The Hidden Epidemic of Extreme Thoughts after Baby

Channel Mum founder, Siobhan Freegard OBE was on This Morning discussing the recent Channel Mum survey which found that nearly half of new mums suffer extreme or disturbing thoughts, as well as 64% stating that they would never seek help. Siobhan was joined on the sofa by vlogger Jem Armistead who shares how she overcame these anxieties and is speaking out to help end the stigma for other mums. If this is a subject that has affected you, know that you are not alone. There is a wealth of support and help on Channel Mum. Start by taking our Mums Mental Health Quiz to see how you are doing. Our short quiz is designed to see how you are really feeling and the results may surprise you. We also have experts in our support group including our health visitor Maggie, our psychologist in residence Emma Kenny and our trained parent helpers. We also have a full video course, podcasts and supporting materials to help.

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Mums Mental Health.

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Hidden Epidemic of Maternal Mental Illness

Our recent survey has uncovered that alarmingly four in ten mums suffer frightening thoughts or hallucinations after giving birth – but keep quiet for fear of being judged or having their baby taken away. Official NHS figures show just 10 to 15 per cent of mums experience serious mental health issues, but experts believe there could be a ‘hidden epidemic’ of maternal mental illness, as 64 per cent of those who fall ill never try to get a formal diagnosis so are missed by official figures.The study of 1,670 mums found 65 per cent of those who experienced the awful thoughts weren’t told pregnancy and parenthood could affect their mental health. As a result, one in five feared they were ‘going mad’ when they fell ill, while 49 per cent were scared of being ‘judged negatively’.

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Our founder Siobhan Freegard said:

“If your body is broken after birth, everyone understands and supports you, but when your mind is broken, mums still feel they have to keep it hidden. These thoughts are disturbing and terrifying – but very often they are part of becoming a mum. We need to talk about it, normalise it and make mums realise they are not alone.”

More results from our new survey on Mums’ Mental Health

An alarmingly high number of you admitted you had experienced the unsettling thoughts. A fear that something dreadful will happen to your baby is the most common, with 62 per cent of those who suffered the hallucinations vividly feeling this. Forty-four per cent worried about their baby dying, 13 per cent imagined killing or harming their own child while one in 100 were convinced their mother-in-law was trying to take their baby.
The study also found others had visions of their baby being taken by strangers, eaten by a crocodile or snatched by the Grim Reaper.
Worryingly, 39 per cent felt their child and partner would be better off without them and 16 per cent even considered suicide.
Others worried they would be labelled a bad parent (43%) while 26 per cent were ‘ashamed’ of being mentally ill.
The stigma is so great that a disturbing 17 per cent of mums who fell ill admit they thought about self-harm to try to cope, with one in 20 going through with it but 19 per cent of mums who suffered mental illness after birth refused to access help in case their child was taken into care.

Siobhan Freegard said:

“I suffered from post natal depression and visualised extreme images after the birth of my first child then tried to cover it up, so I know exactly what women are going through when they hide it. There is so much pressure to cope and be the perfect parent that when you are crying inside while everyone around you is smiling, it makes you feel you are failing your baby and your whole family. Mums need to know they will get the right support and their baby won’t be taken away.”

Our psychologist Emma Kenny added:

“Good maternal mental health is something that every woman deserves, but due to the lack of knowledge and support this simply isn’t the case, leaving women to deal with some of the most terrifying and debilitating feelings at a time when they should be enjoying their positive new beginnings.”

Some of the Extreme Thoughts Mothers Have Experienced

“I believed my baby hated me and was trying to kill me”
“I planned to jump off the balcony with my baby”
“I thought my flat was haunted and would stay outside from dawn til dusk until my husband got home”
“I thought my baby would die if I didn’t wash up before my microwave pinged”
“I saw the Grim Reaper outside my bedroom door”
“I thought my twins weren’t mine”
“I thought that my mother in law was planning to take my baby”
“I thought that my baby would die because of germs. So I made everyone disinfect themselves before they could touch him. Someone touched my pram in a supermarket once and I couldn’t move due to fear of contamination. I stood in the cleaning isle vigorously disinfecting my pram.”
“I believed if I went to sleep, someone would break in and smother us all to death”
“I wanted to throw my daughter out of the window”
“I thought a crocodile was trying to eat my baby”
“I wanted to drive the car into a wall and kill my baby and myself”
“I cut all my hair off as I thought my baby was eating it and making himself ill”
“I thought everyone would be better off without me”
“I imagined an iron melting into my baby’s face”
“Just blackness, despair like being trapped in thick mud”

Chat on Channel Mum Chat to other mums and professionals in the Channel Mum Support Group.

