You are not alone and there is so much support and help out there.
Perinatal Mental Health Week (7th – 13th November) is a time to raise awareness and collaborate to ensure that parents in need know that they are not alone. 1 in 5 new mums and 1 in 10 new dads experience perinatal depression and anxiety, which is around 100,000 Australian parents each year.
This year has been incredibly challenging, ask a parent if they are ok?
How to ask, if you know a new or expectant parent there are many ways to offer support. It can be hard to know where to start. One idea is to simply ask “How they are going?” and then listen really well. The earlier the intervention the better the outcome for all.
Asking your daughter or son
It can be tough to watch your daughter or son adjust to parenthood if you see them being unsettled. You could reflect on your own experience as a way to open up discussion with them or tell them about what they were like as a baby whilst always encouraging openness and honesty and offering them reassurance at the same time. Asking what they need might also be helpful and just being there in any way you can.
Asking your friend
Getting your friend out for a walk or coffee and talking at the same time might be useful. Check in often, offer times to connect and give them space to respond. If you can ask them “How is it going being a parent?” or share a funny story of your own might encourage them to open up. Validate their feelings and listen well.
Asking your partner
A weekly catch up where there are limited interruptions might be a good time to really ask how your partner is going, You could each do this as regular check in. Timing is important and making sure you can offer support, ideas, or just a good listening ear. Sometimes you just need someone to be there and ask the question. Phones away for this time to connect!
If you notice changes in yourself then take some quiet time, reflect on how you are feeling and be patient with yourself as you settle into this new parenting space. Recognise and label the emotions. If what you normally do is not helping you feel better, then reach out to a trusted friend or family member to get more support. Stay connected with others and make a plan.
DON’T BE AFRAID TO ASK FOR HELP x