I was assigned a perinatal mental health nurse and a nursery nurse, who worked with my baby and me on our bonding. It was invaluable being under their care.
The scariest part of my PND [postnatal depression] was the intrusive thoughts I had about harming my baby. I realised that this wasn’t just ‘the baby blues’ and contacted a great mental health midwife who I’d been referred to during my pregnancy because of previous episodes of depression.
I told her what had been happening, and how I was feeling and answered her questions. She coordinated everything for me. I was referred to my local perinatal mental health team, encouraged to speak to my GP about medication, and it was suggested I look into counselling. I felt a huge amount of relief just having this conversation.
Support at home really helped
However, the day after I spoke to the midwife, I hit a lower point and ended up in A&E. The crisis team there gave me the option of going to a mother and baby unit but I felt like I had enough support at home.
I was given medication to help with my anxiety and intrusive thoughts and was referred to the home treatment team, who visited me daily for two weeks. It was reassuring to have someone coming to our home to touch base throughout this crisis.
After this point, my care was taken over by the community perinatal mental health team. I was assigned a perinatal mental health nurse and a nursery nurse, who worked with my baby and me on our bonding. It was invaluable being under their care, and after six months I was discharged.
I’m really enjoying being a mum
Alongside the help of the perinatal team, I also accessed peer support through a Mindful Mums course and a weekly meeting with MMHA member organisation, PANDAS. The moment I realised how far I had come was when my baby was napping one day and I found myself thinking, “Wake up! Let’s hang out and have some fun!”
I still have intrusive thoughts sometimes but I’ve made peace with them, and they don’t scare me anymore. I have worked to understand them and why they happen, and this has helped hugely. My bond with my daughter is so strong now, and I’m really enjoying being a mum. We’re a great team!
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