Take our Mum’s Mental Health Course

Read more about the Channel Mum research in these publications

The Sun Logo
MUM’S THE WORD New mums share the heartbreaking and terrifying thoughts they’ve had since becoming a parent

The Independent Logo
Half of all Mothers Suffer from Hallucinations or Frightening Thoughts

The Mail Logo
Almost HALF of new mothers suffer from frightening thoughts or hallucinations – and two thirds admit to hiding them for fear of being judged.

How To Get Pregnant With A Boy – Channel Mum

Wondering how to conceive a boy? Then you might be interested in finding out the ways that are said to stack the odds in your favour when it comes to the sex of your baby. While there’s no sure-fire way to sway the gender of your child, various theories have been around for generations, and it can’t hurt to try. There are lots of theories and claims made about gender swaying, and today SJ is bringing you her top tips for how to get pregnant with a boy:

She already had two sons when she tried out some techniques for conceiving a baby girl, and sure enough she fell pregnant with little Evelina. If you fancy seeing the techniques she used, and trying your hand at making a little girl, you can find those right here

How To Have A Girl?

1) The Timing Or Shettles Method – This involves timing sex so that there is a higher chance of boy sperm (carrying the Y chromosome) meeting your egg. Dr. Shettles suggests having sex as soon as you ovulate.
2) Abstain from sex after you have ovulated so there is no chance of the girl sperm meeting the egg.
3) Orgasm. It changes your cervix to make it more favourable to the boy sperm.
4) Have sex 4 days before you ovulate as much as you can, but not before or after.
5) Use deep penetration methods so that the boy sperm reaches the egg easier.
6) Eat foods that contain lots of potassium and sodium.

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Need more tips for getting pregnant? We have loads of right here

When you do conceive a baby, be sure to check out all of our pregnancy videos, which will guide you through every single step

If you need more personalised advice on getting pregnant, you can chat to our team of professionals and thousands of other mums in our support group

Production music by http://www.epidemicsound.com

How to Make Pancakes

Looking for some foolproof pancake recipes to wow your family with this Pancake Day? With the help of Iceland we have five brilliant recipes for you to try below.

We were live on Facebook with Pancake Day hacks and a competition to win £150 of Iceland vouchers! This Competition is now closed but you can still watch the top pancake day hacks from Neil Nugent Iceland’s head chef below. Find out who won here. Iceland have EVERYTHING you could need this pancake day.  Usual Channel Mum rules apply.

THE foolproof pancake recipe
2 eggs, break and lightly mix.
Add a pint of whole milk then enough flour (plain or SR) until it gets to a single cream consistency.
Don’t over mix it. It’s best to leave it to rest for about 20 minutes then it’s good to go!

Vegan apple pancakes
Vegan blueberry pancakes
Indulgent chocolate pancake
Smoked haddock rarebit pancake
Smoked streaky bacon, goats cheese and caramelised onion chutney pancakes

Vegan apple pancakes (serves 4)

Apple pancakes - side view

You will need
240g self-raising flour
15g sugar
1g salt
100g grated apple
340g almond milk
30g veg oil
½ tsp cinnamon

For the toasted oats and nuts
50g of toasted oats
50g of chopped toasted almonds
Maple syrup to taste

1. Put the flour, sugar, almond milk, salt, oil and cinnamon into a bowl and whisk to a smooth batter. Add the grated apple and stir through.

2. Heat a non stick frying pan over a medium heat and lightly oil. Pour in the batter and cook your pancakes for 1 to 2 minutes on each side until golden.

3. Top the pancakes with the toasted oats and nuts and a drizzle of maple syrup.

Vegan blueberry pancakes (serves 4)

Side view of blueberry pancakes

You will need
240g self-raising flour
15g sugar
1g salt
100g blueberries
340g almond milk
30g veg oil

1. Put the flour, sugar, almond milk, salt, oil and cinnamon into a bowl and whisk to a smooth batter. Add the blueberries and stir through.

2. Heat a non stick frying pan over a medium heat and lightly oil. Pour in the batter and cook your pancakes for 1 to 2 minutes on each side until golden.

