Maternal Mental Health

ANXIETY AND DEPRESSION

Anxiety or depression during pregnancy or after your baby is born, is very common. As many as 1 in 5 mums, or 1 in 10 dads will experience it. You are not alone! But it is important to seek help to get things back on track. Dr Smith and Dr Andrew have received training in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy in the perinatal period and are passionate about improving mental health in parents. We can draw on a range of resources, including referrals to psychologists (using GP Mental Health Care Plans), where appropriate. We are also knowledgeable about prescribing medication during pregnancy and breastfeeding, if this is needed. A little apprehension about the birth of a new baby is normal, but it shouldn’t be all-consuming. Similarly, “baby blues” should lift after a few days. Feeling persistently worried or sad is not normal and there is plenty we can do to help.

List of resources:

WEBSITES

Information Sheets from PANDA
Anxiety and Depression in Early Parenthood and Pregnancy
Adjusting to The Challenges of Parenthood
Wellbeing and Self Care
Recovering from Perinatal Anxiety and Depression

  • COPE (Centre of Perinatal Excellence)
    “Ready to Cope” Program for expectant or new mothers – receive fortnightly emails with information on how to improve your emotional and mental health.
  • Moodgym
    A self-help online program to help overcome depression and anxiety.
  • Centre for Clinical Intervention
    Many one-page, easy to read information brochures on all aspects of mental health.
  • SANE Australia
    Good, general information about mental health conditions as well as some pregnancy-specific information.

ARTICLES

APPS

  • Mind the Bump

BOOKS

  • “Becoming Mum” by Dr Koa Whittington
    A must-read for any mum having issues adjusting to parenthood, or feeling distressed by not meeting any of their parenting goals (ie birth plans, breastfeeding etc). It is based in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy.
  • “The Joys and Sorrows of Parenting” by School of Life. A candid look at the ups and downs of parenting and how to be kind to yourself. Available for purchase at: www.schooloflife.com

FOR DADS

  • SMS4DADS
    An SMS service that sends dads information during their partner’s pregnancy and for 24 weeks after delivery, linked to the developmental stage of the pregnancy/baby. Offers advice on how to support their partners.

RELATIONSHIP SUPPORT

The birth of a new baby brings many changes in the dynamics of relationships. Each person is taking on new roles, and old roles may have to be redistributed or redefined. Some old roles may even be gone or put on hold. Change can be very unsettling for most people. It is very common that a birth of a new baby may put significant strain on a relationship, as well as highlighting pre-existing issues in the relationship that may not have been dealt with in the past.

It is important that you seek help together if you feel your relationship is suffering. Seeing Dr Andrew or Dr Smith is a good start – we can direct you to some great resources as well as refer to a relationship counsellor or psychologist if needed.

Below are some good resources for relationship issues:

  • Relationships Australia (SA)
    Phone: 1300 364 277
    They provide a counselling service. Their website also has many brochures and information sheets.

Brochure: “Partners: A successful Guide to Relationships”

  • The School of Life by Alain de Botton (Psychology and Philosophy)
    A fabulous website with an ever-evolving “Book of Life” with chapters to help you in all aspects of life. See Chapter 3, Relationships, for some excellent self-help suggestions. Information is often portrayed in video format. The Relationships Chapter covers topics such as: affairs, romanticism, sex, conflict and children.

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE SUPPORT

“Are you safe?” All women should feel safe in their home. Domestic violence comes in many forms – physical, sexual, emotional, financial control or abuse. Pregnancy, and the birth of a new baby, can be a very risky time for women who are victims of domestic violence. Dr Smith and Dr Andrew are able to help you navigate this rocky road if you need.

Below are some resources to help:

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