Hot on the heels of the research earlier this week comes another linked to preparation and postnatal depression. Several studies have already identified the link between preparation and reduced risk of postnatal depression in both the father and the mother and we know from our work that mums who feel more prepared, empowered and confident about the birth, and who have bonded well with their baby prenatally, are less likely to experience postnatal depression.
This new study published in The Journal of Perinatal Education finds first-time mothers want more information about how a newborn will impact their lives. Thirty-five percent did not feel prepared for the physical experience following birth and 20% did not feel prepared for the emotional experience.
The study includes 151 first-time mothers attending community child health centers in Brisbane, Australia. Focus groups were conducted with eight mothers 7-9 months following entry to the service. Nearly half commented on some aspect of maternal health such as fatigue, postnatal depression and the work of caring for a new baby.
The situation in the UK may not be much different, prental check ups do little to prepare you for the birth or for parenthood. Some classes such as the National Childbirth Trust are great for knowledge and parenting skills but do not cover the tackle the emotional aspects as deeply. Even the NHS parentcraft classes don’t really do what they say on the tin. They are often packed, we have reports of up to 20 couples in a class, or parents have difficulty getting a place. Sometimes people just need some time to reflect and be able to air their concerns or to ask questions.
This is what one dad had to say about our one day mindful mamma class
“I would just like to commend you on designing and running such a really fantastic course! It really has empowered both of us,to the point where most of our fears about birth have disappeared already. We have always wanted to go down the natural birth route, but felt that there was not enough support & advice out there about how to do it drug and pain free. Your course, although short, covered pretty much all aspects that I felt were missing from our antenatal classes & many more. Vic now feels a lot more confidant, and I actually feel like I have a proper role in the whole event, other that driving her to the hospital & sitting on the rocking chair!”
“The Australian study demonstrates that new mothers are eager for high-quality, accurate information of what to expect of life with a newborn,” says the study’s lead author, Margaret Barnes, RN, MA, PhD.
Mindful Mamma classes can empower women to have positive birth experiences and with additional services we can support confidence with parenthood, breastfeeding, handling tiredness and so on.