Post-natal mental health and how to start to talk about it

Published on: 12th April 2019

On Sunday 31st March many families will have celebrated Mothering Sunday together. However, for the 10-15% of new mums who have post-natal depression, the day may have felt more difficult. For these mums, every day will be a battle against thoughts like “I’m useless” or “I’m a terrible mum” whilst coping with symptoms like poor appetite, exhaustion, tearfulness, and feeling sad, empty or numb. Often mums put pressure on themselves to be “perfect”. Below is one person’s experience of a not-so-perfect day that is probably shared by many people.

If you feel that you have symptoms of post-natal depression, help is available through steps2change. As part of Better Births Lincolnshire, we prioritise people who are pregnant and for up to a year after birth.

Post-natal mental health and how to start to talk about it

by Angela Campbell 

I’ve written my opening paragraph 10 times! Stacker cups and plastic eggs are being thrown across the floor as we speak! My daughter likes to be the centre of my attention so didn’t think twice about crawling over and hitting the keyboard with full force!

Why don’t I do this while she is napping I imagine you’re thinking, well the explanation for that is she doesn’t sleep!

Ok that may be an exaggeration today because we have had a rough night. My first child slept really well so this has been a real adjustment.

Sometimes I find these things a breeze to deal with. I just laugh and find it amazing watching the little character in her grow and her personality shine through. Other days I’m so tired and overwhelmed I don’t know how I’m going to get through the day. From speaking to friends I now understand that this is a common experience.

These thoughts are normal. For others however, these can feel much worse and these overwhelming feelings and emotions may take over. I would urge you to speak to your loved ones, friends or GP. With all the amazing services available there will always be someone who can relate to those feelings and professionals which can help.

Remember sleep will return, things will become easier and you can still be yourself and a mum. You don’t have to forget the person you were before. There is no rule book, we all just do what’s best for our children and our families. Don’t compare yourself to others and always be kind to yourself.