Meals for Mums expands on Sunshine Coast

Meals for Mums expands on Sunshine Coast

While White Cloud Foundation has been supporting some mothers struggling with perinatal depression on the Sunshine Coast for the past year, we have had to limit the service availability and number of deliveries of meals due to funding.

That has all changed now thanks to the support of local Sunshine Coast business, Boost Juice Noosa.

Boost Noosa have stepped up to the plate to sponsor the Meals for Mums service on the Coast for the next 12 months, enabling us to help as many new and expecting mothers as we can.

All mums still must be referred to the service by a professional involved in their healthcare or welfare. This could be a midwife, social worker, nurse, GP, or psychologist. Referrals can be made through the White Cloud Foundation website.

To mark the official arrival of Meals for Mums on the Sunshine Coast, the below article written by Madeline Grace has appeared in the Sunshine Coast Daily.

Thank you to recent Meals for Mums recipient Tallulah Mackay for sharing her story and a massive thank you to Boost Noosa!

‘My body was shutting down’: Mum of five reveals dark side of parenting

After nearly succumbing to homelessness and the daily battle of feeding herself, a single mother-of-five has shared her struggles with perinatal depression as she fights to survive for her beautiful children.

Mum Tallulah Mackay has suffered perinatal depression and is using a free food service that eases the burden for mums with newborns. Picture: Patrick Woods.

A mum who had her first child at the age of 16 has revealed the dark side of battling perinatal depression while caring for her young children.

Sunshine Coast single mother Tallulah Mackay, 28, of Banya, says her depression didn’t rear its ugly head until the birth of her third child.

She knew something needed to change when her health deteriorated so badly she was no longer producing milk for her newborn, Kaitoa, who is now five-and-half-months-old.

Mum Tallulah Mackay has suffered peri-natal depression. Picture: Patrick Woods.

“I was putting myself last with everything,” Miss Mackay said.

“Going to the toilet, showering, eating. I would wait up until past 11pm at night when all of the children were sound asleep before I’d do anything for myself.

“One day it just got too much and I opened up to my midwife. I just broke down and told her everything.”

Miss Mackay then learnt about perinatal depression and was referred to the White Cloud Foundation’s Meals for Mums – a program which delivered meals to struggling mothers.

Chair of White Cloud Foundation, Professor Adam Scott, said the Meals for Mums program delivered practical mental health support to new and expecting mothers experiencing perinatal depression through the home-delivery of nutritious meals.

Professor Scott said perinatal depression is very common and affects one-in-six new mothers and one-in-ten new fathers.

“Last year, our Meals for Mums program experienced a 74 per cent increase in demand with 1971 families supported across Queensland, more than 2644 referrals received, and over 32,500 meals delivered,” he said.

Mum Tallulah Mackay has suffered perinatal depression and is using a free food service that eases the burden for mums with newborns. Picture: Patrick Woods.

Despite being one of many, Miss Mackay said she’d never felt so alone – like she had been left out in the dark and cold to suffer.

“I couldn’t stomach food. It got to the point where my body was on the go and by the end of the night when I could sit down to eat I just felt so sick I couldn’t fathom it,” she said.

“Tackling being a single mum with not much money gets to you. I was struggling to feed my children and couldn’t force myself to eat to survive.

“I could notice it was taking a toll on my health physically but I just felt like I couldn’t do anything about it.

“It was physically demanding looking after five kids without the nutrients I needed everyday.”

After months of not eating, barely using the bathroom, and struggling to find the time for personal hygiene – Miss Mackay said she nearly lost herself.

“My body was shutting down,” she said.

“I’d just given birth, had a newborn and four other children. My body was trying to recover while caring for my children but without the fuel and rest to do it.

“At one stage I thought we were going to be homeless.”

Meals for Mums has been operating in Brisbane and the Gold Coast for a number of years – but has just expanded the service to regional Queensland locations including the Sunshine Coast, Gympie, Townsville, Toowoomba and the Darling Downs, Mackay, Rockhampton, Gladstone, Ipswich, and Cairns.

Mum Tallulah Mackay has suffered perinatal depression and is using a free food service that eases the burden for mums with newborns. Picture: Patrick Woods.

Within a week of breaking down to her midwife, the program had sent Miss Mackay a delivery of fresh and frozen meals.

“It made it easier for me to process mentally that I was okay and able to eat. I could tell myself I was okay and toughen it out for the children,” she said.

“Having children is the most precious blessing you could ever have in this world. It’s hard but rewarding. Sometimes you’ve just got to remember yourself and toughen it out for them. Planning ahead and taking time for yourself helps.”

Finally feeling as though she’s found herself again, Miss Mackay said her advice to other struggling mothers was to open up to someone they trusted.

“Don’t be afraid to talk about it,” she said.

Professor Scott said all Sunshine Coast and Gympie residents who want to improve their mental health can also access White Cloud Foundation’s free multidisciplinary Tele-Mental Health service, with no GP referral or mental health plan required.

Meals for Mums on the Sunshine Coast is sponsored by: