From Meh to Happy in 3 Emojis

I wasn’t able to make a video for Ros’s titbit and emoji today because it’s a 😔 day today.

Too much honesty you say?

Why do you care how I feel today?

Today’s post isn’t about me it’s about highlighting #childmentalhealthweek

I have suffered from mental ill health since childhood but it is only now as an adult that I realised this. As a child in the 70’s and 80’s mental ill health wasn’t a thing really. I feel so heartened by the awareness that is being raised around this very real illness now in the 21st Century.

I worked in the NHS where mental health support should be at their core. I suffered at the hand of a bully during this time and that is nit ok. There is such a lack of understanding of the various ways this illness manifests and the need for #flexibility of employees who suffer. Those who suffer are not always ill and we have coping strategies to ensure we can get through our meh days.

As a Midwife and Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) I am an advocate for health promotion which is why I specialise in an area that deals with the point at which our fundamental health is formed - maternity and infant feeding . The UNICEF Baby Friendly Initiative [1] promotes responsive parenting and this begins in pregnancy. By responding to and connecting with the baby in utero you are literally growing their brain. Each connection, feeling of touch, hearing a voice, listening to music builds their synapses. If the mother works to minimises her stress this will effect her baby in a positive way for the rest of their life by actually changing their DNA 🧬 [2] to ensure they are not a “stressed genome”.

There are great initiatives out there to support and protect child mental ill health, such as this week. Unfortunately as ever the NHS are lacking in investment, are resource poor and the fundamental time to support mental ill health is not able to meet demand. It is great to see organisations and charities who are attempting to fill these gaps, step in to mop up those in need who are left on excessive waiting lists. One particular organisation @arthurellis [3] have set up an initiative where for every adult who pays for their services pays for a child’s free place. This has meant a child can be seen within a week.

There will be circumstances and events that happen to a fetus, baby or child that will predispose them to mental ill health but if we support this stage when they become adults they will have strategies to cope with life. Those around them will hopefully understand their needs and we can all live a happier calmer life.

Today is a busy day in the @NatWestBusiness #Accelerator Hub which means I need to use those strategies I learn:

-so I can

at the workshop

-so I can deliver a knock out #pitch

-so I can have an effective call with a prospective corporate client

-so I can participate in the 2nd workshop

-so I can positively impact on others

I urge you to understand #mentalillhealth. I urge you to support those around you if you are worried. I urge you to support organisations that plug the NHS gaps. I dream of being able to go and speak to managers in the NHS to understand the needs of their staff who suffer mental ill health instead of victimising them. I urge you to understand the positive impact a parent and family can have on a fetus for the rest of their life. I urge you to to listen and understand how breastfeeding has a positive impact on mental wellbeing on the mother and baby [4]

I wrote this blog in bed this morning after waking up knowing today was going to be hard. My daily videos have been therapeutic and helped me propel myself into the day. I couldn’t quite bring myself to film one, so you got this bank of words instead. This has now meant a change in my emoji to 😐 and soon I hope it will be 🙂

1. https://www.unicef.org.uk/babyfriendly/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2017/12/Responsive-Feeding-Infosheet-Unicef-UK-Baby-Friendly-Initiative.pdf

2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4844196/pdf/kepi-10-10-1088630.pdf

3. https://www.arthurellismhs.com/

4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6096620/pdf/103_2018_Article_2769.pdf

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