“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
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