While pregnancy and motherhood can be a blissful time for many women, it can also be a confusing, exhausting, uncertain, troublesome mess of a time for others. In fact the perinatal period (which includes pregnancy and the year following birth) is when women are at their most vulnerable and at the greatest risk of poor mental health. It makes sense; so much change, so little sleep, so much unknown, so little sleep. In Australia, at least 1 in 7 women will experience postnatal depression, and 1 in 10 will experience antenatal depression during pregnancy. Anxiety conditions are also as common as depression during the perinatal period and in many countries as many as 1 in 5 new mothers experience some type of perinatal mood and anxiety disorder.
Today is World Maternal Mental Health Day. An important time to remember these statistics and the uncertainty and fears that surround pregnancy and motherhood, even for those not suffering from a mental health concern. Add to that the fact that 1 in 2 women experience pregnancy related discrimination in the workforce and its no wonder this is women they are at their most vulnerable. No one can be 100% prepared for pregnancy and motherhood, its a big change. But the more prepared you are for the transition that having a child necessitates, you more you can reduce your exposure to the debilitating impact of perinatal mental illness and pregnancy discrimination.
Through our programs, we help to ensure women have worked through the issues that pregnancy and motherhood can raise, both in the home and the workplace. We equip women to handle discrimination if it arises and prepare them for the transition to motherhood, parental leave and then back into the workforce.
We also have a supportive online community where you can connect with other working parents who have already travelled the journey to motherhood and who can provide much support and guidance.