Our 6th ‘True Story’ in the series for Maternal Mental Health Matters Awareness Week comes from a mum who still questions whether or not she had postnatal depression. One thing is for sure, having a strong support network helped.
Well it’s been nearly 15 years since the birth of my first born. To be honest with you I’m still not 100% convinced I had PND. But I recently had the great pleasure of attending a perinatal mental health collaboration conference where I heard real life experiences being shared and thought ‘that all sounds so familiar’.
I wanted to share my experience of becoming a mum for the first time. Basically I thought everything was great. Yes I had a MASSIVE overwhelming feeling of responsibility for this little life which I now had in my home. My first born I adored, I would never hurt, I HAD TO PROTECT with everything I had, after 8 weeks of my beautiful boy crying pretty much constantly, failing, yes I see it and always will see it as MY failure to breastfeed him, he was put on formula feed which really didn’t help.
During this time I can remember phoning my mother and stating ‘I’m not going to do this, but I really feel like throwing my baby down the stairs’. My mother (a psych nurse) knew exactly what to say.
Maybe just knowing my mother was there was enough for me to be able to cope. Eventually, with the help of my mother, I got the health visitor to see things weren’t right with my boy, he was put on soya formula which drastically improved all our lives.
As I say to me this sounds like ‘normal’ changes/adjustment to motherhood but maybe PND comes in many shapes and forms. And actually I was fortunate to have such a supportive and knowledgeable mother.
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