Birth and Bonding

Having children can be one of the most important events in a person’s life, bringing new challenges and responsibilities. Difficulties in conceiving and problems during pregnancy or birth can cause extreme upset for parents-to-be. This can lead to other difficulties such as depression and relationship problems. Overwhelming feelings after giving birth can result in other difficulties such as postnatal depression.

Having a baby and dealing with the adjustments this brings can be a testing time for new parents. Support from family and friends, as well as healthcare professionals, can make a real difference. Problems with adjusting to parenthood can persist. Some new mothers or fathers feel that there are unresolved issues regarding the birth or bonding with their baby, so discussing these with someone neutral can be helpful.

Postnatal depression

Postnatal depression is common, and can affect one in ten women within a year of the birth. Many men – particularly first time fathers – also suffer from postnatal depression. It can be due to the extreme changes in your body through hormones, child birth, lack of sleep and worries about your baby. These issues are short-lived and pass quickly for some people. However, for some it can persist to become a serious problem which needs specialist intervention.

Perinatal support

‘Perinatal’ refers to the time during pregnancy and up to a year after giving birth. Having a baby is a life-changing event with a considerable emotional impact but if you feel overwhelmed by your emotions and reactions then you may benefit from perinatal support.

It can be difficult to talk openly about how you are feeling when you become pregnant or a parent. There are societal pressures from well-meaning family and friends to be happy and ‘glowing’. One in five women experiences perinatal mental health problems ranging from depression and OCD to postpartum psychosis and PTSD. Changes in your body and lifestyle, financial pressures or relationship complications can all contribute to difficulties with your mental health at this time.

At The Eaves, our specialist perinatal and postnatal counsellors and psychologists can help you by offering support and a safe confidential space in which to work through issues whilst making the transition into parenthood, eventually coming to a place where you feel confident and ready to begin your journey as a family.

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Postnatal depression is a type of depression that many parents experience after having
a baby. It is a common problem, affecting 1 in every 10 women within a year of giving
birth. It can also affect father and partners. It is important to get help as soon as possible
if you think you are depressed, as your symptoms could last for months or get worse
and have a significant impact on you, your baby and your family, With the right support,
most people make a full recovery.

Having a baby is a completely life-changing experience, and it can take time at first to
adjust. This can be because of a lack of routine, lack of sleep and getting to know your
baby. Up to one in five women and one in ten men are affected by mental health
problems during a pregnancy and in the first year after birth. However, only half of new
parents ask for help.

‘Perinatal Mental Illness’ is a general term, used to describe a collection of illnesses that
can affect parents any time from conception to the baby’s first birthday. It is now being
accepted that it is not just mothers’ mental health that can be affected. Perinatal mental
illness can affect their partners too.

Many women feel a bit down, tearful or anxious in the first week after giving birth. After
all, your hormones are all over the place! This is often referred to as the ‘baby blues’.
The ‘baby blues’ don’t last for more than two weeks after giving birth.