Having a baby to look after can be worrying, and sometimes parents don’t feel as happy as they had expected. Lack of sleep, change to relationships, breastfeeding and other challenges can make you feel low or anxious.
If you are feeling unhappy or struggling to cope, then it is really important to share your feelings and/or ask for help. This could be with family or friends, or with professional services.
Pregnancy and early years
- Midwife – Your midwife will support you during pregnancy and in the days after the birth of your baby.
- Health Visitors – Are able to listen to you and help in the early years of being a parent. They can visit more often if required.
- Family Nurse – Some parents under 19 years will have a specially trained Family Nurse who provides similar, but more intense support to that of a health visitor.
- Baby Check – Baby Check is a free downloadable app designed to help parents find answers to concerns they have about their baby’s health with advice on what to do next.
- Stop smoking in pregnancy – Stopping smoking is one of the best things you can do for your baby to give them a healthy start in life. It's easier to quit with support than on your own.
Build your confidence
- Warwickshire midwives and health visitors use the three Solihull Approach guides: ’understanding your pregnancy’, ‘understanding your baby’ and ‘understanding your child’ in the work that they do with children and families. To access the free online guides for yourself, see free online courses and resources to help you prepare for pregnancy, labour, birth and building a relationship with your baby.
- One in four parents in Warwickshire have told us they have felt lonely and isolated. To meet other parents in your local area ask at your local children’s centre.
- Sleep is often a cause for concern for new parents. Midwives and health visitors will cover sleep in their face-to-face sessions but if you have any concerns about your 0-5’s sleep, please do contact them direct. For online help and advice, please see Getting to know your baby – a series of useful videos covering bonding, baby states, early interactions and sleeping and soothing.
- NHS Helping your baby to sleep – an NHS guide on a range of sleep queries.
- Health visitors also run parent sessions around the introduction to solids. For NHS online advice, see NHS – Your baby’s first solid foods.
- Baby Buddy – is a free downloadable app designed to guide you through pregnancy, birth, parenting and beyond.
- To find out about membership and resources for parents and professionals, see the AIMH website.
Feeling low or anxious?
- Speak to your midwife, health visitor or GP. They can suggest support and treatments. Find your local GP.
- Perinatal Positivity – “it can happen to dads and it can happen to mums” – a video using the real voices and experiences of women and men who have experienced mental health difficulties around the time of pregnancy, childbirth and beyond. The website also offers support and advice to parents, carers and professionals.
- Parents in Mind – individual and group peer support for mums experiencing emotional mental health difficulties in pregnancy and the first year after birth. Note this operates in Kenilworth, Leamington Spa, Warwick and surrounding villages only.
- Improving Access to Psychological Therapy (IAPT) offers talking therapies for people experiencing depression or anxiety. You can self-refer.
- Wellbeing for Warwickshire support services for aged 16 years and older.
- Big White Wall – free online support for all Warwickshire residents
- Mental Health Matters – Telephone helpline providing emotional guidance and information.
Specialist support for mums
- Perinatal Mental Health Service – this specialist service works with women who are experiencing mental health difficulties whilst pregnant, or in the first year after their babies are born. Speak to your midwife, health visitor, or GP as you will need a referral to this service.
- Mums In Mind – Mums In Mind provides support for pregnant women and mums who are experiencing mental health issues, emotional distress and/or those who feel lonely and may lack the support of family and friends.
Support following a difficult birth
- After birth listening services enable parents to talk about and reflect on their birthing experience.
- George Elliot Hospital’s After Birth Listening Service
- University Hospital Coventry and Warwickshire midwifery team – email [email protected] with your name, address, date of Birth, date of baby’s birth and brief details of your concerns. A Supervisor of Midwives will respond and make an appointment for you within six weeks.
- South Warwickshire Foundation Trust’s Birth Experience Listening Service. If you think you could benefit from this please call 01926 495321 Ext 4613 to speak to our confidential answerphone.