Suzanne Shaw talks about postnatal depression struggle

The actress has revealed she suffered from postnatal depression after the birth of both her children.


Pregnancy news, 22/06/2017

Suzanne Shaw has spoken openly about her struggle with postnatal depression following the birth of her sons, Corey and Rafferty.

Having struggled with the illness after the birth of her eldest son Corey in 2004, she had hoped she would be better equipped the second time around.

Speaking to Closer magazine, Suzanne said, ‘I was trying to do everything in my power to avoid getting it again: breastfeeding, exercising, eating healthily.’

‘When I had Corey [with former partner Darren Day], I was 23 and a single mum, so after Raffi was born [in October 2015] I really thought I’d avoid it, because I had a stable family set-up.’

However, after Rafferty was born, he ‘had so many allergies and struggled with feeding, and it took more than six months to get to the bottom of that.’

She added, ‘It was really tough and he constantly cried. So when I started to not feel like myself, I put it down to that. Then, last summer, I started getting really paranoid and stopped going out.’

‘I didn’t want to see my friends or go to baby groups or anything. Everything felt like hard work and I’d cry before Sam went to work because I was so worried about being left alone with Raffi.’

‘It seemed like my relationship with him was practical rather than emotional because of all his medical problems. I just thought: ‘Oh god, how do I actually feel about him? Do we have a bond?’’

Suzanne says she did not recognise the symptoms of her postnatal depression returning, and felt worse before realising she needed help.

She said, ‘Things got so dark, then one day Sam was off work and I just couldn’t get out of bed. I completely lost my appetite – I just physically couldn’t consume anything. I knew there was something wrong but I didn’t want to consider that it could be postnatal depression because I’d fought so hard to avoid it.’

Suzanne says it was her mother who eventually persuaded her to go and see a doctor.

‘The doctor was amazing. He was so supportive and caring. I was hesitant to go on medication again as I know how hard it can be to stop taking it, but I had to keep reminding myself that I was just taking a painkiller for the mind.’

Suzanne said that after a month of being on medication, the change in her mood was dramatic.

She suddenly wanted to get up and enjoy the day, and says that her and Raffi’s relationship is now great.

She added, ‘I can’t believe I waited a few months to get help – I was in denial for so long.’

You can read the full interview with Suzanne in this week’s Closer magazine.


New research, published today, from NCT shows that half of new mums’ mental health problems don’t get picked up.

NCT surveyed 1000 new mums and found that half had had a mental health or emotional problem during pregnancy or postnatally.

Of these women, nearly half hadn’t had their problem diagnosed or received any treatment. Many of these new mums said they were too embarrassed or afraid of judgement to seek help.

We fully support NCT’s new campaign #HiddenHalf, getting postnatal mental illness out of hiding.

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