Encourage and reinforce effective coping strategies for new parents to maintain mental health and psychological wellbeing.

Encouraging new parents to talk about their emotional wellbeing can be very helpful. Hearing about their feelings can be useful to identify where parents might need some help.

For parents themselves it can be comforting to share how they’re feeling with someone who’s genuinely interested.

Ask whānau:

  • How do you feel in yourselves now that your baby’s here?
  • Have there been things about parenting that you weren’t prepared for?

Draw out positive feelings and experiences

Sensitively explore negative and vague feelings. You could ask:

  • How do your feelings affect your day-to-day life?
  • Who are the people you can share with about what’s going on?
  • Maybe talking with someone you trust might help?
  • How has your baby’s arrival affected others in the family?

Encourage and reinforce effective coping strategies for maintaining mental health and psychological wellbeing, including support from partners, friends and family.

  • Who has offered you practical support?
  • What are the things you might try to help you through these feelings or changes?
  • What things are you currently doing to look after yourselves?
  • In what ways can you help each other with some of the feelings you’re having?
  • Is there something you think you could do to help yourself?

Share and explore accurate and helpful information about common changes in emotional wellbeing that occur during the postnatal period, for both parents.

Support networks

Consider local social networks and other resources to support parents, and referrals to specialist services.

  • Do you think someone else may be able to help you?
  • Have you had help in the past for similar feelings?

Helpful resources for whānau