Women’s Health and Wellbeing: a national conversation
With a whopping 63% of surveyed mothers citing that society fails to recognise the significance of their maternal role, it is no wonder mothers Australia-wide (and dare we say it, worldwide) feel overwhelmingly unsupported.
But this week we draw the line.
Women’s Health Week 2021
6th – 10th September is Women’s Health Week – the biggest week of the year focussing on improving the health, wellbeing and livelihood of women and girls all over the country.
By taking a preventive approach to women’s health, the campaign places emphasis on providing free resources, tips and information to women seeking to improve or maintain good health practises, and inspires women and girls to take positive action towards a healthier and happier self.
Mothers and Mental Health
The arrival of Women’s Health Week couldn’t have come at a more perfect time. With 1 in 7 Australian mothers diagnosed with postnatal depression each year, this number is now slowly on the rise due to the current health crisis.
Considering the disruption the birth of a child can have on a woman’s career, lifestyle and body, it is little wonder 40% of surveyed mothers noted a decline in their mental health since they entered motherhood.
From sleep deprivation to constant feeding, entertaining to disciplining, household chores to maintaining a career, there is rarely a time for mothers to switch off completely; and without the opportunity to recharge, many suffer from a strong sense of failure – 58% of mothers, in fact.
Self-Criticism, Shame and Social Media
Perhaps contributing to this demotivation is the feeling of harsh judgement and shame. Social Psychologist Susan Newman Ph.D explores the phenomenon of ‘mum shaming’ and provides tips on how to deal with unwanted criticism – whether real or perceived, external or your own.
“Accept that some days you will feel as if you messed up”, she writes. “Be confident about what you believe is best for your child and you.”
Newman states that women should accept that though they will always strive for perfection when it comes to their children, no one man or women is completely flawless: every parent will make mistakes now and again – and that’s ok.
With social media playing a large part in the rapid decline of mental health worldwide, Newman advises avoiding the perception that other women are doing a far better job than you.
Whether it be friends, family or that distant acquaintance that makes parenthood look easy, Newman implores women to remember that what they see online is “often a smokescreen” and not the truth of the situation.
So to strengthen women’s self-worth and to bolster their sense of power and positivity, Women’s Health Week is a great reminder to all women that it is imperative to set aside time to manage and boost their health and wellbeing, because your health matters just as much as anyone else’s.
Whether it is participating in the Move It for Women’s Health physical challenge to raise those ‘happy hormones’, taking part in community or workplace-led events, or picking up a self-love pressie from our mum-to-mum Spotz marketplace, good health and a happy outlook towards the future starts with you!
Sources Marketing to Mums. (May 2020) The State of Motherhood in Australia. Postnatal Depression Postnatal Depression and Covid Susan Newman Ph.D Effect of Social Media on Mental Health Women's Health Week