Nadine, Web Editor Mental Health Today
Today is World Maternal Mental Health Day and like many, I struggled with my mental health as a new mum.
For me, it was mostly about sleep.
Immediately after the birth of my daughter and after a long protracted labour going over two days I started to have hallucinations. I saw her face in my duvet cover, in the shower curtain, the toilet, everywhere.
The faces of people who visited us morphed into babies. I didn’t hide it, I shared it with my partner and my friends – it was funny.
But limiting someone’s sleep is a form of torture. And it's cumulative. Waking for three night feeds, every night, for months I started to feel like I was living in a dream world.
My emotions were raw and ever ready to bubble over. I felt like I had lost a layer of skin and I was peeled and vulnerable.
I would organise to see friends but cancel at the last minute.
Anxiety would hit over the smallest thing. I found it impossible to relax and go with the flow. Worries tortured me.
For me, my anxiety abated when my daughter started to sleep through the night. I felt like I was able to press pause, relax and laugh at the ludicrous amount of control you have as a parent.
So I’m not surprised to hear that 1 in 5 women experience some sort of perinatal mental health problem. It’s probably even more common than that. Its empowering to hear that you're not alone.
Anyone can feel ravaged by the stresses of being a new parent, and that includes dads.
This World Maternal Mental Health Day let’s normalise conversations around maternal mental health.
Join the conversation on twitter today with #maternalMHmatters