Many of the parents that we meet as part of Little Beans are not strangers to the difficult links between mental health struggles and pregnancy.
It is easy to continue the narrative of the ‘happy cloud of familial bliss’ that mums and dads are expected to float on during pregnancy and after the arrival of their new baby, but that does not always reflect the truth.
It is a common misconception that only new mums can suffer from Postnatal Depression, but this just isn’t the case. A proportion of new dads are diagnosed with the condition and require just the same support. While a difficulty bonding with your new baby may be the most well-known sign, Postnatal Depression carries many of the same symptoms as other forms of depression, such as a low mood, not enjoying things that you once did, and an unwillingness to socialise with those who are close to you.
Antenatal Depression, while it can be connected to hormone changes, can be caused by the broader symptoms of pregnancy, such as sickness and tiredness. It is important to seek the support and reassurance that you need, to talk to your doctor or nurse, and, eventually, to talk as openly as possible about it, to give strength to others suffering the same.
While we would always encourage our parents to see the studio as a safe space, we know that many won’t feel able to use us as a sounding board. So, instead, we’re asking all our mums and dads who have struggled, are struggling, or may struggle in the future, to talk to those closest to them.
It being World Mental Health Awareness Day is just one more good reason to join the discussion, and to offer support to others.