I was going to compose a funny little post about school cake sales today but i’ve spent all morning chatting to friends and strangers about my postnatal depression blog.
I was genuinely moved and overwhelmed by your messages of support. But i’m also furious and heart-broken that so many of you have endured similar experiences.
I’ve never considered myself a crusader (I generally have my head stuck in a book, that or i’m writing one), yet I find myself galvanised by your collective reaction. Too many women have suffered from terrible postnatal care and/or sheer neglect by NHS Mental Health teams. One friend was even told by her paediatric consultant that she would have been better off giving birth in a village in India. At least then she’d have the love and support of a community.
This is not some anti-NHS rhetoric. The care during my labour was faultless. However, there are still key areas (i.e. postnatal care) that lack essential funding, training and resources.
A month after Emily was born my Health Visitor asked me to fill out a PND Awareness Questionnaire, one that was given out to all new mothers. I was brutally honest in my answers and Red Flags were raised. What did they do?
I was given a leaflet and sent on my way.
Those precious first months with Emily are gone forever. In their place I have photographs of someone who looks a bit like me holding a baby, but if you look a little closer you can see how sad her eyes are. You can see the falseness in her smile…
So i’m off to submit my PND blog to The Huffington Post right away because I don’t want anyone else to have photographs like me. It’s not the front page of The Guardian but it’s a start. And like I discovered with my Interstitial Cystitis blog, every bit of awareness counts.