It’s Maternal Mental Health Matters Awareness Week this week (29 April – 5 May 2019).
This hugely important awareness week centers around a campaign by The Maternal Mental Health Alliance (MMHA), which is a coalition of UK organizations with a vision to see all women across the UK get consistent, accessible and quality care and support for their mental health during pregnancy – and in the year after giving birth.
The week-long campaign is dedicated to talking about mental illness during pregnancy or after having a baby. The online platform helps mums to access the information and help they need to get help and enable recovery, and this year’s theme is Mums Matter.
According to the MMHA, more than 1 in 10 women develop a mental illness during pregnancy or within the first year after having a baby. If untreated, these mental illnesses can have a devastating impact on the women affected and their families.
As the only social connection platform in the world dedicated to helping mums get back to fitness after pregnancy, we are pleased that the spotlight is firmly on maternal mental health.
Practicing self-care and talking to others can both help hugely when it comes to the wellbeing of pregnant and postpartum mums.
Buump Active can help with both aspects – our platform was created to help women regain their fitness and this precious part of their identity after they’ve had a baby, and connect them to other mums to help them feel less isolated, happier and fulfilled.
But why are both things so important for new mums and their wellbeing?
Self-care isn’t selfish
Self care isn’t selfish, it’s absolutely vital to you as a mum and a woman. You simply cannot pour from an empty cup, so in order to be the best parent you can and feel happy, you need to look after yourself.
Good self care includes exercise, fresh air, getting enough sleep (where possible!) drinking enough water and eating healthy food. All of these simple things will add together to make for a happier, healthier you, so don’t be afraid to take some time out for yourself and accept help where you can.
If you were an active person pre-pregnancy, getting back to your usual levels of fitness make take time, but it could be crucial to your happiness and wellbeing if you feel that it is part of your identity.
Additionally, if having your nails done or taking a long bubble bath once a week is important to you, factor it in to your life. The little things can add up to be the big things, and you absolutely deserve it!
Finding your tribe
You might be lucky enough to have family and friends nearby, and an excellent local support system in your area, but if not – or if you just want to connect with some like minded mummy friends locally – then Buump Active can help.
Making friends with similar interests or children of a similar age can be absolutely life changing to many mums, and sharing your journeys and talking about your struggles, challenges, wins and successes with others, as well as sharing tips and ideas, can be very valuable for all parties.
The mental health charity Mind cites building your support network as one of the most important things you can do for self care, to help with your perinatal mental health. The Mind website also contains a wide range of resources and case studies for maternal mental health. Check out the main page here…
If you’re worried, get help
Having a baby can be life-changing, overwhelming and difficult at times for all, but if you think you might be suffering from conditions such as Post Natal Depression or Postpartum Psychosis, both of which can be very serious, do get help and go and see your GP or find some help online (The MMHA’s Resource Hub is a great place to start, and will help to locate local support or helplines for you). Don’t suffer in silence, it’s OK not to be OK!