Abi’s story

It’s estimated that around 13% of expectant or new mums are living with an eating disorder.

Abi (Edinburgh)

In 2019, I was pregnant with my second child, feeling delighted, excited, and… utterly terrified. Why? Because since the birth of my first son, I had been battling an undiagnosed eating disorder that dominated every aspect of my life.

I remember thinking that because I was pregnant, my body and mind might somehow reset; that I’d manage to eat properly again and stop over-exercising. But, as the weeks passed and my baby grew inside me, that was far from the reality. I felt possessed, paralysed, and like the worst mother in the world.

A terrifying eating disorder

From early on in my pregnancy, I would tell my midwife at each appointment that it felt like a huge mental battle to eat enough and stop exercising too much. At six months pregnant, I was very clearly and firmly told by a consultant obstetrician that I had an eating disorder and needed help.

The responses I got from these healthcare professionals, as well as others, were totally inadequate, even detrimental. Not because of individual fault or a lack of dedication, but rather because of a complete lack of awareness, education and understanding. Eating disorders are simply not on the radar of most perinatal professionals.

Eventually, when I was nearly eight months pregnant, I reached a breaking point. I went to my GP and begged for help, having previously had my concerns dismissed. She weighed me, asked me what help I thought I needed, and since my weight and mental symptoms were clearly concerning, she referred me urgently to eating disorder services.

The treatment which followed was undoubtedly lifesaving, but juggling it with raising a newborn baby and an older child took its toll. So much so that when my baby was eight months old, I was admitted to a mother and baby unit (MBU) in a psychiatric crisis.

Making sure mums are supported

My baby is three now, and I’m in a much-improved place – both physically and mentally – thanks to my eating disorder team, family and friends. I’ve started delivering lived experience perinatal mental health and eating disorder training to healthcare professionals, on behalf of an eating disorders charity called Wednesday’s Child.

For professionals, we provide a wealth of practical guidance, resources and lived-experience insight to help them support a new or expectant parent who has an eating disorder. We’ve also developed e-learning modules and a free befriending programme to help expectant mums and new parents suffering from an eating disorder.

Eating disorders thrive in secrecy and shame, and it is vital that mums going through what I did receive specialist and compassionate support. It is high time that eating disorders during the perinatal period are brought out of the shadows, once and for all.

For more information, read Abi’s guest blog for Eating Disorders Awareness Week: ‘Eating disorders and the perinatal period

 


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Toni’s story

It was horrific to have to travel 180 miles to the mother and baby unit and be so far away from my husband and son and everything and everybody I knew.

Toni (Port Talbot, Wales)

At around six months pregnant with my second child, I became severely depressed. Every day was a struggle to keep my head above water. And, eventually, I started to have suicidal thoughts.

I felt like a huge burden to my family and a rubbish mum to my four-year-old boy. I’d also been badly let down by services that were supposed to have provided me with the support I needed. It was like I was on a constant merry-go-round of torture and I didn’t know how to get off.

No place for a new mum

Thankfully, with support from my husband, my amazing midwife and my nearest perinatal mental health team, I managed to get through my pregnancy and give birth to a beautiful baby girl. But within two weeks of my daughter being born, my mental health deteriorated even further. So much so that I’d be awake at night, thinking about how I could end my life.

At absolute rock bottom, I managed to speak to a mental health crisis team with the support of my midwife. This led to me being admitted to an acute mental health ward without my daughter. But this was no place for a new mum like me. Being away from my daughter was having a serious effect on our mother-and-baby bond and my physical and mental health.

Too far away from home

After three days on the ward, we were told that a place had become available at a mother and baby unit (MBU) in Derby, 180 miles away from home. I ended up staying there for seven weeks. At first, it was extremely tough, with me hardly coming out of my room. But over time, I started to make friends and begin to trust the staff more and more.

However, I do believe my recovery would have been a lot smoother if an MBU had been closer to home. I felt horrifically isolated being so far away from my husband and son and everyone I knew.

This is why I was so pleased when Uned Gobaith, the first inpatient MBU, opened in Wales in April 2021. It will make a huge difference to expectant and new mums, and their families. It definitely would have made a huge difference to me.

 


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Fatima’s story

“Explain more about what maternal mental health means because some people didn’t really care about their mental health until things started getting out of hand… I know most of us in our country, we don’t really care about mental health when you’re pregnant. So I think this is gonna be really helpful.”

