Maternal Mental Health – I suffered from Postnatal depression as a new mum

Smiling mother with a baby and a toddler suffering from postnatal depression

Maternal Mental Health

This week (2-8 may 2022) is Maternal Mental health awareness week.

Mental health is still a subject that is not talked about often enough. There is still too much shame and worry attached to sharing our struggles.

This is me 12 years ago, shortly before I was diagnosed with Postnatal Depression.

You can see me smiling and so in love with my two boys and yet struggling with my own mental health.

We are more than ever in a fast paced society where we are often living away from our support networks and can be isolated when we become parents. 

When I had my first son, I was in a foreign country and within 6 months I had moved in another town where I knew noone.

While I loved being a mother my mental health was suffering badly. By the time I had my second things my mental health struggled more and I was struggling depsite loving support from my family who were trying to come and visit us regularly.

 I tentatively reached out once, twice but was told it didn’t seem too bad and to go to the Children centre for some groups. While the Children centre staff were amazing, Unfortunately my toddler couldn’t come to the support group and I had no childcare so I continued the spiral down.

Thankfully weeks later, I finally talked to a health visitor who listened. I was offered Medication but was reluctant to take anti-depressant. Mainly because of negative ideas I had about addiction and not managing without them if I was going to start.

Shortly after Christmas, as we hadn’t been able to go celebrate in our families, I had suicidal thoughts and it was the finaly push to get me to  accept medication.

I also started cbt through the charity MIND first and then later on through the local adult Mental Health services.

mixed race family

I couldn’t see how bad it had become, I would always have a smile on when out and about. Hide how I truly was when going to baby groups.

But when I finally accepted this was more than I could handle, that it wasn’t normal, I reached out and although it took a while, slowly things changed. Someone who listened, CBT and medication helped me come out of this dark Spiral.

It is very important not to stay alone with your thoughts if you are suffering.

There is help out there, reach out to your health visitor, friend, family member, counsellor…. Just ONE step to start the process towards recovery and getting better.

There is light at the end of the tunnel, we all deserve to be supported.

Being a mother is both a wonderful and incredibly hard job.

And if you feel that your birth, pregnancy, ivf or even feeding journey is still bringing up emotions months, years later…..

Do not stay alone with these thoughts reach out to your GP, local IAPT (adult mental health services) or message me.

It is easy to compare your experience with others, but maybe your struggles are anxiety rather than depression, maybe you are still suffering from traumatic emotions that you experienced, before, during or after birth. Mental Heatlth is not just one box.

I offer a service to help resolve emotions linked to this period but if you find that your mental health is suffering or your trauma more complex your GP or Laura Hans (details below) will be able to support you. 

Do you have recurring nightmares?

Do you find yourself crying and overcome with emotions easily?

Whether you suffered from birth trauma, unresolved emotions linked to your fertility journey, miscarriages, breastfeeding or any other difficult experiences,

 TBR 3 Step Rewind can help you !

You do not have to continue living with these symptoms.

Laura Hans - Perinatal Mental Health Specialist

Laura provides Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and maternal wellbeing sessions in-person and remotely via Zoom or over the phone. All sessions are baby friendly.

As it is important to feel safe and at ease, parents are welcome to attend alone or bring their little one along. You’ll find there’s ample space in her therapy room to feed and change them if necessary.    

Laura Hans Therapy Website.

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