Updated: Jun 9
Maternal Mental Health Week runs from 2nd May to 8th May. The campaign is designed to raise awareness and support for mental health problems during & after pregnancy 👊
One in five women develop a mental illness during pregnancy or in the first year after childbirth.
Maternal Mental Health Week is organised by Perinatal Mental Health Partnership. Not only is the campaign to raise awareness but it is also wanting to tackle the stigma around mental health and change attitudes. The overall theme for this year is ‘The Power of Connection', with different daily themes too.
Perinatal Mental Health Problems include
Antenatal or Postnatal Depression
Antenatal or Postnatal Anxiety
OCD - Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
PTSD - Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder including birth trauma
Why Perinatal Mental Health Matters
1 in 5 women develop a mental illness during pregnancy or in the first year after childbirth. That is the equivalent of 20% of new and expectant mums and it covers a wide range of conditions.
Depression is the most prevalent mental health illness perinatal, with between 10% to 14% of mother's affected.
OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) affects around 3% of all new mothers.
Postpartum psychosis affects 2 in 1000 new mothers.
Suicide is one of the leading cause of maternal deaths in the UK within the first year after childbirth.
Fathers also experience mental health difficulties during the perinatal period.
Almost 70% of women affected hide or will underplay how unwell they are
Sadly getting support can be a bit of a lottery depending on the hospital you're registered with. Some offer excellent support, especially if you already have mental health issues. However almost across half of the UK there is no access to a specialist community perinatal mental health services. Crazy given the figures above.
Motherhood can take you to the highest of highs but also to lowest of lows. When you're in it, you're in it, and it can be really difficult to recognise you need help. Especially if it's the first time you've experienced mental health issues. This is why its so important to raise awareness of maternal mental health so that friends and family can recognise the symptoms too.
If you are struggling with perinatal anxiety or depression, you are not alone. Please reach out as there is help out there. Speak with your GP, midwife or health visitor. There are also charities dedicated to helping if you are struggling or feeling low:
Maternal Mental Health Alliance
You are worthy of support 🖤