Emotional health and wellbeing for parents and carers

Antenatal mood

It is normal to have mixed feelings when expecting a baby. You could be feeling happy or worried about becoming a parent and wondering how relationships in the family may change. This can be linked to thoughts of your own childhood and your current family situation. It’s important to remember all of these feelings are normal and it is often hard to know what to expect.

It can feel like you have to know everything about becoming a parent, but remember you don’t. You will learn this together as your family grows.

 

Early days

Pregnancy and birth are the first steps in getting to know your baby.

Your baby was born to learn from you. Babies tell you how they are feeling and what they want by crying. As you get to know your baby you will notice the changes in their cry, how they look at you, and how they move. This will help you begin to learn what they need.

 

Postnatal mood

Having a baby is a life changing experience. Whether this is your first child or not, becoming a parent can cause a whole range of emotions. You may be feeling happy, sad, tired or tearful or sometimes can’t describe how you are feeling. Please don’t feel embarrassed, guilty or ashamed, or try to hide these feelings as lots of people feel this way.

 

Baby blues

Having a baby is a life-changing experience. For many new parents, it's a happy but emotional time.

The baby blues can affect lots of women and can make you feel down for a little while after giving birth. Some symptoms can be;

  • feeling emotional, irritable or overwhelmed
  • being tearful without knowing why
  • feeling low in mood
  • feeling anxious or restless

These symptoms are normal if you've just had a baby. They are usually mild and don't stop you leading a normal life. This can be an upsetting time but should usually pass after 10 - 14 days.

However, between 10-15% of women feel anxious or depressed beyond what can be described as the 'baby blues,' and it's important to understand this is very common. Talk to your health visitor, midwife or GP who will be able to offer help and support.

Condition specific information

Mental Health Wellbeing

  • Mental Health Overview

  • Antenatal Depression and Anxiety

  • Postnatal Baby Blues

  • Postpartum Psychosis

  • Postnatal Depression

What you can do

Exhaustion after the birth, mixed with lack of sleep and changes in hormone levels (not to mention the stress of looking after a newborn baby) leads to many new parents to feel overwhelmed or depressed. Dads can experience this too.

If you are:

  • struggling to eat or eating too much
  • struggling to sleep or sleeping too much
  • not wanting to spend time with friends or family
  • struggling with your relationship with the baby
  • having thoughts such as 'I can't do this anymore'
  • not being able to stop crying
  • feelings of not being able to cope
  • not being able to enjoy anything
  • excessive anxiety about the baby

It can be hard to talk about these feelings. Many parents feel pressure to be happy and excited after the birth of their baby but this is not always the case. Some parents worry it will mean they are a bad parent if they talk about these feelings. Some parents even worry their children will be taken away.

It is OK to ask for help and support if you need it. 

Who can help?

Emotional health: local contacts

  • Luton

    For parents

    For mental health support please contact your own GP, our duty health visitor on 0333 405 0087 (from 9-5), call 111, or the Samaritans on 116 123 (free from any phone)

    You can also come along to our drop in clinics to speak to a health visitor: https://www.flyingstartluton.com/child-health-clinic/

    For young people

    If at any point you are worried that a young person has done something to seriously harm themselves then call either 111 or 999.

    ChatHealth is now also available for young people who want to talk to someone directly. You can now text our school nurses on 07520 616070 to ask any health related questions you might have including mental health, drugs, relationships, healthy eating and much more.

    ChatHealth is an easy, confidential and anonymous way to ask questions about your health. Our team will be there to answer your text from 9am to 4pm, Monday to Friday (except bank holidays).

    Young people can also access free online counselling and support from Kooth 

     
  • Bedfordshire

    For parents

    Parentline is a secure and confidential text service for parents and carers of those aged 0-19. It offers advice and support on a range of issues such as weaning, sleep and emotional health or how to make an appointment with our team. This is also a great mechanism to find out how to access other local services.

    Simply text 07507 331456 with your question to start the conversation – our team will be there to answer your queries from 9am to 4.30pm, Monday to Friday (excluding bank holidays).

    For young people

    If at any point you are worried that a young person has done something to seriously harm themselves then call either 111 or 999.

    ChatHealth is now also available for young people who want to talk to someone directly. You can now text our school nurses on 07507 331450 to ask any health related questions you might have including mental health, drugs, relationships, healthy eating and much more.

    ChatHealth is an easy, confidential and anonymous way to ask questions about your health. Our team will be there to answer your text from 9am to 4.30pm, Monday to Friday (except bank holidays).

     

     

    If at any point you are worried that a young person has done something to seriously harm themselves then call either 111 or 999.

    ChatHealth is now also available for young people who want to talk to someone directlyYou can now text our school nurses on 07507 331450 to ask any health related questions you might have including mental health, drugs, relationships, healthy eating and much more.

    ChatHealth is an easy, confidential and anonymous way to ask questions about your health. Our team will be there to answer your text from 9am to 4.30pm, Monday to Friday (except bank holidays).

    If at any point you are worried that a young person has done something to seriously harm themselves then call either 111 or 999.

    ChatHealth is now also available for young people who want to talk to someone directlyYou can now text our school nurses on 07507 331450 to ask any health related questions you might have including mental health, drugs, relationships, healthy eating and much more.

    ChatHealth is an easy, confidential and anonymous way to ask questions about your health. Our team will be there to answer your text from 9am to 4.30pm, Monday to Friday (except bank holidays).

    If at any point you are worried that a young person has done something to seriously harm themselves then call either 111 or 999.

    ChatHealth is now also available for young people who want to talk to someone directlyYou can now text our school nurses on 07507 331450 to ask any health related questions you might have including mental health, drugs, relationships, healthy eating and much more.

    ChatHealth is an easy, confidential and anonymous way to ask questions about your health. Our team will be there to answer your text from 9am to 4.30pm, Monday to Friday (except bank holidays).

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