This Maternal Mental Health Awareness Week (30 April to 5 May), CEO and founder of Moment Health, Nuala Murphy, is appealing for mums to download the Moment Health app to check their maternal mental health with the new #CheckYourSymptoms campaign.
Speaking about the launch of the #CheckYourSymptoms campaign, Nuala said: “Some 70% of new mums aren’t aware they are suffering from maternal mental health and related issues so at Moment Health we are launching our #CheckYourSymptoms campaign in order to appeal to mums to acknowledge they could be suffering and to speak up, seek help and ultimately save their life.
“This is a global issue. The world’s parents are suffering, and many are doing so in silence. And it doesn’t stop with the world’s parents. It ends up impacting children, the entire family unit, and, if left untreated, becomes an inter-generational legacy. And that’s why we have developed the #CheckYourSymptoms campaign so new and expectant parents can download the app and check their symptoms to prioritise their mental health at this crucial time and ultimately catch any issues early so they can be recognised and treated.”
It is estimated that one in 5 new mums experience some form of perinatal mood and anxiety disorder, which can develop any time after conception, to well into the first year after giving birth. Shockingly 23% of women who died between six weeks and one year after pregnancy died from maternal mental health related issues.
And while this awareness week holds a heavy focus on Maternal Mental Health, it is important to highlight Paternal Mental Health – men can struggle at any point during the pregnancy and parenthood life stages too, with one in 10 estimated to suffer perinatal depression or anxiety.
Tech entrepreneur Nuala’s Moment Health app has been developed with both mums and dads in mind and is available on iOS and Android.
Nuala added: “I would encourage all new parents to download it and use it to track their moods and check for symptoms. They can do so with the confidence that the app, which has been developed with the help of clinicians and medical professionals, uses evidence-based screening tools.”
We all know new mums and dads – so we all have the power to look out for new parents around us, to ask them if they are okay, to let them know they are not alone, to remind them if they are struggling that it is nothing to be ashamed of.
Most importantly, we can help them realise they are suffering a treatable illness, and they can recover and feel better with a mix of professional help, peer support, self-awareness and self-care that is unique to every individual.
Pregnancy and early parenthood are life-altering milestones that are not always wrapped in a dreamy glow. Perinatal mood and anxiety disorders don’t affect everyone, sure, but mental health should absolutely be part of the care protocol from pregnancy onwards, so that new parents – and the support persons around them – are aware of the potential for symptoms of depression or anxiety taking hold, and know what to do if it happens to them.
It’s vital that new mums, new dads, partners, families and support networks are aware of the common signs and symptoms of perinatal depression and anxiety, and the warning signs are shown on two simple, easy-to-follow infographics – one for Anxiety, one for Depression – to highlight what these perinatal mood and anxiety disorders can feel like.
Nuala said: “If we help one mum or dad through our infographics, we are making a change for the positive. We are making progress. But we’re hoping to reach many, many more.”
Early intervention leads to an 80-90% chance of successful recovery. During Maternal Mental Health Awareness Week take a moment to #CheckYourSymptoms.
Moment Health App – free to download:
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