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Mums unite to share ideas

Zoe KeenanSouth Western Times
Anne Mackay, Ciara Craig, 2, Belinda Jeffreys, Mason Parkinson, 5, Jill Drew, Elise McDonald, Portia McDonald, 8, Chelsea Tompsett, Stephanie Parkinson, Noah Parkinson, 10 weeks, and Charlie Parkinson, 2 regularly meet to discuss their parenting experiences.
Camera IconAnne Mackay, Ciara Craig, 2, Belinda Jeffreys, Mason Parkinson, 5, Jill Drew, Elise McDonald, Portia McDonald, 8, Chelsea Tompsett, Stephanie Parkinson, Noah Parkinson, 10 weeks, and Charlie Parkinson, 2 regularly meet to discuss their parenting experiences.

Having your first baby is supposed to be a joyous period, so when mums are not feeling happy it is something they often bottle up.

A community group encouraging new mums to open up about the difficulties of becoming a parent has highlighted mental health problems new mums face this Mental Health Week.

Radiance started in 2017 after Busselton mum CJ Heins experienced postpartum psychosis and could not find support.

The group has since built a website pointing to a range of support services and has two support groups that meet regularly in Busselton and Bunbury.

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“Sometimes mums don’t like to say how they feel because being a new parent you’re supposed to be joyful and happy, and when you’re not feeling that it’s really hard to wear a mask all of the time,” Radiance project coordinator Anne Mackay said.

She said becoming a new parent was different in this day and age where there were husbands working longer hours or working fly-in, fly-out, and female support networks were vastly spread out.

“Expectations of being a new mum aren’t ideal, it’s scary and lonely, and social media doesn’t help either when mums compare themselves,” she said.

The group is a way for them to be open and honest and be seen.”

For more information or to get support go to www.radiancesouthwest.com.au.

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