Celebrating Mother’s Day when you are pregnant
Is it too soon to celebrate becoming a mother when you are pregnant? No, says our perinatal mental health expert Marie-Paule Austin who explains that taking the time to share your feelings around pregnancy, birth and parenthood with close family and friends can help your emotional wellbeing.
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.
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.
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 or painting the nursery, or emotional support such as taking them out for coffee and chat or even just going for a light stroll.
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
- Inviting them to a coffee or a walk in the park
- 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.
You can also complete an emotional wellbeing screening test online through Mummatters which can help you assess your own mental health and get prompted to access care if you need.
• Perinatal Anxiety and Depression Australia: 1300 726 306 (Monday to Friday 9.00am to 7.30pm AEST)
• Lifeline: 13 11 14