In this series of audio clips, Fatima* shares how her living situation and a lack of respect for her autonomy impacted her maternal mental health as a newly single mother seeking asylum with a two-year-old and another baby on the way. Fatima also talks about her positive interactions with midwives, health visitors, and community support workers from Maternal Mental Health Alliance (MMHA) member organisation, Refugee Women Connect.

Please note: It is vital that we listen to the experiences of women and families from across our society if we are to ensure the system works for all. However, these stories can be difficult to hear and listener discretion is advised. If the contents of Fatima’s audio clips cause you to think of anything that has happened to you or someone you know and you feel upset, worried or uncomfortable, please see our support page for a list of services that may be able to help.

What maternal mental health difficulties did you face during and after pregnancy?

Read transcript
The main challenge I had when I was pregnant was low mood, anxiety and depression because at that time I wasn’t together with my husband. We just kind of reconciled for two days and that is how I ended up pregnant and it didn’t work out with us. So at that time, I was living in a hostel with mixed men and women, which is really not good.

It’s gonna affect you, especially if you’re not used to that kind of situation and you’re pregnant and living with strangers. So it really affected my mood because at that time I was always in the room, I didn’t want to come out because they always invite men like them in the kitchen like two, four, seven. So sometimes you couldn’t be able to get that comfortable to come out to cook something and be comfortable because there are always people. Busy men all the time, in and out of the building.

So, yeah, it was really not good for me at that time but I kept going and whenever I felt my mood was low I took my Quran and read. So yeah at that time I was trying to do some activities with my daughter because I was thinking, “She doesn’t deserve that, to live in that kind of situation.” That was the worst experience I have ever had in my life. I don’t wish anybody to live in the situation that I lived in at the hostel.

So even just that, without your issues with your partner, and at last you just end up living on your own with no family. So apart from that, just the situation that you are in the hostel is something else. I was pregnant and we got the bunk. My daughter was two years at that time and we got the bunk, like up and down. So she can’t slip off she has to sleep down so I had to sleep on the floor at that time and the room was really dirty, smell everywhere. Even just that it can affect you mentally. So the situation of the accommodation with a mix of ladies and men, it’s really something terrible to live in.

It really affects me. Even now, if I remember what happened at those times I have to just sit down crying. I mean like whenever I remember I just sit down crying and my daughter says, “Mummy what happened?” But I know she’s not gonna understand what was the reason for the crying that I was doing but I know the thing that I’ve been through, the situation was not… I don’t even wanna remember it because I wasn’t happy at all.

What did your midwife do to support you?

Read transcript
My midwife was really an amazing lady and she did really an amazing job, especially when it came to my appointments.

Because I’m a single mum with no family in the UK, I was just alone with my daughter at that time and pregnant with the unborn baby. I couldn’t attend my hospital appointments at that time because they were not allowing kids in the hospital, so it was really hard for me to cope with the situation but I’m glad my midwife saw this and stuck by me and always help me out by sometimes visiting me at home to do some check-ups. And also she spoke to the hospital to give me a suitable time that is a bit quiet so that I can come with my daughter to my appointment. So it was really helpful. She was always asking me about my mood and my mental health.

Yeah it was really helpful because I knew at that time I was really affected and I needed help but at that time I didn’t want to take any medicine you know. I didn’t want any medication I just trusted in my God that everything was going to be okay and whenever I read my Quran, I found it really helpful and, so yeah, so that is how I coped with my mental health issues.

Did you find your health visitor helpful?

Read transcript
Yes. The health visiting service to me was positive to be honest because I got to know each and everything that I was supposed to know and I had that support from them. They used to call me to check on me, to help me out with the school… everything. They were really trying hard to help me out because of the situation they found me in, so their service was really helpful.

My health visitor did a really good job. She knew what she was doing.

What other support were you offered in your community?

Read transcript
The service that was offered to me was the phone call from Refugee Women Connect. There were some ladies that used to call me to comfort me. I had three different people that used to call me – Anna, Julia and Sarah – at that time. They were always trying to make me comfortable and trying to help me out if there was anything that I needed or that I didn’t know. They were trying to explain to me and to help me out, so that phone call was really helpful.

And the other things that I used to do is whenever I felt in a low mood I would read my Quran and try to be optimistic, to just hope for the best and to see the future.

What are the main challenges facing pregnant asylum seekers?

