Looking after yourself is very important to both your emotional wellbeing and that of your baby; babies can be affected by their mother’s emotions.
Once your baby reaches 3-4 months they will already have experienced some remarkable changes. They are continuing to learn to interact with you and with the world around them as their brain develops, and they develop new skills and responses.
During this important time, babies continue to build emotional attachments to the people who care for them, especially you.
However, this can also be a difficult time emotionally for parents. For some women, this can be an overwhelming and worrying period, particularly if they experienced challenges before and just after birth. Some women may also be starting to think about returning to work, or experiencing problems in their relationships or home life that can affect their state of mind.
If you’ve been feeling low or anxious over the last month, experiencing feelings of hopelessness or found little interest or pleasure in doing things, then it’s important to think about talking to someone, especially if this is how you feel most days. Having someone in your life that you feel able to confide in can make a big difference, and it doesn’t have to be a partner; you may prefer to speak to a trusted friend or relative.
Get in touch with your Health Visitor if you have any concerns about your emotional health. They can offer therapeutic contacts with you in the home to listen to you, and will help identify other services you may benefit from as well as guide you to develop some simple self-help strategies.
If you are already under the care of mental health services, get in touch with them if you feel that your current care is not helping, particularly if you have any thoughts of self-harm or feel unable to keep your baby safe. Contact your GP or access your local walk-in centre as soon as possible if you recognise these feelings for the first time as there are some excellent services that you can be referred to for immediate help and support.
- Institute of Health Visiting- Happy children, Happy parents
- Institute of Health Visiting- Understanding your emotional health and wellbeing following the birth of your baby (mothers)
- Institute of Health Visiting- Understanding your emotional health and wellbeing following the birth of your baby (fathers)
- Institute of Health Visiting- How can new fathers get involved?