Baby Care

How to recognise the signs and where to get help

They say it takes a village to raise a child. But what if your village never shows up? I never knew just how true this saying was until the early days of giving birth to my baby during COVID.

It came as no surprise to me to read recent stats that 15% of women in the UK experience postnatal anxiety. There are many factors that can affect this, such as a drop in hormones after giving birth, getting to grips with breastfeeding, the sheer torture of sleep deprivation and healing after delivery, especially if you have any kind of birth trauma.

Something I realised early on; the kindness of both friends and strangers can go a long way when you become a mama. I ended up back in St Thomas’ Maternal Unit less than 36 hours after a C-Section, exhausted, tearful and due to COVID restrictions, alone, as my husband wasn’t allowed to be with me. I broke down in tears, unable to lift my new-born baby in his car seat due to my C-Section infection. The paediatrician sat me down, broke protocol to allow my hubby to carry our babe to my side and then gave me some hot sweet tea.

‘It’s not easy, becoming a mum,’ is it?’ She said, as I slurped the tea, grateful for the sugar, blinking back tears. ‘You’re bruised, cut open, sore, swollen and you’ve just created a whole new human.’ I nodded away, yes, yes and yes. ‘And then we hand you this baby and expect you to just get on with it. Be kind to yourself, take it slowly and if you need help, reach out.’

I have never forgotten her words. As a new mother, I know first-hand what it’s like to ride the rollercoaster of emotions, hormones, sleep deprivation, worry and anxiety that can overwhelm you when you first become a mum. I am also a huge believer in passing on anything I’ve found that has helped me. I deep dived into studying motherhood like I was doing a PhD, researching everything and anything I could to help me make the transition a bit easier. To help alleviate the anxiety. To make sure I was being the best mother I could for my child, I needed to make sure I looked after myself, too. Here are all the techniques and tools I found to help me navigate the first 365 days of motherhood. I hope it helps. If you’re suffering any kind of postnatal anxiety or depression, please reach out, help is available to help you get through to the other side.

What is postnatal anxiety?

I spoke to Dr. Hana Patel, GP and specialist in fertility about the signs of postnatal anxiety (PNA). ‘Postnatal anxiety on its own may feel as if women are in a constant state of agitation, and worry. They may feel unable to quiet their mind no matter how hard they try or have trouble sitting still or getting to sleep.

‘Women can have symptoms of postpartum depression or post-natal anxiety and a mix of the two is not uncommon.’ I asked Dr Patel how PNA differs to the everyday anxiety that many new parents experience when handed a little bundle of new baby to take home and she told me if you have some of the symptoms below then it could be a case of PNA:

  • Have you found yourself overly worrying that your baby is in danger?
  • Have you found yourself imagining your baby coming to harm?
  • Have you found your concerns over your baby’s safety are affecting your daily life?
  • Have you experienced repeated panic attacks?

    Dt Patel added that if you feel your anxiety is having an impact on your wellbeing and is excessive it is worth asking for help from your GP or health visitor.

    What’s the difference between postnatal anxiety and postnatal depression?

    I loved speaking to Hannah Love, a paediatric nurse, parenting and sleep expert for advice on tackling PNA. Hannah has spent the last 25 years showing families that parenting doesn’t need to be exhausting but as a new mother who feels exhausted pretty much every hour of every day, I needed all her secrets and fast.

    ‘The key difference between postnatal depression and postnatal anxiety are in the symptoms,’ Hannah told me. ‘A parent with postnatal depression will present with low mood, crying, tearfulness, low motivation, will seem sad and not interested in things that they might have been before.

    ‘In contrast, parents with postnatal anxiety will present with feelings of excessive anxiety in the postnatal period. In more serious cases, where the PNA has started to affect parenting or the parents’ day to day tasks then seeking a support form a professional is advised. I’ve been helping families through my parenting and sleep work for over 15 years and nearly all the mums who contact me express their feeling of anxiety – it is one of the top reasons parents contact me. They are anxious about sleep, how baby is getting to sleep, how many minutes baby is sleeping, how many calories they are getting, if baby is weaning well, andeven when their baby sleeps they can’t switch off as they are anxious that they might wake soon, or not wake at all. Of course, some degree of monitoring all of these things is normal in new parents, but it is when the anxiety interferes with normal everyday tasks or becomes overwhelming for the parent that this indicates PNA.’

