Noah’s Ark in Kalgoorlie has introduced an innovative local support service for new mothers that focusses on strengthening the emotional well-being of the mother and baby and creating a positive attachment between them.
There are many expectations on new mothers and sometimes the pressure of family, friends and spouses can be overwhelming. Is it any surprise then that some new mums feel inadequate when faced with the responsibility of caring for a tiny, completely dependent and often crying newborn?
The myriad adjustments that follow the arrival of a new baby can be daunting for new mothers and it doesn’t matter whether it’s your first or fifth baby, there are still multiple tasks to be juggled every day and night. For about 20% of women, this can be difficult and may bring about the development of symptoms of serious depression. These might include spontaneous crying, disinterest in the new baby, guilty feelings about being depressed and difficulty in discussing feelings of negativity toward the child.
Noah's Ark's Babe Ease Playgroup is designed to assist in situations where there may be a risk of poor attachment between mother and baby due to post natal depression (PND) or perinatal anxiety (PNA); personal or family issues; and /or difficulty in coping with the stress of an unsettled or distressed infant.
The early weeks and months are a critical time in the lives of mothers and their infants. Babe Ease is a community-based service that focusses on using play activities with babies in a safe and supportive group environment, where mothers can learn to better understand and enjoy their baby.
As well as offering opportunities for mothers to be supported by each other in coping with the challenges of motherhood, they will also be able to share concerns about their own, or their child’s, emotional well-being with trained facilitators.
Nicole Wade and Stacey Palmer will facilitate The Babe Ease Playgroup. Nicole is a Mental Health Nurse with post-graduate certificates in counselling and infant mental health. She has extensive experience in working with mothers with post-natal mental health problems. Stacey is a paediatric Occupational Therapist, and currently facilitates the Noah’s Ark Supported Playgroup and Parent Education Programme in Kalgoorlie. She is also a senior Occupational Therapist at the Kalgoorlie Hospital.
The WA Perinatal Mental Health Unit of the Western Australian Department of Health is acknowledged for its funding and support of this programme.
For information about the Babe Ease Playgroup, please call Stacey Palmer on 0417 924 529.