A MUM who received support from Barnsley Hospital’s maternity-related mental health team has praised the service and urged other expectant parents to follow suit.

Alice Mee, 29, is the mother of nine-month-old son Leonard and spoke out in the hope of helping others as part of Maternal Mental Health Week, which ends on Sunday.

Alice is very grateful for all the help she got throughout her pregnancy from Yasmeen Akhtar and also the hospital’s weekly support group, ‘Mums Understand Mums (MUMS)’.

Alice said: “I’ve always been anxious about myself and my health I worry quite a lot.

“When I found out I was pregnant I was really getting myself worked up, thinking what could go wrong.

“I was contacting my midwife all the time and they told me I could speak to Yasmeen about my worries.

“There are so many changes in your body when you are pregnant that you might not even expect or know about, especially the first time.

“I saw Yasmeen every three weeks and she gave me calming techniques and I learned not to ‘catastrophise,’ which means focusing all the time on bad things happening.”

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Alice found the advice she got reassuring especially as her pregnancy progressed and she began to think about labour.

She added: “I was terrified of labour Yasmeen broke it down into different subjects, learning about things like being induced or gas and air, or different positions to be most comfortable.

“So, mentally I was as prepared as I could be for labour it was all really useful.”

She attended the MUMS group from around 26 weeks into pregnancy.

“It was nice to meet other people like me and reassuring to talk and comfort each other.

“I made some brilliant friends there and got the chance to find out about all kinds of things like baby yoga and baby massage.

“We all had babies within six weeks of each other and I don’t know what I would have done with my maternity leave without them.

“We’ve been on trips together and five of us have even booked a mums’ holiday abroad.”