“Every young mother should celebrate herself for bringing a new life into the world. A journey that starts with excitement and enthusiasm may be challenged by dropped energy levels, disturbed sleeping or eating patterns.
One in five women may experience anxiety, depression, or distress, robbing them of the golden period and impacting their child’s emotional and cognitive development. This is not caused by hormones alone, though they play a part. Social pressure (for a boy child), unexpected pregnancy, mother’s own past challenges and trauma; and lack of awareness and intervention all contribute to this,” elaborated a statement from Thunai, an NGO working in the field of anxiety, trauma, abuse and depression.
They further add, “Thinking ‘this won’t happen to me or my wife or my daughter (in law), or that we all have been mothers and done this, what’s the big deal’ does not help and may be indicative of an unhealthy family dynamic.”
Thunai is thus organising informative, fun support sessions for mothers on a regular basis in Chennai. These sessions are modelled on the UN’s Thinking Healthy Program and borrow the latest concepts in maternal and infant mental health from global and Indian experts.
During these sessions, mothers can learn what they can do for themselves, how to ask for help when they feel overwhelmed. They will learn some relaxation and anxiety detection techniques, including yoga and breathing exercises.
“Awareness and preventive mental health care for the mothers is the first step. This is like eating good food and exercising daily for the rest of us. Early detection of any excessive anxiety/stress and immediate intervention is the first step to mental health,” they inform. The sessions will also teach the mother how to bond with the baby in the womb and during the crucial 2 years after birth that will help the child form a secure attachment to the mother. “This is so crucial for the child to become confident, curious and a good learner. Also, families can understand how to be supportive to her without blaming her,” they add.
Sessions start in June in both – in-person and online versions. They will be bilingual and free. Pregnant women and new mothers and join by contacted WhatsApp: 93603 81048, email:[email protected].