NEW information group Starring LIGHT! South Yorkshire Family Network

The South Yorkshire Family Network (SYFN) is a collective of early parenting services, in and around South Yorkshire.
We are pleased to invite you to join us for the SYFN event. This is an online monthly event (every 4 weeks) where we have speakers from 4 fantastic early parenting services, in and around South Yorkshire.
We aim to guide you through some of the services available to you and signpost you to other services you may find helpful in the early years of parenting.
During this session we will discuss mental health, creating support networks, the benefits of using baby slings/carriers and how you can reduce your carbon footprint by exploring cloth nappies.
It is completely free to attend and from the comfort of your own home. So get yourself signed up, grab a coffee and get ready to chat. All family members welcome. Please don’t worry about babies or older children making noise, or if you are not feeling your best self that day. This is a welcoming non judgmental service.
In Collaboration with,
Joanna from the National Childbirth Trust.
Emma from the South Yorkshire Nappy library.
Kiri from Sheffield Sling Surgery.
Claire from Light Pre & Post Natal Peer Support
Booking essential. For more info please get in touch or go to

Light Peer Support AGM: an invitation to join us on 18th January 2021 at 8.30pm

Light Annual General Meeting is going to be held on Monday 18th January 2021, it will be a virtual call from 7.30pm – 9.30pm.

The first hour will be the formal meeting followed by an open session for you to engage with us more informally.

We’d love to hear your views and thoughts on the services we provide and your experiences with Light.  To register a place, please email [email protected] – you will receive a link nearer the time.

Volunteers & Counsellors news & thanks!

Light is pleased that our counselling service has recently started up again, we have 4 counselling students completing their 100 hour placement with us at the moment, and another 2 to hopefully start in the new year.  This is great news for the mums and dads who are benefitting from peer support from Light already but need access to a professional counselling service.

All our counsellors are registered with BRCP and adhere to its framework and ethics.

Volunteers: we need YOU!
I’m sure we’re all setting new year’s resolutions to make 2021 a better year, have you thought about volunteering a couple of hours a week to help other mums and dads who are struggling with their mental health? Volunteering brings a great sense of achievement.  Peer support is such a powerful way in which we help one another, you don’t need any formal qualifications – peer support relies on you using your own lived experiences to offer empathy and support to others.  Get in touch [email protected]

A message from the volunteer coordinator:
Back in March Covid-19 brought an abrupt stop to the way Light offer peer support, our volunteers were unable to be with us as we moved into working from home.

The Light staff worked tirelessly to make sure men and women were supported and have been busy facilitating groups as well as offering one to one support.

We now have a small team of new volunteers who are keen to work alongside the Light peer support workers in offering one to one support to men and women and facilitating our virtual support groups.

Thank You!
We would like to thank and welcome our new volunteers Amanda, Emma, Libby, Joanne, Lora, Abbie, Ben, Cassandra, Kate, Pauline, Kelsey, Louise, Rachel and Sarah and our counsellors Helen, George, Owen and Lianne. you are all a fantastic part of our team.

Partners, Donations & Thank You’s

We have been extremely overwhelmed this year by the many donations and such a wide variety of different ways you have thought to donate!

Donations – however they come to us and whatever size, mean so very much to us and really help us to give back directly to our mums & families. We simply couldn’t do it with you. A MASSIVE THANK YOU to everyone…

Asda Drakehouse contacted us with cash donation form their community fund which we were able to provide over 20 well-being gift bags to some of our service users. We were also the recent recipients of the Community Hero’s fund of £300!

The Birdhouse Tea Company got in touch after seeing us on social media and promised to donate profits from one of their best selling teas to us!

Many of you did social distance ‘runs’, and similar, to raise money for us!

Unity Yoga is doing an ‘Uplifting flow’ on Boxing Day to raise money for us – check out their insta for details!

So many Birthday fundraisers from far & wide for us!

Sheffield Advent Calendar – we were day 7!

The WI are always great supporters.

Period Poverty.

There are just so many ways people have been helping.  We cannot thank you  enough!

We continue to be supported by NHS Perinatal Service, Sheffield City Council, Doncaster & Rotherham Family Centres & Hubs.

Rossington Ward councellors awarded us with a  grant to support local families access free classes with Tot’s play.

We have new and exciting plans coming up in January with Doncaster Mind as well as South Yorkshire NCT and Slings & Nappy Library (new joint support group COMING JAN 2021!!)


Mums in need

SYEDA provided us with training

National Centre for Domestic Violence (NCDV) provided us with training

All the wonderful midwives, health visitors, GP’s and specialist teams we work with and ALL the NHS !


Social Media News

This year has been a strange year and back in March we moved to working virtually, this meant we had to rise to the challenge of developing our social media presence.

Throughout the year we have remembered and celebrated many days here at Light whether it be perinatal mental health week, world premature day, world kindness day, giving Tuesday, world mental health day or volunteer week.

This year we launched two social media campaigns looking at how the pandemic has impacted on our mental health as parents!

