Looking back on it now

Personal stories and reflections - from Chapter 13, Beyond the Baby Blues, reproduced with permission

"I had spent very little time in my whole life ever thinking about life with a baby. I did not really think I would ever get the opportunity to be a mother. However, I embraced the pregnancy and looked forward to having my little girl. I regret not spending some time thinking about motherhood and my life."   Taken from page 218

In the book Beyond the Baby Blues you will hear the voices of mothers and fathers speaking honestly of the reality of parenting babies and children while dealing with anxiety and depression. You will also find expert advice from health professionals who are leaders in the field of perinatal anxiety and depression.

"I did not feel ready to go home three days after the birth of my baby. Physically, I could barely walk, I had not been able to bath my baby and mentally I felt overwhelmed before I left the hospital. I told the nurses I was not ready to go home but they said there was no medical reason to keep me."  p 218.

"I felt safe from the outside world, I was still not myself but it felt like an oasis compared to being at home. I wished friends would come to visit but nobody did. I wished family would visit but they didn't. Still, I would recommend it as a place to get better." Taken from page 219.

In Beyond the Baby Blues you will find many stories of recovery to support and inspire you, as well as ideas on self-care and why it is so important. You will also find out where to start looking for help.

"I really feel the best treatment was finding a health professional who was prepared to listen to me. Prior to this nobody listened, they just told me how I was feeling, as if I was a line in a textbook".

"The next best thing was meeting other mothers with depression who were also not coping. I no longer felt so alone and so freaky. If they could keep going so could I. Meeting another woman who had previously been very depressed and had recovered helped a lot." 

                                                                                 Both quotes taken from page 220.

"Family support would have helped. It was not offered and I did not feel I needed it. Even when I was not coping I still didn't want help. I wanted my husband to help and offer support but unfortunately he was unable to be supportive. He had no idea he was not helping, he thought he was supportive. I needed reassurance that I would get through it and that I would recover and go on to be a great mum".

"I also needed more practical things done like washing, cooking, cleaning, painting, backyard clearing, so I could spend more time with my baby and learn to enjoy being with her. Instead I had to do 99% of all housework and so had no time to build rapport with her. I needed someone to reassure me I would recover and be ok, reassure me I was actually doing a good job as a mum".

                                                                                   Both quotes taken from page 221.

 Beyond the Baby Blues is an essential handbook for parents, doctors, nurses and midwives. It was written by Seana Smith, Benison O'Reilly and Catherine Knox. It was first published in September 2011.


Acknowledement is made to the authors and publisher, for the reproduction of this information from Beyond the Baby Blues.