Ahead of World Mental Health Day this weekend, new research uncovered by breastfeeding brand, Lansinoh, reveals one in five new mums will experience a mental health issue. Also, the research highlights that as much as 85% of mums believe that society does not support mothers enough. To help with this, Lansinoh has launched it’s ‘Mama Promise’ campaign to encourage people to pledge to support new mothers – knowing it will make a difference to their overall mental health and wellbeing.
Rosey Adams, founder of PND and Me, and Lansinoh ambassador, explains: “I think it’s really important to be aware of the different varieties of maternal mental illnesses, because it’s not just post-natal depression – anxiety is a huge one people suffer with.
“I suffered from antenatal and post-natal depression with all three of my children and didn’t get the right support, which is why I set up PND and Me. I knew peer support was what I needed, but a lot of my friends didn’t have babies, so that support network wasn’t great. I also lived quite remotely at the time and I didn’t drive, so I was unable to pop-in to a support group.”
Emma Cottam is a maternal mental health influencer and Lansinoh ambassador and became involved in this space when she started to share her own experiences of dealing with post-natal depression in 2018, and sign-posting advice for others.
For Emma, at the start of her journey two years ago, she couldn’t find much information about PND, but what she did have, was the support of her family. She said: “There’s a quote that ‘it takes a village to raise a child’, but I also believe that, ‘it takes a village to raise a mum’ – as raising a child is not something you can do on your own. There’s no way that I could do what I wanted to, without the support network I had around me.”
This looks different to everyone, but for Emma, this was her mum and dad, her mother-in-law and her husband. Really, it was about them being there and listening – even the small things can make a huge difference. “Whether that’s a home cooked meal left out for you to reheat later on, or just taking the washing down from the line.” Emma said.
“It’s really about looking after the new mum. That doesn’t mean always physically being there, but just letting mum know that you’re there and supporting them, can be enough.”
With everything going on right now, a lot of new mums relied on going to mum and baby groups to get that connection with other people who are at a similar stage to them, but at the moment, they’re missing out on that. So online support is crucial to bridge that gap to help women who can’t attend groups in the same way as they had been able months ago.
Rosey Adams, adds: “I urge family and friends to ask a new mum what she needs for support. And although a lot of the time mums will say ‘oh I don’t need any help’, sometimes it’s about reading between the lines and just doing what you think might help.”
To coincide with World Mental Health Day, Lansinoh is working with Emma and Rosey to encourage friends and family members of new mums to pledge to support them in whatever way they can.
Breastfeeding is recognized by health organizations like the WHO (World Health Organization) to be key to public health. “We are committed to doing all we can to support breastfeeding mothers,” explains Kevin Vyse-Peacock, CEO of Lansinoh. He continues, “Studies conducted all over the world have shown that support from partners, family and friends, healthcare professionals, and employers are critical for breastfeeding mothers–yet 85% of mothers report that they do not feel adequately supported. We are working to close this gap.”
“The three months after birth are often called the Fourth Trimester. During this period, one in five new mums will experience a mental health issue. Mums are navigating hormonal changes, sleep deprivation, and their own physical recovery while breastfeeding their baby around the clock. Support from the mother’s community is essential. The challenge is that people want to help, but often don’t know how.”
Lisa Craven, UK Marketing Manager at Lansinoh, adds: “By launching the “Mama Promise” campaign – we want to encourage people to pledge to support new mothers – knowing this will make a difference to their overall mental health and wellbeing. This doesn’t need to be anything extraordinary, but could be something thoughtful, such as promising to make a cooked meal for the new mum, or just being at the end of the phone during a midnight feed.”
Lansinoh’s Mama Promise campaign will run throughout October across Lansinoh’s social media channels.