A village can provide parents with what they need to feel supported, accepted, nourished, cared-for and safe at the start and throughout their parenting journey. With a village around them, parents are better equipped to provide this same love and security to their bub.
Who is your village?
Your village starts with those already close to you, such as your partner, parents, grandparents, friends, or neighbours. Your village can also include the wider community, people who know how you feel, who have had similar experiences, or a trained professional who can help you navigate through the weeds.
The important work of The Parent-Infant Research Institute
The Parent-Infant Research Institute (PIRI) is a leading research institute dedicated to improving the lives of parents, infants, and young children. PIRI’s work is based on the understanding that the early years of life are essential for healthy development.
PIRI conducts research on a wide range of topics related to parenting and child development, including:
- Antenatal depression and anxiety
- Postnatal depression and anxiety
- Infant development and mental health
- Mother-infant relationships
- Wellbeing of fathers in the perinatal period
PIRI’s research findings are used to develop and deliver evidence-based intervention and treatment programs. These programs help parents and children to thrive, even in the face of adversity. More broadly, PIRI’s research aims to make a difference by advancing the knowledge underpinning care services provided to mothers, fathers and their young children.
Whether you have an existing village or not, these people are best placed to support your needs:
- Midwife – who explained things in a helpful way at your antenatal check-up.
- Another parent – someone who has been through dark times themselves and can share from experience.
- Professional support – a mental health professional who listens without judgement and helps you develop new strategies.
- Support group – parent groups that accept you, your whole family unit who truly understand where you’re at right now as they are there too.
The shape of your village might change with each stage of your journey: conception, pregnancy, birthing, and post birth. This is completely normal.
Remember, you are not alone. There are many people who want to help you. Don’t be afraid to reach out for support.
We’re here, uncover your village.
Visit pmhweek.org.au to find support for expectant and new parents in need.