Maternal Mental Health Awareness Week 2021
*This post contains affiliate links, meaning if you purchased any of the books through these links, I might receive a tiny commission
According to Mother and Baby, 1 in 5 new mums struggle with maternal mental health, and I can imagine this has risen during the pandemic.
This week is Maternal Mental Health Awareness Week, which was created to encourage pregnant and new mums to talk about their mental health more.
The week was devised by the Perinatal Mental Health Partnership in 2014 when they recognised that many women are missing out on support with maternal mental health conditions, because they aren’t feeling able to reach out.
For some of these women, they don’t even realise what they’re going through is a mental health condition that can be helped, so the week is also to raise awareness.
Journey To Recovery
This year’s theme for this special week is ‘Journey to Recovery’.
PMHP UK completed a survey last year and got many requests for information on how mums can seek support during pregnancy and the first year of their child’s life.
They will be providing a supportive platform this week for families which will include links to vital support and resources.
Looking back to when I had my son nine years ago, I definitely had perinatal depression & anxiety.
I didn’t feel that I had that instant bond with my son the second he was born and I was actually frightened to be left alone with him.
It was like I didn’t feel able to look after him, like I would not be a good parent.
I also felt very low, isolated and by the time he was one-years-old I was having lots of little rages and constant irritability.
I think this then triggered & exacerbated the mental health conditions I already had, which I’ve been open about many times here.
As a single mum from when my son was four-weeks-old I didn’t focus on my mental health until it got to a tough point 18 months later.
The amount of anger and anxiety I’d get just from losing one of his socks, led me to have visions in my head of me going to the kitchen and stabbing myself.
This was terrifying so I went to my GP and was put on medication for the first time ever.
Health anxiety stopped me from trying medication throughout my life, but being a parent I couldn’t take the same risk.
If I had reached out from the start I may not have endured half the struggle I did, and still do.
Common Maternal Mental Health Conditions
According to mental health charity, MIND, the most common maternal mental health conditions are:
- Antenatal / Perinatal Depression
- Perinatal Anxiety
- Perinatal / Maternal OCD
- Postpartum Psychosis
- Postpartum PTSD
These don’t only begin from giving birth.
You can experience symptoms starting up to a year after you’ve had the baby.
I’ve added photos that list symptoms of some of these conditions, and more can be found on the PMHP website.
Getting support is so important to help reduce the conditions and create a positive mindset which will benefit you, your baby and your loved ones.
Here’s a list of places you can go for advice, information and support.
This includes charities, apps, online groups and more.
Mental Health Mumday
Mental Health Mumday is a supportive group of mums on Instagram, run by me!
You can be part of their DM group which consists only of mothers with similar experiences with their mental health.
We also run a community hashtag #MentalHealthMumday every Monday, where you can tag any relevant posts you’ve written.
We then share it and spread the word that it’s OK to talk about your mental health.
Maternal Mental Health Alliance
The Maternal Mental Health Alliance offer support for mums and their families.
Action on Postpartum Psychosis
The APP are a charity who also offer support for mothers and their loved ones.
Association for Post Natal Illness
They have useful information on their website and a helpline you can call for advice on 0207 386 0868.
Tommy’s has in-house midwives who give free support and advice to women and their families during pregnancy and afterwards.
The Compassionate Mind Approach to Postnatal Depression, by Michelle Cree
This Isn’t What I expected: Overcoming Postpartum Depression, by Karen Kleiman.
Coping with Birth Trauma and Postnatal Depression, by Lucy Jolin
Parenting The Sh*t Out Of Life, by Anna Whitehouse and Matt Farquharson.
The Little Book of Self-Care for New Mums, by Beccy Hands.
Where Do You Go For Support?
If you know of any other useful places for support in this area, please add them in the comments below.
Your input could help us to create a large list of resources for any mums currently struggling.
It’s important to start small and find ways to make a bad day feel better. Together we can do this.
No payment was received for this post. All opinions are honest and my own.