I recently read an article in the guardian about the silence surrounding postnatal depression, and how we would rather chat about our babies, whilst struggling to talk about the exhaustion, responsibility and how overwhelmed we are. There seems to be an assumption, not only amongst new mothers, but society in general, that we are supposed to be gloriously happy when our baby is born, and if we do not experience this joy, there is something wrong with us!
As a psychotherapist, I can assure you that becoming a mother is as big as it feels. Our identity can feel lost, everything seems unfamiliar. Our hormones are wreaking havoc, sleep is a distant memory, our births are often open for discussion with everyone and anyone. And in all of this, we have a newborn relentlessly calling for us. These are all absolutely normal responses to becoming a mother, and yet we brush them under the carpet of soft-focus Facebook and instagram photos as that is what everyone wants to see, isn’t it?
My work is to reassure you that you don’t need to hide these raw thoughts and feelings of motherhood. Postnatal depression can be debilitating, and with the right help and support, you can fully recover from its grip.