All posts filed under: Health & wellbeing

birth and new baby newcastle and tyneside

My experience of birth trauma…

I experienced birth trauma after the birth of my third baby 12 years ago, which left me with PTSD. Initially it was assumed that I was ill because my son – who was born with a severe heart defect – died during heart surgery when he was 3 days old. But it was only when I started seeing a psychotherapist who specialised in grief and trauma that we worked out that beyond the grief and trauma of losing a child, there was also birth trauma. It was a complex trauma of grief with the impact of an emotional pregnancy and the death of my baby. Being pregnant with a baby who had two life-threatening defects was emotional torture in many ways – with additional scans, discussions with consultants, a great deal of hope, a great deal of despair and helplessness, along with plans for his birth, if he lived that long and an attempt to prepare for early life in the heart unit. If Jamie had lived, we faced months in hospital with him so there …

#howifightdepression

#howifightdepression is trending today – here’s my experience and a few thoughts… I’m not keen on saying I fight depression because it’s not a battle. What I am able to do is enjoy life when I feel great and be aware of my depression triggers so I can manage my lifestyle a bit more… getting out of the house drinking less alcohol eating well spending time with the people I love not being stressed with work sleeping These all contribute to me being well but there is only so much I can control, depression can just arrive without warning when I can feel so low I don’t want to leave my bed. Depression has been a companion since I was a teenager and I know it pretty well – it makes me feel low and worthless, I can feel paranoid, I don’t have any energy or enthusiasm and it hurts. My coping strategies – getting out for a walk, focusing on my breathing, reading, cuddling my kids, focusing on work – don’t always work and …

Mental Health Awareness – Birth & Becoming A Mum

Birth can be awesome – it can leave us feeling strong, with super-woman like powers or it can also leave us with conflicting emotions, we can feel battered, bruised and in shock.  For some women birth and becoming a mum brings only positives, for others there are a range of mental health issues to deal with. There may be pre-existing mental health issues or there could be anxiety, panic, depression, stress or rage caused by shifting hormones, change, lack of control, lack of sleep, lack of support, isolation and loneliness. This mum thing really isn’t easy but so many of us put on a mask and tell everyone we are ok. Some of this is to do with our expectations about birth – reality can come as a shock, especially when we have our first baby and nothing to compare it to. And then there are the expectations about life with a baby. There can be and is so much joy and love with our babies but the day to day reality can be tough …

Mental Health Awareness – Pregnancy

Pregnancy can be a happy, exciting time but it can also be a time of stress, anxiety, worry and change which can impact mental health. I want to write about this for mental health awareness week because anxiety, depression and stress in pregnancy can be very real for many expectant parents. It’s not all excitement for some pregnant women… pregnancy could be unplanned pregnancy can come after miscarriage and babyloss there could be health concerns there could be financial worries there could be struggles with change there could be relationship uncertainties there could be fears about the health of a baby there could be fears about childbirth there could be a feeling of being along and unsupported there could be pre-existing mental health issues there could be family loss or family complications you might not enjoy being pregnant you might be experiencing sickness or pain during pregnancy According to the Royal College of Psychiatrists, 1 in 5 women will experience mental health issues in pregnancy, with depression and anxiety affecting 10-15 in every 100 pregnant …

Mental Health Awareness Week – Anxiety

I have always been really open about my mental health, especially when it could be relevant and helpful for other people. Anxiety is a huge part of who I am but anxiety makes me feel weak – I would never feel that about anyone else who experiences it but I feel like it is a flaw in me that I am desperate to control. If I let it control me, I would never do anything. My safe place is home, my safe people are my husband and my children and I can struggle to leave the house when it grips. I am able to work, I am able to parent, I cook, I live but I have to talk myself through it all. Travelling on my own can make me anxious – not short journeys in the car or on the metro but if I need to fly or take the train. When I explain that I am an anxious flyer people can assume I am scared of crashing – I’m not at all – …