The Duchess of Cambridge has opened up about the challenges of motherhood.
Kate, 35, spoke out about about having a ‘lack of confidence’ in her parenting abilities during an appearance at a charity event for Best Beginnings, a maternal mental health initiative that is part of the Heads Together campaign supported by the Duchess, her husband William and his brother Harry.
During her presentation at the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists in London, she said: ‘Personally, becoming a mother has been such a rewarding and wonderful experience. However, at times it has also been a huge challenge – even for me, who has support at home that most mothers do not.’
Kate talked candidly about her own experience of becoming a parent
‘And yet there is no rule book, no right or wrong – you just have to make it up and do the very best you can to care for your family. For many mothers, myself included, this can, at times lead to lack of confidence and feelings of ignorance.’
Addressing the struggles that face many new mothers, including postnatal depression, she continued: ‘Sadly, for some mothers, this experience can be made so much harder due to challenges with their own mental health. Two in 10 women will suffer mental health issues that can occur during pregnancy and in the year after birth, often clouding their moments of joy with a real sense of darkness and isolation.’
‘Many of these women also suffer in silence, overwhelmed by negative feelings, but also afraid to admit to the struggles they are facing due to the fear or shame of what others might think if they aren’t coping’.
‘Some of this fear is about the pressure to be a perfect parent; pretending we’re all coping perfectly and loving every minute of it. It’s right to talk about motherhood as a wonderful thing, but we also need to talk about its stresses and strains. It’s okay not to find it easy. Asking for help should not be seen as a sign of weakness,’ Kate assured the assembled audience.
‘If any of us caught a fever during pregnancy, we would seek advice and support from a doctor. Getting help with our mental health is no different – our children need us to look after ourselves and get the support we need.’