Today (Monday 29 April, 2024) marks the start of Maternal Mental Health Awareness Week – an annual campaign to encourage people to talk about their mental health before, during and after pregnancy.

Around 1 in 5 women experience a mental health problem during pregnancy or within the early postnatal years.

The national campaign, organised by the Maternal Mental Health Alliance, aims to encourage people to access the information and help they require to enable recovery. The theme for this year’s campaign is ‘Rediscovering you’. 

Bal Kaur, Consultant in Public Health with the City of Wolverhampton Council, said: "Being pregnant or becoming a new parent is a milestone event in life. It is natural for new parents to feel a lot of different emotions during this time.

"But if you’re feeling low and it’s starting to affect your life, there are a range of things you can do that may help, so please don't suffer in silence."

Across the city, there are a lot of resources available to help support the emotional wellbeing of expectant and new parents and help you to rediscover yourself during this life changing time.

The city’s Family Hubs and libraries deliver a range of activities that support parental and infant wellbeing, including Stay and Play groups and Baby Booktime sessions to boost the bond with your baby. 

The council’s Parental and Infant Wellbeing Team deliver activities that focus on parent and infant relationships, including Bop Around Bantock, a babywearing walk in Bantock Park every Tuesday, and StepAhead, a community wellbeing drop in group in the Children’s Library at Central Library every Wednesday.

People are encouraged to speak to their midwife, health visitor or visit their local Family Hub if they are feeling low. They can provide advice and information about local groups and specialist services that can support people’s health and wellbeing. 

For more information on good mental health during pregnancy, visit the NHS website Mental health in pregnancy

Anyone with concerns about their mental health and wellbeing should contact the Black Country Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust's 24 hour helpline on 0800 008 6516 or text 07860 025281, or the Health Visiting Single Point of Access (SPoA) Hub on 01902 441057.

The Healthy Child Wolves app is also packed with tips, guidance and signposting to support families, including advice on looking after your emotional health and wellbeing, the app is available to download for free from Google Play or the App Store.  

To find out more about Maternal Mental Health Awareness Week, which runs until Sunday 5 May, please visit Maternal Mental Health Alliance.