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Let’s talk podcast about perinatal depression and anxiety

To mark Perinatal Mental Health Week (8-14 November), the Rural Adversity Mental Health Program (RAMHP) has released a new episode from the Let’s Talk podcast series focusing on perinatal depression and anxiety.

Perinatal depression and anxiety (PNDA) affects one in five new mums and one in ten new dads/ partners in Australia.1

RAMHP Coordinator Kate Arndell said perinatal depression and anxiety is extremely common but there is still a real stigma around seeking help for mental health issues particularly for people living in the bush.

“We place a lot of expectation on ourselves to be the perfect mother, the perfect carer, the perfect partner. We expect that this will be an amazingly happy time in our lives but for many people this can be an extremely challenging time … everything that we know has been turned upside down,” Kate said.

Podcast guest, midwife and CEO Birth Beat Edwina Sharrock has her own lived experience of perinatal anxiety.

“There is so much stigma when you experience perinatal anxiety and a sense of failure as a parent, as a mother and as a mid-wife – all of those things were hugely challenging for me.”

Edwina says that now is the time for everyone in the community to educate themselves around perinatal depression and anxiety particularly given COVID -19.

“Preparing to be a parent can be a time that creates a lot of anxiety anyway because there’s so many unknowns. Throw a global pandemic on top of that and it’s almost overwhelming because each week, each fortnight, each month the recommendations and the hospital policies are changing. Everything is out of people’s control, and that is where anxiety is rife.

“There is an opportunity here for us as a community to be always looking out for new parents. We can all be caring, supportive listeners and the network that new parents need,” Edwina said.

RAMHP Coordinator Kate Arndell said it’s important for people to seek and accept help when they need it and to realise that if they take time out for themselves, they’re benefitting the rest of the family.

“It might be as simple as having a bath, going for a walk, listening to music, or watching a movie. Self-compassion and being kind to yourself is important. Try to avoid perfectionism and having any expectations.

“Also realise that you’re not alone. It’s a very common experience, the sooner you get help, the faster you can recover and you will be able to enjoy this special time with your baby and your family,” Kate said.

Listen to our  ‘Perinatal depression and anxiety’ episode here.

You can also follow the ‘Let’s Talk Rural Mental Health’ podcast at www.crrmh.com.au/podcasts or search ‘Let’s Talk Rural Mental Health’ in iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts.

 

  1. https://gidgetfoundation.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/Cost-of-PNDA-in-Australia_-Final-Report.pdf

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