While pregnancy is often seen as an exciting lifestyle change, it can also be an incredibly overwhelming, and at times, isolating, experience. As many as one in five women experience emotional difficulties during their pregnancy and after giving birth, however many women go through this on their own and do not access the help that is available.
The theme for this year’s World Maternal Mental Health Day is ‘Stronger Together’, with the aim being to raise awareness of some of the struggles that some women experience after giving birth, and the treatment and support that is accessible. It’s important to remember that if you are finding things hard as a new parent, or are experiencing worries or concerns while pregnant, that this is completely normal. It can help to talk to those that you trust about how you are feeling and what you are going through. Through staying connected with others, and forming new connections, we can feel happier and have an increased sense of self-worth.
We spoke to three of our therapists about their experiences during pregnancy, and how staying connected with others helped improve their mental wellbeing:
“Having a child changed my whole world. I was tired all the time and anxious about everything! Reaching out to my family and accepting help made all the difference. I was anxious at first about leaving my child with someone else, but those times when I could have a nap or just watch telly with a cuppa made all the difference and made me feel like a better mum overall.” – Suzy
“I had been through so much to get pregnant that I found myself worrying a lot throughout pregnancy that something was going to go wrong. This was on the back of a miscarriage and lots of fertility treatment. It all seemed to be too good to be true. However, I acknowledged the feelings and this allowed me to look after myself and to do what felt right for me at the time. I also found it helpful to be honest with family and friends about how I was feeling and to have some validation of my feelings, as they all knew of the journey I'd been on to get this far.” - Sharon
“Being able to connect and share how I'm feeling with friends and family whilst being pregnant, has really helped me to look after my mental and physical health. When my partner and I share are concerns and also our hopes for the future, it has really helped us to build a good relationship.” - Karen
Here at TALKWORKS, we encourage anyone who is feeling overwhelmed, experiencing sadness, anxiety or increased worry during their time of pregnancy, or in the first two years after giving birth, to reach out for help.
We are an inclusive service and welcome referrals from those over 18, no matter their race, gender, sexuality or religion. You will never be judged by our therapists, and can confide in them
Our ethos is to work compassionately to understand how you are feeling and what you are going through that is causing you to feel this way. Our therapists will then work with you and discuss a choice of therapy options and coping strategies available to help you feel happier, and find a treatment that works for you. This could be one-to-one sessions with a therapist, group therapy in one of our wellbeing workshops, or online self-help that you can work through at a time that is convenient.
If you would like to access TALKWORKS, you do not need to see a GP or healthcare professional first. You can simply self-refer by filling in a form on our website, or by speaking to a member of our team through calling 0300 555 3344. As part of the NHS, all treatment and support that you can access through our services is available free of charge.
Posted by Nicky Haycock on 15 November, 2023