|Rachel, Rebecca, Bree, Lauren and Ainslee|
I have four older sisters and all of them are breeders. Ten children have gone before my little one.
What does this mean? It means great things for me and my introduction to motherhood. Why? Because I have had practice. I have held their babies, bathed their babies, played with their babies and changed their babies. I have observed their babies and watched how they communicate. I have even dropped a few!
I have watched my sisters go through pregnancies, caesareans, natural births, multiple births and breastfeeding. I have seen mastitis, cracked nipples, stretch marks and fatigue as well as post-natal depression and anxiety. I have also seen how much they love their babies.
For me this experience has been invaluable because I knew what to expect and I have been able to apply the knowledge I gained. I can honestly say I have been anxiety free and as a result I have a very content baby.
In Australia, approximately 16% of women experience post-natal depression and anxiety. Exacerbating factors include isolation and a lack of support. Community is not what it was and families commonly face the tyranny of distance. I believe we have lost something fundamental and vital.
In saying this, it is a reality.
So for women experiencing this what can be done? Here are a few suggestions:
- Stay connected with your partner
- Meet with other mums through support groups
- Seek and maintain friendships
- Stay connected with family
- Use child care as required
- Develop a support system that includes health professionals