Many thanks to the Public Health Children & Families Team at Leeds City Council for sharing this important information about looking after your emotional and mental health as a new parent. Read on to find out more.
Statistics suggest that nationally between 10-20% of new parents experience some level of emotional or mental health difficulty during pregnancy or in the first year after child-birth. Significantly fewer than this will actually speak out about the difficulties they are facing due to fear of judgement and associated stigma.
Leeds City Council recognise that this is not good enough and have been working on a project in partnership with Inkwell Arts Media, Mindwell and the NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups in Leeds. The project aims to encourage more parents to speak out about the struggles they are facing, and helps to signpost new parents and parents-to-be to services and support. You can find out more on the MindWell website.
Many parents from around Leeds have already shared their experiences of difficulties they faced with their emotional and mental health and how they got through it.
Lily from Middleton said:
“People presume that if you’ve had a baby before everything will be fine. I felt that there was no way I could be honest with anyone about how I felt. People would tell me that it was just hormones and it is normal and that I should shake it off. Everyone was expecting me to be happy all the time but that was completely the opposite of how I felt most of the time.”
Click here to read more of Lily’s and other stories. We’ve also created the animation below, bringing together these stories to illustrate that you are not alone – other new parents have also had similar experiences.
You’re not alone from Inkwell Arts on Vimeo.
We hope that this project encourages all parents and parents-to-be who feel like they are struggling, to speak out and seek support. Parenthood certainly can be difficult and over-whelming but you are most definitely not alone!
Find out more on the MindWell website including tips on how to look after your emotional health and what support is available in Leeds.