This month I’m focusing on sharing my story with PND and I’m inviting other mums to share their journey with PND too.
Today Jennifer shares her story with us.
"I still don't know why I ended up with PND nor do I really fully understand it. But what I do know is that it was nothing I did or didn't do that caused it and that it's definitely nothing to be ashamed of.
When I had my little girl I muddled along for the first couple of months, just accepting that the emotions, exhaustion, lack of motivation and uncertainty was all part of being a new mum. Then one day something just clicked after I had had a bad weekend on my own while hubby was away. I realised that it's not normal to sit and cry for no reason or to feel completely numb to everything around you amongst other things. I didn't want to admit it but I guessed I had PND so I went to the Dr.
He was brilliant and sent me off to Mind for counselling before he looked at any medication. (He has continued to have me back for check ups and when I took my baby for an appointment he checked on me then too) I called my husband in tears but when he came home he put his arms around me, made tea and we curled up together knowing he was there for me. I felt like the worst mum ever, like everyone would judge me and think I didn't love my new baby, which was far from the truth.
I soon got my appointment at Mind and I went for the first time feeling embarrassed, ashamed and unsure of what the session would be like or how it could help. My therapist was amazing and really made me feel 'normal'. She talked through a lot about mental health helping me understand it wasn't anything I had or hadn't done, that it was the hormones and chemicals that were just a bit off and haven't balanced out again after having a baby. She taught me different techniques to use to help me manage feelings, to change negatives to positives and to help me realise self care was also important.
As the weeks went on I felt a lot happier and confident in accepting what I had and that with the right support I would get over this blip. After my sessions had finished I continued using the techniques I had learnt and found slowly I was starting to feel a lot more positive. I then started to speak out on Instagram and was shocked at how many people I knew also suffered with it. This made me want to speak more about it and spread the word that it's nothing to be ashamed off. We really shouldn't be embarrassed, we need to support mums (and dad's as it can affect them too) and see that PND is a mental health problem that is nothing to be shamed of.
Our mental health is so important and in today's busy society is so crucial we take time to look after ourselves and also take a minute to check in on others too (don't just ask if they are ok and chances are they will say yes as they don't want to bother anyone, instead offer to take some food round, babysit for an hour, take a little gift to make them smile, these little things will mean a lot!).
There could have been many triggers of my PND as I didn't have a smooth pregnancy, ended up having a c section and struggled to breastfeed but whatever caused it, if anything did, I have accepted it and worked hard to move on from it towards a happier calmer me. Being a mummy is the toughest job but the most amazing rewarding job too. If you don't feel quite right, go to the Drs and get some support. We are all behind you supporting you on your journey no matter what hurdles you have to overcome on the way. And they are just that, hurdles, you will get over them! Cherish every moment with your little ones and know that bad moments will pass.
Keep smiling. You can do this mama!!"
Thank you so much for sharing your story Jennifer!
You can find Jennifer over on Instagram here.