#ShoutieSelfie for Maternal Mental Health

This week is Maternal Mental Health Week. This is a week-long campaign dedicated to talking about mental health problems during and after pregnancy. It’s all about raising public and professional awareness of perinatal mental health problems, advocating for women affected by it, changing attitudes and helping families access the information, care and support they need to recover. Originally, organised and led by MMHA members the Perinatal Mental Health Partnership UK (PMHP UK), it's now well known worldwide. 

As I'm sure many will understand, this topic is close to my heart. Mental health is incredibly important and I have written many a post on it in the past. Being a midwife, the focus on maternal mental health is vital and I only wish it got the resources it deserves. The perinatal period is full of hormonal changes, as well as a huge. This, paired with lack of sleep, makes it a really sensitive time for mental health. 

This year's theme is incredibly relevant following the pandemic. So many parents highlight issues surrounding how and where to seek support from a distance. As such, this year's theme is: ‘Journeys to Recovery'. PMHP UK will provide a supportive platform for families and signpost them to vital resources and safe support which is what people need most at this time. The focus will be on ensuring parents feel well informed and supported at a time when anxiety is heightened for so many. Read more here

A study from King’s College London, led by Professor Louise Howard, found that 1 in 4 women suffer with mental health issues during pregnancy, and the National Childbirth Trust (NCT) found that half of those struggling postnatally don’t receive the treatment they need. This has economic and social long-term cost to society. Loneliness is a large contributing factor which has only been further emphasised over lockdown. Importantly, early treatment is key. 

Today's post is also in collaboration with Emily from Happity. Happity helps parents connect through baby and toddler groups, aiming to help parents beat loneliness and thus maintain mental wellness. It's their 5th time supporting Maternal Mental Health Week and each year they ask parents to post a #ShoutieSelfie on Wednesday 5th of May to show their support for parents suffering with mental health. 

#ShoutieSelfie is the brainchild of maternal mental health campaigner, Emily Tredget, who suffered Post-Natal Depression (PND) and Post-Natal Anxiety (PNA) after the birth of her son in 2015. Finding the bravery to talk about what she had experienced made her realise she was not alone, and this helped her on the road to recovery. I will be joining in this year, and I would love if you guys would too. 

The #ShoutieSelfie campaign will take place on Wednesday 5th May. Make sure to share your selfie with a caption explaining the meaning, and tag friends to join in. Make sure to write about why you are shouting loud to raise awareness and stop the stigma surrounding mental health issues. 

Are you ready to shout?