Healthy Early Years
A parent’s guide from birth to five
Parental wellbeing

Parental wellbeing

Your health and wellbeing matters too

As parents whether you are a single parent, a mum, dad or carer we all want to do what’s best to keep our children safe, fit and well. However, it can be easy to forget about our own health and wellbeing. A positive attitude and a good social outlook encourages us all to have a healthy lifestyle. You should have your postnatal check about six to eight weeks after your baby’s birth to make sure that you feel well and are recovering properly.

Family life plays an important role in the wellbeing of both children and parents. Doing active and creative things together can really boost happiness levels all round. Children’s Centres can be great places for you to socialise and meet other parents as well as giving your child the opportunity to meet friends.
Sometimes it can be a bit daunting when meeting a group of complete strangers, but it can be an easy way to meet new people and make friends, after all, you all have something in common - your children!

We are often our children’s first teachers and they not only learn about practical things from us, but pick up on attitudes that can last a lifetime. It is important to take care of your own physical and mental health in order to be able to ‘parent’ well.

Postnatal depression - not feeling like yourself?

Postnatal depression is more common than people think and can begin within days of giving birth or occur up to 12 months after. Postnatal depression does not always mean having low mood or feeling sad but can often create feelings of too much anxiety. Some mums feel overly anxious about themselves or their babies or other issues such as money worries. Poor sleep, poor eating and staying away from family and friends can be signs to discuss with the heath visitor and GP. Seeking help is important to reduce the length of time a mum is unwell/affected by this illness and can include talking therapies, practical support and medication. Treatment for mum does not mean separation from her baby. Talk to your GP or health visitor.

Partners’ health

In the early days, there is often a lot of support and focus on mum and how she is feeling or coping. While this is really important, partners need some support too. Becoming a parent can be an exciting and overwhelming experience. New parents may find they are struggling to cope with the pressures. Greater financial responsibility, combined with a lack of sleep and changes in relationships can all affect a partner's wellbeing. Men who are supporting women with postnatal depression are also much more likely to suffer from it themselves. (It is now increasingly recognised that postnatal depression and other perinatal mental health issues can be experienced by men as well as women).

Make sure you take care of yourself too, and speak to your GP or health visitor if you are finding things difficult.


I often overlook my own wellbeing as I want to do the best for my child.


Your child’s wellbeing is linked to your health.


It is important to have a healthy family lifestyle and treat your own health as importantly as your child’s.