    Hannah pointed out that asking for help is especially important if any of the following red flags are spotted in either PND or PNA: delusional thoughts, feeling they might hurt the baby, themselves, or anyone else. She also pointed me toward the Edinburgh Post Natal Depression Scale and cited it as a tool for monitoring PND. This can be effective at indicating both PND and PNA but you will score higher if you are suffering from PND rather than PNA. Often parents present with both – in these cases your score will be higher.

    I mentioned to Hannah that I felt at my most anxious in the first few months, the sleep deprivation combined with breastfeeding on demand left me hypervigilant. ‘The first thing I help with is getting more predictability for the parent. Often their days are frantic, with constant monitoring, and just talking helps them to relax. I also reassure them that baby is fine and they are doing a great job. Most importantly, I address sleep – there is a huge correlation between adequate sleep and depression and anxiety. So many parents report going to the GP for PND/PNA and by the time they and the baby are sleeping well, the symptoms disappear. I really can’t highlight enough how important this is.

    ‘In more extreme cases parents will be referred to psychotherapy, CBT and other talking therapies, or medications such as SSRIs will be considered, but most of the time this can be prevented by the benefits of talking, access to support, addressing sleep and getting reassurance first.’

    Seek support from other mothers

    ‘I believe I had postnatal anxiety when my eldest was born although it was never diagnosed.’ Grace Lillywhite, mum of two, pelvic floor Pilates specialist and founder of Centred Mums told me. ‘I didn’t have the birth I wanted, and I felt like that was why my baby was super unsettled so I was really anxious about doing everything ‘right’ to make up for the fact that I hadn’t given her the ‘perfect’ start. Facebook groups about gentle parenting made me feel like I was failing because she cried all the time unless I was holding her and moving around. She didn’t sleep for longer than 90 minutes at a time and I used to walk around London for hours on end with her in a sling. I was like a different person and my relationship with my boyfriend really suffered. I also had a prolapse and was worried about my pelvic floor as well. I have since found out that pelvic floor health has an impact on postnatal mental health.

    ‘I remember going to see a cranial osteopath and her saying to me that my baby was unsettled because she’d been ‘forced out too soon’ and I was just devastated. I remember thinking that she hated me and that she knew already at a few months old that I wasn’t cut out for this and that I was an awful mum.

    ‘I also found it hard because I was the first of my close friends to have a baby and I felt like I didn’t have anyone to talk to about how hard I was finding it. I felt like I was supposed to be enjoying it more than I was and my boyfriend (now husband) didn’t understand why I had changed from the carefree happy go lucky person he had gone into this with. I took everything so seriously when it came to motherhood (I think I still do!) and couldn’t just relax and enjoy it because I wanted to do everything ‘right’.

    ‘When I was diagnosed with a prolapse I felt like I had failed with that as well – I had worked with pre and postnatal women for years and I felt like I should have been able to avoid it with the knowledge that I had. I just felt like I was failing everywhere! I was very lucky to be able to afford private physio as the NHS didn’t pick up on the issues I was having in any of my postnatal checks (I was never examined internally). I always recommend that people visit a women’s health physio. I felt really down about this, although I was lucky not to have pain like many people do. I did suffer from some incontinence and feeling not quite right but my symptoms weren’t too bad and I immediately began to gently rehab my body with Pilates.

    ‘I had a doula for the birth and when my baby was about eight or nine months old I met with her and talked about the birth and what I felt went wrong and she helped me to feel that I did the right thing and that I didn’t need to blame myself for not having a perfect birth. We then moved house and having a fresh start helped. I started having therapy when my second baby was about 6 months old and that made a big difference and then when I started Centred Mums it really helped me to see how much difference I could make to other new mums and how much having a support network can make a difference to people. It definitely gave me a new purpose and helped me feel like myself again.’

    The best way for new mothers who have experienced trauma to receive help

    I turned to newborn specialist Millie Poppins, to find out how new mothers with birth trauma can receive help. ‘The first step is to know that you are not alone. Trauma can impact us all differently and take hold at different times in our lives. I would encourage anyone who is struggling to speak with their loved ones if possible and explain how they are feeling. I would then recommend that you book an appointment with your GP, even a phone consultation, and let them know that this is urgent.

    ‘If you are struggling post birth with the memory and understanding of what went on during your labour you can contact your midwifery team or unit to organise a birth review. This isn’t a quick turnaround, unfortunately as the NHS services are increasingly overwhelmed but it is important to register your distress and need for a debrief.