Read transcript
When it comes to understanding English, to communicate and understand people and also to be able to express their feelings, their mood. When it comes to that, it’s really hard for them, especially for those who don’t speak English like even a little bit of English. It’s really hard. I can tell because I used to live together with them, so I can tell how stressed they were especially when they are trying to explain what is happening to them, what kind of help they really need. They really found it so hard to explain, to express their feelings and to make people have that patience to listen to them because sometimes when you don’t speak you know you don’t need to be perfect to express yourself but sometimes when people are trying to express themselves and some people they really found it so annoying to be able to concentrate and to give them that attention to listen to them.

So it’s really hard for the asylum-seeking pregnant women because they have a lot to say about their situation and maybe they are not feeling good in their mental health but they aren’t able to explain. Sometimes they don’t even have people that are going to have the patience to listen to them and what they were saying, to have that patience to concentrate and give them that chance to try to understand what they were saying because sometimes they are always like trying to use this translator to try to make people understand their circumstances, their feelings. But sometimes with the translator, people found it really stressful and really hard to just sit down waiting you have to use translator to type and get the answers or to use the translator to speak. Sometimes what you said is not the exact thing that the translator is going to say to tell the person that you are communicating with so it’s really stressful for them.

And also I can really remember one of the pregnant ladies I know in our hostel she got around six appointments from the hospital that she never got a chance to attend because of the language barrier. So I had to help her to reschedule the appointment and also let my midwife know about the lady’s situation so that she can help her to speak to the doctors and help her with the translator whenever she had that appointment to be able to understand each other. For the lady and the nurses the doctor to be able to communicate and understand what is her problems.

How can maternal mental health support for asylum seekers be improved?

Read transcript
What I can say needs to improve maternal mental health for pregnant asylum seekers is maybe to have people that they can speak to and explain. Explain more about what maternal mental health means because some people didn’t really care about their mental health until things start getting out of hand. So that is when they realise they’re gonna need help. So if like you just keep advocating and making people aware of what maternal mental health means it’s gonna be really helpful for especially asylum seekers.

I know most of us in our country, we don’t really care about mental health when you’re pregnant. So I think this is gonna be really helpful. And to provide the interpreter so that the asylum seekers can be able to explain their situation, to understand and to be understandable. That’s it, thank you so much.

How could you have been better supported with your mental health?

Read transcript
What I can say could have been done differently to support me is respect the decision that I made. It was really complicated when I was pregnant.

I really wanted to try to have a VBAC (vaginal delivery after c-section) because I had a c-section before. I didn’t really get that support and encouragement and the respect for my decision that I made. It’s normal you can try so I wish they allowed me to try because I just kept being told: “You can’t since you already had one c-section you’re gonna have the second one.”

It was really complicated at that time. People were not letting me decide what I wanted to do, they just rather say, “Okay this is what we think. This is what you’re gonna do”. At that time, I was alone I didn’t have that support to just keep going to make sure that I made it a ‘normal’ delivery but I couldn’t get that support and it really affected me. In the end, I had no choice because there were not a lot of people encouraging me to go ahead with my ‘normal’ delivery. Everybody was talking about c-section, c-section, c-section. I was really confused at that time I didn’t know what to do, I was just like, “Okay… I’m just gonna go ahead with the c-section”. But it was really not what I planned at that time. I couldn’t do anything. If I got that encouragement and support from them I know I could have been able to make it a normal delivery but this is what I can say… maybe if they did it differently they can be able to help me with my decision that I already made.

The MMHA is hugely grateful to Fatima for sharing her unique experience to help raise awareness of perinatal mental health in the refugee and asylum-seeking community, reduce stigma and influence positive system change. We would also like to thank Refugee Women Connect for facilitating this conversation and for everything they do to support refugee and asylum-seeking women in the UK.

Read more about maternal mental health in the refugee and asylum seeker community.

 


*To protect her anonymity, Fatima is a pseudonym.

Laura-Rose’s story

“With the right care, there will be more positive experiences and LGBT+ people will be more likely to reach out if they are struggling with their perinatal mental health.”

Laura-Rose’s story (London)

When my wife and I first started on our path towards parenthood, we struggled to find any LGBT+ women, people or organisations that could offer us guidance and support. This resulted in our journey being a difficult one and left us feeling very isolated.

