Hi my names Claire, I am married to Mark and we have 7 children, I am currently a support worker at House Of Light and feel really passionate about my job and what we do.Click here to read Claire's Story.
I met Mark 6yrs ago as a single mum of 6 children and we decided to have a child together. We were looking forward to the arrival of our Christmas baby.
I had a straight forward pregnancy and a straight forward birth but looking back I did start to get very anxious and worried the closer I got to my due date, I started thinking about the risks after having 6 children and after 6 straight forward births would this one be the one where something went wrong? If I had someone to turn to and someone to talk to about these worries like House of Light I think it would have really helped me deal with my fears. When I tried to speak to people they couldn’t understand why I felt scared as I had been through it 6 times before.
I gave birth to my daughter in December 2006 and although the labour was quick and straight forward I was very scared and anxious, I felt different to how I did after having my other children and felt really wound up and was having problems sleeping.
As the months went by my mood started to get lower and lower and I had erratic mood swings, I started suffering with anxiety and panic attacks with a wide range of symptoms including extreme tiredness, palpitations and negative thoughts. I struggled on for 13mths putting it down to situations that were happening in my life e.g.- house move, wedding plans, breast feeding etc.
It was after our wedding in January 2007 that I realised something was seriously wrong, with nothing left to blame I went to see my GP as I was worried about the extreme tiredness, heart palpitations and feelings of breathlessness. The GP suggested having some blood tests to test my thyroid and thought maybe it was stress related. My blood tests came back clear and I was left puzzled but that same day I went to the baby clinic to get my daughter weighed and after explaining everything to my health visitor she gave me a leaflet for House of Light.
When I went home I read the leaflet and it hit me in the face… I had PND!! I rang the free phone number and as soon as the other person answered I cried with relief. I realised I wasn’t alone anymore, I was reassured that they could help me and 100% I would get better and the following Monday I went along to the drop-in.
I was greeted by friendly support staff and a positive outlook that I would recover from this illness, I looked forward to the drop in each week and the support I received helped me to recover. I met lots of new friends who were going through the same thing so understood what I was going through. I felt like if I wanted to have a good cry I could and it was ok!!
As I gradually got well I felt very passionate about House of Light and started volunteering at the drop in and after 2yrs I became a support worker. As a service user and now a worker I know how vital and valuable our service is to the recovery process of PND.
Having antenatal depression does not necessarily mean you will develop postnatal depression. Many mums do feel well once their baby is born and having help and support as soon as possible makes all the difference.
Postnatal depression is a type of depression some women experience after having a baby. It can develop anytime in the first year after giving birth.
Meet our team of therapists who are here to help you through your difficult time.
We are a not for profit registered charity. Your donations are important to enable us to offer help, support, advice and information for women and their families who are affected by antenatal (A/N) and postnatal depression (PND).