After watching Sheridan Smith: Becoming Mum, it’s really got me thinking. Reflecting. The struggles of motherhood were finally being spoken about, but how far will it go? When will things change?
For me, I knew the stats already, but hearing them out loud like that was shocking…😲
➡ 1 in 3 mums struggle with their mental health in pregnancy
➡ 1 in 10 have postnatal depression
And that’s what we know of – because it’s not something that mums are freely talking about. There is so much fear of judgement, shame and even thinking you might lose your child if you speak out!
I really struggled after my 3rd but what made it more difficult was the fear that people won’t understand, the guilt and feeling like a terrible mum. I started questioning myself and even convinced myself it was all in my head…
Well…it was but it didn’t make it any less REAL!
I think the worst fear of mine was putting a label on it. Being a part of the BAME & Muslim community where the conversation around mental health is pretty much non-existent didn’t help either. I didn’t want to face reality until I had no choice and it started affecting my physical health.
I know now that if I had reached out sooner, it wouldn’t have got so bad…but in a way, I see it as a blessing because it’s motivated me to help other mums. It’s helped me to speak out and give the support mums need that isn’t normally given by the NHS. Without my own challenges and journey, I don’t think I wouldn’t have started my journey as a doula & antenatal/hypnobirthing teacher or decided to focus on maternal mental health through my counsellor training.
It’s made me SOOO passionate and determined to make change. So for that, I’m grateful!
The other thing that was thinking was…
You don’t have to be diagnosed with a mental health condition to need support. Anxiety and low mood can affect us all through changes in our life, including pregnancy and birth. We were never meant to bring up our children alone, we were never meant to be so isolated, and now that we are – it means we need to get the support from somewhere else that we would previously have gotten from our community, our village.
I just want to say…
If you’re struggling with anxiety, your emotions or mental health – you’re not alone and it’s not something to be ashamed of.
If you’re on Facebook, I have a few videos in my free support group to help you manage your emotions during pregnancy and/or early motherhood including:
- Managing anxiety
- Motherhood & Chronic Illness (including depression)
- Getting rid of mum-guilt
Or if you need someone to talk to, send me a message and we can chat.