Maternal Mental Health Awareness Week 2021

Blog post by Gemma, Employment Officer at Southampton City Council

This week (3 – 9 May 2021) is Maternal Mental Health Awareness Week, and we wanted to highlight how common difficulties around mental health are for expectant and new parents in particular. 

This last year has been a challenging time for everyone.  For those who are expecting a baby, new parents or parents with young children, things have been extra difficult.  There have been changes in the way care is given, support that you might expect has been taken away and services have been reduced or moved online.  This can mean it’s an isolating time becoming a new parent.

Finding out you’re pregnant can be a really exciting time, but it can also bring about a lot of anxious feelings, particularly if it is unexpected.  It might be that your housing situation isn’t stable, your relationship breaks down or you aren’t sure how you will cope.  It’s natural to feel some anxiety, but if it is affecting your daily life, consider speaking to your GP or midwife.  Please visit our support pages at the Young Adults Employment Hub to find out where you can access support around housing, relationships, domestic abuse and more.

It’s an emotional rollercoaster becoming a new parent.  Hormones and sleep deprivation can make the first few months really tough.  Sometimes a baby has problems feeding, colic or loses weight and it’s hard not to feel overwhelmed.  These feelings are difficult to deal with, along with a loss of identity about who you were before you became a Mum.  If you are struggling, speak to your health visitor or GP.  They won’t judge you, and can signpost you to support to help you in those difficult first few months. 

Don’t suffer in silence.  Please talk to someone you trust.  There are always other Mums feeling the same way as you.  You’re not alone.

You can access support from some of the places below:

Southampton Information Directory – information on Family Support and Parenting

SureStart Children’s Centres – find out about the support and training on offer from SureStart centres in the city on their Facebook pages

Southampton Family Trust seeks to provide a focus for relationship building and support in the local area

NCT Southampton welcomes every new parent. They offer parents and parents-to-be support, services and put on great events. Southampton NCT covers the postcodes SO14-SO19, SO30 & SO31.

PATH provides information and support to parents and parents-to-be affected by Perinatal Mental Health. Over the next 2 years, they will be developing an online hub of resources around parenting, mental health and employment

PaNDAS provide help and support around perinatal illness (mental health difficulties whilst pregnant or after giving birth).

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