We had no one to talk to and share similar experiences with when our fertility treatment failed or when Stacey had a miscarriage and we lost our baby; something that deeply affected my mental health. As the non-biological (non-bio) mother I was merely treated as a bystander.

Struggling with mental health

When our eldest child was born, things didn’t get any easier. Like many LGBT+ parents, we experienced a lack of understanding and outright discrimination. For example, the day after our daughter arrived, I tried to speak to the doctor, but she refused to deal with me and said, “Get her out. I don’t want her. I want the ‘real’ mum.”

This incident, and other frequent microaggressions, deeply affected me. I felt anxious and stressed because I consistently felt I was being judged and needed to validate myself as a mother and partner in many situations.

Creating our own community

It was this lack of support and prejudice that inspired us to set up LGBT Mummies. It’s a global organisation that supports LGBT+ women and people on the path to parenthood and works with the government, NHS and other medical organisations to improve policies and mental health support for biological and non-bio mothers and parents.

We believe it’s crucial that healthcare professionals receive mandatory education and training to support LGBT+ parents, mentally and physically. The LGBT+ community needs well-informed people caring for them who understand their journeys and what they may be experiencing. With the right care, there will be more positive experiences and LGBT+ people will be more likely to reach out if they are struggling with their perinatal mental health.

The LGBT Mummies Tribe

For more information about LGBT Mummies, visit their website or follow them on Instagram and Facebook.

 

 


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Sandra’s story

“Black women are more likely to have postnatal depression but are less likely to access care or to be referred for follow-up treatment.”

Sandra’s story (London)

When I had my first daughter, I thought it was going to be the happiest time of my life, but I just felt this huge pressure to be the perfect mum. I cried a lot, obsessed over keeping the house immaculate and became increasingly anxious.

Then with the birth of my second daughter, I had a very poor experience with the healthcare staff who were supposed to be looking after me. I just didn’t feel like I was treated with the care and respect that I deserved. I didn’t feel like they listened to my words. Staff dismissed my views, and my pain wasn’t taken seriously.

Black women feel judged

It was these personal experiences and the reading of a shocking report about the care given to pregnant women and new mothers from ethnic minority backgrounds that led to me setting up The Motherhood Group. I wanted to create a network for women of colour so they could easily connect with each other and talk freely about mental health and motherhood.

Another important reason for setting it up was that I wanted to help give women of colour a voice in maternal mental health. Because many black women do feel judged by the colour of their skin when accessing healthcare services and often feel they have had a second-class experience.

We are the solution

So far, this has led to The Motherhood Group starting to work with some professionals and our members’ inputting into research projects around maternal mental health. But this is still very much the beginning of the journey.

As well as continuing to support each other and raise awareness of the issues women of colour face, we need to make sure we are an integral part of the solution. The many women who have suffered in the past must be at the heart of addressing racial disparities in pre and postnatal healthcare as soon as possible.

 


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Leanne’s story

To the mum who puts on a brave face day after day when inside you are falling apart — please seek support. You are amazing and you deserve to be happy.

Leanne’s story (Warwick)

Before I had my son, I had a really naive view of mental illness, and I think I believed I was immune to it. I had managed a stressful job as a solicitor for years. How hard could it be to raise a baby?

But things started to go wrong after a 46-hour labour which ended with my son being whisked away from me to be checked if he was okay. Everyone had seen him but me. This was meant to be the happiest moment of my life and yet I’d never felt so alone.

The stigma was too great

Over the following weeks, I pretended to the world that I was fine and enjoying motherhood. But in reality, I was confused and depressed. This was eventually picked up by a midwife who referred me to my local perinatal mental health team. However, I really struggled to engage with the psychological support being offered to me. They wanted me to go on antidepressants, try talking therapies, see a psychiatrist and community psychiatric nurse, but I refused them all.

For me, the stigma was too great and the terms of the help too intimidating. So I continued to suffer. The pain inside me getting so bad that I just wanted to die. But then, one day, at around six months after my son’s birth, I realised enough was enough and I called the perinatal health team and told them all about my suicidal thoughts.

Using my experience to help others

Provided with the time, support and medication I needed, I slowly began to recover, with plenty of bad days as well as good days along the way. By the time my son was one and a half I was discharged from the perinatal mental health team, and by the time he was two I had come off all my medication.

