Nicola Mullarkey is a Lawrencetown native now living out in Ahascragh with her husband Damien and son Rian. Nicola currently works as a Senior Clinician in Jigsaw Laois/Offaly supporting young people’s mental health
Becoming a new mother Nicola had questioned from the start how she had been left so unaware of the struggles of childcare and these struggles burdened her somewhat. Nicola had turned to the internet for answers, however, Google is not the most empathetic of search engines and failed to answer the questions of a postpartum mother. Hearing and speaking about similar stories, Nicola received validation but was disappointed at the difficulties she faced in searching for answers.
Nicola stated: “The older my baby gets the more strongly I feel about maternal mental health and how it should be talked about and supported. Being a mental health professional myself, it was something I took for granted, that information and support would be easily accessible.”
Nicola realised that there was a huge need for more mental health services for mothers and expectant mums to be.
She then established her MindMama Instagram page where information is readily available, a place for compassion, not criticism, space where those experiencing postpartum stress can feel safe and supported. This page highlights the good, bad and ugly of parenthood and the journey of pregnancy.
“I work very hard to provide informed, relevant and helpful supports for mothers and expectant mothers. The information I provide is both formal and informal. I feel strongly that there needs to be less judgement and stigma for Mums and parents. There is a strong belief that we are not meant to talk about the difficulties we experience in pregnancy and motherhood and that has to change.” said Nicola.
Nicola has fought hard to normalise the hard parts of pregnancy, to make communication easier, and give courage to those who seek support. With a strong message that if parents are supported from conception to birth and beyond, they are empowered to create confident and competent children for the future.
Nicola possesses a modest following of over 500 people. She is honoured to have this many people follow her page. If the page helps just one person, then it has worked.
Nicola exclaimed: “I have been so lucky with the following my ‘Mind Mama’ page has accrued. There has been such positive feedback from people with regards my posts and stories. I keep a mix of informing material and personal experiences to help people see that I am just a Mum, same as everyone else, trying to support others.”
Currently, Nicola operates from Instagram @mindmama_irl. Her dreams for this page would be continued collaborations having participated in two podcasts on this topic previously. She has been given great opportunities to talk about issues with Derek Wheatley @wheatleytheweekly and Amanda Gurman @honest.as.a.mother on their podcasts.
“I would love to link in with other creators and really open this topic up in the creative way Instagram facilitates. I have a lot of subjects that I have yet to discuss so watch this space.” Said Nicola.
For more information on the mind mama page and regular updates follow Nicola’s Page on Instagram @Mindmama_Irl
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