Parental Mental Wellbeing
Welcoming a new baby is amazing and can be a really happy and exciting time for families. It can also be hard work as you adjust to learning how to feed and care for your little one, whilst also recovering from the pregnancy and birth.
It’s very common for new parents to report feeling tired and overwhelmed during this time but for most people this becomes less intense after a while, once your baby has settled into the family. Some parents, however can experience difficulties with their mental health in the post-natal period which can cause concern to them or to their families. This can happen for both mums and dads. Some people feel more anxious than usual or find that they are experiencing a low mood that doesn’t seem to be getting better whilst others have strange thoughts that feel scary to them.
The good news is that mental health symptoms after having a baby do get better – the key thing is to let someone know how you’re feeling so that you can get the right help as soon as possible.
Your midwife, health visitor and GP all have training in helping parents who need mental health support and can also refer you to a number of different local services if you need additional help to get better. Meeting up with other new parents can also help to support your emotional wellbeing. Bright Start Children’s Centres run a wide range of activities to support new parents and are available to all Islington residents.
Help and support
New Parents Group: a 6-week group for parents with babies under 6 months, this is an opportunity to meet other parents and to find out more about adjusting to becoming a parent.
Emotional Wellbeing Visits: a series of 6 home visits offered by your health visitor to help support your mental health if you are struggling with the emotional aspects of becoming a parent. Please contact your health visiting team for further details. If you need help contacting your health visiting team, please call 020 3316 8008.
Islington breastfeeding support: feeding your baby can sometimes be a cause of stress for new parents. Contact the Islington breastfeeding support service for help with all aspects of feeding your baby on 020 3316 8439.
Bright Start activities: you can find out more about other services and activities provided at your local children’s centre
The Baby Buddy app provides access to NHS approved information to help you in the early days of parenting.
The Better Health Start for Life website has good suggestions for further support.
PANDAS Foundation: offers support, empathy and hope for every parent or family affected by perinatal mental illness.