In support of maternal mental health awareness, Ngala’s NAPPY program held a ‘Yoga for Maternal Mental Health’ day on Wednesday 4 May.

The event was held at Ngala’s Child and Parent Centre East Waikiki for young parents (under 25 years) who are either expecting a baby or who have a baby under six months. Fifteen young mums attended the event with their babies.

Facilitated by Ngala Child Health Nurse Jill Sumner, alongside early childhood educators, the day involved a special mum and baby yoga session, some important information around perinatal mental health, a baby massage session and a healthy lunch, allowing time for our mums to relax and socialise.

Lottie from local Safety Baby Yoga Centre guided the mums through a 45-minute session on breathing techniques, meditation, and yoga. She described the session as a time for the mums to come back to themselves and reclaim their body.

Following the yoga session, Child Health Nurse Jill Sumner spent some time discussing signs and symptoms of perinatal mental health illness, what support services and resources are out there and the importance of self-care. Jill also shared information on a new, free mental health care referral service called ForWhen that connects parents that may be struggling with pregnancy and new parenthood to the mental health services that may assist them the most.

Jill then led the parents in a baby massage session, and explained that, “baby massage can be a valuable gift for both baby and mum. It can help babies settle, sleep better and reduce crying, but also helps promote a general sense of wellbeing in the parent, helping the parent to feel close to the baby, and less fearful of touching and handling their baby”.

Ngala’s NAPPY program (Nurturing and Parenting Program for Youth) provides a welcoming, nurturing and supportive environment for young parents and parents-to-be under 25 living in the City of Rockingham.

NAPPY supports young parents to add to their parenting toolkit, learn to understand their child’s behaviour, discover great play ideas and meet other young parents.

All the parents who attended this special day received a self-care pack to take home, which included resources around perinatal mental health, a self-care book, yoga mat, candle, hand cream, face mask, socks and a bath bomb.

Thank you to the Government of Western Australia North Metropolitan Health Service, Women and Newborn Health Service for the grant to host this event.

Find out more about our NAPPY program here.