The Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, has announced that she will be taking on the new role as Patron of the Maternal Mental Health Alliance, to support women and families affected by the mental health challenges that come from pregnancy and having children. Maternal Mental Health Alliance unites over 100 organisations which help those struggling with mental health issues.
Are women more likely to suffer from mental health issues when pregnant?
The NHS shares that pregnant women experiencing mental health problems may develop tokophobia, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder or obsessive compulsive disorder. In addition, 1 in 5 women in the UK are reported to experience mental health issues when pregnant or in the first year of giving birth and 70% attempt to hide mental illness when it surrounds pregnancy.
In the US, the CDC found that 1 in 8 women experience symptoms of postpartum depression, with a second study stating that depression rates were seven times higher in 2015 than 2000.
Why is maternal mental health important to the Dutchess?
In June 2021, Kate launched The Royal Foundation Centre for Early Childhood, in a bid to boost awareness of the extraordinary impact of the early years.
Announcing her new role at the end of Maternal Mental Health Awareness Week, Kate Middleton said: “The birth of a child is one of life’s greatest gifts. But it can also be one of the most challenging times for many families and one that should not be faced alone.
“This Maternal Mental Health Awareness Week is about the power and importance of connection. The past couple of years have reminded us just how much we need each other and how vital our relationships are to our long-term health and happiness.
“This starts in the very earliest years of our lives, when we need close and continuous care from the people around us to nurture our development and ensure that we get the right start in life.”
“No one is immune to experiencing anxiety and depression during this time. It is crucial, therefore, that all those who might be struggling are given the right support at the right time, so that they’re able to share these feelings without fear of judgement and can access the information, care and support they need to recover.”