    The next option is to contact PANDAS UK who provide free mental health support specializing in postpartum care. They are an incredible source of information and support.

    Although this is not possible for everyone financially you do have the option of contacting a Birth Trauma Resolution Practitioner and paying for a private therapy session.’

    What are the signs to look out for with PNA?

    ‘Postnatal anxiety extends beyond the usual worries that having a new baby brings,’ Millie explained. ‘It can feel like you can never relax, your mind is racing constantly, you have a never ending to do list, you cannot sleep (even when baby might be), you could also be hyper vigilant or aroused when it comes to your baby such as obsessing over feeding, weight, sleep or who is touching/holding them.

    ‘Postnatal depression can have similar overlapping symptoms but might also be distinguished by a new mother’s lethargy, low mood, exhaustion, detachment, tearfulness and overwhelm as they feel that their current circumstances are impossible with no way out.’

    What can loved ones do to support mothers with postnatal anxiety?

    ‘By understanding that postnatal anxiety is a serious mental health issue and not something within a mother’s control. It is important to understand that often mothers with postnatal anxiety might not realise what is happening to them or how to seek help. The solution is not often to have time away from their baby as this can lead to increased stress for a new mother. Think about ways that you can support and care for them so that they can support and care for their baby. You can also encourage them to seek medical advice whether this is from their GP, a charity helpline, their midwife/HV or general therapist with experience in postpartum mental health,’ Millie advised.

    Exercise can help

    Leading fitness brand LES MILLS recently conducted research with University of the Fraser Valley in Canada which shows postpartum women who gradually return to exercise four to six weeks after delivery report lower depression and anxiety than those who do no exercise at all.

    For the pilot study, over eight weeks, new mothers participated in bi-weekly LES MILLS workouts which included a blend of cardio, strength and core training.

    Immediately after each session, participants reported a significant decrease in anxiety and on average, anxiety dropped by 55 percent after each workout. At the end of the eight weeks, their general state anxiety levels had dropped by an average of 42 percent. There were also improvements in depression and perceived stress. And, as well as feeling more motivated to exercise, the new mothers found the classes contributed to their basic psychological needs by increasing feelings of autonomy, competence and perceptions of bonding.

    Take it easy on yourself mama, start slowly

    ‘Walking is a great way of building up your exercise tolerance in the first 6 weeks after giving birth. Do as much or as little as feels comfortable for you. Everyone is slightly different so try avoiding comparing yourself to others that have recently given birth,’ Leanne O’Brien, Physiotherapist & Women’s Health Service Lead, Ten Health & Fitness told me.

    ‘There is a lot of conflicting advice for new mothers on social media. Always seek help from a qualified physiotherapist or health professional. You should try and have a postnatal assessment with a pelvic health physiotherapist, particularly if you’re experiencing any bladder or bowel incontinence or urgency, heaviness or discomfort around the vulva or vagina or pelvic pain.’ You can ask your GP about postnatal physiotherapy; I did this after my baby and found it incredibly helpful.

    Listen to your body

    Regular exercise can reduce the risk of developing postnatal depression and anxiety and is a very effective preventative treatment, a fitness expert at Polar told me when I rang them and quizzed them on how new mums can get active again when they feel completely and utterly exhausted.

    Many studies indicate that a tailored exercise intervention can alleviate postnatal depressive symptoms, benefiting women both physically and psychologically,’ Polar added. ‘Heart rate monitors and physical activity trackers such as Polar devices can increase motivation and adherence to exercise by providing real-time feedback on physical activity levels and track progress.’ I personally did find an activity tracker helped me in the early days. If anything, it was something small I could aim for. After my C-Section I wasn’t planning on running any marathons but 10,000 steps seemed like an achievable goal.

    ‘It is good to start with low impact options to build your confidence and regain general strength before you look to progress to more intense and high impact options for exercise.

    Try and find options that you feel comfortable and confident with without putting yourself in any compromised positions,’ mother Haylene Ryan-Causer, co-founder of Volonté and a Fitness Professional, Sprinter and Olympic Weightlifter told me.

