The Baby Doc Parenting community have today launched their new campaign, #Askheragain, to mark World Maternal Mental Health Awareness Week, which runs from May 4 to May 10.
The objective of this campaign is to raise awareness about common mental health issues women face while pregnant, or in the first year of motherhood.
The campaign message #Askheragain was created to remind partners, family members, friends, and professionals to keep asking a pregnant or new mums how they are feeling and coping during this uniquely vulnerable time.
The Baby Doc parenting club carried out a survey on 1,800 mothers which showed that maternal mental health struggles surpassed the global average of 1 in 5, with results somewhat elevated due to COVID-19.
The survey showed that:
- 55% of BabyDoc Club mums experienced the ‘Baby Blues’ in their first three months of motherhood
- 35% of BabyDoc Club mums have experienced Perinatal Depression while pregnant or in the first 12-months of motherhood
- 39% of BabyDoc Club mums reported that their maternal mental wellbeing was never assessed or addressed by the medical professionals they met with during pregnancy or as a new mum
99% of the BabyDoc Club mums expressed their belief that there should be a national specialised maternal mental health support service for mums, and their loved ones, during the perinatal period.
This was one recommendation put forward as part of the National Maternity Strategy 2016 but has yet to be allocated funding by the HSE.
Commenting on the findings of the BabyDoc Club survey, Laura Erskine, parenting expert with the community said; “We are proud to be joining the global effort to raise awareness of Maternal Mental Health.
“We hope our #Askheragain campaign will not only raise awareness of the importance of checking in regularly with our pregnant and new mum friends and family members but that we will also raise much-needed funds for our charity partner Parentline.”
“Our campaign relies heavily on the courage of our BabyDoc Club mums who have come forward to share their personal stories in an effort to save lives.
“We urge the Government to prioritise the funding of the specialist maternal mental health services set out in the National Maternity Strategy 2016.”