Donate to The Smile Group here.

Over the May Bank Holiday weekend, one of our Director’s, Scott and Head of Agricultural Finance, Amy, ventured out onto a 26 mile walk to raise money for The Smile Group.

How did Amy and Scott find it?

When we asked Amy how she found the walk, she said “The last couple of miles were the most challenging, both mentally and physically, we were so close to the end but it still felt so far. The Smile Group served as huge motivation for us to keep going.”

We also asked Scott what he thought, his response was “When you are walking 26 miles for a bigger reason than yourself, you soon forget about the pain, especially when you know people are dealing with a much more challenging situation.”

What is The Smile Group?

The Smile Group was set up in 2011 by Natalie and Ruth. Both mums had first-hand experience of perinatal mental health challenges and identified a gap in community support.

The charity has gone from strength to strength since 2011 and they now offer a range of services from:

  • Peer support groups
  • One-to-one home visits
  • Talk therapy
  • Family sessions
  • Virtual community

To learn more about perinatal mental health, read what The Smile Group has to say about what they’ve learned:

What is perinatal mental health?


While it’s a clinical term, perinatal mental health is a useful over-arching phrase which describes emotional wellbeing in the specific window of time from conception to your child reaching the age of one.

What does it really feel like?

Medical terms are useful but sometimes it can be hard for parents to articulate how they are feeling. The Smile Group speak to mums and dads on a daily basis and have collected some of their descriptions to express the experience of perinatal mental health challenges:

Anxiety

A constant feeling of worry

Finding it difficult to concentrate, sit still or relax

Scared of things you wouldn’t usually be scared of

Feeling on edge

Everything is overwhelming and small tasks feel really difficult

Finding it hard to sleep, waking up lots in the night or early

Rumination

Recurring worrying thoughts, often about your baby’s routine, health, eating habits etc

Your mind just won’t switch off, even when you’re exhausted

Depression

Losing your ‘fizz’ for life

Everything seems like an effort – there’s no joy in things

Feeling tired all the time or at certain times of the day

Feelings of confusion, you can’t think straight

A constant feeling of sadness and frequently finding yourself crying

A sense of hopelessness

Low Self Confidence

Feelings of guilt about not being a ‘perfect’ mum

Worrying that the way you are feeling will affect your baby

Comparing yourself to other mums, seeing them as coping much better than you

Not wanting to socialise with other mums for fear of feeling judged or not measuring up

Difficulty bonding

Not feeling the initial ‘wave of unconditional love’ that is often in film scenes

Feeling a sense of detachment from your baby

Constantly questioning how you feel and ‘checking in’ on the relationship

Feeling frightened around your baby, like the sense of responsibility is overwhelming

You can still donate until the 13th June 2021 and any amount contributed will go towards helping another parent. Donate here.