Today is World Maternal Mental Health Day. As part of Maternal Mental Health Awareness week, this day aims to raise awareness about mental illness during and post-pregnancy. Maternal Mental Health Day (MMH) originated with a small group of people in 2015 who dreamed of creating an awareness campaign for maternal mental health. The first Wednesday of May was chosen specifically since it falls within World Maternal Mental week and is close to Mother’s Day in various countries.

Why do we need MMH Day?

In many countries, at least 1 in 5 new mothers experience some type of perinatal mood and anxiety disorder (PMADs). Unfortunately, many of these cases go unnoticed and untreated, resulting in long-term consequences for both mother and child. No matter where you are from, women of every culture, age, race, and income level are battling PMADs. Symptoms can start any time during pregnancy and even until the first 12 months of childbearing.

We need MMH day to increase awareness and hopefully drive social change towards improving the quality of care for women suffering from any form of PMAD. At GCS Malta, this day matters gravely to us, which is why our superwomen kindly shared their experience with pregnancy and being a mother to help raise awareness toward this important cause.


Beckie Camilleri Zammit

As an expectant working mother, it has been tough – things that used to come easy to me now take ten times the effort. I spent three months with nausea 24/7 and had to work through it while every part of my body ached. Since I am a person that sets high expectations for myself and refuses to fall short, being pregnant has made this nearly impossible. I want to remind every pregnant person on World Maternal Mental Health Day that this is OK. We are not robots; we are humans with feelings and real, depletable energy. We are superheroes, creating a whole new life inside us, which takes a toll. It does not make us weak but shows just how strong we truly are. Know when too much is too much and let yourself have a physical and a mental break. Communicate with your workplace, family and friends to build the support you need. Prioritise yourself and your growing baby – this too shall pass, and you will be back to career soaring, glass ceiling shattering heights in no time. Live in the moment and enjoy it!

Caroline Grech

I am Caroline Grech, a working mum. I have been working with GCS Malta for two and a half years as an Accounts Executive while being a mum of two young kids, a 4-year-old girl and a 5-year-old boy. I must say that it is not an easy task to juggle a full-time job and raise children. It is sometimes rather stressful as both work and family require 100% of my attention, output and planning. The key is to focus my attention depending on the present time. I work during work hours and am there for my kids and all their needs when I am at home. Since I tend to have less time at home, I always try to minimise housework to have more quality time with my kids. However, as they grow older, life gets more complicated. I have to help them with homework and encourage them to acquire a good education. Of course, working full time and raising children requires some flexibility in my working hours, and I feel that at GCS Malta, I found a very family-oriented company, making my life less stressful. Thank you.

Colleen Azzopardi

I am a full-time working mother to a 13-month-old boy, and three words come to mind when sharing my experience of being a working mother; guilt, happiness and perseverance. At times it can be overwhelming to balance motherhood and work, and at times you feel you’re rocking this. However, finding the right balance to give your full attention when at work and vice versa when you’re with your family is essential to ensure you are happy and overcome that guilt. The postpartum struggles were not easy, and anxiety did increase when returning to work to trust others with my baby. Still, persevering and talking to others when needed aided me in my mental health to be the best version of myself for me, my son, and my work. On World Maternal Mental Health Day, I want to share with others that through this exciting new chapter in my life, I’ve learned that it is OK not to be OK and do what I feel is best for myself, my baby, and my family.

Fiona Spiteri

Guilt and embarrassment are two feelings that many working mothers & dads can relate to. These are the two feelings I struggle with as a working mother. Being a mother of a 7-year-old boy while studying and building my professional career in the HR field has disciplined me so much. Although I sometimes have days when I do not feel good enough at home or work, I had to learn to give myself time and grace. I learned to maintain a balance by focusing on my family when home and my colleagues and work when working. This helps me be fully present and bring the best parts of me to the forefront of all areas of my life.
Although being a working mother isn’t easy, this experience also taught and gave me so much strength. To strengthen my mental health, I learned to find balance and adjust daily, but mostly I learned that it’s OK to feel vulnerable sometimes and take time for ourselves. We are humans, not machines!

Lucienne Abela Vella

I have experienced motherhood very early on in life, so I needed help from my mother to be able to go back to work since, at the time, no childcare centres were operating like today. When my son was born, I worked in an administrative role, but I decided to enrol for ACCA 15 years down the line. Time management to balance family life, work, and studying simultaneously was a constant struggle. At the time, my son was also sitting for his O-level and A-level examinations, and his needs came first. It was a very stressful period. However, I believe that through my experience, my son saw first-hand that while it is important to never give up on your ambitions, it is also best to plan beforehand when there are other commitments involved. He had just graduated in a timely manner and is making responsible choices. Today, work-life balance is more bearable amidst the day-to-day changes and challenges. One thing is for sure; one never stops being a mother.

By celebrating World Maternal Mental Health Day, we can help mothers feel less alone through this journey and even prevent tragedies by building awareness. Remember that Maternal Mental Health Matters and that illness is not a crime! So, give yourself a break and reach out to your support system when needed!

Article by Sarah Jane Gauci