Mothers are the largest unpaid, most unappreciated workforce on the planet. Suicide is the biggest killer of new mothers. Women feel alone and inadequate. What can we do to better support mothers and do you think social media has a role to play?
Motherhood begins in pregnancy so we need to provide more evidence based pregnancy support. We need to ensure that mothers know what they are being tested for, what the test results mean, whether testing is truly necessary or just routine etc. The same goes for birth. A frightening number of hospital protocols are NOT evidence based and this is endangering women and babies.
We need more drop in places for new mothers where they can get support and advice on everything from breastfeeding to baby sleeping and relationship help. A service that offers unbiased, impartial birth debriefing would also make a huge difference for many women.
Social media has a huge part to play, in fact many women find whole support networks online. It's wonderful to see them and to be a part of many. The internet is truly marvellous!
Good question. Funnily enough, my therapist asked me almost exactly the same question a couple of days ago - what could she do to support me. I was stumped for an answer then and I'm still stumped for an answer now!
Clearly something needs to be done and more support is needed by many struggling mothers but I really can't see my own situation or anyone else's clearly enough at the moment to know what would be helpful.
Primarily a supportive mate. Men seem to be rather clueless as to what is going on. It seems that they either dont care or need to be educated on dealing with women.
Some men seem to not realize that they need to help their wives out at home. I think parents need to teach sons to be domestic and so they can help their wives and men should listen to and love their wives. Most of the changes that come with parenthood affects the woman and as such the man needs to be supportive of what she is going through.
Giving mothers space to do things their way. There is so much prescriptive information, that many mothers struggle to follow, leading to a confidence crisis.
We can better support mothers, by supporting COUPLES from early pregnancy. Helping partners to understand their role and how they can support the mothering. This means understanding normal biology. Aligning expectations with reality.
Not all mother groups (on line or in real life) are supportive. Some are very competitive and prescriptive. Finding one that is right for the mother is important. In order to find the 'right' one, the mother needs to feel confident in her approach and supported.
Part of the problem is that the health professionals do not (in my opinion) provide all options and have limited knowledge (especially when it comes to breastfeeding, and normal sleep).
So I feel that to support mothers, we must empower them with knowledge.
In Australia, I found the Australian Breastfeeding Association a wonderful support.