Parenting and wellbeing
A Child Health and Parenting Service (CHaPS) parent resource
- Try to find time for you each day - It may be when the baby is asleep, or when you have someone else around to focus on the baby’s needs, so that you have some space and time to yourself.
- Take care of yourself physically - Eating well, exercising and resting helps you to feel strong both physically and mentally.
- Take care of yourself mentally – Try to have realistic demands of yourself. Plan your day with a loose structure so you have things you want to do, but if things change, you can adapt to what is needed in the moment.
- Take care of yourself emotionally – Try to acknowledge your feelings and take the opportunity to express yourself – even when you may have negative feelings. It’s normal to feel bad sometimes when adjusting to life with a new baby. Notice and enjoy positive feelings that you have, and times when you feel good.
- Take care of yourself socially – Becoming a parent can sometimes lead to feelings of isolation and loneliness. Connect with your existing supports or develop a network that you can connect with and share experiences. It can make a big difference to those ‘long days’ and let you know who to talk to on those days when support will really help.
There may be times when you feel overwhelmed and as if you are reaching breaking point.
If you find yourself in this situation a good strategy is to place your baby somewhere safe (for example, in their cot) and take a few minutes for yourself. Deep breathing, listening to a song that you find relaxing or calling your partner/a friend for support can all help to reduce your high levels of stress at the time.
If you are feeling this way frequently, and find yourself experiencing negative feelings towards yourself, your baby or life in general, talking to your Child and Family Health Nurse can identify additional helpful strategies, support networks and/or identify whether you may be experiencing symptoms of depression, anxiety, or other postnatal mental health conditions.
- Child Health and Parenting Service: 1300 064 544
- Tasmanian Parent Line: 1300 808 178
- Beyond Blue: 1300 224 636
- Lifeline: 13 11 14
- ForWhen (ForWhen provides mental health support for new and expectant parents): 1300 242 322
- Centre of Perinatal Excellence (COPE)