depression, worry, anxiety or fear persist or are very intense, talk to your GP or PHN as soon as possible. You may be one of the 15-25 % of women who suffer from perinatal mental health problems. Help is out there, and getting support will ensure that you bond with your baby and enjoy those amazing and exhausting early days.