***The author of this article has chosen to remain anonymous
The other day there was news of budget cuts to post natal depression services in Australia.
It made me so angry and so sad.
Clearly those people making the decision to cut services (that already run on the smell of an oily rag) had NO experience of post natal depression. How lucky they are.
Earlier, a former political leader claimed that post natal depression diagnoses were the result of American drug companies wanting to build a bigger market.
How on earth are these GOONS running the joint?!?
I had post natal depression. It still breaks my heart to think that the first 9 months of my baby’s life were such a battle. I doubted everything I did. I tried everything the books said. I Googled under the doona at 3am and realised I needed help when I found myself sobbing in the bathroom because my daughter had woken up – again.
I ticked most of the signs of post natal depression and once I told my husband, he nodded, as though he knew.
Despite it all, I consider myself lucky. I was lucky that although life was so hard, once I realised I needed help and had an emotional vomit on the PANDA help line, I was 80% there. I had so much bottled up. Grief and stress over my mum’s cancer combined with the isolation and self doubt that can so often come with being the first time mum of a non-sleeper.
Don’t forget POLLIES, you’re not only impacting on the mum’s well-being, but also that of her partner and baby.
I was so hell bent on making sure that my baby didn’t think that a sad mum was the norm, I would work even harder on pretending to be happy. It was utterly exhausting. To the point where basic catch ups with friends were a big deal – just to get out of the house.
Why wouldn’t politicians want the best for mums and the next generation?
I am forever grateful to those non-judgemental voices of such understanding women at PANDA and the maternal health line.
I am now a happy mum.
If you have any doubts, or need to talk, pick up the phone. Sometimes it takes the ear of a stranger for you to let your guard down and speak the truth, without fearing how a loved one might react.