The Duchess of Cambridge attended the launch of maternal mental health films ahead of mother’s day at Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and spoke about the importance of the issue. The young Royal admitted that she suffered from a ‘lack of confidence’ when it comes to her abilities as a mother. She shared that being a mother could be very difficult even for her who gets so much help. Kate has for both of her children a full-time nanny and at least two housekeepers, as well as other household staff.
She said: ‘Personally, becoming a mother has been such a rewarding and wonderful experience. However, at times it has also been a huge challenge – even for me, who has support at home that most mothers do not.’
‘And yet there is no rule book, no right or wrong – you just have to make it up and do the very best you can to care for your family. For many mothers, myself included, this can, at times lead to lack of confidence and feelings of ignorance.’ She added: ‘Sadly, for some mothers, this experience can be made so much harder due to challenges with their own mental health. Two in 10 women will suffer mental health issues that can occur during pregnancy and in the year after birth, often clouding their moments of joy with a real sense of darkness and isolation. Many of these women also suffer in silence, overwhelmed by negative feelings, but also afraid to admit to the struggles they are facing due to the fear or shame of what others might think if they ‘aren’t coping’.
‘Some of this fear is about the pressure to be a perfect parent; pretending we’re all coping perfectly and loving every minute of it. It’s right to talk about motherhood as a wonderful thing, but we also need to talk about its stresses and strains. It’s ok not to find it easy. Asking for help should not be seen as a sign of weakness. If any of us caught a fever during pregnancy, we would seek advice and support from a doctor. Getting help with our mental health is no different – our children need us to look after ourselves and get the support we need. ‘
‘Conversations are crucial for mental wellbeing and they should be part of everyday family life. Talking about a problem with a friend or another trusted person can be the beginning of getting better,’ she added. The Duchess added also that it was important to see ‘everyone celebrate and value the fundamental importance that mothers play in family life’. ‘Mothers take on an overwhelming responsibility of caring for their families. Their role is vital in providing unconditional love, care, and support at home, particularly in the early years of a child’s development. We therefore should do everything we can to support and value their hard work,’ she finished her speech.