Five years ago I thought Postnatal Depression and miscarriage were awful things that happened to other people. I was healthy with no history of mental health problems and I conceived my son quickly and easily. Life was plain sailing. I find the innocence and naivety of my past self quite unsettling.
Five years later and I’ve experienced severe PND, OCD, Anxiety and several relapses. I’ve also experienced the pain and heartbreak of miscarrying my second baby. I don’t use the word heartbreak flippantly here; miscarriage physically feels like a heart splitting apart – or at least it did for me.
I suppose my point is a little brutal. If those things can happen to me, they can happen to you too. And they do. It’s estimated that 10-15% of new mothers experience a mental health issue but it’s suspected that the figure is actually upwards of 20% since so many cases go hidden or unreported. One in four pregnancies will end in miscarriage and in 200 births result in stillbirth.
These are not rare occurrences, they are fairly frequent. And yet, still, often not properly acknowledged by society or adequately dealt with by healthcare services.
I’ve been on steep learning curve for the last five years. When I was unwell I had no choice but to learn about depression & anxiety as part of my recovery process, but even after recovery I’ve felt driven to learn more and more and to attempt to affect change where needed. And the healthcare industry is doing the same.
So much progress has been made and I’ve met some truly incredible healthcare providers, both during my own treatment and since working in advocacy. But there is still work to do and knowledge to be shared.
On the 3rd & 4th November, Sarah Wood and I (in our capacity as Lotus Petal Family Support) are teaming up with a wonderful baby loss organisation called From My Womb, To My Heart to host a two-day event aimed at breaking down stigma and sharing knowledge regarding both baby loss and perinatal mental health. Our speakers are healthcare professionals, representatives from leading organisations in these fields and ordinary women with lived experience.
If you’re a trainee healthcare provider, social worker, charity worker or anyone else looking to gain more insight in the effects of baby loss and perinatal mental health we would love you to join us. Not only will you add to your Continued Professional Development you will also go a long way to making the changes that will benefit thousands of women a year.
Sign up or find our more details here.
I never thought PND or miscarriage would affect me but now they have I know I’m a stronger and more compassionate person for it. Please help us to spread that hope to others.