This section of the hub is for parents, co-parents and intended parents who are planning a pregnancy, preparing for a baby, or adapting to life with a newborn and are seeking support and advice around emotional wellbeing and new, emerging or existing mental health illnesses. These resources have been developed following feedback from social listening exercises and focus group activities with parents, health professionals and employers that identified a need for balanced information about emotional wellbeing and mental health during preparation for parenthood, pregnancy and after birth.
The PATH partners have combined their existing diverse experience, knowledge and niche expertise in the co-development of this hub that prioritises evidence-based practice, technological and social innovation
The section will provide parents with practical tips around caring for their newborn and supporting the relationship with their baby, as well as support for their own mental health and the wellbeing of partners and co-parents who may also be experiencing mental health problems. It will give practical information to those who are thinking of starting a family and give check-lists of things to think about when planning a family, birth and after care.
There are many services available to support you as you plan for a family, progress through pregnancy and begin your lives as new parents. These may include NHS services, Local Authority services, support from voluntary and community organisations or informal networks. It is a good idea to find out about what is happening in your local community and think about how you can build up your own support network.
If you are planning to have a baby it’s important to think about your mental health as well as your physical health, to help ensure your pregnancy progresses well and you feel supported. These pages will help you consider how to plan and prepare for a pregnancy and direct you to useful sources of support.
Mental health is like physical health and is something we all have. At different stages in our lives, we will all have times when we may feel unwell due to our physical or mental health. ‘Perinatal mental health’ refers to your mental health in the time from becoming pregnant up to a year after having a baby. We know that becoming a parent can change how we feel emotionally, physically and mentally. It can bring great joy but can also be a time of increased stress and vulnerability. This can range from feeling a bit low to really struggling to cope with life on a daily basis and feeling completely overwhelmed. You are not alone; many parents may feel like this – it is good to talk about how you feel and know that there is help available. On these pages you will find support and information on how to access help. Other parents also share their stories and experiences.
People will often tell you that becoming a mum can be one of the most exciting and life changing experiences of your life. However, it can also be really hard and you may experience a mix of conflicting emotions. Coping with recovery from birth, lack of sleep and the new experience of being a mum can be a huge shock to the system. Many mums may put on a brave face when they are struggling and worry about being judged if they are honest about how they really feel. If you feel this way you are not alone. Find some useful information and links to support services on these pages, and remember that your healthcare professionals understand the realities of being a new parent and are there to offer advice and support too.
For dads and other non-birthing parents, having a new baby can be an exciting and also challenging time in your life. It is also a time of huge change and you may feel there is a lot to learn. This section provides useful information and links to a range of mental health parenting resources.
What is the world like from your baby's point of view? This section provides information about connecting with your unborn baby, how your baby sees the world, including baby brain development, sleep patterns and why your baby might cry. It covers what you need to know about how your relationship with your baby develops and what you can do to support it.
If you're a new or expectant parent, you might have questions about maternity and paternity leave, your rights and returning to work. You might also want some advice about finding a job and balancing work and home life. This section will give you all the information and advice you'll need, whatever your employment situation.
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