Let's talk about Maternal Mental Health•
Posted on March 23 2023
The first week in May, (1-7th May 2023) is Maternal Mental Health Awareness Week.
Maternal mental illness is extremely common during pregnancy and in the year after giving birth. In fact it’s quite normal, with more than one in 10 women in the UK affected by postnatal depression, it can also affect partners and fathers too.
Attitudes have changed and improved in recent years, it’s definitely less of a taboo subject, but we still have a long way to go. As soon as you find out you’re having a baby, life as you know it changes and this can be overwhelming. Nothing can prepare you for the physical and emotional rollercoaster of parenthood and for many of us, it can be a struggle to adapt to this new life. Sleep deprivation, hormones and a little one to care for can make life seem impossible. Lots more of us will experience milder traits like a lack of energy or anxiety about leaving the house or judgment from other people.
The world has changed in so many ways over the last few hundred years, you will have heard the saying “it takes a village to raise a child” and it really does. The trouble is that so few of us these days are lucky enough to live in a close knit community like that or even have family who live close by and this is what can lead to some of these feelings initially.
If you feel like you’re struggling after having a baby and it’s more than feeling anxious or tearful in the first few weeks then please speak to someone. Your GP or health visitor if you feel you can, but if this feels too difficult then confide in a close friend or family member. Don't be afraid to say something, far too many new Mums cope alone. Struggling with mental health does not make you a bad parent and it is important to know that having these feelings is not your fault.
There are lots of organisations out there who have the professional expertise to help. The Association for Post Natal Illness (APNI) and Pre and Postnatal Depression Advice and Support (PANDAS) have some really helpful resources and advice. If you are on instagram you could also follow and contact one of these organisations, @apniuk @perinatalmhpartnership @pandas_uk
More information on the Perinatal Mental Health Partnership can be found here
Take Care of yourself