Being a mum can be hard. As you will know, being a mum sometimes brings exhaustion, stress and worry. Unfortunately for one in three mums, parenting is also accompanied by postnatal depression (PND).
Today on Bristol Mum, on the recommendation of a Bristol Mum reader, I am writing about Mothers for Mothers, a registered charity that supports mums with postnatal depression and distress.
Mothers for Mothers is run by mothers, for mothers. Most of the mums who provide support at Mothers for Mothers have suffered postnatal depression or distress after one or more of their babies were born. Ruth Hagin, who works for the charity explains:
“We have been going since 1981, set up by a group of mums who felt that there was a real lack of support for PND. Most of our volunteers are mums who have used our services and recovered.”
Mothers for mothers supports mums in Bristol, South Gloucestershire and Bath and North East Somerset. Mums with a child under-3 can access Mothers for Mothers; even mums-to-be can use their support.
Symptoms of PND can include feeling low, anxiety, panic attacks, feeling unable to cope, having unusual thoughts and fears, feeling low, insomnia, fatigue, feeling irritable, lack of concentration and loss of interest in sex.
Mothers for Mothers offer a variety of ways to support mums who are struggling with postnatal depression or distress.
Mothers for Mothers offers a helpline for mums from Monday – Thursday in the office from 9.30am – 12.30pm and after this time it is diverted to a volunteer’s home who will pick up the phone until 9pm. However, Mothers for Mothers also make support calls to mums each week to see how they are doing. All phone support is given by trained volunteers or staff members. The helpline number is 0117 975 6006.
One reader of Bristol Mum explained how the charity helped her: “I had PND with my second child and contacted Mothers for Mothers. I found their phone calls helpful in that moment and called them once when I was having a complete meltdown.”
Mothers for Mothers also offer two support groups every week, one on Tuesday mornings at the Wellspring Healthy Living Centre in Barton Hill and another on Thursday afternoons at St Aldem’s Church, Bedminster. Two support staff are present at each support group and there is also a playworker to occupy children who are present as well as volunteers on hand also.
Mothers for Mothers offer counselling in a dedicated therapy room in Bristol city centre. 10 weekly sessions are usually offered for a charge of £10 per session. Please call the Mothers for Mothers helpline on 0117 975 6006 or Rachel Peppers on 07563 768 828 if you would like more information about counselling.
Open Houses & Drop-ins:
A morning gathering is occasionally organised in one of the member’s houses or at an alternative venue which gives mums an opportunity to meet other mums with PND.
There is a Mothers for Mothers information leaflet available to download.
Sometimes a new mum can be introduced to a supporter who will offer them contact each week.
Of course, it is not just mums affected by PND and there is also information on the Mothers for Mothers website available for men who are supporting partners, wives, friends, etc with PND.
So, if you are a mum with postnatal depression, as well as contacting your GP, please do contact Mothers for Mothers through either of the following ways:
Telephone helpline: 0117 975 6006
Download the Mothers for Mothers information leaflet.
Visit the Mothers for Mothers website.
I hope you found this article helpful.