Having a baby is a big life event, and a period of huge change and adjustment. Throughout pregnancy and after birth it is only natural to experience a range of emotions.
Everyone’s experience of having a baby is different, and your emotional health is just as important as your physical health.
Pregnancy, birth and parenthood can all impact your emotional well-being. If you are also experiencing pelvic floor issues this may impact your mental health further. It may be that you have existing mental health issues that have returned or worsened, or perhaps this is the first time you’ve struggled with your mental health. You may be feeling low or experiencing much stronger feelings of depression or anxiety.
You are not alone, and however you’re feeling it’s important to reach out and speak to someone so you can receive the right support. You can do this by speaking with your healthcare professional – this may be your midwife, health visitor or GP – whoever you feel most comfortable talking to.
If your healthcare professional feels like you need more specialist help, they might refer you to the Perinatal Mental Health Team. This service provides care and support for women experiencing mental health problems during pregnancy and up to one year after giving birth.
There are also many organisations and charities that you can contact directly who will support you.
Local organisations and charities who will support you
- Bluebell is a charity who provide a range of free services to help parents and parents-to-be manage their mental health.
- Mothers for Mothers is a charity run by mothers who have suffered and recovered from depression, anxiety or isolation during pregnancy or after the birth of their babies. They are women with experience who offer support, advice and information to mothers who are struggling with their mental health.
- Black Mothers Matter offers antenatal and postnatal support for black women. Building networks, friendships and sources of reliable information.
- Bristol Somali Resource Centre (BSRC) Mental Health and Wellbeing support and therapy for people of Somali origin and heritage.
- MIND Bristol supports those with mental health issues and they have lots of information about maternal mental health.
- Rockabye is a 10-12 week programme run by Family Support Workers in children’s centres.
- Home Start Bristol offers free confidential support, friendship and practical help to parents in Bristol and South Gloucestershire who are going through a challenging time.
- VitaMinds Bristol is your local NHS mental wellbeing support service. You can refer yourself for support including counselling.
- Dads in Mind supporting Dads mental health.
- Dadpad website has resources for Dads.
National organisations and charities who will support you
- The Birth Trauma Association offer help and support to women who are struggling with their mental health as a result of their birth experience.
- Maternal Mental Health Alliance aims to help all women get consistent, accessible, and quality care/support during pregnancy and during the 1 year postnatal period.
- PANDAS Postnatal depression, Awareness and Support
- MASIC Foundation – The MASIC Foundation supports women who have suffered serious injuries during childbirth.