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9 Very Real Struggles That Your New Mum Friend Might Be Experiencing (And How You Can Help)

Motherhood is a spectrum of emotions. It’s time that we all stood up to help.

We’ve partnered with Maltesers and Comic Relief to support more mums with their mental health. If you or anyone you know needs help you can find support here.

We know it can sometimes be hard to know how to best support a new mum who might be struggling so we spoke to two experts in the field, Julianne Boutaleb and Dr Chetna Kang, to find out how friends and family can build that all-important support system.

Julianne Boutaleb is a BPS-registered perinatal psychologist and the founder and clinical director of Parenthood in Mind.

Dr Chetna Kang is a consultant psychiatrist at Nightingale Hospital, London.

1. Many new mums find themselves in a constant state of anxiety.

A woman holding a baby has her hand to her head. She appears tired and worried.

Encourage your new mum friend to check in with her health visitor or GP, who will be able to support her through those periods of anxiety.

Two people's hands clasped together.

2. Their family and friends are supportive and have been helping out, but they are still struggling.

The silhouette of a woman who is looking down.

Supporting them in finding the help they need is the most powerful thing you can do.

Two people sit opposite one another talking.

3. New mums often feel like they need to be "perfect", like some of the mums they see on social media who seem to have everything together effortlessly.

And the experts agree that everyone needs a reminder every so often that social media isn't real life.

Two variations of the same photo: On the left, a smiling baby with its mother kissing its cheek with the words "social media" above. On the right, the word "reality" is above the same baby looking upset while its mother kisses its cheek.

4. Your friend is struggling with the transition to becoming a mum and feels like everything in her life has completely changed.

On the left, there is a photo of a toast with drinks, with the words "from drinks..." on top. On the right, there is a photo of a drawer of nappies with the words " nappies" on top.

And while everything might have changed, all transitions take time to get used to and you can help her to make a success of this one, too.

A photo of moving boxes sits on the left, a desk chair is in the middle, and on the right there is a photo of baby feet. All the photos have a "win" badge on them.

5. Your new mum friend doesn't feel like anything is going right with their baby.

A mother holds an upset baby.

You can help them to recognise the moments that they've already mastered and help them to seek professional support if they need it.

A happy mum clasps her baby at a party.

6. Since becoming a mum, they feel like they've started to lose their identity.

Above a photo of a happy woman we see the words "post-baby life". Around the woman are the labels: incredible manager, gym-goer, best friend, party planner.

But you can remind them of who they are beyond being a mother and of the new things they're going to discover in themselves as a mum.

Above a photo of a happy woman we see the words "post-baby life". Around the woman are the labels: the best mum, incredible manager, gym-goer, best friend, party planner.

7. They're finding it hard to bond with their baby.

A woman holds her newborn baby in a hospital bed.

As a friend, family member, or partner, you can help facilitate bonding moments.

A small child puts a colourful building block on top of another.

8. They've started to feel isolated and forgotten.

We see a woman sat in the dark staring out of a window.

Help your friend to start "mum dating" so she can support and be supported by other new mums.

A group of happy mums and their children walk in the park together.

9. They feel overwhelmed with how much there is to do and sometimes they feel guilt for struggling.

An overwhelmed mum sits on her bed surrounded by children and mess.

Kind words and lending a helping hand can really help support them.

A woman with two babies in her lap is looking on her phone. She is reading a text which says, "I'm just texting you to say that even though I know it's tough, you're doing amazingly. I'm so proud of you xxxx"

We’ve partnered with Maltesers and Comic Relief, to support more mums with their mental health. If you or anyone you know needs help, you can find support here.

Comic Relief is the operating name of Charity Projects, a registered charity in England and Wales (326568), and Scotland (SC039730).