We used real case studies of our service users we support at the heart of these campaigns to ensure we get our message across and support parents out there who are struggling.

Here at Light we are real parents sharing real mental health experiences and our social media platform has really aimed to reflect that this year.

Check us out, join in with us and share with us!

Information about Peer Support for Dads!

In the New Year we are hoping to set up a new peer support group for Dads and men who’s partners are pregnant. This will be a safe space where men can talk to other men about their concerns and worries about fatherhood and how to best support their family.

The group will be virtual at the moment but we need to get an idea of any interest and what days/times suit people best.

If you can, please share this the link below with any men you think might be interested. You will also find this link on our facebook page with a QR code! Thank you!

Celebrity Mums Speak about their experiences of Perinatal mental health

  • Reese Witherspoon said she experienced postpartum after the birth of two of her three children.

Witherspoon shared that she’s dealt with multiple cases of postpartum depression.

“I’ve had three kids. After each child I had a different experience. One kid I had kind of mild postpartum, and one kid I had severe postpartum where I had to take pretty heavy medication because I just wasn’t thinking straight at all,”

“And then I had one kid where I had no postpartum at all,” she added.

  • Behati Prinsloo encouraged fellow parents to seek out support.

Supermodel and Victoria’s Secret Angel Behati Prinsloo has opened up about her experience dealing with postpartum following the birth of her and singer Adam Levine’s first child, Dusty Rose.

“I had moments of postpartum after our first baby that I felt like it was coming through. But my husband was so incredibly supportive and always got me out of it.”

“I think it’s very normal, though, as a young mom and a new mom to feel helpless and to feel overly emotional, you know … I think I got lucky not to have it to an extreme case, but you can see yourself spiraling,” she added.

The mother of two went on to encourage anyone suffering from postpartum, even if their symptoms seem minor, to ask for help and seek support.

  • Brooke Shields said she doesn’t want new moms suffering from PPD to feel stigmatized.

After giving birth to her first daughter, Rowan, in 2003, the model and actress said she experienced PPD.

She detailed her postpartum experience and subsequent treatment using antidepressants and therapy in her book, “Down Came the Rain: My Journey Through Postpartum Depression.”

Shields described the days after giving birth.

“I had no desire to even pretend to care about her. And it absolutely terrified me,” she said, adding that she doesn’t want new moms suffering from PPD to feel stigmatized.

“If I had been diagnosed with any other disease, I would have run to get help,” she told People magazine. “I would have worn it like a badge. I didn’t at first – but finally, I did fight. I survived.”


  • Drew Barrymore said she didn’t experience PPD with the birth of her first child, but she did with her second.

Drew Barrymore, who said she didn’t experience PPD after giving birth to her first daughter Olive, said she was surprised when she felt “under the cloud” after the birth of her second daughter, Frankie, in 2014.

It taught her to stay present in the moment.

  • Bryce Dallas Howard said a lot of different resources helped her overcome PPD.

Actress Bryce Dallas Howard detailed her battle with PPD after giving birth to her son, Theo, in 2010.

“It is strange for me to recall what I was like at that time,” she wrote. “I seemed to be suffering emotional amnesia. I couldn’t genuinely cry, or laugh, or be moved by anything. For the sake of those around me, including my son, I pretended, but when I began showering again in the second week, I let loose in the privacy of the bathroom, water flowing over me as I heaved uncontrollable sobs.”

The “Jurassic World” star credits a homeopathic treatment plan suggested by her midwife, as well as her doctor, her friends, and Brooke Shields’ memoir for helping her overcome her PPD.

  • Adele said talking about her postpartum depression helped.

After giving birth to her son, Angelo, in 2012, Adele said she was reluctant to talk to anyone about her symptoms of PPD.

In an interview with Vanity Fair, she explained that it wasn’t until she started talking to friends who were also going through it that she started to feel better.

“One day, I said to a friend, ‘I f——‘ hate this, and she burst into tears and said, ‘I f——‘ hate this, too, and it was done. It lifted,” she said.

  • Sarah Michelle Gellar spoke about making it through PPD.


  • Courteney Cox spoke about her experience with delayed postpartum depression.

Describing it as a delayed case of postpartum depression. The “Friends” alum explained that she went through a really hard time when her daughter, Coco, turned 6 months old.

“I couldn’t sleep,” she said. “My heart was racing. And I got really depressed. I went to the doctor and found out my hormones had been pummeled.”

People reported that Cox’s doctors prescribed the hormone progesterone and that she turned to her friends Jennifer Aniston and Brooke Shields for support.

  • Melissa Rycroft said she didn’t realize she was experiencing PPD until she talked about it with her partner.

The television co-host thought she had a bad case of the baby blues following the birth of her daughter, Ava, in 2011.

It wasn’t until speaking to her husband that she realized it could be PPD.

“I thought women with postpartum depression wanted to hurt their babies. But for me, it had nothing to do with Ava,” she said. “I had this big emptiness that you shouldn’t have right after you have a baby. I was like, I don’t want to seem like I’m not happy — it’s just that there’s something chemically wrong. I would get frustrated and angry really easily.”