Now, I look back and wish that I, as well as some of the professionals I saw during those first six months, had done things very differently. That’s why I’m retraining to be a mental health nurse, working in co-production and have set up a local charity for parents experiencing perinatal mental illness. I hope all of this will truly help people through their difficult journeys because I know I nearly didn’t come through mine and my son very nearly lost his mummy.

Leanne’s response to the Impact of Covid-19 report

The MMHA commissioned Centre for Mental Health to explore just how much of a challenge the pandemic has placed on maternal mental health and the services that support women and families. Leanne responded to the report findings by saying:

The parents with maternal mental health problems that we support, have missed vital in-person contact and found this exceptionally hard – whether it’s family, friends, wider support networks or baby groups. Also, not having face to face appointments with professionals and the challenges that brings – especially the impact of communication on the phone that you don’t get face to face – has been really difficult and can make recovery much harder for some.

Read the report > 

Further reflections from parents with lived experience

 


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Michelle’s story

To anyone suffering alone, I open the door and welcome you to our group. You need never be alone.

Michelle’s story (Belfast)

Following the birth of my daughter, I had frequent and often crippling panic attacks. They would hit me out of the blue, lead to shortness of breath and I would think, “Oh my God, this is it, I’m dying!”

To find a solution, I spoke to my doctor, learned CBT techniques and desperately researched all aspects of my physiology, from nutrient deficiency to thyroid problems. But deep down I knew the answer. I needed to speak to others who had been where I was. People who could guide me out of this darkness.

The support I needed was not there

Without a doubt, my family and friends had been incredibly supportive. But unless you’ve been there yourself, it’s a very difficult thing to understand and help someone with postnatal depression, anxiety, PTSD, psychosis. They’re all illnesses very specific to each person and their circumstances.

I started looking for support groups for women going through a similar experience. There had to be someone out there just like me, right? Well, unfortunately, my search showed there wasn’t. There just weren’t any groups, websites or local services that I felt could offer me the peer support I needed.

A safe and supportive haven now exists

As a result, I set up We are Pangs [Post and Antenatal Group Support] in Northern Ireland on Facebook and shared it around some of the parenting groups I was part of. Soon there were five members, then 19, then 40, then 98. The numbers kept rising and currently, we’re up to nearly 700 members. We are now a registered charity and support families in the community through peer support and wellbeing programs.

Now, when I read through our members’ posts, I’m so proud of the warmth and sisterhood that exists there, because it genuinely has been life-saving at times. Our members are also coming together to raise awareness of the mental health issues pregnant and new mums face. And we’re campaigning with friends and partners to fight for better services for parents. The future feels so much brighter now.

Michelle’s response to the Impact of Covid-19 report

The MMHA commissioned Centre for Mental Health to explore just how much of a challenge the pandemic has placed on perinatal mental health and the services that support women and families. Michelle responded to the report findings by saying:

Isolation and loneliness are two of the biggest factors affecting mental health and we are now in a perfect storm of increasing pressures, reduced social contact and ever-growing feelings of loneliness. Our charity, We Are Pangs, has seen a dramatic increase in the number of referrals to our peer support service and we are fast reaching capacity.

We need to invest heavily in mental health services, particularly those at grassroots level who are supporting parents through this difficult time to ensure that they have immediate access to mental health support, particularly as our health service continues to struggle. The effects of mental illness on the whole family is well documented which is why it’s more important than ever that we protect future generations by putting in place robust support for parents now. The help can’t come quickly enough.

Read the report > 

Further reflections from parents with lived experience

 

 


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Michaela’s story

It’s vital perinatal healthcare becomes a priority on a national level.

Michaela’s story (Belfast)

Following the birth of my eldest daughter, who’s now six, I suffered with severe postnatal depression, psychosis and anxiety. Thankfully, I received support from the perinatal team including a psychiatrist, a mental health home treatment team, a psychologist at my local hospital and mental health nurses.

I benefited greatly from this network of support; and I want women and their husbands and partners to know that often help and hope is out there, if they are going through a difficult time.

We need to do more

However, there is still much more that needs to be done to provide every woman with the mental health services they need before, during and after having a baby. In particular, I wanted to speak to other women going through similar circumstances, but there was no support group for women with postnatal depression in my area.

This is why I wholeheartedly support the Everyone’s Business campaign and have spoken at events such as the Northern Ireland Maternal Mental Health conference, where I was on the Parents Panel. It’s vital perinatal mental health care becomes a priority on a national level and professionals who care for women during and after pregnancy receive appropriate mental health care training.

