World Mental Health Day 10 October
Support and self-care critical for expecting and new parents
PANDA is joining mental health organisations across the globe to raise awareness, help reduce stigma and encourage people struggling with mental health issues to seek support this World Mental Health Day, 10 October.
In the year after childbirth, a woman is more likely to need psychiatric help than at any other time in her life. Depression and anxiety are the most common type of mental health problems during pregnancy and the year after birth (the perinatal period).
Up to one in 10 women in Australia experience depression during pregnancy. And one in 7 new mothers and one in 20 new fathers are diagnosed with postnatal depression each year in Australia. Many more experience it without seeking help.
PANDA Acting CEO Jenni Richardson said that becoming a new parent is one of the most significant transitions in life.
“Pregnancy and the birth of a new baby bring many emotional as well as physical changes. While it is usually a time of great excitement, it can also be confusing, stressful and exhausting. All expecting and new parents need care and support while they are navigating the inevitable changes."
"The right support could range from help with childcare and household chores, to more social interaction, psychological or medical help. Taking time out for yourself, to do what replenishes you as an individual and a couple is also an important way to look after your mental health. This is different for everyone."
"Often our focus is on preparation for the new arrival and the physical demands of pregnancy and caring for a baby. However, our emotional and mental wellbeing is just as important as our physical health.”