CALMBIRTH POST: Perinatal Depression and Anxiety Awareness Week
I Wish I Knew: How expecting parents can support their emotional wellbeing
“I wish I knew…”
Many expecting mums and dads are surprised and shocked by how challenging becoming a parent can be. Up to one in five expecting or new mothers and one in ten expecting or new fathers will experience perinatal anxiety or depression. Up to 100 Highlands families will be affected by this illness this year alone.
12 – 17 November is Perinatal Anxiety & Depression Awareness Week, established by PANDA in 2005 to increase awareness, reduce the stigma of the illness, and support the wellbeing of expecting and new parents.
Supporting the mental and emotional health of expecting parents is close to the heart of what the team at Calmbirth in Mittagong do on a daily basis.
“As Calmbirth educators, we have an opportunity to make a valuable contribution to the mental health of couples who attend our classes,” says Peter Jackson, Calmbirth’s Founder.
Calmbirth’s classes are designed to address the mental and emotional aspects of relationships, and the importance that connection has to the experience of giving birth.
So how do we move from “I wish I knew” to “I’m glad I knew that”? We asked the Calmbirth team to put together some tips to empower expecting parents on their exciting, but sometimes confronting, journey through the trenches of pregnancy and parenthood.
Educate yourself and ask lots of questions. Knowledge will reduce fear and anxiety about childbirth.
Focus on fostering positive relationships with each other as a couple and with your baby during pregnancy, birth and beyond.
Work together as a team during the labour and birth process. Keep that teamwork mentality and focus on consolidating a strong, positive relationship with each other and your baby. Your relationship will shift and evolve as you navigate your way along the parenting road, but if there’s a strong foundation of working together, the entire family will benefit.
Find pre-natal and birth classes that have a calm atmosphere and are therapeutic in nature. A caring and calm environment creates a sense of healing, empowerment and trust in the process of childbirth.
Calmbirth is a highly acclaimed and trusted education childbirth education program, embracing the connection between the mind-body, family and learning how to accept and work with the wonders and challenges of childbirth. The program teaches you to embrace birth as a natural part of life and not fear it, and stay connected by working together as a family.
The PANDA National Helpline is open Monday to Friday 9:00am – 7:30pm AEST. Call 1300 726 306.