Thursday, 19 November 2015
Beyond baby blues
We need to talk about maternal mental health - and we need to talk about it now
The NCT had launched the #BeyondBabyBlues campaign to encourage people to talk more openly about maternal mental health and prevent anyone from mistakenly dismissing potentially serious mental health issues in themselves, friends or family.
Some new mums are affected by the 'baby blues' after giving birth, but if symptoms persist or worsen, it can be much more serious – antenatal or postnatal depression, or even PTSD. But this can be dismissed as the baby blues, meaning many mums don't seek help – hence the campaign.
Perinatal mental illness affects around one in 10 women during pregnancy or in the first year after giving birth. The NCT has said almost one in five callers to their helpline had a mental health issue to discuss, but over a third had not spoken to a healthcare professional about it.
Around half of all new mums are concerned about their mental health - but despite this there is a staggering lack of support and services for them to access.
Support the campaign - share a picture of yourself linking hands online using the hashtag #BeyondBabyBlues, and email your MP and call on them to support vulnerable new mums. The NCT is also calling on the government to improve mental health services for parents and invest in training GPs, midwives and health visitors to recognise vulnerable new mums.