Having a baby is a life-changing experience. Becoming a new parent can bring excitement and happiness – but can also trigger stress and worries.
Taking action to support your mental and emotional health can help you manage the challenges of this time in life, and improve your overall wellbeing. This can help you feel happier and enjoy the experience of being a new parent, which in turn, will have a positive impact on your baby.
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What does it mean to be mentally healthy?
It means that most of the time you feel good about yourself, good about what you do, and good about others. You enjoy the simple things in life, feel fairly optimistic about the future, and are interested in what’s going on in the world.
The more mentally healthy we are, the happier we feel, which helps us cope with problems and stresses in life.
Keep physically, socially, spiritually and mentally active. Being active helps us cope with stress, builds friendships and lifts our spirits.
Engage in fun activities and stay connected with your friends and community. Focus on doing things you enjoy.
Consider signing up to birth and parenting classes and learning more about emotional health and wellbeing.
Having a sense of belonging helps us build friendships and feel good. It creates opportunities and strengthens communities.
Maintain your connections with friends and social groups. Connect with other expecting and new parents. It can be fun and helpful to share your experiences with those on the same journey as you.
Being part of a birth and parenting class can build knowledge and connections.
Commitment gives us a sense of meaning and purpose in life, which builds our self-esteem and resilience.
Becoming a parent is a big challenge in itself. Commit to continuing your activities and set yourself small, manageable goals. Celebrate when you achieve them!
Relaxation techniques and mindfulness can support good mental health. Try to set aside some time each day that is just for you.
How can I get support?
It’s not uncommon to experience symptoms of anxiety or depression during pregnancy or early parenthood. If worry or stress is stopping you from enjoying life as you normally would, seek advice from a health professional – a nurse, midwife or doctor.
You can also call our free, confidential Health Information Line and speak to one of our nurse-midwives on 3216 0376 (within Brisbane) or 1800 017 676 (toll free outside Brisbane).
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• ‘mind the bump’ or ‘mindfulness for pregnancy’ app
For help understanding this brochure or for further information, please call the Health Information Line on 3216 0376 (within Brisbane) or 1800 017 676 (toll free outside Brisbane).
Last updated: 24 July 2017
© Women's Health Queensland Wide Inc and Mentally Healthy WA.