Is parenthood feeling challenging right now? Are you feeling low and struggling to get through the day, or constantly worrying about your baby or other things about your new life? Or perhaps you're finding things a little overwhelming, isolating or exhausting.
Becoming a parent is a huge transition, and each one of us experiences a different journey. The important thing to know is that you are not on your own, and there is support available to help you on your way. We have listed some West Kent services below. Please reach out to us if you need a listening ear or help finding support.
Most of these services are provided by third parties and not Baby Umbrella.
This is simply prioritising your own needs sometimes - doing some small things which are important to you every day. Maybe taking 10 minutes each morning to have a shower, maybe taking 2 minutes to make yourself a cup of tea before feeding your baby, maybe giving your baby to a partner or friend and going for a run, whatever floats your boat. You cannot give from an empty cup. Head on over to Raise Up Mums Community on Facebook for loads of fab ideas on taking care of yourself as a mum.
Free NHS support
For support with emotional wellbeing you can talk to your Midwife, Health Visitor or GP. It can sometimes help to write down how you are feeling before you go, it can be hard to verbalise on the spot and easier to hand over a piece of paper. They can refer you for a free course of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. You can also self-refer here. Do mention if you have had a traumatic birth as more targeted therapies may be better suited.
Free Mind Mums' Support Group
Mind offer a mutual support group for mums who are finding life with children challenging in some way. A relaxed, friendly and confidential space in which mums can share their feelings with others who have had similar experiences, which may include stress, isolation and depression.
Mind offers an affordable counselling service in Sevenoaks, Tonbridge and Maidstone and the Counselling Centre offers a service in Tunbridge Wells. Sessions cost between £15-£50 per hour depending on your ability to pay and generally you would see a counsellor once a week.
There are lots of private counsellors operating locally, you can search for one on the Counselling Directory. Sessions are usually £40-£60 per hour and some offer concessions. You can filter for counsellors specialising in specific issues like "postnatal depression" or "pregnancy and birth"
For mental health perinatal crisis services, parents and supporters can contact the Mother and Infant Mental Health Service on 01622 722 321 and request to speak to the duty clinician.
If you feel you are in need of immediate support, you can call Samaritans on 116 123 to speak to someone at any time for free. If you feel you are at risk of harming yourself or others, you can make an urgent appointment with your GP, call 999, or visit your nearest A&E.
NCT Feeding Helpline. Speak to a breastfeeding counsellor for support with breastfeeding, bottle feeding, or a bit of both. Open every day 8am to midnight. Tel. 0300 330 0700.
National Breastfeeding Helpline. Independent, mother-centred, non-judgmental breastfeeding support and information. Open every day 9.30am to 9.30pm. Tel: 0300 100 1212.
The Lullaby Trust. Emotional support for bereaved families, and information on safer sleep for babies. Tel: 0808 802 6868
PANDAS. Support for parents experiencing perinatal mental illness. Tel: 0843 2898 401 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Samaritans. A free, confidential listening service for anyone struggling to cope and needing emotional support. Tel: 116123 Email: email@example.com
These services are provided by third parties and not Baby Umbrella. To find out more about costs to call these numbers please visit Ofcom.