Support for both mum and dad with maternal mental health

Support and advice is available for both mums and dads with maternal mental health issues in Lincolnshire from health visitors.

Health visitors are specially trained to support both mum and dad and it is important that parents are open and honest about their feelings and emotions at their appointments.

Learning to be a parent is a slow process and can be fraught with many demands. Not only do you have to change to cope with the physical demands of a baby but also the emotional demands.

You may experience different emotions from being a 'positive parent' to a 'down daddy' or a 'miserable mummy'.

Leanne McHugh, Clinical Practice Educator and Health Visitor at Lincolnshire Community Health Services NHS Trust, said: "'Baby blues' can be evident in the first ten days, as mum's experience hormonal changes - this can affect 50 per cent of new mums but research also shows that up to 38 per cent of dads feel anxious and/or depressed during the parenting journey*.

"We also know that about one in ten women can be affected by postnatal depression. New fathers can also develop depression in the ante-natal or post-natal period. This is not uncommon, but can often come on more slowly than in women."

Health visitors are here to support parents every step of the way and can offer help with low mood and depression by:

  • offering ways to help you bond with your baby
  • offering reassurance and practical ideas to care for your baby/child's physical needs
  • offering a series of listening visits, this may include specific self-help measures
  • providing support and signposting to address other challenging aspects of life which may add to the cause of your depression
  • acting as a lead professional in partnership with yourself, to bring other professionals who may be involved in your care together, to co-ordinate a plan which will produce the best outcomes for you, your baby/child and your family.

The most important thing you can do is talk to someone and let them know how you feel and remember you are not alone in feeling this way.

For more information on maternal mental health please visit our dedicated website: