For most women being pregnant and becoming a new mum during the first 1000 days is a happy experience, both for mum, dad and baby. Pregnancy, birth and the first 24 months can be tough for every mother and father, and some parents may find it hard to provide the care and attention their baby needs.
But it can also be a chance to affect great change, as pregnancy and the birth of a baby is a critical ‘window of opportunity’ which can make a huge difference to how your child grows into adulthood.
It can also be an emotional time, and it’s perfectly usual to feel the natural anxieties linked with pregnancy, delivery and new motherhood.
However, for some it can be a time of increased stress, worry and depression. Many mums are reluctant to get help and struggle on, often due to social pressures of ‘being expected to be happy’ or to be seen as a ‘supermum.’ For some, there may even be the worry that social service professionals will see they are not coping so well and want to get involved. If you feel like this you are not alone, in fact, about 1 in 4 mums are diagnosed with either/both an anxiety disorder or clinical depression either during pregnancy, or in the post-natal period. And dads can suffer too.
This 100 day period – from conception to age 2 – is especially important and has been recognised as such by the UK Government – see the all party parliamentary group manifesto.