Having a baby is one of the most significant life-events for both mum and dad to be. It is exciting, exhilarating and, ultimately, life changing. The way you think, feel and look start to change and let’s be honest, sometimes, change can be difficult.
We talk about the pregnancy glow, the beautiful bump, the exciting little kicks here and there… but we don’t talk enough about the tricky stuff…the sleepless nights, the scary thoughts, the tiredness, the irrational fears… and because we don’t talk about it, it means when women start to have those feelings, they convince themselves that they are the only ones. But guess what, you’re not!
One in four women will experience perinatal mental health symptoms either in pregnancy or after giving birth – you are definitely not alone.
Understandably, during pregnancy there is a strong focus on your physical health & wellbeing, from how your bump grows, to sickness & hydration, blood pressure, blood sugars, urine and the frequency of feeling your baby move – but what focus is there on how you feel mentally and emotionally?
“One in four women will experience perinatal mental health symptoms either in pregnancy or after giving birth – you are definitely not alone. ”
The NHS does an excellent job – but it is also under massive pressure. Midwives, obstetricians and nurses are all there to support you and your baby but there are areas for improvement, and nobody can deny that mental health is one of those areas.
Things are changing; there have recently been improvements in NHS mental health services and more people are talking about emotional health, and the fact that it is OK to not be OK. But we still have a long way to go.
Realising that you need help and being brave enough to ask for it takes courage but too many women are afraid to reach out. As a midwife it unsettles me to know that 90% of women who are on anti-depressants stop taking them when they become pregnant – primarily due to fears of how the medication may affect their baby – but they do so without seeking medical advice first, which makes them extremely vulnerable. We need to move the needle – making it OK for women to ask any question at any time, no matter how sensitive the subject might feel.
A pregnancy or new baby will impact your intimate relationships, your sex life, your friendships, your professional life, your daily routines and will almost certainly fuel sleep deprivation – it’s not hard to see how pregnancy and motherhood can have a significant impact on your emotional health. Having a baby can be one of the happiest times of your life and even if you have difficulties with your emotional health that doesn’t mean there aren’t good times, but let’s just be honest – it’s not all plain sailing.
Acknowledging that you are struggling, or need help is a big step in the right direction – and doing it sooner, rather than later is important too.
That is exactly why Juno was founded – to help you access the support you need, when you need it.
Juno is on a mission to transform women’s mental and emotional healthcare by using technology to make it possible for women to access support on a more precise and personalised level than ever before, by delivering access to quality, personalised healthcare wherever you are, whenever you need it.
Sometimes, you just want somebody to talk to, and I know from speaking to mums that quite often it would be nice if that person wasn’t in your immediate circle – a supportive healthcare professional at the touch of a few buttons – no judgement, no GP referral required, no travelling and no long wait.
Juno is building technology to enable one to one session’s with therapists and midwives depending on your needs, designed to be easily accessible from the comfort of your own home or an environment of your choice.
The implications of poor mental & emotional health can be just as detrimental as those of physical health problems; at Juno we recognise this, which is why we want to be there for you, your baby, your partner, and your family.
Check out our website at www.juno-health.com – we’re still building our technology, but you can join our Community and start a conversation with other mums just like you. And if you’re feeling like you have things all under control, then pop over to our Community forum anyway – you might be just the new friend that another mum needs.