Kate opens up about the challenges of motherhood: 'Your fundamental identity changes overnight'

By Sharnaz Shahid

The Duchess of Cambridge opened up about the challenges she has faced as a mother during a speech at the launch of the Out of the Blue film series at the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, on Thursday (Mar. 23). The films, which have been created by Best Beginnings, a Charity Partner of the Heads Together campaign, aims to raise awareness of maternal mental health challenges and start conversations about the wellbeing of parents and their children.

STORY: Kate looks chic in recycled Eponine suit as she delivers speech on motherhood

Kate, 35, also made sure to express her sympathy to all those affected by the Westminster terror attack, which happened on Wednesday afternoon. In her speech, she said: "Before I begin, I know you would all want to join me in sending our thoughts and prayers to all those sadly affected by yesterday's terrible attack in Westminster. We will be thinking of all the families, as we discuss the important issues we're here to talk about."

TAP FOR GALLERY The Duchess of Cambridge attended the launch of the Out of the Blue film series on Thursday.

Just last week, Kate heard the emotional stories from a number of survivors of the Bataclan and Nice attacks. She was with Prince Williem at Les Invalides during their official visit to Paris, where they were introduced to the survivors. Les Invalides was created in 1670 by King Louis XIV to care for veterans and those injured whilst fighting for France, and continues to support veterans with its rehabilitation programmes. The site is also being used to support victims of the recent France attacks.

ALL THE PHOTOS FROM PRINCE WILLIAM AND KATE'S PARIS TOUR

The royal went on to talk about the issue of maternal mental health and admitted that being a mum could be tough, even for someone like herself who had help at home in terms of nannies and housekeepers. "I would like to thank Best Beginnings for inviting me here to introduce the Out of The Blue series," she said. "This collection of films highlights how vital it is to be open about our mental health especially in the early years of parenthood. Personally, becoming a mother has been such a rewarding and wonderful experience.

"However, at times it has also been a huge challenge - even for me who has support at home that most mothers do not. 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. You go from thinking of yourself as primarily an individual, to suddenly being a mother, first and foremost."

The royal talked about motherhood ahead of Mother's Day, which is celebrated on Mar. 26 in the United Kingdom.

As part of the Heads Together campaign, which Kate leads with The Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry, the royal watched one of the Best Beginnings films before speaking to a couple who shared their experience with post-natal depression. Dressed in a striking Eponine skirt suit, Kate also spoke to mums and dads about how becoming a parent affected their mental health.

Although Kate has a full-time live-in nanny, the mother-of-two has been open about the difficulties of parenting. Earlier this year, the royal empathized with parents who have struggled when she went to the Anna Freud Centre's Early Years Parenting Unit in north London. "Parenting is tough," she said. "And with the history and all the things and the experiences you've all witnessed, to do that on top of your own anxieties, and the lack of support you also received as mothers... I find it extraordinary how you've managed actually. So really well done." Prince George and Princess Charlotte's mom learnt about how the centre supports families who have children under five years old. Her visit marked her continued desire to draw attention to child mental health issues and the importance of early intervention.

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