We’ve pulled together some resources and tips to help make the emotional rollercoaster of it all a little smoother!
Guide to Emotional Support for New Parents
The truth is being a new parent can be very challenging at times. In fact, one in four mums have a mental health problem during pregnancy or within the first two years after birth, with anxiety and depression being common.
There are lots of coping techniques and support services out there for new parents, though. So let’s run through where to go for help, and how you can look after yourself and your new family.
First-time parent tips
To support you on your journey, we’ve pulled together some resources and tips to help make the emotional rollercoaster of it all a little smoother!
Embrace your baby bubble
In the first few weeks and months, it may feel like you're stuck in a newborn bubble. You mustn't lose perspective. Remember that this time won't last forever. Your little one will never be as tiny as they are today again, so soak up every moment. After all, there's nothing better than newborn cuddles!
Using the internet to connect with others is a great way to feel safe and supported. Apps like Peanut and Baby Centre are designed to make it easy to meet, chat and learn from like-minded parents, in your local area, or across the globe!
If you're looking to meet other new mums face-to-face, take a look at NCT's list of local activities and meet-ups in your area. You can also check if there are any Sure Start children’s centres you could attend. Let’s Talk Birth and Baby offer a free midwife meet-up, and new mums can join a bumps and babies group free of charge.
Sometimes you can feel great, other times negative emotions loom. It’s vital that you share with others how you’re feeling.
Remember, it's normal to feel sad or stressed sometimes, especially when you're adjusting to life with a new baby. Focus on positive thoughts and times when you feel good, as this can act as helpful pick-me-ups when things are a little tougher.
Find some time to unwind
We know that you’ll be pushed for time as a new parent, but you should try to spend at least half an hour each day to care for yourself and do something you find relaxing. Whether that’s reading, watching TV, or having a bath – this should be me-time that gives you time to unwind.
Where to find support for new parents
If you or your partner are struggling to cope, asking for help is always an option. Whether you reach out to a friend or family member, talk to your health visitor or doctor, or get in touch with a charity for some support and advice, you should never worry about asking for support.
Mental health support for parents
As the saying goes, a problem shared is a problem halved. There are so many amazing organisations that offer help to parents, no matter what stage you’re at.
- Mind offers advice and support on parenting with a mental health problem and motherhood and mental health.
- NCT’s vision is of a world in which no parent is isolated, and all parents are supported to build a strong society.
- PANDAS is a charity that offers hope, empathy and support for parents or network affected by perinatal mental illness.
- The NHS can offer help around coping with stress and feeling depressed after having a baby.
Emotional support for pregnant mothers and new mums
After your baby has arrived, your hormones are rapidly adjusting to new levels and your emotions will fluctuate. Mums who are struggling or feel like they need some additional support can reach out to the following organisations:
- 10 Fingers is a UK-based charity set up to support first-time mums as they settle into their new role of motherhood.
- APNI offers support to mums suffering from post-natal illness.
- Tommy’s are there to support mums through every stage of their pregnancy, from conception to after the birth of your baby, no matter what your experiences have been.
Support for dads
Dads can struggle with mental health too. Between five and 10% of dads experience paternal perinatal depression and up to 15% experience perinatal anxiety.
If you’re a dad and seeking some support, you can take a look at The Dad Pad, Mind, Quick Tips for New Dads and Dads Matter UK for support surrounding all the issues that becoming a new parent can bring.
If this content reminds you of your own experiences or makes you think of someone you know and you feel concerned or uncomfortable, please head to our support page for information about perinatal mental health resources that may be able to help.