Looking after yourself

Postnatal depression – Kate’s story

Postnatal depression is something that we need to talk about openly and honestly. It is not uncommon and is a real threat to the wellbeing of mums and their families.

It was never mentioned in my ante-natal classes which seems madness to me because it meant that when I got it I did not have a clue what was wrong with me or how to find help.

Postnatal Depression


Today marks the beginning of Pre and Postnatal Depression Awareness Week 2017 and I am proud to be an official supporter of the week. Pandas is the foundation that offers support to those going through the very real challenges and trauma of pre and post-natal depression.

Postnatal depression and me

I had the usual baby blues with my first child and my husband often says I had post-natal depression with him. This goes to show how people cannot get in our head because although I was sleep-deprived with my first son, I managed OK and saw joy in him. This was not the case with my daughter who I certainly loved but I was aware all was not well. I could get very freaked out by simple things like ants crawling around and I wanted to live in darkness with the curtains closed. I did not engage with  my daughter properly and would just do the minimum and sit staring at her wondering what my role was and why I could not do it. My parents would come to pick up my son to help out and they would go on days out leaving me at home feeling abandoned. Like so many mums, I said nothing about my struggles. If anything I put on an act that everything was fine and would hide things. For example, I would know what time my husband came home from work and do a quick bath of my daughter and open the curtains so he did not know that I was living in darkness day in and day out. Personal hygiene nose-dived and housework just seemed totally overwhelming.

My big mistake

I did not seek help. I was fearful if anyone knew how I felt they would take my children away. I had a third child and was still depressed and did not even bond with this baby for a full 6 months. I felt there must be a way to feel better but could not work out what it was. Eventually years later I saw a GP who prescribed Prozac and before I knew it I started to recognise myself again, the real Kate with all her flaws, skills, qualities and individuality.

What would I like you to do?

Watch out for new mums and even not so new mums who just don’t seem very happy with their lot. They may just be having a bad day but they may be in the grip of pre or postnatal depression.

Check out the film on the PANDAS Facebook page along with other useful posts on the signs, symptoms and treatment of pre and postnatal depression.

Get involved in the online conversation using hashtag #PNDAW17 and tagging @Pandas_UK in each post.

If you would like to donate to PANDAS Foundation ensure they can continue to help support families affected by both pre & postnatal mental illnesses please text PANDAS £3, £5 or £10 to 70660 or visit their website for further information and support.

Did you experience pre or postnatal depression?

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Award-winning writer, blogger, social media consultant and charity campaigner. Social Media Manager for BritMums, the UK's largest parent blogging network Freelance clients include Firefly Communications and Save the Children UK. Works with brands on marketing projects. Examples include Visit Orlando, Give As You Live, Coca-Cola and Kodak. Cambridge Law graduate with many years experience working across three sectors in advice, media relations, events, training and project management. Available for hire at affordable rates.


  • Kel

    Thanks so much for sharing this Kate. Now you mention it, I don’t remember PND being talked about in antenatal class either. I experienced it with both, but I had good support and came out the other side! Thanks for linking up with #TheMMLinky x

  • Rhyming with Wine

    I think this a vital campaign. So many if us suffer in silence with PND and feel as though we’re failing at motherhood by admitting it to ourselves let alone anyone else. Such a powerful post to share. Thanks for linking it to #DreamTeam x

  • Ali Duke

    With brave people like you sharing stories like this more women will seek help for postnatal depression, thank you.

  • The Pramshed

    Totally true and we should all watch new Mums. It’s easy to think that everything will be rosy once you’ve had a baby, but I remember feeling the opposite. Luckily for me the feelings passed in a matter of weeks, but I can see how a new Mum can get stuck with those feelings. Having a baby is super tough, not to mention the hormones, and the pressure on Mums these days. Thanks for linking up at #fortheloveofBLOG. Claire x

  • Debs

    PND is so awful to go through but so many of us do. It absolutely should be discussed much more before the birth as many of us don’t recognise it for what it is when it happens. We just feel like we’re failing. Thankfully when the twins were born, the staff on NICU sat me down and talked about it with me and explained I was in a higher risk group. This made it much easier to recognise and I remember thinking “it’s ok, this is normal and to be expected”. That helped so much.

  • Jeannette @autismmumma

    Having had my last two (planned) at Home, PND wasn’t really touched on, either before or after. It should be.
    Mums of newborns can go through a myriad of emotions very quickly and the sooner any PND signs are spotted, the better for the family. #TheMMLinky

  • Emma T

    Our health visitor was very good in talking about potential PND and baby blues, and providing support options if you needed them or for a friend. We were really involved and saw my NCT group regularly, so we could look out for each other, as well as talking to health visitors and others at baby cafe etc. I guess it’s just hard to always recognise it in yourself to then think about asking for help #sharingthebloglove

  • Katy - Hot Pink Wellingtons

    I’m shocked that your ante-natal class didn’t even touch on this! Ours definitely did, I distinctly remember one Dad coming out with “But Post Natal Depression… It’s not like real depression, is it?” The look on our class teacher’s face was fuming. Thankfully I knew from the class some of the things to look out for. I’ll be honest, second time around I’ve found things really tough – not in terms of bonding with my child, but just in terms of coping, and there have definitely been times when I’ve questioned whether I’ve had PND. I’ve been able to talk openly with my husband, which has been my lifeline in it all, and thankfully I feel I’m coming out of whatever it was now. I’m not convinced it was PND, but parenting is really hard, and pushes all kind of emotional buttons, so the more openly we can all talk about it, the better, Thanks so much for sharing with us at #SharingtheBlogLove

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