    Get outside

    I am always inspired by outdoors advocate and host of Start A Ripple… podcast India Pearson’s advice on how to get outdoors with your little one. Her Instagram stories never fail to give me a boost and I often find myself inspired by her adventures with her baby and dog no matter the weather that I bundle up my baby boy and make sure we get some sunlight and fresh air too. ‘Getting outside with a baby can sometimes seem like you have climbed a mountain before even walking out the door, but it’s one of the most important things you can do as a new mum to help keep postnatal anxiety at bay,’ India told me. ‘Exposure to daylight and fresh air will help lift your mood and keep your mind present. I like to incorporate all my senses into my daily buggy walks in nature by noticing the colours of the trees, the smell of the grass and the sound of the birds around me. It’s a great way to feel grounded and helps stop my mind from wandering and worrying!’

    Babies exposed to fresh air and sunlight sleep better at night too according to a study by Dr Yvonne Harrison at Liverpool John Moores University.

    Be Mindful

    I met Ani Naqvi, CEO and Founder of Ultimate Results Group when I interviewed her about surviving the 2004 Boxing Day Tsunami and was in awe of her story of survival. Ani’s mission is to dedicate her life to helping impact the lives of a quarter of a million people, the amount that perished that tragic day. ‘I know first-hand that meditation and mindfulness help anxiety, including postnatal anxiety and depression. All our ‘negative’ emotions are generated from our survival brain. General anxiety is usually generated from our future based worries and thoughts.

    ‘Meditation and mindfulness help us to switch from our survival brain to our thriving brain. If you find the thought of sitting down for 15 mins and meditating too difficult, try this technique which you can do for just 1-2 mins. Rub your finger and thumb together with such attention that you can feel the ridges of your fingertips, the temperature of your skin, whether it feels rough or smooth and keep focusing on those ridges, 1-2 mins of this every hour is enough to keep your thriving brain charged up and free from anxiety, worries and fears.

    ‘You can even do this with your baby, while you are holding their fingers or cuddling them really notice their fingertips, the smoothness and temperature of their skin. This is how you can incorporate moments of true presence and mindfulness into your day. Remember that any negative thoughts and feelings you have will always pass so don’t give them your focus and attention and instead think of all the positive things you have done instead. Remember we are wired for negative thinking as part of our survival mechanism, but we are so much more than our survival instincts. You are a spiritual being having a human experience, meditation helps you reconnect with your true essence.’

    You can’t pour from an empty cup

    I spoke to inspirational mum of three Sarah Campus of LDN MUMS FITNESS about her top tips for coping with postnatal anxiety. Sarah is also a mum to a seven-month-old and knows first-hand how hard it can be to juggle a baby as well as your own wellbeing.

    • Prioritise you and your wellness, remember you can’t fill from an empty cup. If you don’t look after yourself then your energy, mood and anxiety levels will suffer as a result. Practice self-care and listen to your body.
      • Nourish yourself with colourful nutrition. Think protein, carbs, healthy fats, fruit and veg. If you are hungry then have a healthy snack as this will have an impact on your mood, energy and anxiety levels. Sugar spikes are inevitably followed by a crash which will not help your anxiety. Eating little and often is a good idea.
        • Learn to say no – don’t get overwhelmed by getting too busy. Mum life is very busy so pause, take a breath, and then act within your limits.

          Start where you are, do what you can

          I asked dad of three and uber popular Fitness Coach Joe Wicks about his advice on exercising when you’ve been up all night, your anxiety is high and your mood is low. Joe and his wife Rosie also have a five-month-old and empathised with me when I mentioned how debilitating sleep deprivation can be. ‘I’m a huge believer in home workouts, you don’t need to go to the gym or use any expensive equipment, you can turn your living room into a workout space. When your child is having a nap, try and take twenty minutes for yourself. Exercise gives you energy, it makes you feel calmer and less stressed because parenting can be stressful. When you’re looking after a little human being sometimes you neglect your own needs but it’s so important to take care of yourself. It doesn’t have to a high intensity HIIT workout, you can go gently and build yourself up gradually. Don’t put any pressure on yourself, you’ve just brought a little baby into the world so take it easy.

          ‘I remind my postnatal clients that any movement will help boost serotonin levels and this helps boost your mood. Do what you love, don’t feel you have to do a certain type of training and don’t rush into it. I have lots of workouts on my app to help mothers, one of our trainers, Courtney has also just had a baby and she recorded pre and postnatal workouts on The Body Coach App. If you’ve had a really broken night’s sleep with the baby just doing any sort of movement will help boost your mood and this will help with anxiety. Although. if you’ve been up all night and only managed two hours, heading back to bed and getting some sleep would be the best thing.’

