UK Deaths: 31,855
UK Cases: 219,183
Worldwide Deaths: 281,454
Worldwide Cases: 4,139,732
It’s Maternal Mental Health Week this week and seeing all the posts have reminded me exactly what I’ve come through and what others are still going through right now, every day. Made even more difficult this year by us currently being in Lockdown.
- Approximately 68% of women and 57% of men with mental health problems are parents.
- The most common mental health problems experienced during pregnancy and after birth are anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
- Women experiencing maternal mental health problems:
- Postpartum psychosis: 2 per 1,000
- Serious mental ill-health: 2 per 1,000
- Severe depressive illness: 30 per 1,000
- Mild-moderate depressive illness and anxiety states: 100-150 per 1,000
- PTSD: 30 per 1,000
- Adjustment disorders and distress: 150-300 per 1,000.
I’ve written about my maternal mental health story previously. However, seeing posts this week has brought so much of it back. Did you know that suicide is still THE leading cause of death of mums with an under one year old in the UK (source: 2019 MBRRACE study). Almost 12 years ago to the day, I nearly became one of those statistics. It saddens me that this is still a statistic, that we are still having to raise awareness. However, it gives me great hope that people are now talking about this openly. That we have organisations like the PMHP UK and advocates like Jo Love to help raise that awareness even more.
These last two days of Maternal Mental Health Week are all about reflection. I can look back and see just how far I’ve come, and that recovery is possible. However, with the current lockdown, I can also see a return of some of those feelings I had, the isolation, the stress and anxiety, and the feeling of failing as a mother. At least this time I can recognise them and I know that things will get better.
For now, I take each day as it comes, and cannot imagine what it must be like to be a new mum/parent suffering in these times. Here are some practical tips from Jo (Did I mention she is an awesome doodler too!) about some simple things we can do for new mums (and dads) during lockdown to help support them.
So lets’ be supportive where we can, let’s think about what others may be going through at this time. For sufferers, take time to read and realise that you are not alone, and things do get better. For others, take time to listen and offer support where you can. Life is so difficult right now that we need to ensure we don’t make it worse, take it easy where possible. If making it through the day means literally that, then do it. Everything else can wait. If you feel lost, reach out. And if you need a hug then I’m sending one right now.