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Program to support mature-aged mothers

MUCH-needed pregnancy support will soon be on the horizon for mature-aged mothers following plans by Pregnancy Counselling and Support Tasmania (PCSTas) to launch a brand new pilot program.

Under the proposed program, women aged 30-years and older will receive free support and education services, as well as the opportunity to connect with other women in similar circumstances.

PCSTas coordinator Bridget Mathewson said she was surprised by the shortage of support services available for older mothers in Tasmania.

“When you research pregnancy support services and groups, you will find that there are lot of resources for young mothers, but the cut-off age seems to be at around 25-years,” she said.

“This is despite the fact that the average age of expectant mothers is on the rise and currently rests at approximately 31-years – more women are travelling the world, building a career and experiencing life before settling down and starting a family.

“As a result of this lack of support, many mature-aged expectant mothers often feel judged, which can lead to isolation and fears of complications during birth.

“The aim of our proposed pilot program is to give these women a chance to connect with other people in the same situation and help them realise that they are in fact a majority and not a minority.

“Through our program, mothers will also have help connecting with other support services appropriate for when the baby is born.”

To help kick-start the program, the PCSTas will be applying for a Tasmanian Community Fund grant.

Ms Mathewson said the not-for-profit organisation needed “just a little bit of extra help” to get things up and running.

“There is so much we want to do, but unfortunately not many people know that we’re here,” she said.

“Our aim is to raise awareness of our organisation and the services we offer, so that when we launch our program the numbers will be there.

“It is our hope that we will have the pilot program up and running by the end of the year.”

Pregnancy Counselling and Support Tasmania is situated on the ground floor of the McDougall Building, located on Ellerslie Road, Battery Point.

For more information, phone 6224 2290, email counsellor@pcstas.org.au or visit www.pcstas.org.au or the Facebook page at www.facebook.com/PCSTas.

Caption: Pregnancy Counselling and Support Tasmania coordinator Bridget Mathewson, left, and president Jenny Allford.

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