Parent common Q&A

As a parent experiencing challenges to your emotional wellbeing in pregnancy or after having a baby, it can seem like an overwhelming time in your life. Rest assured that you are not alone in this experience and that help is available.

Hearts & Minds is formed by parents who have lived experience of perinatal mental health challenges and understand how hard it can be to try and make sense of how you are feeling. We’ve put together some Q&As to help you navigate the experience and to reach out for support.

If I’m honest about how I am feeling, will they take my baby away?

You’d be surprised by how common this concern is. Many new parents worry about telling people that they are experiencing anxiety or low mood as they think it might reflect on their ability to be a good parent. This is not the case. Emotional wellbeing challenges in pregnancy or after having a baby affect up to 20% of new mums and can be experienced by partners too. Healthcare professionals and VCS organisations in our sector are here to help you and to reassure you that, with support, you can get better and go on to thrive in parenthood.

I feel so alone. Other new parents seem to be coping much better than I am

Don’t be seduced by social media feeds and the misconception that becoming a new parent is easy and it’s always a happy time. It can be a very difficult transition and lots of people put on a front as they want to look like they’re smashing it. In truth, there are lots of swirling emotions and we all find our own way of adapting. Many new parents feel overwhelmed and disoriented. You are not alone if you are finding it really hard. Be honest and you’ll feel a sense of relief in knowing that many others are in a similar situation and help is at hand.

Where can I find support?

It’s good to speak to a health professional about how you are feeling. You can also seek out support in your local community and check if there are any voluntary or community sector organisations who might be able to help find local support here. If you feel like you need urgent help then don’t be afraid to reach out to crisis services. See crisis services here. Please remember you are never alone.

I’m worried I might never feel better. When will I feel like myself again?

It’s not unusual to experience challenges to your emotional wellbeing in pregnancy and after having a baby. By seeking support and being honest about how you are feeling, you have taken the first steps to your recovery. Everyone’s experience is unique but there are common themes along the way. It may take time to feel better but with good support, gentle compassion and self-care, you will get there.