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Maternal Mental Health Awareness Month…

We all know that May is an important month for spreading mental health awareness, but one aspect of mental health that often gets overshadowed is the struggles faced by mothers across the world at a staggering level… Struggles that impact the entire family when left undiagnosed or undetected.

So join us this month in our mission to raise awareness for perinatal mental health disorders by understanding how you can make an impact on a loved one or a team member that may be struggling.

Our virtual creative wellbeing workshops act as the perfect gift of kindness to yourself or those that may need an extra boost at this time, so why not get involved with our upcoming events to challenge your creative skillset and boost your overall wellbeing! Our June “Contemporary Classical Piano Concert” workshop will offer the perfect opportunity to relax, unwind and reconnect with yourself through the power of music!

Click here to buy your early bird tickets now…


Why does Maternal Mental Health Awareness matter?

Being a new parent is no easy feat.

You’re faced with an entirely new routine, a severe lack of sleep, a sliver of time for yourself and your partner… and that’s before you even consider the fact that you have a newborn baby that is entirely dependent on you and your ability to look after their every little need.

It can feel tiring and overwhelming with countless lifestyle changes and many new, vital lessons to learn in such a short time frame. It can even feel like you’re slowly losing touch with yourself and your partner as your baby becomes the focus of your entire world but it is important now more than ever to remember to check in with yourself and how you’re feeling in the present moment. Now is not the time to neglect your wellbeing!

According to the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, perinatal mental health disorders such as postnatal depression (PND) and anxiety affect as many as 1 in 5 women. However, 50% of cases are said to go completely undiagnosed or undetected. But why is this figure so high?

New parents facing perinatal mental health disorders are said to avoid seeking external support due to a fear of being judged by others or provoking any negative implications for themselves and their baby. Research also shows that while a new mother’s physical condition was cared for, many felt that the prolonged stigma of maternal mental health meant a neglect towards their mental and emotional wellbeing. As a result, many new parents felt that not only did healthcare professionals not fully understand the scope of the problem, but that they themselves were not given the resources to be vigilant towards the signs and symptoms of themselves or their partners.

When we talk about the subject of maternal mental health, we often have a tendency to focus on conditions triggered soon after birth. However, it is important not to exclude the mothers and parents that face prolonged or delayed mental health conditions as a result of pregnancy and the challenges of motherhood. With such a high rate of perinatal mental health conditions faced by women, it is crucial for us all to work together to spread awareness of the hardships faced in many families and normalise speaking out about the struggles of parenthood so that we can all help to support our loved ones and our community in their time of need!

 

Impact on the family…

While maternal mental health awareness month focuses on the transition to motherhood, it is important to understand the wider impact that perinatal mental health disorders can have on the family, including partners and newborn babies.

The irritability, feelings of overwhelm and loss of interest that are common symptoms of postnatal depression can often put a strain on a new mother’s relationship with her partner, risking long term damage to the intimacy and human connection that are so vital for the condition of our emotional, mental and physical wellbeing. 

A study conducted by the Journal of the American Medical Association even finds that there is a positive correlation between maternal mental health and paternal mental health, meaning that when a new mother is dealing with a mental health disorder, her partner is more likely to suffer too.

Alongside its impact on parental relationships, it is also suggested that 80% of a child’s brain develops in the first 2 years of its life, meaning that perinatal mental health disorders have the ability to cause irreparable damage to a child’s nervous system if undetected or undiagnosed.

So it is clear that maternal mental health is not just an issue felt by the mother alone, but the entire family…

 

The importance of human connection…

The biggest misconception with wellbeing is often that it revolves solely around the way we care for our physical health. But did you know that human connection and closeness can have a bigger impact on our health than physical exercise and even our diet?!

Stanford Medicine claims that social connection has a direct impact on the function of our immune system, our ability to fight disease and can even help us to live longer, healthier lives! Research also highlights that higher levels of social connection directly correlate with lower levels of depression and anxiety, meaning that human contact and social interaction might really be the best medicine for us after all!

When dealing with the issue of maternal mental health, keeping human connection alive is essential. While it is common for struggling parents to withdraw from those closest to them, we all need that sense of closeness and community to help get our wellbeing back on track. So, if you know of a team member, friend or family member that you feel may be vulnerable to maternal mental health in any way here’s 3 simple things you can do to help…

1  Know the signs and the statistics

The biggest issue we face with maternal and perinatal mental health problems is that many of us are clueless to the scale of the problem! It can be easy to go through life assuming that ourselves and our loved ones will never be the ones affected but in reality, 25% of new mothers will be affected.

Be aware of and looking out for the signs can mean the difference between a condition being treated effectively or going undiagnosed, causing a wider impact on themselves and their family.

Look out for…

  • Any blatant signs of social withdrawal
  • A disinterest in activities they once gravitated towards
  • A persistent low mood
  • Irritability
  • Feelings of overwhelm


2  Check in with them regularly

Whether or not you think a new mother or parent may be struggling with their mental wellbeing, it is good to get in the habit of checking in with those around us. After all, the transition to parenthood poses enough challenges for any of us to be thankful for the chance to offload! Knowing that someone cares and is thinking of us is often enough to brighten up the worst of days!

3  Offer a shoulder of support free from judgement

With maternal mental health, one of the main reasons why so many cases go undetected is due to a fear of being judged as a “bad parent” for struggling with  wellbeing at a time when many expect to be the most content with life possible. It is this expectation that leaves many mothers bridled with guilt and shame, in need of a support network that can empathise and reassure them.

Having a support network in times of need is essential and at Talent Courtyard, we are truly passionate about the power of community spirit. That is why we curate our wellbeing workshops and seminars to connect others with a meaningful community of like-minded individuals, while giving participants the chance to learn, grow and feel more confident in their personal and professional lives.

If you think you or your team could benefit from a highly valuable wellbeing boost, we offer a wide range of immersive workshops including “Desk-side Yoga”, “Journaling for Mental Health” and “Kindness and Social Connections” to help our corporate community explore creativity, mindfulness and professional development to achieve better wellbeing for all. 

Click here to read more information and for any enquiries…

To celebrate the power of creativity and community in wellbeing, we are bringing you our one-of-a-kind Collaborative Collage Making workshop (7th June), giving you the opportunity to unleash your creative side while connecting with others. This workshop is also perfect for a bit of family fun and bonding if you have children you would like to attend alongside!

Click here to purchase your early bird tickets now…

Further reading


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