Counsellor Sarah Barr has a special event invite for all local mums and mums-to-be this weekend.

Today is World Maternal Mental Health Day, May is Maternal Mental Health Month.

This is a serious health matter, that needs more awareness and acceptance. We need to be starting the conversation. We need to be saying if you’re feeling down or anxious, it is okay.

You are still a great mum.

We need to start the conversation, by sharing our stories about the journey to motherhood and being okay with that. Being okay with honesty.

We need to be mindful of the stories/pictures that fill our news feed on Facebook and Instagram. As nice as they are, some of the time what we read and see is fabricated, filtered and false.

Perhaps most importantly we need to remember we are the same person we were before becoming a mum. Our identity can feel like it is changing due to our new role, but you are still you.

Since opening my own practice; New Beginnings in 2016 the majority of my clients are mothers. Mums of all stages and ages. What we all have in common is our worries, anxieties, low moods and perhaps often un-diagnosed PND. Some mothers often fear they will be judged and viewed as not coping if they admit feeling this way.

Minding Mammy was created as a safe space for mothers to come along and learn new tools and techniques to better manage anxiety and low moods.  Monthly Mammy Meet Ups; Tea & Toast in Buncrana and Mama Squad in Letterkenny were subsequently born and facilitated by local mums. It is a couple of hours once a month for mums to meet, to chat, to laugh and to breathe in the knowledge that they are not the only one who may be finding motherhood hard.

Last year, Psychotherapists Fran Buckley and Elva Glynn launched the Maternal Mental Health Awareness Day’s “Paint Your Bump” campaign.

It is a campaign to raise awareness of maternal mental health. It aims to support women in their transition to motherhood and offer self-care to all mums. It is also about starting the conversation about the everyday struggles of being a mother and before the baby is even born.

This year myself, Anne Quinn from Simply Birth Donegal and Caroline Doherty from Donegal Douala and Placenta Encapsulation Specialist will be hosting this event at New Beginnings Wellness Hub, Unit 7, Glencar Shopping Centre, Letterkenny on Saturday 5th My from 1pm – 5pm.

All mums and mums-to-be are welcome. The event is free to attend and any donations will be in aid of The Victoria Thompson Scholarship. We will have refreshments available and lots of prizes to be won on the day.

We will be offering a holistic approach on the day, with reflexology tasters from Harmony Lane, Feet First Reflexology, Gill McGlinchey and Reflexology by Nicola. Kinesiology taster from Donegal Kinesiology Sharon Lynch.

We will also have fantastic guest speakers including The S-Mum, Yummy Mum, Homeopathic Specialist, Donegal Douala and Placenta Encapsulation Specialist, Simply Birth Donegal, Myself and G.P Tina Tooskey.

Finally we are offering mum’s-to-be the opportunity to have their bump painted by the talented Angela McFadden. This is done in a private space, using safe and toxic-free paints. There are a few slots remaining, to book a slot please call 0864477867 or send a message via my Facebook page.

Take Care~ Sarah.