Wednesday 6th May 2020

Pregnancy and the arrival of a new baby can be both exciting and stressful, particularly for women who have a serving partner. Here we look at initiatives providing support for Mums.

This week (May 4th-10th) is the UK Maternal Mental Health Awareness week run by The Perinatal Mental Health Partnership (PMHP). Things this year have been a little different due to Coronavirus, and PMHP had planned to postpone the awareness week. However, after consultation with support groups, parents and professionals supporting families, the week has gone ahead with a revised COVID-19 focus.

The theme this year is ‘Supporting mums during difficult times’. This theme enables PMHP, and the wider community, to provide a supportive platform to reassure families, signpost them to vital resources and offer safe support; something that is needed now more than ever. The Maternal Mental Health Alliance has more information.

Pregnancy and the arrival of a new baby signifies a period of unprecedented change, excitement and hope for the future for most women. However, for some, it can be a difficult time due to stress and anxiety which might arise during or after pregnancy. This may be especially true for women who have a Serving partner in the military.

The RAF Families Federation is supporting the “Wellbeing of Women During and After Pregnancy” (WOW) study that will provide insights into the experiences of military spouses during and after pregnancy. The WOW study is being run by The King’s Centre for Military Health Research. The study launched in March 2020 with an online survey.

If you are pregnant or up to 12 months postnatal and have a partner in the Navy, Army or RAF, you may be eligible to take part. Serving mothers are very welcome to take part, providing they are in a relationship, and their partner is in full time work or self-employment. Visit our article for more information.

The following information has been provided by Clare-Louise Knox from the WOW study run by The King’s Centre for Military Health Research (KCMHR).

Perinatal Mental Health Information and Support for COVID-19

Guidance for new and expectant mums relating to COVID-19 can.

With more than 1 in 10 women developing a mental illness in the perinatal period, it’s even more important in these uncertain times that women during pregnancy and following childbirth are able to access the support and care they and their families need.

Support for Women and Families

A list of organisations can be found here.

Postnatal Depression – An NHS self guide

Gaining control of your life after having a baby

2gether NHS Foundation Trust – Gaining control of your life after having a baby (A self help workbook)

The Perinatal Mental Health International Online Peer Support Group

Facebook group providing peer support can be found here.

Further information

As well as the current Coronavirus advice and guidance, the RAF FF’s website provides a good reference section on all things health-related. You can also sign up to our (free) weekly eBulletin and/or quarterly Envoy magazine to keep yourself up to date generally with updates and information on new initiatives as they go live.

Health and Wellbeing themed image of two people sitting on the top of a mountain with their feet crossed, looking out across an amazing view

Photo by Luis Melendez on Unsplash.

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