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The Fix

Thought-provoking culture, creative ideas, insightful science and inspiring gifts

A MOTHER’S KINDNESS

Our kindness project

Self-compassion is a life-changing tool for new mums, says our kindness tsar, David Hamilton

Laser-cut ‘Mum’ decoration, £3, giselagraham.co.uk

SELF-COMPASSION is an understanding and acknowledgment of our personal pain and dif culties which, in turn, motivates us to genuinely care for ourselves. Studies suggest it can make us less self-critical and improve our overall mental health.

Research* at the Tianjin First Central Hospital in China looked specifically at the effect of self-compassion training on pregnant women who were showing early symptoms of post-natal depression. The women practised mindful self-compassion around the time of childbirth, three months later, and then a year after the birth of their children. Their mental health was compared with that of women in a control group, who did not learn the practice. Women who learned self-compassion showed significant improvements in symptoms of depression and anxiety, and both mothers and infants showed an improvement in overall wellbeing.

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