Here's why mother's emotional, mental health is as important as physical health | Health - Hindustan Times

Here's why mother's emotional, mental health is as important as physical health

ByZarafshan Shiraz, Delhi
Apr 29, 2022 02:35 PM IST

Ahead of Mother's Day 2022, health experts throw light on why emotional and mental health is as important as physical health of a mother

If superpowers ever had a face, they would look like our mothers because who else would be able to house a baby for 9 months? That's just something superheroes do and that’s what only women can (sorry boys)! If you are a mother who never settles for the less, be it at the workplace or at home, this Mother's Day 2022 is the time to slow down, take a breath and prioritise your emotional and mental health since they are as important as your physical health, even though a lot of times this does not look like what you may have planned.

Here's why mother's emotional, mental health is as important as physical health (Pixabay)
Here's why mother's emotional, mental health is as important as physical health (Pixabay)

In a society where motherhood and sacrifice are often seen as synonyms, more often than not, moms are not taking care of themselves and according to a survey, moms put their health and wellbeing at the end of the list because they juggle many roles such as caregiver, partner, homemaker, employee, daughter-in-law and multiple others. Each of these roles is governed by attitudes, beliefs, and perspectives and most of them have a set of many unrealistic expectations and demands, which often prove to be highly taxing on one's physical and mental health.

In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Richa Vashista, Chief Mental Health Expert, AtEase, shared, “Due to the increased stress, many mothers are currently suffering from several psychological problems such as anxiety, panic attacks, difficulty breathing, sudden onset of palpitations, and an increasing sense of helplessness. Even though they continue to suffer from mental illness, most of them do not come forward and often tend to hide their problems due to several stigmas. The past year and a half has been tough on mothers is an understatement, with many juggling their own careers while also taking care of their households. This has taken a toll on their mental well-being.”

She added, "A child’s healthy development depends on their parents, especially mothers who serve as their first source of support in becoming independent and leading healthy and successful lives. While mothers have turned to various coping tools to maintain their mental health, like taking me-time, engaging in hobbies, exercising, meditation, therapy/couples therapy, etc. It is important for mothers to remember that they should not be too hard on themselves and sometimes should let things go if they are out of their control while making self-care and mental health their priority."

As mental health concerns during and after pregnancy get more visibility, Mental Health Expert Malvika Rao insists that it’s the perfect opportunity to build awareness about the fact that mental health issues can develop at any point during the pregnancy. She said, “One myth to readily debunk is that “pregnancy is such a joyful time of life and that it protects folks against common mental health concerns”. That statement is clearly false as pregnancy is a unique period of time in anyone’s life and the experience varies from one mom to another. While there is no one right way to raise a child, it’s a learning curve, especially for mothers, where with time one learns about her child as well as about herself.”

She asserted that it is necessary for mothers to spend time with their kids and calibrate their expectations, whether they have an infant learning to sleep through the night or a toddler helping to put toys away. Every mother and every motherhood is unique and it might not be an innate feeling for everyone but is a learning experience for all. Echoing the same, Mental Health Expert Sayesha Mani, pointed out, “As we pass through a global pandemic, its impact on the mental health and well-being of mothers is undeniable. The pandemic-related challenges have been especially hard on mothers, who are most likely to shoulder the burden of increased home-schooling, office demands and household demands.”

Alerting that mothers tend to suppress feelings that might be detrimental to their mental health, the expert suggested that an outlet for their emotions might help them understand their needs better. Sayesha Mani said, “While the lives and routines of everybody have certainly been turned upside down over the last two years, it is increasingly clear that the mental health impact of the pandemic has been severe on mothers trying to juggle multiple responsibilities. Looking forward, everything is not bleak, given the measures taken by the government and the awareness being created around mothers’ mental health, there is strong hope to enhance and support their mental health and well-being for them.”

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