We Are Pangs & Relate NI are teaming up!

We are Pangs have partnered with Relate NI to provide expert counselling support for parents.

It’s a proven fact that your face is the most interesting thing in the world to your baby and even during pregnancy your baby can sense and learn from the outside world and how you’re feeling.  So Mum’s wellbeing, physical and mental, is important not only for mum, but for baby and the family.

More than 1 in 10 women develop a mental illness during pregnancy or within the first year after having a baby. At the heart of maternal mental health are relationships.

Healthy relationships are an essential foundation to our health wellbeing and can be an important element of supporting us when we’re not feeling our best.

One of the most important relationships we have, our relationship with ourselves, can suffer as new mums invest in the range of other relationships that are critical at this time – between mum and baby, family members, health professionals and across society.

Feelings of inadequacy are normal, but try to remember that what your baby needs most is a relationship with you. Therefore, simply being with your baby and involving them in your daily activities is enough right now. But do remember to take time to be kind to and nourish your relationship with yourself, as this will in turn benefit your baby.

It is important if you are feeling mentally unwell during the perinatal period that you reach out for support, whether it is a new feeling or an existing illness is being exacerbated. Speaking to friends and family members who are also parents may be an opportunity to learn from your shared experiences. We are Pangs also run perinatal peer support groups hosted by a trained peer support leader who has their own experiences of mental illness.

Access to services is an essential ingredient for women who are experiencing mental ill health or changes in their wellbeing. Waiting lists for generalised counselling support can be long and have been exacerbated over the last year as a result of the lockdown.

In order to help address this, We Are Pangs have agreed a new partnership with Relate NI, who have been providing expert relationship support and counselling services across Northern Ireland for over 70 years. Our new partnership will involve a specialised perinatal relationship counselling service, which has recently launched.

Duane Farrell, CEO at Relate NI said “Becoming a parent is one of the most stressful life events we navigate. We know that the quality of our relationships is linked to our mental health, and many new parents report relationship pressures and arguing more.”

“When one parent experiences poor mental health, the entire family unit can be impacted. We are delighted to be able to work with We are Pangs to help mums relieve some of the pressures during the perinatal period, allowing them to create healthier family relationships.”

Michelle Bradley, CEO at We Are Pangs added “We’re excited to be partnering with Relate NI to provide timely access to counselling support for our parents. Struggling with mental ill-health in pregnancy or post-birth can be one of the most distressing times of a parent’s life, and the additional pressures of the pandemic have exacerbated this for many. It is our aim to ensure that no parent is left to struggle alone. We are hopeful that with continued investment, we’ll be able to provide this service alongside Relate NI for a long time to come.”

To find out more about accessing this new perinatal mental health service, visit www.wearepangs.com/our-services or email hello@wearepangs.com

Relate NI also have a range of digital resources with tips and ideas on how to ‘Relieve the Pressure’ on your relationships.