We are here, whatever the weather, to offer hope, empathy and support for every parent or network affected by perinatal mental illness.

PANDAS is a community offering peer-to-peer support for you, your family and your network.

How we can support you

How you can help us

If you need urgent help…

If you need urgent help or are worried about a loved one, call the Samaritans on 116 123 or the emergency services on 999.

We absolutely love this from @amotherplace - so hu We absolutely love this from @amotherplace - so hugely accurate, don’t you think? ❤️❤️👏👏👏

Repost from @amotherplace
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This is what being a mum really looks like!

Aren’t we amazing?

Thank you to everyone for trusting us with your beautiful photos 🙌🏽

#Nobodytellsyou #maternalmentalhealthawareness #maternalmentalhealthweek #postnatal #postpartum #newmum #newparent #newbaby #newborn #4thtrimester #fourthtrimester  #postnatalrecovery #postnatalhealth #postnatalexercise #postnatalsupport #pnd #ppd #ppp #pna #postnatalanxiety #postnataldepression #postnatalmentalhealth #mentalhealthawareness #postpartumbody #postpartumdepressionawareness #postpartumhealth #mumlife #mumlifeuk #momlife
A massive thank you to Fiona from 'Pregnancy and B A massive thank you to Fiona from 'Pregnancy and Beyond Cheshire' for fundraising for PANDAS as part of our PANDAS IN THE PARK event this May. 

We value the efforts of every single fundraiser - you're all amazing! 

Here is Fiona to explain why she is doing this for us...

"Anxiety and depression in pregnancy and the postnatal period are very real, and I'm passionate that mums and mums be be are able to find the community, help and support they need to tackle it together. Exercise, community, peer support and getting outdoors all really help to reduce anxiety and depression. This has been especially important in recent times, as mums and mums to be have been isolated from so much of their community during the pandemic, and the support they might normally have hasn't been as accessible, which has led to feelings of isolation.

Our exercise in pregnancy group benefit so much from coming together to enjoy the benefits of exercise and making new friends, supporting one another through their journey to motherhood, and making friends for life. Some of our mums and their partners may need the support offered by PANDAS and it's our way of helping other new parents and parents to be to be access support when they need it. It's so important to us to raise awareness and let people know that there is help and support out there should they need it.

PANDAS provide such a valuable resource for mums, dads and carers. We know that calls, emails and demand for their services went up by 240% during the pandemic! Fundraising for this event will go a long way in helping face to face support groups open again with a flying start.

We would love you to sponsor us as a class to collectively achieve 200 curtsy lunges at our social meet up in the park on the 22nd May and raise £200 for PANDAS as part of their Picnic in the Park fundraiser."

To donate to Fiona's fundraiser please go to:
https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/FionaBulbeck1

Thank you so much to Fiona and her class and good luck! 

#thankyou #fundraising
Beginning this new week with this lovely & bang on Beginning this new week with this lovely & bang on message ❤️🙌🙌🙌 Thanks so much for message @stacieswift 🌈😍 

This message applies to every single parent & carer out there. You are amazing, and you matter 🤗 

#parenting #pmh #youmatter
Maternal Mental Health Awareness Week 21 has been Maternal Mental Health Awareness Week 21 has been brilliant & we’d like to thank every single one of you for your contributions ❤️❤️ To everyone who has shared their story, fundraised, liked & shared our posts & contributed generally to raise awareness - THANK YOU ❤️🙌🙌🙌 We are so very grateful 🙏Sharing this gorgeous art of important things to remember by @helenetheillustrator 🎨❤️

Thanks also to @perinatalmhpartnership for their epic work in putting the week together 👏👏❤️

The week may be wrapping up, but our work continues, now more than ever after the most trickiest of years, to help ensure every single parent/carer who needs us receives the support they need. We continue with our mission & are so grateful to you all for supporting us. A reminder of our services to those who may need us...

If you don’t feel like you are coping, please know we are here for you. 

We exist for you...for all parents...mums AND dads & all carers too. If you are worried about anyone in that position you can also contact us. You are NOT alone. 

Our helpline is manned by our lovely trained volunteers who are ready to offer help & support.

The phone line is open between 11am - 10pm. Please don’t hesitate to call 

☎️ 0808 1961 776 ☎️

We know sometimes a helpline can feel daunting to call too...if that’s the case you can contact us via email & we will I get back to you within 72 hours, often sooner. Just email 
info@pandasfoundation.org.uk & write all your thoughts & feelings.

