The Internet is not what's Stressing New Mothers
So apparently this whole idea that modern mothers are more anxious because they have access to too much information, is not exactly true.
I bought into that same myth myself and even rant about it in my mission statement. I have no idea why I adopted such a belief other than maybe it was easier to have something to blame for how I felt.
A survey of 4,000 Australian women, by Medela AU, showed that after seeking advice from a family Doctor or midwife, the next place mothers looked was the internet.
|click to view infographic|
Most women saw having access to expert information 24/7 as a huge benefit. They also found value in connecting with like-minded people. Of the women surveyed only ten percent felt overwhelmed by the amount of information available online. So there you have it. The interwebs are as convenient a place for parenting advice as they are for grocery shopping. #whatagift
Seriously. What did breastfeeding mothers do before smartphones? I remember Googling every. single. thing. It's a solitary job, being a milk maid.
So if the web isn't stressing us out...it must be something else.
One sobering statistic the Medela AU survey revealed is 48% of women experience some form of depression/ baby blues/ low mood after childbirth. That is basically HALF of all mothers!!!
Let that sink in for a moment.
I mean, even as a fellow PND sufferer I had no idea the numbers were that high.
Why is this disturbing?
- It tells me not nearly enough people are comfortable talking about their experience with PND
- Therefore I highly doubt those women are getting the help and support they need
Maybe there is a stigma with the word ‘depression’ but my guess would be that there is more of a stigma surrounding the "M" word. Perhaps we feel that if we admit we are struggling with motherhood then we are failing at it.
Opening up about my own experience with PND was terrifying. I literally felt sick when I published my first blog post about the subject. When I was flooded with emails, messages, and kind words from women who had all been through (or who were currently going through) the same experience, I no longer felt alone.
The main lesson I learned is that those metaphorical villages, you know, the ones it takes to raise a child? Well, they look different today.
More and more families are relocating for work, study or even an International romance (guilty). I live half the world away from the people I grew up with.
By opening up about my struggles, I didn’t know it then, but I was inviting people into my own, albeit virtual, village.
So what can help? According to the Medela survey three main things can help mothers who are suffering.
- Speaking to a friend/ partner or family member
- Reading about people’s similar experiences online
- Consulting a Doctor or Midwife
So just like my advice in the video- we need to create our own villages. These could be online communities, forums, blogs, new friends. Medela AU have created a personalised app with all of these elements and more at your fingertips...Available even in the dim glow of a 3am feed.
To learn more about the Medela app clik here. I will plan to have it for the next bub because it’s a combination of several different apps I used when I had my daughter.
Note: Can I just say, participating in this campaign has been a privilege. I’m proud to work with a company like Medela AU who are clearly sensitive to a mothers needs. I hope this study encourages women to speak out, because they will find that they are definitely not alone.
If you or someone you love is suffering from depression please contact your local crisis hotline or beyond blue in Australia.