Today an incredible new Mum, who I had the pleasure of meeting during her pregnancy, shared an open and honest post on social media about her mental health struggles since being becoming a parent. If you're reading this and feel you are struggling, I've attached some helpful links at the bottom of this post. It can be extremely frightening to share how you are feeling, especially during a time that society tells us should be nothing but blissfully wonderful. However, as difficult as it is, if you can bring your feelings out into the open and share them with a family member, a friend or a health professional, the sooner support can be put in place.
Some details have been changed to protect anonymity. Thank you again for your permission to share x
"Since I have been quite open over the years about my mental health challenges, it might seem a bit weird that I’ve quietly gone off beam and am ignoring messages from well meaning friends. I’m worrying about Thankyou cards for gifts and people thinking I’m rude. There was no crisis, there was no dramarama. I was just proudly struggling very much with my new role as a mother and presenting as I wished to be seen - someone coping, someone winging it, someone who took to it like water. “I just love my baby, I’m not unwell.” We are being well looked after as I adapt to my new role with some support, to build my confidence and become the best Mum I can be for baby Lea*. I am learning they can sleep without me watching them every moment. People can hold them without giving them coronavirus. Any cough or splutter is not my fault for taking medication I needed to stay sane during my pregnancy. Thankyou to friends who have opened up about their own postpartum struggles. You have helped me so much. This sums it up for me! If you want to help, reach out to John*. Let’s not forget about the Dads. I am being well looked after and have all the support I need right now from my family, close friends, John* and our wonderful NHS (the allegedly ‘unskilled’ workers. Do a shift and see what it’s like BoJo!) This message isn’t intended to be ‘brave’ or ‘strong’ or ‘over sharing what should be private’ or ‘attention seeking’. Those who have shared with me privately have saved my bacon. It’s just my truth. The truth will set you free. But first it will piss you off. Thanks xx"
If you have had a similar experience and would like to share any advice or support that you found helpful, please do share and comment - you never know who might need to read it! Or do get in touch privately if you would like me to share for you x
PANDAS Foundation UK (Pre and Post Natal Depression Advice and Support) *Regular Glasgow Support Groups* - http://www.pandasfoundation.org.uk
The Postpartum Stress Centre - https://postpartumstress.com
Mind UK - https://www.mind.org.uk