Today marks the end of the second UK Maternal Mental Health Week, led by the Perinatal Mental Health Partnership.
World Maternal Mental Health Day on Wednesday’s focus on ‘The Village’ emphasised the importance of giving access to the information and help that new mothers need.
Much of the work needs to start with how we talk to women in the first place, making sure they are treated as human beings with an important and valuable contribution to make to their own care. It sounds simple but women are often left feeling ignored and merely passive onlookers.
Particularly after my second birth, where I felt that I had been robbed of the positive birth experience I so desperately wanted, it was as if I was standing on the edge of a precipice, about to fall into an abyss. After being discharged from hospital, I was left feeling helpless, dismissed and worn down, and there was no excuse for that, or for the numerous other appalling experiences women still have to endure as part of pregnancy, birth and beyond.
I was lucky – I had a good, supportive network of friends and family around me, and was able to draw on the relationships I had already fostered with other mums after having my first child. It was these things that saw me through those difficult few months; others are not so lucky.
It certainly does takes a village to raise a child and it is important we support mothers to find theirs, in whatever form that may take. Shout out to all the mums out there, finding their way out of the dark.
For more information visit www.maternalmentalhealthalliance.org
Image from Pixabay