We also have two wonderful closed peer to peer support groups on Facebook. One for mums (search PANDAS FOUNDATION closed group: Perinatal Mental Illness Advice & Support ) & one for dads too (search PANDAS Dads closed group)

Sending you all SO MUCH LOVE ❤️❤️

#mmhaw21 #pmh #parenting #mhmatters #mentalhealth
With better weather on the way, who doesn't love a With better weather on the way, who doesn't love an excuse to picnic with friends? As restrictions ease, we can't wait to get outdoors and meet up with those that we have missed the most.  We also want to thank those that have stood by us indoors during various lockdowns - our fuzzy, furry, fluffy friends!🧸

We would love for you to get together with your families and bring along your soft toy buddies to picnic for PANDAS.  You can have it in your back garden, the local park or even indoors!  You can get creative and have fancy dress, or keep it simple.  You can have games, sing-alongs, storytelling and crafts, or just simply munch on sandwiches as the teddies enjoy their honey pots! 🍯  The options are endless.

To help you organise your teddy bears picnic we have created a pack of ideas to help bring it to life.  There are suggestions of activities, games, recipes and creative fun.  To get your 'Teddy Bears Picnic' ideas pack emailed out to you, please contact:

natalie.stevenson@pandasfoundation.org.uk

Funds raised from hosting a teddy bears picnic for PANDAS will allow us to extend our valuable support services to those struggling with perinatal illness ❤️🙏

Thanks so much for your support!
“My daughter was 11 months old at this point and “My daughter was 11 months old at this point and I'd started to accept that it was OK, essential even, to do things for myself. Whether that be going for a drink with my husband, leaving baby with someone else, going for a long run. It took me a long time to feel like I was allowed to be an individual as well as a mother but that was pivotal for me”

Written by Lauren Peacock ❤️🙌🌈 

#JourneysToRecovery #MyRecoveryJourney #MMHAW21 

@perinatalmhpartnership ❤️❤️
🏞️ ❤️ Join us for PANDAS In The Park! ❤ 🏞️ ❤️ Join us for PANDAS In The Park! ❤️ 🏞️
 
There is still time to sign up for our PANDAS in the Park event!

We are asking for people to host a get together with friends, family and loved ones to celebrate being able to meet up again, and also the relaunch of our face to face peer support groups reopening. Have a meet up, and raise money to help our support services keep running. ❤️ 
 
To add fun to the day, and thanks to our AMAZING business collaborators, we have a VERY special hamper gift to the group or location that raises the most money for PANDAS. Items are already being donated by:

@threebearsemporium
@pourlamamanuk
@bowersbitsandbobs 
@nextnotch
@Supermummas

Please do save the date (Sunday 23rd May 2021) and contact claire.jones@pandasfoundation.org.uk for a fundraising pack, and get planning your gathering in the park! 🌳 🌻 ❤️ 

We would be so grateful for any amount raised. 🙏

#parenting #parentinginapandemic #survivinglockdown #pandasinthepark #mentalhealth
"Recovery to me has been about properly getting to "Recovery to me has been about properly getting to know my son.

When our second son arrived I had expected to feel a bit more confident than I had with our 1st, but quickly found myself floundering with a grumpy baby who constantly screamed in the pram & the car, wouldn’t sleep or be put down & was challenging to feed. 

All the tricks I thought I’d learnt the first time around about looking after a baby didn’t work, & I felt like I was failing both him & his older brother by not being able to cope.

I had thought that our 2nd child would complete our family, but often it felt like he was actually destroying it & I almost resented him for it, bringing feelings of rage, sadness, guilt & disgust at myself for how I was feeling. I didn’t recognise him as I felt I should & I no longer recognised myself, & with the challenges of Covid in the mix my confidence was at rock bottom.

I was fortunate enough to get counselling from a local service via a supportive health visitor, which helped me try & put less pressure on myself & recognise my achievements instead of just my perceived failures, as well as helping me work on my family relationships. 

As our day-to-day routine & his sleep gradually started to improve, so did our bond, until 1 day I was playing with him & I realised he felt properly like my son. That was a real turning point for me, that maybe we could do this.

Our journey is very much ongoing, but we’ve now reached a stage where the good days outnumber the bad. On bad days I try & remember how far we’ve come, & that even when I feel like I’m not being the mum that he needs, his little smile just for me proves otherwise. 

He’s been here a little while now, but I think we’re finally getting to know each other."

Written by Clair, mum of boys age 4 years & 9 months ❤️ 🙏 🙌

#mmhaw21 

#JourneysToRecovery #MyRecoveryJourney

@PerinatalMHPartnershipUK
"My name is Sally Teall, I have 4 children and wit "My name is Sally Teall, I have 4 children and with my first two I suffered with postnatal OCD, anxiety and depression.