  • Gwyneth Paltrow said PPD made her feel “like a zombie.”

Paltrow revealed that in 2006, just days after her son Moses was born, she started to experience symptoms of postpartum depression.

“I felt like a zombie,” she explained. “I couldn’t access my heart. I couldn’t access my emotions. I couldn’t connect. It was terrible. It was the exact opposite of what had happened when Apple was born. With her, I was on cloud nine. I couldn’t believe it wasn’t the same [after Moses was born]. I just thought it meant I was a terrible mother and a terrible person.”

The actress said she helped to treat her postpartum depression with therapy and exercise.

  • Cardi B said she thought she was going to be able to avoid postpartum depression.

Rapper Cardi B, who gave birth to her first child in 2018, opened up,

“I thought I was going to avoid [postpartum depression],” she told the publication. “When I gave birth, the doctor told me about postpartum, and I was like, ‘Well, I’m doing good right now, I don’t think that’s going to happen.’ But out of nowhere, the world was heavy on my shoulders.”

She said she began feeling better a few months after her daughter was born.

  • Luisa Zissman

‘I didn’t understand why I wasn’t like all the other mums, in love with my new baby. While everyone else was bonding with their child, I wanted to walk out the door and never come back. I felt so ashamed. I felt so bad that I didn’t want to wake up in the mornings. I wanted to roll over and die. It’s such a deep low.’


  • Natasha Hamilton

‘I was so emotional and erratic, and I remember saying: ‘Mum, I wish I was dead.’ I get quite emotional thinking back to that time. I remember I had that sick feeling in my stomach and my mum said: ‘Right, that’s not normal saying stuff like that,’ so she rushed me to the doctor. When they told me I had postnatal depression, it was the biggest relief to know I wasn’t going insane.’

  • Andrea McLean

‘My doctor put me on medication and after about four weeks it was as if a switch had been flicked and I was coming back to myself. Of course, I couldn’t come off the medication straight away just because I was feeling better, I had to do it properly. But I realised I had kept quiet for far too long.’

  • Katie Price

‘It was like an awful knot in my stomach and I felt overwhelmed and even that people wanted to take my baby away from me. I got help and managed to get through it. I don’t feel ashamed about talking about it and neither should anyone else.’

  • Elle Macpherson

‘[On checking into an institute for her PND] I took the steps I needed to take in order to recover. The truth was, I just did what I needed to do and addressed a lot of issues that needed addressing.’

  • Stacey Solomon

‘I’d never even heard of postnatal depression. After being diagnosed by my GP, I was scared to talk to anyone or get any help. I want people to speak up about it and be honest about it but even I’m nervous.’


  • Jennifer Ellison

‘If you only look at adverts on TV, we’re programmed to think that this is the most special time in you life and you’re going to have this instant bond and this instant connection. And for some mums it just doesn’t happen, and then they feel that they’re a failure.’

  • Sheridan Smith shares her experience of anxiety during pregnancy

Sheridan Smith spoke openly about how her worries about mental health and anxiety during her pregnancy with her baby son, Billy, shaped her new documentary about becoming a mum. “It was secretly one of my worries too, so the documentary took a turn then and we decided to go and see what was out there, to help women in that position.”

“I think when you’ve had mental health issues in the past you worry that it’s going to appear again suddenly in pregnancy,” Sheridan added, reflecting on her own mental health journey.

“I didn’t know what was out there and you always feel quite ashamed to say it, especially when you’re pregnant, I think, when you’re going to be a mum. You feel like a bad mum. How can you be having these thoughts? And so we went on this journey and met the most amazing people.”

She admitted that she had briefly stopped taking her medication during pregnancy, for fear that it might harm her unborn child. However, when she turned to doctors for advice she learned that many medications were perfectly safe to take during pregnancy.

“There’s no guilt or shame to feel around that but it’s really necessary that you do get the help and support that you need,” she said. “Lots of this medication is perfectly safe to take while you’re pregnant but what you mustn’t do is take things into your own hands.”

In 2016, the “Stone Cold Sober” singer welcomed her first child with long-term partner Leyman Lahcine following IVF treatment.

In a new interview, the British singer has spoken becoming a mother and admitted that she struggled to form a bond with her baby straight away.

“I felt very geared up for parenthood and in my mind I was going to have lots of children,”

“I had a really good role model ⁠— because my mum was pretty amazing. And then I had my baby and lots of things went wrong.”

She continued: “I was sadder than I’ve ever been before and I felt broken, largely by the disappointment that I wasn’t the mother that I thought I’d be.

“I thought I was going to take to it like a duck to water and it was going to be very instant.”

The Voice Kids UK star went on to explain that she became so distressed she questioned whether she had given birth to another couple’s baby and feared a mistake at the IVF clinic.

“I was like, that’s not my baby, that’s totally not what I thought my baby would be like,” she said.