Maternal Mental Health

Maternal mental health problems are those which occur during pregnancy or in the first year following the birth of a child.

Maternal mental illness affects up to 20% of women, and covers a wide range of conditions. If left untreated, it can have significant and long lasting effects on the woman and her family.

Perinatal mental health problems can also have long-standing effects on children’s emotional, social and cognitive development.

Find out more information from the NHS about examples of these illnesses:


How do I spot the signs?

Unfamiliar feelings of anxiety and depression can often develop suddenly and range from mild to extremely severe, requiring different kinds of support or treatment.

Symptoms can include:

  • Low mood
  • Despondency (low spirits from loss of hope or courage)
  • Tiredness and insomnia
  • Appetite loss/gain
  • Feeling inadequate, irritable and teary 
  • Struggling to cope

It is normal for new parents to experience broken sleep, relationship changes and impaired physical health as a result of pregnancy and giving birth and often new parents dismiss their symptoms as a result of these changes. 

Our message is ‘Talking Helps!’ Talk to your partner, friends and family about how you feel. Make time to talk to your doctor or health visitor if you are struggling because the good news is there is lots of help and support available in Suffolk and they can point you in the right direction.

There is nothing shameful about finding things tough. Feeling like a "good enough" parent is one of the hardest things we will ever have to do.


 

 

 

Suffolk Bloomin' Magazine

For a healthy pregnancy

The Suffolk Bloomin' and Suffolk Bloomin' Extra magazines have been put together to help mum, family and friends think about how they can bring up baby to be as happy and healthy as possible.

It's a really exciting time looking forward to the birth of a baby, whether you're the mum or dad-to-be, or even family and friends.

But as we all know babies don't come with a set of instructions, and especially if you're new to being a parent, it can all be a bit overwhelming. 

So we hope these few pages will help get you started, and encourage you to be supportive to Mum and baby. As always, you can get more advice from your doctor, midwife, health visitor.


 

#TalkingHelps

Most people are aware of ‘baby blues’ and post-natal depression when planning a family but what about when it actually happens to you? It’s an all too familiar and confusing story for many new parents. You were so happy to be pregnant, you thought everything would be perfect but then the baby arrives and you just don’t feel… right. You never expected to feel this way; anxious, hostile, angry, sad, terrified, alone.

The good news is that you aren’t alone. We are promoting the support available for women (and their partners) across Suffolk affected by feelings of mild to severe low mood both during pregnancy and after birth.

Talk to your partner, friends and family about how you feel. Make time to talk to your doctor or health visitor if you are struggling because the good news is there is lots of help and support available in Suffolk and they can point you in the right direction.

There is nothing shameful about finding things tough. Feeling like a "good enough" parent is one of the hardest things we will ever have to do.

You're not alone, #TalkingHelps.

 

 

 

 


Where can I get help if I am worried?

If you feel like you might need a bit of support, you can speak to:

You can also find support online:

  • Tommy's Pregnancy Charity
  • Net Mums
  • NHS Choices
  • PANDAS Foundation National website where you can find local support groups. You can also sign up to a free newsletter through this site
  • Action on Postpartum Psychosis Online community support forum for women, partners and others affected by postpartum psychosis

  • Bumps For advice and scientific studies on medication during pregnancy
  • Baby buddy app Multi-award winning free app that guides you through pregnancy, birth, parenting and beyond
  • Institue of Health Visiting Various resources on health issues that families can access. Our two favourite 'Top Tips for parents sheets', one for dad, and one for mum, that deal with parental emotional health
  • Mosaic films 5 short animated films based on real experiences of different perinatal issues
  • GP infant feeding Useful website by GPs for GPs and parents on infant feeding
  • Home-Start Mid and West Suffolk offers support, friendship and practical help to parents with young children throughout the Mid and West Suffolk areas
  • Black Dog video tells the story of overcoming the "black dog of depression"

 

 

 



The Source - Information and advice for young people in Suffolk