Despite an increased awareness of the importance of mental well-being during the Covid-19 pandemic talking about postnatal depression can still be a difficult subject to raise – both for women themselves and for those around them.

Yet we know that:

  • 60 – 80% of woman suffer the ‘Baby Blues’ after the birth of their baby
  • Around 1 in 10 women develop mild-moderate anxiety and/or depression
  • Between 6 weeks – a year after birth a quarter of maternal deaths are due to suicide, with a mental health origin
  • Expectant and new fathers can also develop mental health concerns and depression

I suffered with postnatal depression, with no prior history of mental health issues. I believe that it can be hard for women to know what is ‘normal anxiety’ and navigate the whole range of feelings and emotions as you transition to parenthood.

You have expectations of what parenthood will be like, and those around you may have their own expectations of how you will cope and relate to your baby.

It is incredibly difficult to verbalise inwardly to yourself, never mind others, if you are struggling, sad, anxious, lonely, doubting yourself and your capabilities, feeling a failure, exhausted, tearful, or any other negative emotion.

At the same time society around you portrays motherhood as something very different – love, joy, thankfulness, back in shape by 6 weeks, contentment, etc, etc!!

There is good evidence, and this is reported by the Department of Health, that ‘Focused and participative antenatal education can help manage and reduce maternal anxiety and depression during pregnancy and early parenthood, leading to improved coping, more partner support and better birth experience.’

Providing Little Seeds may seem like a drop in the ocean. However, I aim to give my heart, dedication and enthusiasm, alongside sharing my insights, experience and knowledge as a midwife, mother and grandmother.

Little Seeds aims to offer expectant parents face-to-face antenatal classes that can support, help equip and encourage them at such an important time in their lives physically, emotionally and within their family and society.