Gladstone offers plenty of support for mums

THERE is no shortage of support for Gladstone's population of new mums, with a plethora of mother's groups and antenatal classes sprouting up.

Third-time mother Tenielle Wode knows all too well the importance of seeking help when times get tough.

"I had postnatal depression with my first daughter," she said.

"I was 22 and I didn't know many people (in Gladstone). My friends were getting drunk and I was alone at home with a baby.

"It wasn't until I had my son that I joined mother's groups. It's a lot easier having people to talk to."

Mrs Wode has a six-year-old, a two-and-a-half-year-old and 10-week-old twins.

Her family live in New South Wales so joining mother's groups was the best thing Mrs Wode did.

"I am involved in Anglican Angels and Messy Kids Gladstone," she said.

"I met my best friend through one of the groups. If I am having a bad day I message the mums and we hang out for coffee."

The 28-year-old also has home visits from the midwives at Child Health at Gladstone Base Hospital.

Nurse unit manager Michelle Higgins said having someone to talk to was vital for parents.

"Mums will put themselves last and they will always condemn themselves if things don't go perfectly," she said.

"They need support."

Living in a working town was also something mums struggled with, according to Mrs Higgins.

"Partners are working long hours. Unfortunately, that's the biggest issue in Gladstone at the moment," she said.

"That's why support is so important."

Mrs Higgins said the most common issue a mother faces after giving birth is lack of sleep.

"Also, other people's expectations for them to be a perfect mother," she said.

Mrs Higgins and her staff run a First Steps program at Gladstone Base Hospital, which currently has 20-30 people involved.

The midwives do home visits until the child is nine months old.

Are you a new mum in Gladstone? What has your experience been like? Call 4970 3029 or email laura.mckee@gladstoneobserver.com.au.

HAPPY FAMILY: Gladstone mum Richa Joshi with daughter Maya, eight months, and Shaurya, three, at the Art For Small People group in Gladstone.
HAPPY FAMILY: Gladstone mum Richa Joshi with daughter Maya, eight months, and Shaurya, three, at the Art For Small People group in Gladstone. Laura Mckee

Young mum loves support that comes with living in Gladstone

WHEN mother-of-two Richa Joshi moved to Gladstone from India last year she was surprised by the support available to mums.

Mr and Mrs Joshi relocated to Australia to raise their children Maya, eight months, and Shaurya, three and a half, in November 2013.

They chose Gladstone and said it had been the best decision.

"Gladstone is a good place to raise kids. I like how it's nice and small," Mrs Joshi said.

"It's awesome. There's lots of stuff to do and I have made heaps of friends."

Hopping on Facebook one day, Mrs Joshi found a number of playgroups and mother's groups.

She was pregnant with Maya at the time.

"I am in Little Explorers at The Uniting Church. It's free play with water, sand and a jumping castle," she said.

"There are over 30 mums in it from Australia, Philippines, Japan, and other backgrounds."

Mrs Joshi said that was her favourite playgroup, and it was beneficial not just for the children.

"We get to talk about the kids, husbands, money, everything," she said.

"Sometimes we catch up with the mums at The Coffee Club, we do playdates in the holidays and we also meet at each other's houses."

WHAT'S OUT THERE:

Gladstone Base Hospital Birthing Education Classes: Soon-to-be mums. Occurs once a month. Call Gladstone Base Hospital on 4976 3258.

Gladstone Base Hospital Midwifery Group Practice: Group of midwives who look after pregnant mums, deliver the baby and support mums during the antenatal period until the child is six weeks old. Runs from 9-11.30am weekly.

A GP referral is required to attend the program.

Child Health Gladstone Base Hospital: Specialises in supporting mothers and their children. Includes two and four-week home visits, clinic appointments from 0-4-year-old children, external midwifery service for the first seven days after discharge from the hospital.

Located at Kent St, behind the Oral Health Building. Call 49763130.

HopeLink's Mentoring Mums Program: Addresses the needs of young, pregnant and/or disabled mums who are adjusting to a new stage of life.

PlayLINK playgroup:  Meets every Thursday 9.30-11.30am. For kids from 0-5 years. Located at 19 Dalrymple Dr, Gladstone. 

Gladstone, Boyne Island, Tannum Sands Mother's Group: This group is on Facebook and is designed to bring mothers from the community together.

There are events posted such as lunches, coffee meets, girls' night in/outs and more.

Little Explorers Gladstone: Caters for all families with newborn to school-age children. $30 per family.

Runs Mondays and Thursdays from 9-11.15am at 1 Uniting Pl, Telina. Call 49793323.



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