In Asian culture, girls are expected to become mums and not complain if they do begin to
struggle. That’s not right or fair.
Sapna’s story (Bristol)
After I had my first child, I felt very anxious around him, and I didn’t want to be left alone with him. Feelings of inadequacy filled my head, and I also felt that everyone was judging me as a mum.
With my second child, all the difficult emotions I experienced with my son resurfaced. It really knocked me off my stride and I constantly feared I would get things wrong as a mother.
No one should be left behind
Thankfully, where I lived, I could access a lot of helpful services for free. I received CBT [cognitive behavioural therapy] for my anxiety and attended a lot of community-based workshops for mums, such as mindful art activities and befriending schemes. I also received a lot of parenting support through my local health visitor service and children’s centre. I know I am one of the luckier ones and that some people living in other areas don’t receive anywhere near the help they need. This postcode lottery of support needs to end now. No mum should be left behind when they’re struggling with maternal mental health issues.
We need to break the stigma
I hope that sharing my story shows that things can get better when you receive the right support. But the situation must improve. Pregnant women and new mums need easy access to specialist support such as talking therapies and parent and infant therapy groups. As an Asian woman, I also hope my story helps to break the stigma that surrounds maternal mental health support in ethnic minority communities. In Asian culture, girls are expected to become mums and not complain if they do begin to struggle. That’s not right or fair.
Sapna works as a peer supporter and administrator at MMHA member organisation Mothers for Mothers.
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