Having a baby is stressful by anyone’s standards, but there is support available locally to help mothers cope with the many challenges that parenthood can bring.
Rodney Women’s Centre in Morpeth Street, Warkworth provides several free services that are designed to address problems that women can face when they become mothers, such as isolation and anxiety.
Counsellor Bridget Farmiloe runs a support group for Perinatal Distress (PND), a term which covers ante and postnatal depression and anxiety. She says PND can happen to any mother, during the pregnancy or after birth, but with the right support most women can recover and go on to experience motherhood in a more positive way.
“Our group is an opportunity for women to meet others experiencing difficulties and challenges so they don’t feel isolated and can learn from others’ experiences,” she says.
The programme includes tools, tips and strategies to promote mindfulness, physical health, healthy relationships, making time for self-care, accessing support, plus managing anxiety and difficult feelings.
“Women can learn in a supportive environment and take home information to support their recovery at home,” Bridget says.
Ahnya Martin runs a Young Mums Group for mothers aged 24 and under who might feel isolated from other women their own age. She says the 10-week programme allows young mums to network with other mothers, while exploring positive parenting, life management skills and strategies for raising happy, healthy children.
“It provides young mothers with the opportunity to increase support networks and decrease isolation, share parenting with young women around their own age, learn new skills, receive information about parenting and resources in our local community, and equips young mums with the ability to make healthy, positive choices for themselves and their babies,” she says.
Rodney Women’s Centre also offers free individual counselling for women with children under the age of 18.
For more information, contact Rodney Women’s Centre on 425 7261 or visit womenscentrerodney.org.nz