Being a mum can be extremely difficult at times, especially now the current coronavirus crisis has us juggling full-time parenting as well as our jobs and home schooling. If you're feeling the strain right now more than ever (and let's face it - who isn't?) that's totally normal.
While we all do our best to get through these strange times together, it's okay if you feel like you might need some extra help and support right now and there's plenty of suport available to you.
You don't have to struggle with difficult feelings alone. Here are all the helplines available, whatever your worries.
Whether you've just had your baby or you're a mum finding yourself going through a rough-patch of motherhood, there are numerous phonelines, websites and people who will listen and understand what you're going through.
Tommy's fund research into miscarriage, stillbirth and premature birth, and provide pregnancy health information to parents. They support parents to have the best possible pregnancy outcomes and to take home happy, healthy babies. Go to www.tommys.org for more.
The Association For Postnatal Illness
Provides support for mums suffering from postnatal illness. Volunteers have experienced and recovered from postnatal illness. Call 0207 386 0868, 10am-2pm Mon-Fri, or use the online chat box at apni.org
Provides support and advice for any parent experiencing perinatal mental illness. Call 0808 1961 776, 9am-8pm Mon - Sun or see pandasfoundation.org.uk
APP (Action on Postpartum Psychosis)
Offers a peer support network online, including one-to-one support, at app-network.org.
Birth Trauma Association
Supports women who have had a traumatic birth experience and offers emotional and practical support to those suffering post-traumatic stress disorder, and their families. It has a Facebook support group. For more info, see birthtraumaassociation.org.uk
A charity that provides information and support to mums experiencing perinatal obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). For peer support email email@example.com or see maternalocd.org for a list of further resources.
Non-mum specific organisations:
Your problem might not be mum-related and you may just need some support with your general mental wellbeing. If this is the case, here are some mental health support organisations for you.
Provides advice and information to empower anyone experiencing a mental health problem. Call Mindinfoline on 0300 123 3393, 9am-6pm Mon-Fri, email firstname.lastname@example.org or see mind.org.uk
Provides step-by-step programmes and support for those with anxiety disorders. Call 0844 967 4848, 10am–10pm daily, or receive email support at email@example.com. See nopanic.org.uk
Offers emotional support if you’re feeling distressed or despair. Call 116 123 24 hours, daily, or see samaritans.org.
Family support organisations:
Times can get tough for everyone and relationships can be strained, especially if your family has been badly effected by the coronavirus crisis. Here is some support for any family issues you may be going through.
Provides services for families experiencing poverty or social isolation, including mental health support. Its National Parent Support Service helps those struggling with the challenges of parenthood and can help you find out about the services available: call 0808 802 6666, Mon-Fri 9m-10pm, text: 07537 404 282, or email : NDPSS@family-action.org.uk or see family-action.org.uk
Offers information and support in all aspects of family life. Call 0808 800 2222 9am-9pm Mon-Fri, 10am-3pm Sat-Sun or email firstname.lastname@example.org. See familylives.org.uk – the website has advice on baby sleeping, eating and health.
A family support charity that helps families with young children deal with the challenges they face, such as money issues, mental health, isolation and illness. Runs a local support network – find yours at home-start.org.uk
Provides advice, information and practical support for single parents – from dealing with a break-up to going back to work or organising financial issues. Helpline is 0808 802 0925, 10am-6pm Mon, 10am-4pm Tu, Thu & Fri, 10am-1pm & 5pm-7pm Wed. See www.gingerbread.org.uk
Offers counselling and workshops on relationships and family issues. Book a counselling appointment on 0300 003 0396, 8am-10pm Mon-Thu, 8am-6pm Fri, 9am-5pm Sat, or have a live online chat at relate.org.uk.
UK National Breastfeeding Helpline
Run by the Breastfeeding Network and the Association of Breastfeeding Mothers, volunteers on the end of the line are mums who have breastfed and have been trained in giving breastfeeding support. Call 0300 100 0212, 9.30am-9.30pm daily. Live online service also available at nationalbreastfeedinghelpline.org.uk
La Leche League
Offers breastfeeding support and information. Look online at laleche.org.uk/get-support for your local helpline. If not available, call the national line on 0345 1202918
National Childbirth Trust
The NCT gives practical and emotional support with bottle feeding or breastfeeding your baby, and can help with any concerns or questions. Call 0300 330 0700, daily, 8am-midnight, or see nct.org.uk.
Not getting the quality sleep you need can have a very negative impact on your mental health. Here's some advice to help with your baby's sleep problems.
Offers advice and information on how to cope with a sleepless and/or crying baby. Call 08451 228 669, 9am-10pm daily. Or see cry-sis.org.uk
Provides support for parents of babies born premature or sick. Call 0808 801 0322, Mon-Fri 1am-12pm and Mon-Wed 7pm-9pm. Or see bliss.org.uk
Offers advice for mums and dads regarding their rights at work and to benefits and healthcare. Call 0808 802 0029 or visit maternityaction.org.uk
Twins and Multiple Births Association
TAMBA runs Twinline, staffed by parents of multiples, to listen and offer support, on concerns including feeding, sleeping or managing the day to day. Call 0800 138 0509, 10am-1pm, 7pm-10pm daily, or email email@example.com, or visit tamba.org.uk.