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    ‘Inside, I was crumbling’: How can we better support the mental health of mothers?

    Guilt, loneliness, ดาวน์โหลด slotxo and self-doubt are among the many emotions that often cripple mothers and mothers-to-be. And oftentimes, it’s because many have grown to immediately think the problems they’re facing are all their fault.

    “It goes from the so-called simple things like feeding your baby and breastfeeding to dressing your child. Instead of saying to yourself ‘I don’t know how to do this and I need to learn from mistakes’, the first thing we say to ourselves is that I am a failure or I failed already as a mother because I can’t do the most basic things,” shared Karen Tan.

    The Singaporean theatre actress was speaking at a panel discussion under the latest Temasek Shophouse Conversations public workshop. Held on Monday (Jun 7), the event titled First 1,000 Days – Maternal And Child Wellness explored various issues during these crucial early days of mother- and babyhood.

    A CRITICAL WINDOW
    Tan, who’s been open about her experiences with postnatal depression, went on to share what it was like raising her two children.

    “When I had my first child, I was alone in England; just the baby and my husband. You couldn’t tell that I had depression at all because everything was perfect. My house was clean, my baby was clean, thriving and happy. But inside, I was crumbling.”

    Nine years later, after having her second child in Singapore, Tan shared she had gotten more support from her parents and a helper. She had also been working. But despite all these, it was still pretty hard.

    “You don’t have to be a first-time mother. You can be a second-time or third-time mother and you wake up one morning and realise that you don’t know how to take care of this baby. And what do you do? You just have to swallow it,” Tan explained.

    NEW INITIATIVES FROM INSTITUTIONS
    The KidSTART Home Visitation Programme is one such initiative. It’s partnered up with KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital (KKH) to provide antenatal care for mothers, from mental health needs to preparation for delivery.

    “We facilitate on the importance of self care, stress management, mental wellness, and give them tips on how to take care of their emotional wellbeing,” said KidSTART’s Ng Wei Chern. “We also conduct mental health screenings for both mothers and fathers to flag concerns.”

    One key component of the KidSTART programme is KIDS0-3, which also provides vulnerable mothers and children with health and social care.

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