Colourful Campaign Will Focus On Mental Health In Moms-To-Be
Becoming a mother is one of the biggest transitions you will make in your life. And pregnancy and the early days of motherhood may not turn out to be as magical as you were led to believe.
“Unfortunately there is a perception out there that all women love being pregnant and enjoy the experience. This isn’t always the case.
“Often women feel shame, guilt and fear if they don’t enjoy being pregnant. They fear speaking out about how they truly feel for fear of being judged, and this can be the beginning of something much bigger for women.”
Paint Your Bump
This is the drive behind psychotherapists Fran Buckley and Elva Glynn’s Paint Your Bump Day on Wednesday 2nd May, running as part of the Maternal Mental Health Awareness Week (30th April to 5th May). It aims to create awareness of maternal mental health in pregnant women.
“Our message is to support women in the transition to pregnant women and to motherhood,” explains Fran, a mom of one based in North Dublin, and Elva, who works in private practice in Galway city.
“We would like to dispel the myth that women just switch from one to the other effortlessly. We would like to start a conversation about the everyday struggles of being a mother. We would hope that as women start talking, it gives more women permission to do the same. Our ultimate wish is to raise awareness in this area and support women and their maternal mental wellbeing.”
READ MORE: Let's Talk About Postnatal Depression
The idea of Paint Your Bump came about Buckley’s own experience on her first pregnancy.
“I painted my bump towards the end of my pregnancy and for me it was about honouring my body for nurturing my baby and to also capture the end of the pregnancy and the beginning of a new chapter in my life,” she writes on the Paint Your Bump’s Facebook page.
“This campaign for me is about getting rid of this idea that we as women make this seamless transition into motherhood. I feel there is massive pressure on women to be seen to be doing it all. In my professional experience I see women feeling guilty and focusing on what they perceive to be their shortcomings as mothers. Often there is this idea that everybody else comes first in the family unit and that your needs as mum are at the bottom of the list.”
READ MORE: Parenting Through Mental Health And Suicidal Ideation
Support Maternal Mental Health
She believes a happy mum equals happy children. “I wish for women to have the space to talk about thow they truly feel in a non-judgemental space. It saddens me that so many women feel fearful of speaking out about how they feel for fear of being judged.”
Therefore she feels there’s a need for more support for pregnant women.
READ MORE: Depression During Pregnancy
According to their website, 16% of Irish women will develop a mental health problem in pregnancy or in the postpartum period. 44% of Irish women report having experienced anxiety in early pregnancy and 25% of Irish women report having experienced depression in early pregnancy.
For more information on Paint Your Bump day, visit the Facebook page or the website.
Are you going to paint your bump in aid of mental health in women? Tell us about it in the comments below.