In Infant Mental Health Awareness Week, 12-16 June 2017, Better Start Bradford are raising awareness of coping with stress and worries during pregnancy with their Happy Mum, Happy Bump – Begin before Birth campaign.
A little stress in life is healthy, but increased or constant stress can have a lasting effect on both mum and the developing baby in the womb. The campaign highlights that help is out there to support families and that they should not be afraid to ask for it to help share their worries and concerns.
Better Start Bradford will be handing out its Happy Mum, Happy Bump leaflet with a small gift bag containing a massage ball with tips on how to use it to relax at local antenatal clinics in their area of work (our part of Bradford: Bowling and Barkerend, Bradford Moor and Little Horton).
Rachel Wild, Specialist Midwife at Better Start Bradford, said: “Everyone has stress in their lives, and a little stress is fine. But, when we have ongoing stress for a long time, or a sudden traumatic experience, it can mean our level of stress becomes too much for us to bear on our own. When you are expecting a baby, this type of stress can affect the baby too, so it’s really important to support mums-to-be to help protect babies.”
“It is not always possible to reduce the amount of stress in your life, but it is usually possible to get help and support. Mums and Dads can speak to their family, friends, community projects, voluntary organisations, Midwife, GP or Health Visitor. At Better Start Bradford we also have many projects to support families during pregnancy and post pregnancy such as our Perinatal Support Service, Bradford Doula’s and Midwifery Support pilot to name a few. Please take a look at our website to find our more information.”
One project, the Perinatal Support Service offers emotional support to families where a parent is struggling with their emotional health or wellbeing during pregnancy and the first year after birth.
Sian Kilcommons, Bradford Perinatal Support Service Manager, said: “Family Action Perinatal Support Service is a Better Start Bradford initiative and works in partnership with local parents, many of whom have had their own challenges, in order to help isolated mums (and dads) struggling with their emotional wellbeing. We also help parents who are finding it difficult to bond with their baby to speak about their feelings in confidence, to build supportive networks and access the right support to help them and their baby develop a positive and strong attachment and reduce parental distress.