PMHW week Tweddle

Destigmatising Perinatal Mental Health so Babies, Toddlers and Parents Thrive

Destigmatising Perinatal Mental Health so Babies, Toddlers and Parents Thrive


This week is Perinatal Mental Health Week 2022 (6-12th Nov). Tweddle joins a chorus of government, industry, community and parents’ voices to raise awareness of perinatal mental health.

As a public hospital supporting expectant and new parents, we know how vital awareness is in fighting mental health stigma.

This week Tweddle will share resources that explore a range of perinatal mental health themes for parents and carers. Topics will cover stigma, grief and loss, LGBTQI families, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families, Dads and non-birthing partners, regional and remote families and birth trauma.

Research shows that 1 in 5 new mums and 1 in 10 new dads will experience perinatal depression and anxiety. Moreover, statistics show that depression and anxiety may be more common for mums and dads who have been depressed before, have less practical, emotional, or social support or are feeling the burden of financial stress.

In addition, a difficult birth, a sick baby, a difficult transition to parenting or relationship difficulties are also well-known indicators for potential perinatal mental health challenges.

Mothers and fathers experience perinatal depression

It is well known that maternal depression is considered a risk factor for the socioemotional and cognitive development of children, but dads experience perinatal depression and anxiety too.

We also know that babies and toddlers thrive when parents are supported, healthy and confident in their parenting.

With approximately 80% of parents admitted to a Tweddle Residential program disclosing feelings of anxiety and/or depression, it is crucial that upstream services like Tweddle’s are supported to disrupt mental health difficulties. Babies can’t wait, they need healthy parents today.

“Babies and toddlers need mentally well mums and dads to lay the foundations for future mental health and relationships.” said Tweddle Director of Clinical Services and Nursing Ms Kirsty Evans. “The emotional wellbeing of mums and dads accessing Tweddle services is paramount.”

New mum Jenny, extremely distressed with a constantly unsettled baby came to Tweddle. Jenny experienced a traumatic birth followed up by postnatal depression and anxiety.

Jenny confided that she had no childcare, felt isolated and her partner was not working. There were times when her baby wouldn’t sleep for more than 30 minutes and was taking up to 2 hours to get to sleep at night. She said that the confidence and reassurance that Tweddle has given her family was immeasurable.

Tweddle offers residential, community based, in-home and telehealth parenting support and education for parents across Victoria.

According to the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists, evidence-based interventions and preventative steps can be taken to support parents with mental illness, reduce risks to children and enhance their resilience.

Tweddle social workers and psychologists work closely with parents experiencing anxiety and depression to change the trajectory of their lives.

Help is available

This Perinatal Mental Health Week, we invite you to help more parents, babies and toddlers thrive with a donation to the Tweddle Foundation.

For support with perinatal anxiety and depression, contact the following support organisations;

Mental Health Awareness Month Tweddle
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