“I didn't realise bringing up a baby would be such hard work. I'm knackered all the time,” says celebrity mum Coleen Rooney.
Her comments echo thousands of parents who, after enjoying the excitement of pregnancy and the birth, soon realise that nothing prepares them for the weariness, lack of sleep, baby crying, and other new baby issues.
In order to help NCT, the UK’s largest parenting charity, has launched a brand, new Postnatal Helpline staffed by qualified NCT Postnatal Leaders. Research shows 8 in 10 mothers suffer some form of ‘baby blues’ three to four days after giving birth*. The Helpline will be able to support new parents with changes that some are simply not prepared for, or feel unable to cope with, when they have their newborn.
The Postnatal Helpline number is 0300 330 0773, open 9am- 1pm Monday – Friday. Calls are charged at local call rates.
From baby routines to body image after birth, NCT Postnatal Leaders are skilled in listening to callers’ worries or concerns, and direct them to the most appropriate sources of help and information.
Liane Grimes, an NCT Postnatal Leader with years of experience in supporting parents through those first crucial months, says;
“Postnatal support is just as valuable and important as antenatal care. Baby sleeping, postnatal depression, anxiety and baby crying are the most common problems new parents find difficult to manage. I work with mums who just want to talk and have someone to listen to them. The Helpline will give new mums and dads the tools and confidence to deal with the many emotional and physical demands of having a baby.”
Belinda Phipps, NCT’s Chief Executive explains why the new helpline is so important. She says; “Life with a new baby can be an amazing experience. However, for some it can be quite a daunting whirlwind, leaving new parents feeling nervous or lacking in confidence. Our new, first of its kind, Helpline is open to all parents so they can call us and get support when they need it most.”
Sarah, a new mum, NCT Coventry branch, said; "I will be giving the new Helpline the thumbs up. I really do think it’s so important to offer new, and existing mums, this type of support. I really struggled my way through the first five months not admitting it to anyone and not knowing where to turn, having thought I was coping and convincing myself I was fine!
“I am in no doubt that the service will be used. It can be very hard to open up emotionally, even to those closest to you when you’re a new mum, so the new Helpline may just give that extra support to somebody who is struggling.”
For some there’s nothing like speaking to a trained Postnatal Expert. However, others may prefer to talk to someone who has gone through the same experience as them so they can understand the situation better. In this case, parents may prefer to call the NCT’s Shared Experiences Helpline on 0330 330 0774 (Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday 9am – 3pm). Staffed by volunteers, the Line puts callers in touch with other parents who have experienced similar difficulties to offer support and a listening ear.
The NCT’s other helplines include the Breastfeeding Line on 0300 330 0771 open seven days a week 8am – 10pm, and the Pregnancy & Birth Line 0300 330 0772, open Mon – Fri 9am – 10pm. All the Helplines are staffed by qualified NCT experts.