Motherhood can be one of the most rewarding experiences a woman can have, but it can also be one of the most challenging. The physical and emotional demands of pregnancy, childbirth, and early motherhood can take a toll on a woman’s mental health. That’s why Maternal Mental Health Week is so important. This annual event, which takes place during the first week of May, aims to raise awareness of maternal mental health and provide support for mothers who may be struggling.
The History of Maternal Mental Health Week
Maternal Mental Health Week was first launched in 2014 by the Perinatal Mental Health Partnership UK. The Partnership is a group of charities, organisations, and individuals who are committed to improving the mental health of women during pregnancy and the postnatal period. Since then, the event has grown in popularity and is now recognised internationally.
The theme of Maternal Mental Health Week 2023 is ‘Together in a changing world’ with daily themes as follows
Monday – Starting the conversation about perinatal mental health
Tuesday – Shining the spotlight on support
Wednesday – World Maternal Mental Health Day #StrongerTogether
Thursday – Healthcare professionals hub to support healing
Friday – Perinatal positivity pot
Saturday – Support for all families
Sunday – Recap and reflect
Why Maternal Mental Health Matters
Maternal mental health is a crucial aspect of a woman’s overall health and wellbeing. Mental health difficulties during pregnancy and the postnatal period can have a significant impact on both the mother and her child. For the mother, it can lead to a range of symptoms, including anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). These symptoms can affect her ability to bond with her baby, care for herself and her child, and enjoy motherhood.
For the child, maternal mental health difficulties can have long-lasting effects on their development and wellbeing. Studies have shown that children of mothers who experience mental health difficulties during pregnancy and the postnatal period are at an increased risk of developmental delays, behavioural problems, and mental health difficulties later in life.
Getting Help for Maternal Mental Health Difficulties
If you are a mother who is struggling with your mental health, it’s essential to seek help. There are many sources of support available, including your GP, midwife, health visitor, and local mental health services. You can also contact organisations such as the Maternal Mental Health Alliance, PANDAS Foundation, and Mind for further advice and support.
It’s essential to remember that maternal mental health difficulties are common, and you are not alone. By reaching out for help, you can take the first step towards improving your mental health and wellbeing, and ensuring the best possible start for you and your child.
Maternal Mental Health Week is an essential event that highlights the importance of maternal mental health and provides support for mothers who may be struggling. By raising awareness of this issue and providing access to support and resources, we can help mothers to overcome mental health difficulties and enjoy a positive and fulfilling experience of motherhood. So, let’s come together and support maternal mental health, because mental health matters.
To have a read more about the Maternal Mental Health Alliance click here https://maternalmentalhealthalliance.org/