Postnatal depression - Abigail's story

I had postnatal depression after my first baby was born, but I chose to deal with it myself and didn’t ask for help. I was stubborn and assumed I’d be OK.

Woman talking to health professional.

I’m now pregnant with my second. When I was about 20 weeks I suddenly felt as though everything was falling apart. No matter how much I tried to tell myself I was OK I was constantly feeling low. I began shutting myself off from other people and stopped looking after myself. I felt miserable and it began to affect my family.

I'm so proud I took the first step and talked to my midwife

I have anxiety about whether I’m doing the best for my children and what other people think about me and my parenting style. I also worry a lot about how I am going to cope with another child. My first is only two and I’m worried I won’t be able to stretch myself between both. 

My partner noticed that my behaviour had changed and felt that I was isolating myself from him. He urged me to talk to my midwife about how I was feeling. I am so proud that I took that first step. I was petrified, but it has made a huge difference to our lives.

My midwife recommended medication, but my GP was very unhelpful. He told me that I should ‘learn to get by’ until the baby was born. This only made my anxieties around my ability to be a good mother worse. 

I know what to do if I need help

I’ve just finished a 6 weeks course of cognitive behavioural therapy and with the support of my therapist and my midwife, I am feeling like myself again. I still have bad days, but I've been taught the skills I need to understand that what I'm going through is normal. I know what to do when I need help or support and, most importantly, I don’t feel scared about what people may say.

Asking for help can be a massive thing to some people, especially if you want to try and do everything yourself, like me. But through my experience I’ve learnt that it does not make you any less of a mother, or a person, to ask for and accept help.

Find out more about anxiety and panic attacks and postnatal depression.

Read more stories about mental health in pregnancy

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