Loving mothers


An emotional wellbeing antenatal course will launch in Wanstead this month. Here, Milli Richards and Gemma Capocci from We are Motherly Love offer some tips for pregnancy and beyond

One in four women and birthing people experience mental health problems during pregnancy and the first year post birth. According to the Maternal Mental Health Alliance, 70% of women and birthing people will underplay maternal mental health difficulties, so the likelihood is that the numbers are in fact far greater.

Soon-to-be parents are presented with imagery of happy parents, basking in the joy of new parenthood, so the reality can come as a huge shock when the baby arrives. Few people actually feel prepared for the emotional impact that having a baby can bring. So, we’ve put together our top five tips to support your emotional wellbeing in pregnancy and beyond:

1. Support network
This could be your partner, family and friends, but for many of us living in London, they are often spread across the city, if not wider, so think about what help you might need in the early days after birth. Who can help you with the cooking, cleaning, taking care of any other children and even catching up on sleep? Consider what happens when your partner returns to work; who you can lean on during this time? Sign up to antenatal classes like yoga, hypnobirthing and postnatal groups to make friends with babies of the same age. 

2. Your first few months of parenthood Making time to communicate with your partner about how you will share the responsibilities when the baby arrives is really important. Mothers or birthing partners often struggle with the mental load during maternity leave and beyond, so working out who does what during the pregnancy will avoid any shocks in the future. 

3. Information overload
There are hundreds of parenting books, experts and influencers all providing different views on how to do things and this can feel very overwhelming. Talk to your partner about the type of parents you want to be and how to listen to your own intuition. 

4. Be open and honest
It might feel scary to talk to your partner, friends or healthcare professionals about how you are feeling but there are services in place to support you, and the sooner you tell people about any changes to your mood or feelings, the quicker you will get the help you need. Being open with ‘new’ parent friends will also deepen and strengthen relationships through authentic conversations. 

5. Take time for you
Make time for yourself to do the things you love that might become harder once you are a parent; visit your favourite restaurants, see live music or shows, spend time with your friends, read a book or have a bath.

We Are Motherly Love’s 10-week emotional wellbeing antenatal course starts on 30 April at Wanstead Works (£150). Visit wearemotherlylove.co.uk