          Essential Fatty Acids can help with anxiety

          Pauline Cox MSc Functional Nutritionist, Author and nutritional adviser to Wiley’s Finest sustainable supplements told me that the prevalence of PPD in Western countries is estimated to be 10-15% and with the depletion of omega-3 essential fatty acids following pregnancy and/or breastfeeding and without enough omega-3 fatty acids in your diet, new mums are twice as likely to develop depressive episodes at this critical and vulnerable period of life.

          During foetal development, the omega-3 fatty acid demands of your baby in the womb are very high, in particular during the third trimester. With women from developing countries already consuming much less than the recommended 300mg per day of EPA and DHA, (on average under 100mg per day), this could explain why some women experience a 50% decrease in plasma levels of omega-3 fatty acids during pregnancy, with a deficiency still evident 26 weeks following birth. The depletion of these essential fatty acids may increase the risk of PPD and anxiety.

          New mums are also vulnerable to mood changes and motivational changes due to changing hormonal levels, particularly progesterone and oestrogen levels which drastically drop following childbirth. Neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine can also be significantly impacted following childbirth, leaving new mums prone to low mood and low motivation.

          A review of fourteen omega-3 supplementation trials concluded that EPA-rich oils during pregnancy and postpartum can reduce some symptoms associated with depression. This is in line with research that links higher intake of oily fish and seafood with lower levels of PPD.

          Oily fish is a rich source of both omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA. Supplementing with a high-quality fish oil, (I can vouch for the fact that Prenatal by Wiley’s Finest is excellent) and can support mental wellbeing and immune function following the birth of a baby. For mums looking to breastfed, the need for ensuring adequate levels of omega-3 fatty acids is even greater.

          Supplements that can help

          I swear by Nutri-Guard’s Magnesium Glycinate, both through my pregnancy and postnatally, in my humble opinion it is the best magnesium supplement on the market and is safe for throughout pregnancy and breastfeeding.

          ‘New mothers are incredibly depleted – they’re experiencing a sudden drop in hormones and have been under increased nutrient demands throughout pregnancy and into breastfeeding,’ Rhian Stephenson, a nutritionist, mother of two and founder of Artah told me when I asked her for some advice on the best supplements to help new mothers.

          ‘Electrolyte depletion is also very common during pregnancy and breastfeeding, and of course, the lack of sleep that accompanies the first 6 months post-partum causes huge emotional and physical stress. Each of those on their own has the potential to trigger anxiety, so it’s no surprise that so many mothers report feelings of ongoing anxiety. Starting with supplements, these are the basics that can be incredibly helpful in supporting recovery.’

          • Probiotics can be an important part of a holistic approach to pp anxiety. Studies have shown that L Rhamnosus, found in the Artah Enhanced Probiotic, showed a significant reduction in anxiety and depression scores of new mothers.
          • Vitamin D3 status is linked to an increase in post-partum mood disorders, so taking Essential D3/k2 – especially if you’ve given birth leading into autumn and winter, where the recommendation is for all adults to supplement with Vitamin D3 – is important.

            PTSD and Birth Trauma: Penny’s Story

            ‘I developed post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) which is a type of anxiety condition people can develop after a traumatic birth. This was a part of suffering with postnatal anxiety. It was a mixture of anxiety, depression and PTSD,’ Penny Weston, a wellness entrepreneur, and founder of MADE, a 360 degree wellness brand with an on demand wellness membership told me when she bravely opened up about her birth story.

            ‘My PTSD was so severe I couldn’t eat or sleep or even go back into my bedroom where most of the labour had taken place. I was 32 when I found out I was pregnant with my first child. It was planned and my partner and I were delighted. The pregnancy itself was OK and I exercised throughout and stayed relatively fit. Apart from the typical symptoms of nausea and morning sickness there was nothing unusual. But the birth was horrific.

            ‘I went into labour on Monday evening and was having regular contractions so I went into hospital, but I wouldn’t go past 1 -2cm dilated so they sent me home in the early hours of Tuesday morning,’ Pennyadded, pausing as she thought back to that day. ‘The pain was excruciating, and I was in a really bad way and didn’t think I could cope any more. I just thought ‘I can’t do this’. It was the worst thing I’ve ever experienced.

