All posts by Amy Tubb

WRDA and the Mas Project: lived experience insights

Guest blog by Clare Anderson, Mas Project Coordinator, Women’s Resource and Development Agency

Who is MMHA’s new member WRDA?

The Women’s Resource and Development Agency (WRDA) has a vision of a fair and equal society where women are empowered and are a visible force for change and influence in all areas of life. The Mas project (Maternal Advocacy & Support), in partnership with eight women’s centres in the Belfast, Lisburn and Derry area, offer peer support to women who are experiencing perinatal mental health problems. The project also provides a platform for women to talk about their experiences in the health care system and advise on service areas that could be improved or developed for pregnant and postnatal women in Northern Ireland. [1] Continue reading WRDA and the Mas Project: lived experience insights

Laura-Rose’s story

“With the right care, there will be more positive experiences and LGBT+ people will be more likely to reach out if they are struggling with their perinatal mental health.”

Laura-Rose’s story (London)

When my wife and I first started on our path towards parenthood, we struggled to find any LGBT+ women, people or organisations that could offer us guidance and support. This resulted in our journey being a difficult one and left us feeling very isolated.

We had no one to talk to and share similar experiences with when our fertility treatment failed or when Stacey had a miscarriage and we lost our baby; something that deeply affected my mental health. As the non-biological (non-bio) mother I was merely treated as a bystander.

Struggling with mental health

When our eldest child was born, things didn’t get any easier. Like many LGBT+ parents, we experienced a lack of understanding and outright discrimination. For example, the day after our daughter arrived, I tried to speak to the doctor, but she refused to deal with me and said, “Get her out. I don’t want her. I want the ‘real’ mum.”

This incident, and other frequent microaggressions, deeply affected me. I felt anxious and stressed because I consistently felt I was being judged and needed to validate myself as a mother and partner in many situations.

Creating our own community

LGBT Mummies Tribe logo featuring illustrated mothers, parents, children and babies standing together in a row

It was this lack of support and prejudice that inspired us to set up The LGBT Mummies Tribe. It’s a global organisation that supports LGBT+ women and people on the path to parenthood and works with the government, NHS and other medical organisations to improve policies and mental health support for biological and non-bio mothers and parents.

We believe it’s crucial that healthcare professionals receive mandatory education and training to support LGBT+ parents, mentally and physically. The LGBT+ community needs well-informed people caring for them who understand their journeys and what they may be experiencing. With the right care, there will be more positive experiences and LGBT+ people will be more likely to reach out if they are struggling with their perinatal mental health.

The LGBT Mummies Tribe

For more information about The LGBT Mummies Tribe, visit their website or follow them on Instagram and Facebook.

 

 


If the content of this story causes you to think of anything that has happened to you or someone you know and you feel upset, worried or uncomfortable, please see our support page for a list of services that may be able to help.

Summer 2021 Everyone’s Business eBulletin out now!

Front page of the Summer 2021 MMHA eBulletinThe summer 2021 eBulletin is out now with all the latest from MMHA’s Everyone’s Business campaign and the UK perinatal mental health (PMH) community, including:

    1. The launch of MMHA’s new #MakeAllCareCount phase of campaigning
    2. Updates from the devolved nations
    3. Research into Black, Asian and minority ethnic women’s access to PMH care.

Download now

Please help us keep PMH and the needs of women and families in the spotlight by sharing the eBulletin with those in your network.

On Twitter and Instagram, please tag @MMHAlliance and #EveryonesBusiness.

Translations

All of our eBulletins since summer 2020 are also available in Welsh.

 

Hearts and Minds launch interactive map of VCS perinatal mental health services across England

Guest blog by Natalie Nuttall, Lead Coordinator, The Hearts & Minds Partnership

As three perinatal mental health charities with a collective track record of more than 30 years, Acacia Family Support, Bluebell Care and Smile Group came together in 2020 with a vision to connect, support and celebrate the Voluntary and Community Sector (VCS). And so, The Hearts and Minds Partnership was born, with a three-year funding commitment from The National Lottery Community Fund.

Mapping VCS services

There is no shortage of goodwill, passion, or skill in our sector, and we’ve been keen from the outset to recognise this. Working with our digital partner, Rocketmakers, we carried out user experience research and listened to the wider community to inform the development of a website featuring resources and an interactive map of VCS services in England to signpost parents and healthcare professionals (HCPs) to.

After many months of engagement, development, and refinement, we’re thrilled to announce that the website and map are live!

Continue reading Hearts and Minds launch interactive map of VCS perinatal mental health services across England

Black Maternal Mental Health Awareness Week 2021

What is Black Maternal Mental Health Week #BMMHW21?

Black Maternal Mental Health Week UK was launched to raise awareness, highlight disparities, provide resources, and break cultural barriers in maternal mental health for black mothers, and birthing people.

When is Black Maternal Mental Health Awareness Week?

Monday 27th September – Sunday 3rd October 2021. Continue reading Black Maternal Mental Health Awareness Week 2021

The Maternal Mental Health Alliance bids farewell to Emily Slater and welcomes Justin Irwin as interim CEO

At the end of July, the Maternal Mental Health Alliance (MMHA) said goodbye to co-founder and CEO Emily Slater. Having been with the Alliance since its very first meeting in 2011, Emily leaves behind an enormous body of work and an impressive legacy. Continue reading The Maternal Mental Health Alliance bids farewell to Emily Slater and welcomes Justin Irwin as interim CEO

Only four in 10 people are aware that birth can lead to post-traumatic stress disorder, survey finds

A survey¹ by Maternal Mental Health Alliance member, the Birth Trauma Association, has found that the majority of people aren’t aware that birth can cause post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The survey, carried out to mark Birth Trauma Awareness Week, found that, while 78% of people were aware that war could cause PTSD, only 40% knew that it was possible to experience PTSD as a result of giving birth.  Continue reading Only four in 10 people are aware that birth can lead to post-traumatic stress disorder, survey finds

16,000 women were unable to access essential perinatal mental health care due to the pandemic, according to research

 

  • Postcode lottery in England puts the mental health of expectant and new mums at risk.
  • Maternal Mental Health Alliance member, the Royal College of Psychiatrists is calling for funding for perinatal mental health facilities in the next spending review and for local health bodies to invest in services in their areas.

Thousands of women could not get vital help with their mental health during pregnancy or right after giving birth because of the covid pandemic, according to new analysis using the Royal College of Psychiatrists’ Mental Health Watch.

Continue reading 16,000 women were unable to access essential perinatal mental health care due to the pandemic, according to research

Make all care count: new phase of the Everyone’s Business campaign calls for essential perinatal mental health care for all women and families in the UK

 

    • More than 1 in 10 women will experience a mental health problem during pregnancy or the first years after birth (known as ‘the perinatal period’).
    • The COVID-19 pandemic is creating additional challenges and further increasing mental health risks for new and expectant mums.
    • Now more than ever, the services supporting women and families with their perinatal mental health need to be protected and enhanced.

For almost 10 years, the Maternal Mental Health Alliance’s (MMHA) Everyone’s Business campaign has focussed primarily on securing specialist perinatal mental health (PMH) services[i] across the UK. Now, thanks to funding from the National Lottery, the MMHA is expanding this focus and launching a new campaign phase today: ‘Make all care count. Continue reading Make all care count: new phase of the Everyone’s Business campaign calls for essential perinatal mental health care for all women and families in the UK