It takes a village to raise a mum up

Supposedly, it takes a village to raise a baby. But what about their mum?

Tommy’s midwives’ blog, 02/05/2018

'Failing this pregnancy lark miserably.'

This small, seemingly innocent comment from a Facebook follower last week has really stuck with us. It suggests that pregnancy and parenthood is an exam that can be passed, and that having anything other than a blissful pregnancy free of complications means you have failed.

The pressure to have a 'perfect' pregnancy and motherhood is not something we welcome.

What we DO welcome (with huge open arms) is the flurry of support the mum-to-be received in response. The flood of positive replies came from other women, keen to offer knowing words of encouragement, and advice about who she could talk to and where she could go for help with her perceived failing.

It reminded us about the importance of having a support network to pick you up and dust you off when you're feeling flat.

If your journey to parenthood is proving a little bumpy, there are some amazing mums, dads and organisations who are ready to show you that you’re very far from being alone. This Maternal Mental Health Matters Week we want to celebrate some of these individuals and groups:

Pregnancy support

Your midwife

Lots of people think midwives are there to make sure your baby is healthy throughout pregnancy, but they're also there for you.

Your physical and mental wellbeing is really important, so make sure you share your feelings and don't just answer 'I'm fine' when they ask you how you are. Use our Wellbeing Plan to formulate your thoughts and questions ahead of appointments.

Join the Tommy's midwives' Facebook page for even more guidance.

Antenatal classes

Speak to your midwife or GP about free NHS classes locally, or have a look around for a private antenatal course near you. They can be a great way to prepare for birth and meet other expectant families in your area. Friends made at antenatal classes can be a lifeline in the first few months with a new baby.

PANDAS

A charity dedicated to helping women and their families coping with perinatal mental illness. They offer advice over the phone on 0843 289 8401 and run local support groups.

Support after pregnancy

You may feel a lot of things when your baby arrives - elated, exhausted, excited, worried about what to do next, tearful, proud… or all of them at the same time.

It's normal to feel blue, but ‘baby blues’ are not the same thing as postnatal depression (PND). If you feel unhappy for weeks, or longer, you might need some help. PND affects lots of new mums and it's nothing to be ashamed of.

#PNDhour

Rosey, a mother of three, hosts a weekly Twitter discussion for those who have been or are going through antenatal and postnatal depression. Read, learn and join in by following the hashtag #PNDhour every Wednesday at 8pm.

APNI

You can call the Association for Post Natal Illness on 020 7386 0868.

Parenting advice

If you’re not comfortable turning to friends or family for advice, there is a digital army of mums out there ready to give you a helping hand. Here a few you could try:

 

You're not alone. Find your village.

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