Tips for expectant and new parents

Finding ways to look after yourself, that fit in with your new responsibilities as a parent can be hard but can make a big difference to your mental health.

It’s normal to experience different emotions and feelings and it can help to talk about how you’re feeling. You are not alone.

Plan and prepare

If you have a mental health difficulty, and you are planning to, or do become pregnant, it is a good idea to talk to your doctor as soon as possible. Your doctor can help you to make plans and think about any extra support you may need.

For all expectant parents it can be useful to start to think about how you can look after your emotional wellbeing when your baby arrives. The Tommy’s ‘My pregnancy and post birth wellbeing plan’ is a tool than can help you think and talk with others about what support and self-care you may need. The wellbeing plan can be viewed either by downloading a PDF copy of the wellbeing plan, or by using the digital version available on the Tommy’s website.

Building your social support network

Talking to other new parents, and finding they share similar anxieties and frustrations, can be reassuring. It can be chance to talk about experiences, and realise you are not alone. There are lots of courses and activities in available in our Family Hubs. Talk to your health visitor or family hub champion to find out more.

Look after yourself

Finding time to look after yourself when pregnant or caring for a new baby can feel like a challenge. Rest, gentle exercise, and taking time to relax are all important. Try to make time to do something that makes you feel good, even if it is only for a few minutes. You might need to ask a friend or family member to support you to do this.

Managing day to day tasks

When balancing household tasks with being pregnant or caring for a new baby it can be easy to feel overwhelmed. Finding ways to manage tasks may help take the pressure off and make you feel more able to cope. Being realistic, planning ahead and accepting help can sometimes help.

Try setting yourself a realistic period of time, such as 15 minutes, to do as much of a task as you can. Taking things in small chunks of time can make them feel more manageable.

Talk to someone

If you are struggling you may feel able to talk to someone close to you like a partner, family member or friend. You can also speak to your GP, midwife/health visitor or our mental health access hub if you are finding things tough. Be honest; as they are here to listen, it is not uncommon and nothing to be ashamed of, services are here to support you to access the right support for you in the right way.