No depression now

If we can achieve these aims, there’s a far greater chance that more pregnant women and new mothers will receive the network of support they need, like I did. As well as making a huge difference during dark and difficult times, this specialist help can make women more prepared for the future. During my second pregnancy and postnatally, because I had a history of perinatal mental health problems, I was under the specialist perinatal mental health team

Now, I have zero depression and a second daughter. I didn’t suffer with any mental health problems.

 


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Jillian’s story

I have no doubt that my recovery would have been quicker and my husband’s experience less traumatic if I’d been under specialist perinatal mental health care.

Jillian’s story (West Lothian, previously County Antrim)

Whilst living in County Antrim in Northern Ireland, I gave birth to a healthy baby boy in February 2007. Because breastfeeding took a while to establish, we didn’t go home until four days after my son’s arrival. But everything seemed normal, perfect even, when we did return home.

That was until I started to think my dead grandparents were talking to me, telling me my baby was sent from God. I obviously knew something wasn’t right and frantically read through books to understand what was going on. I self-diagnosed postpartum psychosis to my midwife the next morning, who advised me that my husband and I needed time to adjust to parenthood.

A terrifying time

On day seven after the birth, things had escalated to such a point that on the evening I growled at my husband, “If you don’t listen to me, I’m going to shake your baby!” Words that still haunt him today. After this incident, an ambulance was called and I was taken to a general psychiatric ward, because there was no Mother and Baby Unit (MBU) in Northern Ireland.

My husband had no idea what was happening to me, and was hysterical, but he had to return home for our son. Thankfully, my mum flew over from Scotland the next morning. She was his stand-in mum for 12 weeks, as this is how long I stayed in hospital for. These 12 weeks were a rollercoaster ride for everyone and the impact of being separated from my baby can’t really be put into words.

I started making progress after receiving Electro Convulsive Therapy (ECT) and was discharged home after 12 sessions. Our journey after discharge was long and challenging but we got there.

We’re still affected today

Missing out on so many of my son’s firsts is difficult to think about. And although I’ve been fully recovered for many years now, my husband still struggles with his mental health because of post-traumatic stress caused by my psychosis and the lack of support he received.

I have no doubt that my recovery would have been quicker, and my partner’s experience less traumatic, if I’d been under specialist perinatal mental health care. That hurts so, so much, as does the thought that our son is now 13 years old and there is still no MBU in Northern Ireland.

 

Visit MMHA member Have you seen that girl?‘s website to read more about Jillian’s journey.

 


If the content of this story causes you to think of anything that has happened to you or someone you know and you feel upset, worried or uncomfortable, please see our support page for a list of services who may be able to help.

Gill’s story

I want to let other mums know that they’re not alone in how they feel, that they and their mental health matter, and they deserve to be well and happy.

Gill’s story (Aberdeenshire)

Postnatal post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is under recognised and under discussed. Many women find childbirth traumatic but have few outlets for these feelings and little opportunity to talk about their experiences, as the prevailing opinion seems to be “a healthy baby is all that matters”.

I want to let other mums know that they’re not alone in how they feel, that they and their mental health matter, and they deserve to be well and happy.

Finally diagnosed correctly

It was five months after the birth of my daughter that I finally admitted that I needed help. Originally, I was misdiagnosed with postnatal depression and prescribed anti-depressant medication. As I disagreed with the diagnosis, I did not take the medication and pressed for a second opinion.

After the subsequent assessment, I was told I had a complex PTSD and referred to a psychologist. It was only then, more than one year after giving birth to my daughter, that I started to receive the specialist perinatal mental health support I needed.

Rural location creates challenges

My psychological treatment was incredibly helpful. I took part in talking therapy, had EMDR (eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing) and Schema therapy. But I do despair that it took so long to access the right support for me.

In part, I think this is due to living in rural Aberdeenshire. As well as NHS services being stretched, we are also underserved by the third sector and in addition can’t easily connect with peer support services.   

I’m lucky, I eventually received the right perinatal treatment, but some women aren’t even being diagnosed. This is why I share my story; to raise awareness that perinatal mental health problems can happen to anyone and call for better specialist support.

 

If the content of this story causes you to think of anything that has happened to you or someone you know and you feel upset, worried or uncomfortable, please see our support page for a list of services who may be able to help.