You may find the resources on this page a helpful start to getting the support you need:
We are often supportive, understanding and compassionate to others, but are much harsher and critical towards ourselves in the same situation. Learning to be more compassionate with ourselves leads to a calmer mind, better relationships, less anxiety, and increased sense of self-worth.
There are a variety of compassionate exercises on this website: https://balancedminds.com/audio/
And a number of videos about increasing self-compassion:
This video provides an introduction to old and new brain idea in Compassion Focused Therapy:
A compassionate breathing exercise is available here:
- Mind explains postnatal depression and other perinatal mental health problems, including possible causes, treatments and support options. Also has information for friends and family, including support and advice for partners: www.mind.org.uk/information-support/types-of-mental-health-problems/postnatal-depression-and-perinatal-mental-health/about-maternal-mental-health-problems/
- Royal College of Psychiatrists: for information on post-natal depression, perinatal OCD and Post-Partum Psychosis: www.rcpsych.ac.uk/mental-health/problems-disorders
- Watch a series of films about baby bonding, and mental health during the perinatal period and also access the Baby Buddy app – an interactive pregnancy and parenting guide providing trusted, evidence-based information and self-care tools to help parents build their knowledge and confidence during the transition to parenthood and throughout the early stages of parenting: www.bestbeginnings.org.uk
- For information on bonding with your baby please see the following leaflet: Helping-Yourself-Perinatal.pdf [pdf] 298KB
- A Pregnant pause (2009) – a guide for lesbians and bisexual women on all aspects of pregnancy and childbirth from conception to starting school: pregnant_pause_with_cover_2.pdf [pdf] 4MB
- A guide for gay men taking them through the choices available to them to starting a family including legal advice on parenting rights in various situations (2015): A_Guide_for_Gay_Dads__1_.pdf [pdf] 1MB
- A guide to Pregnancy in Mental Health from The Greater Manchester Combined Authority: 0046 Pregnancy in mental health leaflet - GM VERSION v2 (2).pdf [pdf] 2MB
Asking for help
If you are struggling with a mental health problems like depression or anxiety, it is important that you ask for help from friends, family or your midwife, health visitor, GP or make a referral to Self Help services. You can also contact one of the services below:
- Home-Start www.home-start.org.uk - A local family support charity who recruit and train local parent volunteers to provide weekly emotional and practical home visiting support to families with at least one child under the age of 5 years.
- Dad’s Matter: www.dadmatters.org.uk
- Finding Rainbows for parents affected by baby loss www.findingrainbows.co.u
- SPOONS for parents with babies who are premature: www.spoons.org.uk/
- OKE for parents with babies who have additional needs: www.ourkidseyes.org
- Support for parents having twins/multiple births: www.twinstrust.org
- Proud 2B Parents, is a LGBT organisation supporting parents: www.proud2bparents.co.uk
- Sands for parents affected by stillbirth and neonatal death: www.sands.org.uk
- Peanut app and Mush app: Social networking apps both designed to help mothers connect with other mothers in their local areas and access helpful advice.
- Gingerbread, supporting single parent families: www.gingerbread.org.uk
- Baby buddy: Emotional Support by text targeting parents and expectant parents. SHOUT crisis support text service have teamed up with Baby Buddy to develop text crisis support for people during the perinatal period. Text BABYBUDDY to 85258.
If you feel that you are in a crisis situation and unable to attend to your family’s needs or unable to keep your family safe from harm, it is important to seek urgent support from social care services. They can work with you to consider what support you need to help you and your family move forward positively.