Posted By: MMHA
1 minute read
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.
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.
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.
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 that may be able to help.
3rd April 2019 | 2 min read
"Without doubt, we need a dedicated Mother and Baby Unit in Northern Ireland and maternal mental health must be discussed at every hospital appointment and in antenatal classes."
13th December 2022 | 2 min read
"Connecting with other women with similar experiences to mine has played a huge part in my recovery."