Little People, Big Feelings by Gen Muir OUT NOW

Fear and loneliness: Becoming a first-time mum

Uncategorized Jan 29, 2021

Below is a feature article from the Sydney Morning Herald during the height of the Corona Virus outbreak in Australia. It covers the links between the fear mothers have and the obvious loneliness they face. 

Genevieve Muir, an obstetric social worker at a private hospital in Sydney, says that the COVID-19 pandemic and social distancing measures introduced to stall its spread are compounding the isolation that already plagues new parents.

 “It’s heightening anxiety, especially for people having their first baby,” she says. “When the normal supports that would be there, like dropping into a community health centre, aren’t available, it’s really hard for people.”

Muir recently joined forces with lactation consultant Felicity Hughes and doula Janine Armfield to start Ready Together, a one-stop-shop support service for new parents. “Women were saying they’re just completely stranded, they’ve had a baby, and there is no community help, there’s no mother’s group,” Muir says.

New parents can join Ready Together’s private Facebook group to access live webinars about everything from pelvic floor recovery to breastfeeding.

“If they’ve got questions that we don’t have the answer for, we’ll bring in the person who does,” says Muir. “It’s a place where we can bring community back and where people can get to know each other.”

As for how to support a loved one who has recently welcomed a child? “Cook a meal... It’s one of the most loving things you can do,” says Muir, who recommends checking in with parents and reminding them to look after themselves. “We’re so good at asking about the baby but forget about mums and dads.”
Pick up the phone. If you’re a new mother who needs help, make sure you speak out. “Not all babies are the same, and some babies are harder than others,” says Muir. “If your baby is crying a lot, tell someone.” Tell anyone who is a safe person to talk to, she says, whether that’s a partner, a friend, or a GP. “When we don’t talk about it, it can eat you up inside.”
Read the full artcile here.

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