I had always worked with children and I wasn’t expecting this to happen. I didn’t realise that OCD could be obsessive; worrying about my baby’s well being and constantly assessing if I was a safest person to look after them! Once I realised and found the right help I began to feel better and by the time I had my 3rd and 4th child I had everything in place to help me.

For me that was CBT, medication, family/friend support and understanding. Everyone is different but with the right help, you really can heal." ❤️

Thank you so much to Sally for sharing her recovery story! We appreciate it so much ❤️ 🙌 🙏

Sally also runs the Midsomer Norton PANDAS Support group with her colleague and for that we are also so grateful

#mmhaw21 

#JourneysToRecovery #MyRecoveryJourney

@PerinatalMHPartnershipUK
"I knew I was suffering, but everywhere I looked w "I knew I was suffering, but everywhere I looked were happy pregnant women. I found lots of information about postnatal depression, but nothing about prenatal anxiety or depression.

It started when I got Pelvic Girdle Pain in the second trimester and could no longer exercise. Combined with a stressful job, my mind slowly turned in on itself and I began to feel incredibly negative about my pregnancy. 

I finally told my doctor my distressing thoughts. She was compassionate but firm, signing me off work. After two weeks of agonising guilt, I realised that I needed to look after my mental health as much as my physical. 

8 weeks later, my little girl arrived. Seconds old, yet years wise, she looked up at me as if to say “you’ve got this”... and I’ve never looked back."

Written by Rosie J, mama to a happy and cheeky toddler @rosieposiepuddingandpie_ 

Thanks SO much for sharing your journey, Rosie ❤️ 🌈 🙌

#mmhaw21 

#JourneysToRecovery #MyRecoveryJourney

@PerinatalMHPartnershipUK
We are so very grateful to @physio4meuk and ALL y We are so very grateful to  @physio4meuk and ALL you lovely lot who’ve been fundraising for us recently. We honestly couldn’t run our services without you & are in awe of your passion, determination & kindness ❤️❤️❤️❤️
 
If you have a fundraising idea please do let us know by emailing Claire.Jones@pandasfoundation.org.uk - We’d love to hear it. 

You can also donate directly here via the “donate” tab ⬆️ on our profile. You can also add a “donate” button to your Instagram stories - the very first story highlight above shows you how to put it on.

Lots of love to you all ❤️❤️❤️ 

#mmhaw21 #fundraising #thankyoutoourfundraisers #maternalmentalhealth #pmh #mmhaw #perinatal
"I remember going to the theatre with my friend Da "I remember going to the theatre with my friend Daniella. This wasn’t unusual for us. However, I hadn’t been in the months after my son’s birth. There were several reasons for this. Crippling post-natal anxiety, depression and maternal OCD were by far at the forefront. I'd also had a traumatic birth as a result of a placental abruption. There had been months of reliving all aspects of the birth and not quite understanding fully what happened. My recovery certainly was a physical one, but had impacted me emotionally in a way that I hadn’t been prepared for. It blinded me sideways. 
 
I constantly felt selfishness, guilt, irrational thoughts, & panic. This would all crescendo & collapse into a depression. My thinking would become ‘meta-thinking’ where one thought would lead to another, then another, & then spiral into a place where I couldn’t even remember what prompted it all in the first place. I found myself ‘atoning’ for intrusive thoughts. It was dark & the lights were out. It felt grim. It wasn’t good. I needed help.
I got support from perinatal mental health services & was prescribed further medication. I took help when it was offered, even though it felt uncomfortable to me. 

 I went to the theatre with Daniella & it was the first night I left my husband & wee guy since he'd been born. There was no part of me anxious about leaving my husband with him. I was anxious about the circumstances of ‘Will this feel like a normal night out?", – so many questions & so many variables. But the theatre was only a short walk away.
 
I put on my make-up & got ready. Daniella came to mine before hand & it was the best thing ever. My worlds collided. She integrated into my home (as I knew she would) & old & new me emerged!
 
We went to the theatre. I had a wine. I saw a play & recaptured the essence of me. I came home to my husband & my wee boy. Everything started to fall into place. My ‘new normal’ was beginning to feel less alien to me. I just needed some time to keep working on it. I still do, but 5 years on the blending of ‘mummy’ & ‘me’ is much more seamless. ‘
 
Written by Natalie, mum to Finn, 5 @creativeweepanda 

#JourneysToRecovery #MyJourneyToRecovery #mmhaw21