            ‘On the Thursday, I was induced but the baby got stuck in the birth canal and then blood was detected in my urine, so I was rushed in for an emergency C-section and Teddy was born on Friday morning, five days after the labour had started.

            ‘It was horrific. I can still remember being pushed through the waiting room in a wheelchair crying with the agony of the contractions as all these nice couples sat there waiting for their scans having a positive experience whilst I was in hell and everyone was staring at me. I hated every second of the labour and birth.

            ‘But it wasn’t until about a month later I realised I had major problems because I hadn’t been sleeping and the anxiety was really bad. I got it into my head that I couldn’t let the baby cry, I had to make sure he didn’t cry.

            ‘That was my main anxiety, and it was all-consuming and totally overwhelming. If he expressed any upset at all, I had to make sure he was OK straight away. I was on edge constantly and could go for a day or two without even having a drink of water because I literally hadn’t put him down because I didn’t want him to cry. It was like an out of body experience.

            ‘I was plagued with vivid flashbacks of the labour, nightmares and visions, which I still can’t bear to describe in detail. And I was so haunted by the memories of being in labour in my bedroom that I couldn’t bear to go back in, instead I spent nights lying awake on the landing floor. My nightmares were not about the birth but were about going into my baby’s room and him not breathing and about bad things happening to him in general.

            ‘I had to sleep in the spare room or the corridor for months because for much of my labour, I was in my bedroom or ensuite bathroom and I had not slept at all and I could not go back into that room because of the flashbacks.

            ‘My postnatal anxiety also manifested itself with an obsession for reading and searching online to find the answers to everything related to having a newborn; from how much Teddy should be sleeping and how much milk he should have.’

            Light at the end of the tunnel

            ‘I went to see my GP and I was diagnosed with PTSD caused by the traumatic birth and sleep deprivation. I was referred for counselling, which really helped. I initially went to see the therapist in person but now I have online sessions. I had an internal infection which slowed down my physical recovery but as soon as that was better I started going for walks every day with Teddy in a sling and that really helped too.

            ‘Exercise has always been a huge part of my life so introducing that again felt like some normality was resuming. That, and the combination of fresh air, sunlight and Vitamin D worked wonders. It was a slow process but gradually as the months passed the flashbacks, nightmares and anxiety lessened and I began sleeping back in my bedroom again.’

            What advice would you give to other mums suffering PNA and birth trauma?

            ‘My advice for mums suffering with anxiety would be to get professional help. A therapist will help to break down your anxious thoughts and really examine what it is you are worrying about and why. If you can recognise it is happening, you can start to manage it and be more rational and kinder to yourself.

            ‘I also advise women to talk about it with friends and family. On the rare occasion that I do share my birth story with people, I’ve discovered that there are so many other women out there with traumatic birth stories, but they don’t tend to share it. It’s made me realise how many other women have been through something pretty tough but don’t talk about it. I feel a duty to speak out to help other women.

            ‘I’m proof that help is out there and there is light at the end of the tunnel. But also don’t expect an overnight miracle. It’s a big thing to go through – I’m nearly four years on and still feel sick talking about it now. I still can’t look at pictures of my son just after he’s been born so it definitely hasn’t just gone, but it is so much better and I feel so incredibly lucky to have Teddy and for all the joy he brings.’

            ‘I’d also say that most new mums suffer with anxiety and that’s totally normal but it’s when it begins to take over that it becomes a problem. Postnatal anxiety is a common mental health condition but it needs treatment and emotional support. It’s important to talk to someone about how you feel.’

            Concerned about you or a loved one? Help is available

              • Maternal Information and support for people experiencing perinatal OCD and their families.
              • MIND: 0300 123 3393. Offers a wide range of advice and resources for anyone seeking support for their mental health.
              • PANDAS: 0808 1961 776. Free helpline open from 11am-10pm every day. Information and support for anyone experiencing a mental health problem during or after pregnancy.
              • National Childbirth Trust (NCT): 0300 330 0700. Provides information, support and classes for parents.
              • No Panic: 0300 772 9844. Provides a helpline, step-by-step programmes and support for people with anxiety disorders.
              • The Association for Post Natal Illness (APNI): 0207 386 0868. Provides support for women experiencing postnatal depression and anxiety.
              • Information and support for people affected by stillbirth, miscarriage and premature birth.
              • OCD Action: 0300 636 5478. Information and support for people affected by OCD and hoarding, including online forums and local support groups.

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