We can help you adjust to family life, and look after your mental and emotional wellbeing
Wellbeing for new parents
Becoming a parent can be both an exciting and overwhelming time. We know that it can take a while to adjust to family life, and looking after your mental and emotional wellbeing is important.
We know that looking after your own emotional wellbeing will help you enjoy this precious time, and give your baby the best start in life.
There are different things you and your partner can do to look after yourselves, such as:
- Taking little breaks when you need them
- Eating healthily and regularly, drinking plenty of water, especially if you are a breastfeeding mother
- Asking a trusted family member or friend to look after your child for a short while, or help out around the house
- Getting out every day for some fresh air and daylight, and taking a break from the normal home routine
- Exercising, even if it’s a walk around the block with your baby in the pushchair
- Having a bath or shower to help relax
During the first few days after the birth of your child, new mums may feel what is known as ‘baby blues’.
You may feel tearful, anxious, low, or even have mood swings for no apparent reason.
This is a very common experience, and can often be due to the changes in your hormones after giving birth. If this is the case, these feelings will tend to go away after the first few days.
If you find that you’re struggling with these symptoms after a couple of weeks, it’s important to talk to someone such as your partner, family, friends, midwife, or health visitor. Sometimes this extra support can be enough to overcome your difficulties.
You can also find support through:
- Your GP
- The children’s centre’s local to you often have some really good support in place
- Homestart, who can offer home visits, advice and access to help forums
The period during pregnancy and up to your child's second birthday is referred to as the 'perinatal period’. During this time, expectant and new mothers are likely to experience changes in body, hormones and mood. While pregnancy is an exciting time for most parents, it can also be overwhelming.
You may feel that you are the only one going through this, but about 1 in 5 mums experience an emotional difficulty at some point during the perinatal period and 1 in 3 new fathers/partners are concerned about their mental health during this time.
We understand more now than ever before about how the journey of parenting can impact on our wellbeing, particularly in the perinatal period. There are many services available now to support parents during this time and NHS Talking Therapies can help you to find the right support for you.
If you feel that you’re struggling, you can ask your GP to refer you to NHS Talking Therapies, or refer yourself to us. We’ll talk to you, and arrange a wellbeing assessment with you, to see how best we can help.
If you’re expecting your first child or have had a baby, you will be prioritised for assessment and treatment in NHS Talking Therapies, so that you don’t have to wait long to access the support you need and to start enjoying the adventures of parenthood.
Maternal Wellbeing through SHaRON
If you feel that you need further help, you may be able to use our Support Hope and Recovery Online Network (SHaRON)
SHaRON is our peer support system, which helps connect people to other parents and carers, so they can share advice.
The Maternal Wellbeing programme lets parents share their thoughts and concerns, and hear how others have dealt with similar situations.
Access is by invitation only, and all comments can be provided anonymously.
If you’re interested in knowing more and registering, please speak to your GP or health visitor for a referral.
Charities and communities
There’s also several charities and support groups across Berkshire that can offer advice.
- Cry-sis (support for crying, sleepless and demanding babies) 08451 228 669
- PANDAS Foundation (Pre and Postnatal Depression Advice and Support) 0843 289 8401
- Samaritans 116 123
- Association for Postnatal Illness 0207 386 0868
- Breastfeeding Network 0300 100 0212
- Dads Matter UK (information and support for new fathers)