Duchess Catherine made appearances to support an important cause: mental health

Photo by: KGC-03/STAR MAX/IPx 2018 -- Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge - Hospital Visit held at King's College Hospital, Denmark Hill, London, England. 1/24/18

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Rainy London was the backdrop for a pair of back-to-back social engagements this week for Kate Middleton, PEOPLE reports.

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The pregnant duchess, who is expecting her third child in April, appeared first at King’s College London, where she visited the onsite laboratory at the Maurice Wohl Clinical Neuroscience Institute. The lab conducts research in perinatal psychiatry.

Middleton then visited the Mother and Baby Unit at the Bethlehem Royal Hospital, which specializes in the “treatment of postnatal depression and postpartum psychosis,” according to PEOPLE.

The duchess is not immune to the rigors of motherhood — and how taxing it can be on one’s mental health.

“Nothing can really prepare you for you the sheer overwhelming experience of what it means to become a mother,” she said last year. “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.”

Middleton acknowledged, however, that her support system is vast — which is more than most mothers have.

“Personally, becoming a mother has been such a rewarding and wonderful experience,” she said. “However, at times it has also been a huge challenge. Even for me who has support at home that most mothers do not.”

Today’s appointments came one day after a rare speech about children’s mental health.

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“We know that mental health is an issue for us all – children and parents, young and old, men and women – of all backgrounds and of all circumstances,” she said in her address.

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