Throughout your pregnancy and your babies early years you will receive lots of information and advice on staying well and caring for your physical health and wellbeing. It is important that you care for your emotional health too and to know what support you can receive.
When you're a new parent, your mental health might be one of the last things on your list to take care of, but it's essential that you take time to look after yourself. We are raising awareness of the importance of taking care of your mental health and wellbeing and helping new parents and parents-to-be, feel more comfortable seeking help when they need it.
Top tips for better mental health
- Time out - Rest when you can. We know it's easier said than done, but the dishes can wait a little longer. Finding time for yourself with a baby can seem like an impossible task so when your little one has finally gone down for a nap, try and find something that helps you relax, like listening to music and have 5 minutes 'me time'.
- Talk, talk, talk - Be honest with how you feel with someone you trust, whether it's a friend or family member, talking will help. It's perfectly normal to feel overwhelmed sometimes and your support network won't judge you if you feel like you're struggling so talk through your feelings and let them reassure you that you're doing a brilliant job.
- Stay active - All exercise releases 'happy chemicals'. Take advantage of your daily exercise by taking baby for walk in the pram. Remember there are also lots of ways to be active indoors too!
- Find others - Other new parents are a great source of support. There are lots of local and virtual groups to join. Why not check out your local Family Hub.
- Be kind to yourself - Being a parent is hard. Speak to your family and friends for support and say yes to offers of support where possible.
- Get support - If you do feel down or worried, you can still talk to your health visitor, GP or midwife. Your feelings matter and it's ok to not be ok. We all need a bit of support from time to time so don't ever feel like you can't ask for help when you need it. Services are running differently during the pandemic, so it is important that you contact them by telephone in the first instance. (See local sources of support below).
It's not just mums
It's not just new and expectant mums who may be struggling with their mental health and wellbeing, partners and family may struggle too. You may have heard of postnatal depression and your first thought will probably be of a new mum adjusting to life as a parent, but did you know partners and family can suffer too? NCT have outlined 10 things you should know about postnatal depression in partners.
Finding other parents and groups
Finding other new parents and sharing your experiences can be really great for your mental wellbeing. There are lots of local groups to join. Why not check out your local Family Hub.
Light Pre and Postnatal Support is a peer support group ran by Light Sheffield.
Families Information Service have a webpage with information for parents and carers during COVID-19.
Local sources of support
If you need support, you can speak to your midwife, health visitor or GP. You can also find more information on the support available at:
- Single Point Access, Adult Mental Health Services
- Doncaster Talking Shop
- Doncaster Mind
- Doncaster Samaritans
- Health Visitor Single Point of Contact: 01302 566776
- Family Hub Groups
- Midwife Single Point of Contact
- Light Pre and Postnatal Support
- Mind - Mums Matter
- Heads Together
- Perinatal Positivity
- Families Information Service
- Your Life Doncaster
- Good Mental Health
- Sheffield Rotherham and Doncaster PNMH Booklet
- Download (980KB - PDF)