Mental health and motherhood: Balancing parenting and self-care - Hindustan Times
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Mental health and motherhood: Balancing parenting and self-care

ByZarafshan Shiraz, New Delhi
Aug 11, 2023 12:10 PM IST

Motherhood comes ​with various challenges that can significantly affect mental health. Experts share tips to balance parenting and self-care

​Finding a balance between parenting responsibilities and self-care is absolutely vital for maintaining mental well-being, especially for mothers who often find themselves juggling multiple roles and obligations. Motherhood comes ​with various challenges that can significantly affect mental health, including sleep deprivation, feelings of isolation and the overwhelming pressure to meet societal expectations.

Mental health and motherhood: Balancing parenting and self-care (Photo by Jonathan Gallegos on Unsplash)
Mental health and motherhood: Balancing parenting and self-care (Photo by Jonathan Gallegos on Unsplash)

In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Dr Payal Chaudhary, Senior Consultant, Obstetrics and Gynaecology at Rosewalk Healthcare by Rainbow Children’s Hospital, insisted, “It is crucial to recognise and acknowledge the challenges as a crucial initial step towards addressing them. Mothers should understand that taking care of their own mental health is not selfish, but rather a necessary component of their overall well-being. Learning to say no when necessary, delegating tasks, and setting aside dedicated time for self-care activities that promote relaxation and rejuvenation are essential practices.”

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She added, “By prioritising self-care, mothers can enhance their ability to care for their children and lead a more fulfilling and healthier life. In addition, surrounding oneself with understanding and empathetic individuals, such as friends, family or support groups, can provide emotional support, practical assistance and opportunities for self-care. Having a support network that acknowledges and appreciates the challenges of motherhood can make a significant difference.”

Bringing her expertise to the same, Dr Tasneem Shah, Consultant - Obstetrics and Gynaecology at Manipal Hospital in Bangalore's Whitefield, said, “For all women, being a mother is a remarkable event, but being pregnant can also result in a number of emotional challenges. Additionally, the mother has melancholy, mood swings, and sobbing fits as a result of this. It is called anti-partum depression, and these women are more prone to have mood swings or postpartum depression after delivery. Around 2% of pregnant women who visit our OPD have depressed thoughts during their pregnancies and need professional care and therapy.”

She concluded, “During this period, good family support plays an important role in maintaining the mental health of these women. Also, women have a tendency to ignore their mental health mainly due to a lot of reasons, such as lack of awareness, lack of time, too much workload, etc. This should be avoided because prioritising mental health results in overall well-being in women during their recovery period. In case of depressive episodes, psychological counseling is necessary which will further help them cope with emotional challenges.”

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