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Factsheet Article – Time to Talk: Navigating Mental Health During Preconception, Pregnancy, and Parenthood

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Abbie Tomson

Midwife BSc MSc, Yoga Teacher



Bringing a new life into the world is a joyous and transformative experience but comes with its fair share of challenges. From the moment you decide to start a family to the days following childbirth, your mental health can undergo significant changes. Recognising when you might need support and how to seek help is crucial. In this blog post, we’ll discuss the importance of recognizing the signs, breaking the stigma surrounding mental health, and guide on reaching out for support.

Recognising the Signs:

Mental health challenges can manifest in various ways, and it’s essential to be attuned to your feelings and behaviours. If you’re experiencing persistent feelings of sadness, anxiety, irritability, or mood swings, it’s time to take notice. Other signs may include changes in appetite, sleep disturbances, or a lack of interest in activities you once enjoyed. Remember that these feelings can arise during preconception, pregnancy, and postnatal period.

Breaking the Stigma:

Despite the progress made in recent years, there is still a stigma surrounding mental health, particularly for new parents. It’s crucial to understand that seeking help is a sign of strength, not weakness. Mental health challenges are common, and you are not alone in your experience. By openly discussing your feelings and reaching out for support, you contribute to breaking down the barriers that perpetuate the stigma.

Time to Talk – A UK Initiative:

The “Time to Talk” initiative encourages open conversations about mental health in the United Kingdom. By promoting awareness, understanding, and acceptance, Time to Talk aims to create a supportive environment for those struggling with their mental health. Taking inspiration from this initiative, let’s explore how you can initiate conversations about your mental health and seek help when needed.

How to Start the Conversation:

  1. Talk to Your Partner: Share your thoughts and feelings with your partner. A strong support system begins at home.
  2. Friends and Family: Discussing your mental health with close friends and family can provide additional support. They may offer valuable insights and perspectives.
  3. Healthcare Providers: Your healthcare team is there to support you. Don’t hesitate to discuss your mental health during preconception, pregnancy, and postpartum appointments.
  4. Online Forums and Support Groups: Joining online communities dedicated to mental health during parenthood can connect you with others facing similar challenges. Sharing experiences can be therapeutic.
  5. Professional Help: If your feelings persist or intensify, consider seeking help from a mental health professional such as a therapist or counsellor. They can offer guidance and tools to manage your mental health.

Links to other resources


  1. Mind: Mind is a mental health charity in England and Wales that provides valuable resources and support.
  2. NHS Mental Health Services: The National Health Service (NHS) offers mental health services. Visit the NHS mental health services page for information on accessing support.
  3. Samaritans: The Samaritans provide a helpline for emotional support and are available 24/7.


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