NHM Mummas support each other daily, there is no judgement and the aim of NHM is to support Mummas as best as possible throughout the journey of motherhood. Both Bec Tansey and Mel Sargeant believe Motherhood has been their “toughest challenge yet”.
It’s for this reason Mel has decided to go against her better judgement and jump out of a plane to support women with Post Natal Depression.
“Dr Rickie Elliott from Hummingbird Centre approached me and said I could help raise awareness for Mum’s doing it tough by jumping out of a plane. I said ‘No I don’t want to do that!’. Then I thought about how hard motherhood is without experiencing PND, and thought if I can help out I will, so I said “I’ll do it, if you come too”. Dr Elliott was silent for a little while on the phone then she said “Ok, but I’ll need some psyching up”.
Dr Rickie and Mel will be jumping for COPE’S (Centre of Perinatal Excellence) annual Fundraiser to encourage new parents to not suffer alone in silence, but to seek help and support early. Assuring them that the struggle is not a reflection of their ability and worth as parents.
NHM-I GOT IT FROM MY MUMMA’ s show released on 12th of November will be in support of Perinatal Anxiety and Depression Awareness (PANDA) Week, 11-17 th November 2018.
Dr Rickie from The Hummingbird Centre in Warners Bay says the Perinatal period (spanning from conception to the end of the first postnatal year), is a time where new mothers and fathers are at significantly increased risk for onset and relapse of mental health conditions. Perinatal Depression (PND) a serious illness that affects up to one in five expecting or new mums and one in ten expecting or new dads. It is not widely known that indeed Perinatal Anxiety is emerging as even more common then PND and appears to equally effect men and women in the postnatal period. The two conditions frequently overlap.
COPE reports “Being truly healthy during this unique period in life means a woman must look after her physical and mental wellbeing, but too often the emotional and mental health challenges experienced during this time are overlooked, misunderstood and not spoken about. This can evoke intense feelings of isolation and shame, and worsen feelings of stress, depression and/or anxiety.”
The extent of these issues is revealed in COPE’s extensive research with over 1,200 women across Australia who have experienced anxiety and/or depression in pregnancy or in the year following birth. When asking a subsample of these women questions about their own emotional and mental health in their first pregnancy, low awareness of common mental health conditions was revealed with 48% of women in NSW indicating that they “probably had symptoms of depression and anxiety in pregnancy, but they did not recognise them”.
High expectations, shame and denial were also indicated, with 49% per cent of women surveyed from NSW stating that they “hid their true feelings from their family and friends”. The adjustment to parenthood is huge and we do not want parents suffering alone. Early identification and treatment means the conditions are resolved faster, families are supported and not isolated, with better outcome for developing children. Please talk to family, friends, your GP, OBGYN, mother’s group etc. The more we reach out and seek support we end suffering and make it easier for other’s to do the same.