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One of the most challenging things a woman can undertake is to become a mother for the first time.
The feelings of excitement and jubilation as you prepare for the wonderful new adventure often give way to uncertainty and nervousness as women contemplate the great many unknowns of life as a mother.
Pregnancy, birth and life with a new bub each create their own daunting challenges, and no amount of books, videos and or classes can prepare you for the biggest change in your life. Until now.
Connect Health & Community recognises the significant challenge of motherhood and has created a unique program for new mums in the Glen Eira/Bayside area that combines connection,
education and art to help prepare first-time mums for the experience of motherhood.
The Mums2Be program aims to give them a place to connect and learn about the transition to parenting, and gain a realistic expectation of their life ahead.
Connect Health & Community CEO, Amanda Murphy, said first-time motherhood is well documented as challenging life phase.
“Research shows the perinatal period, including pregnancy and the following year, is a time of great change in a woman’s life and it is common for women to experience a wide range of emotions. For many, feelings of worry and stress resolve by themselves but for some, pregnancy and early parenthood can trigger symptoms of more serious mental health problems that if unresolved can have a snowballing effect,” she said.
“Most pre-baby classes focus on birth and breast feeding, without addressing the vital issues of life with bub or relationships to help you through this new stage of life,” she said.
Ms Murphy said Connect Health and Community’s new program aim’s to build women’s understanding of the changes the new mums will go through.
“By using various thereputic approaches and a creative art therapy, we aim to increasing women’s awareness of mental health, enhancing their knowledge of themselves and their relationship with their with their developong baby – while also providing them a range of skills and knowledge to help them manage in the post natal period,” she said.
“We are excited to provide this different approach to help educate women on all aspects of their changing lives, including the importance of self-care and care of her child, so women can transition to motherhood more easily and develop realistic expectations of their new lives,” she said.
Ms Murphy said the uniquely collegiate approach would help women connect with other mums-to-be and their babies, while supporting their psychological development in their new roles.
Mum of one, Alex, who experienced significant postnatal depression, welcomed the comprehensive approach to helping new mums-to-be.
“This is a completely different and brilliant approach to help women transition to being mums. To link women on a similar journey and educate them about the different stages and very real changes to their lives and identities, will better prepare and help them overcome the anxieties and challenges ahead,”she said.
“When I had my bub I knew no-one going through the same experience and felt completely isolated. I was so desperate to talk to anyone experiencing the same thing that I would stop women on the street to ask if they felt the same way I did,” she said.
The new group will meet for two hours a week for eight weeks. New year groups will run February–March and April–June.
Ms Murphy said new mums-to-be between 8-30 weeks, or health professionals interested in the program can contact Connect Health & Community on 03) 9192 8964 or 9192 8906.
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