Adjusting to parenthood isn’t always simple.
Learning to take care of a newborn means adjusting to a new lifestyle and learning a completely new set of skills. You may have moments when you doubt your ability to take care of your baby. Things can often feel overwhelming and, at times, out of control.
Society also makes us feel like we will fall in love with our babies immediately. But remember, this takes time. The media portrays instant loving connections between parents and their babies. For many parents, this is not the case. Some mothers feel ashamed or guilty about these kinds of feelings, and they often don’t get spoken about. However, taking time to develop a connection with your baby is not uncommon. It is also not a sign that you are not a ‘good’ or ‘natural’ parent.
Caring for a baby is a learning experience. It needs support, patience and determination.
Sometimes, looking after a baby can cause distress and life can start to feel unmanageable. In South Africa, 1 in 3 women experience post-natal depression, anxiety or trauma. Not only is this common – it can happen to any mom, regardless of race, age or culture.
Research shows how important it is that this is not ignored.
It is essential for your mental health, your relationship with your baby as well as for your baby’s development that you seek out support from a health professional.
In order to find out about support that is available for you (private, community or public health resources), send a WhatsApp message to 063 769-6427
Moms, you are not alone. You deserve to be supported during this time so that you and your baby can thrive.
If you want to find out more about our organisation visit us on Facebook.
The Gauteng Association for Infant Mental Health (GAIMH-SA) is an NGO that focuses on the well-being of moms and babies. One of our key focuses is the parent-child relationship during the first 1 000 days. We have spent the last year preparing for a national campaign to facilitate support for moms. We want to create awareness about the challenges faced by moms and to help them find the support they need.
GAIMH-SA is an affiliate of the World Association for Infant Mental Health.
Want to help?
Help us spread the word that new moms are not alone with our #YouAreTheReason campaign.
If you are a healthcare professional or organisation who offers support to new moms, please send us your details.
We appreciate all contributions that help us support new moms.
The South African Mental Health Alliance