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Maternal Mental Health - a Reflection

Motherhood can be difficult. It can be a time both of great reward, new discoveries but also times of extreme stress and anguish. All these feelings are valid and do not make anyone a better or worse mum.


Motherhood can cause extreme and uncomfortable emotions, as this is a new and daunting stage of life. It is important to show new mums respect and remember these emotions a normal part of becoming a mum.


So, what can we do to support new mums?


For a start, let’s normalise kindness towards big emotions around mothering, supportive listening and give women the space to embrace the full range of feelings that come with being a mum.


Next, let’s help out in practical ways. Gender stereotypes often force mums to perform most of the housework. Offering to help out with chores shows we care and value new mothers and recognise they may be in a vulnerable situation. It is also a kind thing to do for anyone we live with and helps to break down harmful stereotypes.


Support new mum’s decisions and reinforcing their intuitions. Mums know best about their own health – be it physical or mental – and about their baby. It’s important to take new mums concern seriously and not dismiss them as hysterical.


Finally, motherhood is meant to be a rollercoaster. Emotions that may not seem rational to new mums’ loved ones can make motherhood seem a lonely experience. But it need not be, if we show a little love and compassion to new mums in moments of vulnerability.


Of course, to all the new mums out there – remember you are doing great. Motherhood is both beautiful and messy, so trust your gut, rely on the support around you and don’t forget you are doing the hardest job in the world.


And, you are doing great at it!

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