The public rarely gets to hear the voice of the Duchess of Cambridge, so when she recently gave a speech at the at the launch of the Out of the Blue film series with Best Beginnings, a U.K.-based charity that helps parents "give children the best start in life," everyone listened.
Duchess Kate literally let her voice be heard at the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and talked about maternal mental health and the challenges of motherhood.
Her entire speech perfectly captured everything every mother wants to say, from gushing about motherhood being a rewarding and wonderful experience to admitting that it too is a challenging ordeal, even for women like her who find support at home.
"Nothing can really prepare you for you the sheer overwhelming experience of what it means to become a mother.
"It is full of complex emotions of joy, exhaustion, love, and worry, all mixed together.
"Your fundamental identity changes overnight," she said.
"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."
She explained further that these challenges are made even more difficult when a mother has to deal with her own mental health issues, stating that "two in ten 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."
While postpartum depression and other mental health issues related to pregnancy and motherhood are common, many women still opt to stay silent about these issues due to fear or shame or the judgment that they can't cope, she added.
"[Part] of this fear is about the pressure to be a perfect parent; [we are] 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."
Read more about Duchess Kate's speech on TownandCountry.ph
This story originally appeared on TOWNANDCOUNTRY.PH.
* Minor edits have been made by the PEP.ph editors.