Delivery in the UK £1 but FREE if you spend over £25

Maternal Mental Health and the Journey Through Health Anxiety

Mental Health Awareness week is 29th April to 5th May this year, and we're tackling a topic that often lurks in the shadows of all the excitement, love and bonding that is happening (or supposed to be happening) when a new baby arrives:

Maternal mental health, particularly the emotional roller coaster that is health anxiety that many mothers face.

As a new mother, I was lucky enough to experience the instant maternal bond with my newborn. I literally couldn’t believe that this little bundle was my child, that the universe had entrusted me to love and care for an actual real life baby human being.

But nothing could’ve prepared me for the tidal wave of fear that came next. Looking back now, I know it was health anxiety. For me, it was an all consuming fear that I was going to lose my son. For the first two weeks at home after leaving the hospital, I didn’t sleep. I obviously must have gotten enough sleep for my survival but I don’t recall sleeping. I recall lying next to my sons crib, watching his every breath and quietly sobbing that I might lose him if I fall asleep. He had a breathing detector mat underneath him and a camera above his cot with a screen next to my bed so that I could see him, even though I was right next to him. 

Looking back now, I know I should have spoken to a health professional about how I was feeling. I thought I was coping but I was just clinging on, tackling the fear every day and making sure that I wasn't apart from my son, every minute of every day. I obsessively checked windows and doors every night and I was very convinced that someone would break in and take him.

Motherhood is a rollercoaster ride of emotions, and health anxiety can cast a dark shadow over the experience. If you're feeling this way, you're not alone.

Health anxiety Is more than just worrying about the occasional sniffle or fever. It's a constant, consuming fear that something catastrophic is lurking around the corner, ready to harm your precious little one. Every ache, every twinge becomes a cause for panic, a relentless cycle of "what ifs" spinning in your mind.

But here's the thing: it's okay to feel this way. Motherhood doesn't come with a manual, and navigating the labyrinth of emotions is part of the journey. What's important is how we cope with these feelings and putting strategies in place to help us.

It starts with self-compassion. Give yourself permission to acknowledge your fears without judgment. You're doing the best you can, and that's more than enough.

Next, reach out for support. Whether it's confiding in a trusted friend, joining a support group, or seeking professional help, don't hesitate to lean on others during this challenging time. Remember, strength lies in vulnerability, and there's no shame in asking for help.

At Gummee, I'm passionate about supporting mothers every step of the way. My/our mission goes beyond providing innovative baby products; it's about creating products that also consider the parents and giving them a little bit of time back, through products that babies love. It's about providing parents with the satisfaction of seeing their babies happy and smiling with a teether that they love. 

In the midst of health anxiety, it's easy to lose sight of the joys of motherhood. Take a moment to pause, breathe, and cherish the precious moments with your little one. 

If you are at all concerned about your maternal mental health, please speak to a health professional so that you can start navigating through this period of your life with support.

You've got this, Mama.