Last week I was emailed a link to Vanity Fair's latest cover story: Adele, Queen of Hearts.
"from behind the scenes of her world tour, she opens up about the challenges of motherhood, melancholy, and mega-stardom". vanityfair.com
It is a well written piece that covers a lot of ground, including Adele’s experience of Postnatal Depression after her the birth of her son.
A couple of things stood out. Adele swears, a lot. She has a fantastically sharp sense of humour. When asked if her boyfriend and father of her son minded her unshaven legs she replied “He has no choice…I’ll have no man telling me to shave my f—ing legs. Shave yours.” Her honesty is refreshing if not at times brutal. She was raised by a large family of strong independent women.
So what do these observations have to do with perinatal mental illness? Adele’s story must resonate with many new parents and her blunt take on her experience, reveals some helpful points on parenting and perinatal mental illness:
Honesty with yourself and others will lead to help that you and your family need
• Talk ... you will realise that you are not alone
• Listen to your partner, they are usually trying to help
• Honesty helps reduces stigma
• You may decide to have more children or you may not and that is ok
• Find your tribe whatever shape or form them come in
• ALL parents at some point in time wish that that they could have some time for themselves
• Taking time for yourself and as a couple is essential – healthy babies need healthy parents
• Guilt is almost always self-generated, self-perpetuating and serves no one
• Humour can be self-generated, self-perpetuating and will serve everyone
• A strong family upbringing is gold and
Sometimes, you just need to swear…
13-19 November is Perinatal Depression and Anxiety Awareness Week panda.org.au
“You can’t get help if you don’t know something is wrong”.
We are all encouraged to know the signs of perinatal mental illness and seek help early.
Your primary health carer, GP, Midwife or Maternal Child Health Nurse are well placed to help.
One example is HealthMint a new clinic in Melbourne's south east who are committed to parents, children and early intervention
By Adaobi Udechuku