3. Finish the pancakes with the blueberry compote.

For the blueberry compote
300g frozen blueberries
30g sugar

 Indulgent chocolate pancake (serves 2)

chocolate pancakes from above

You will need
135g plain flour
28g sugar
5g baking powder
1g salt
180g milk
1 egg
30g melted butter

1. Put all of the pancake ingredients into a bowl and whisk to a smooth batter.

2. Heat a non stick frying pan over a medium heat and lightly oil. Pour in the batter and cook your pancake for around 2 minutes. Top with as much of the topping flavours as you like and finish under the grill

3. Add a scoop of ice cream and a drizzle of chocolate sauce

For the topping
Chocolate brownie pieces
Chocolate sauce
Marshmallows
Malteasers
Salted caramel ice cream
Chopped nuts (optional)

Smoked haddock rarebit pancake (serves 2)

Haddock and rarebit pancakes

You will need
135g plain flour
5g baking powder
1g salt
180g milk
1 egg
30g melted butter

1. Put all of the pancake ingredients into a bowl and whisk to a smooth batter.

2. Heat a non stick frying pan over a medium heat and lightly oil. Pour in the batter and cook your pancake for around 2 minutes. Top with as much of the topping flavours as you like and finish under the grill

3. Add a fried egg and cracked black pepper

For the rarebit sauce
50g butter
50g plain flour
1pt milk
135g Iceland vintage cheese
1 teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons of ale
1 egg yolk

1. Melt the butter in a sauce pan over a low heat and add the flour stirring until the mixture turns to a paste.

2. add the ale or beer and the Worcestershire sauce, then gradually add the milk stirring to minimise lumps.

3. Simmer for 7 to 8 minutes then take off the heat and add the grated cheese and stir until smooth and cool.

4. Finally add the egg yolk, season to taste and chill until ready to use.

To finish
50g wilted baby spinach
2 poached smoked haddock fillets
2 fried eggs (cracked black pepper)
Chilled Rarebit

Smoked streaky bacon, goats cheese and caramelised onion chutney pancakes (serves 2)

Bacon and cheese pancakes

You will need
100g plain flour
2 whole eggs
30g veg oil
300g milk

For the filling

Cooked Smoked streaky bacon
Soft goats cheese
Caramelised onion chutney

1. Put the flour, eggs, milk and oil into a bowl and whisk to a smooth batter.

2. Heat a non stick frying pan over a medium heat and lightly oil. Pour in the batter and cook your pancakes for 1 minute on each side until golden.

3. Fill the pancakes with as much of the filling as you desire.

All of the ingredients for these recipes can be purchased from Iceland 

This is a sponsored post.
Iceland Logo

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The Digiday Awards 2018

Channel Mum team at Digiday awards
The Channel Mum team had a fabulous start to 2018. On 25th January we attended The Digiday Awards Europe awards evening and were delighted to win two amazing awards for our work with Iceland and we were shocked to also bag the big award of the evening “Content Marketer of the Year”. You can see details below of the awards and a collection of photos from the night.

Channel Mum team at Digiday awards

The Digiday Awards Europe

Best Branded Content Series: Channel Mum and Iceland – “Power of Frozen

The judges said: “Frozen food brand Iceland had a brand-imagery issue: It was perceived as low-quality food with little nutritional value. With the help of parenting platform Channel Mum, Iceland worked with a variety of family influencers to show that Iceland products are both healthy and cost-effective. It has produced over 100 pieces of branded content with Channel Mum, with more to come”.

 

Digiday Content Marketing Awards Europe

We were delighted to win another award for our work with Iceland:

Best Branded Content Series: Channel Mum & Iceland – #PowerofFrozen

Channel Mum Team at Digiday awards

 

Finally we took the major award of the evening:

Content Marketer of the Year: Channel Mum

The judges praised Channel Mum for our: “… innovative tactics and place as a leader within the digital industry…”. This award wasn’t one brands could enter, we were nominated and chosen by the judges alongside the likes of The Guardian, Vice, Unilad, The FT, Viacom, Buzzfeed and News UK.

Channel Mum team at Digiday awards


Also a special mention
for the team at Benefit Cosmetics who won brand of the year for their recent work with Channel Mum, the judges said: “In 2017, Benefit Cosmetics distinguished itself from other beauty brands by reaching out to an under-recognised segment: mothers. Collaborating with influencers on the Channel Mum platform, it created the series Wake Up to Makeup, which included makeup tips specifically for busy mothers. See the case study video for the partnership below.

 

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Work with us! If you’re interested in seeing how we can work our magic on your brand (and bring you closer to mums), please get in touch by contacting our partnerships team on partnerships@channelmum.com