Since news of American actress and model Meghan Markle dating Prince Harry broke some years ago, they have been under the harsh scrutiny of the media. This is particularly true in terms of how often they have had to deal with the notoriously harsh and relentless British tabloids, which are known for their invasive behavior and fictitious, hurtful statements.
Markle met with an ITV interviewer Tom Bradby to film a clip for the documentary, “Harry & Meghan: An African Journey.” Bradby becomes rather candid with Markle, asking her if she was “ok” after the birth of baby Archie.
Mothers everywhere rejoiced as Markle didn’t tiptoe around the subject. She dove right in and provided an honest and raw depiction of what the first few weeks and months of being a newlywed and a mother are like. She describes pregnancy as being a time when women are “really vulnerable” and that women are even more vulnerable upon the birth of their baby. Markle clearly appears to be struggling to hold it together as she describes the struggles of coping as a young mother.
The interview ends with Markle thanking Bradby for asking if she is “ok.” She shares that not many others in her life have bothered to ask this important yet often neglected question.
A Mother’s Mental Health Is The Pillar Of Her Family
The question – or the lack of it being asked – sheds light on how terribly the mental well-being of a new mother is neglected during the first year of her baby’s life. As any new mum will tell you, being a mum is difficult regardless of how many babies you have raised in the past. New mothers face:
- Changes to routine
- Potential lack of financial, emotional, and familial support
- Physical inabilities while in recovery
- Hormonal changes
- Sleep deprivation
- Possible poor nutrition
Because the stress of motherhood is seldom spoken of, new mothers often feel that they must shamefully conceal or hide the challenges they’re facing (even though most mums have faced some if not all of the same challenges!). Instead of sharing her thoughts and feelings, when people come to visit to see the baby, she scrambles to make herself look presentable and puts on a brave face.
Judgment Scares New Mothers
You may be thinking, “Why wouldn’t she open up to me?” and to this, there are a number of reasons why.
- Unhelpful advice. A tired mum doesn’t need to hear cliches such as “welcome to being a mum!” or “sleep when the baby sleeps.” What she needs is for you to offer to look after her infant so she can sneak in an hour or three of nourishing and restorative sleep, eat a healthy meal, or simply take a break.
- Raising eyebrows. A mum who is unknowingly suffering from post-partum depression and who experiences sudden fits of rage or imagines doing harmful things to herself or her baby doesn’t want to tell you these things. You may think she’s crazy, you may no longer her trust her alone with the baby, or you might report her to the authorities.
- Putting pressure on loved ones. New mums who are feeling sad or depressed don’t want your pity. They don’t want you to tell her to “seek help” or burden you with unnecessary worry. If a new mum expresses feelings of sadness, give her a hug. Listen to her. And if you don’t have time to let her nap, at least take the baby for a bit so she can shower or take on some other form of self-care.