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Coast Dream i-Size & Base Bundle

Add an award-winning Dream i-Size Infant Carrier & Base with your Coast pushchair, designed for everyday strolls

Tide and Accessory Pack Bundle

Our lightest, most compact multi-terrain pushchair, Tide is made for exploring. Includes Accessory pack with a changing rucksack, footmuff, phone holder and cup holder.

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Our lightest, most compact multi-terrain pushchair, Tide is made for exploring. With 4-wheel suspens...

Tide, Dream i-Size, Base & Accessory Pack Bundle

Our lightest, most compact multi-terrain pushchair, Tide is made for exploring. With 4-wheel suspens...

Wave & Dream i-Size Ultimate Pack Bundle

Everything you need with your Wave pram including Dream i-Size infant carrier & base, changing bag, footmuff, phone holder and snack tray

Wave & Dream i-Size Travel Pack Bundle

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Reef Earth, First Bed Folding Carrycot & Dream i-Size Ultimate Pack Bundle

Everything you need with your Reef pram including a First Bed Folding Carrycot, Dream i-Size infant carrier, changing bag, footmuff, phone holder and snack tray

Reef Earth, First Bed Folding Carrycot & Dream i-Size Travel Pack Bundle

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Dune, First Bed Carrycot & Dream i-Size Ultimate Pack Bundle

Everything you need with your Dune pram including a First Bed Folding Carrycot, Dream i-Size infant carrier, changing bag, footmuff, phone holder and snack tray

Dune, First Bed Carrycot & Dream i-Size Travel Pack Bundle

Add a First Bed Folding Carrycot and an award-winning Dream i-Size infant carrier on to your Dune pram

Dune, Compact Folding Carrycot & Dream i-Size Ultimate Pack Bundle

Everything you need with your Dune pram including a Compact Folding Carrycot, Dream i-Size infant carrier, changing bag, footmuff, phone holder and snack tray

Dune, Compact Folding Carrycot & Dream i-Size Travel Pack Bundle

Combine your Dune pram with a Compact Folding Carrycot and an award-winning Dream i-Size infant carrier

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Experiencing postnatal depression as a new mum

Emily shares her experience of intrusive thoughts and PND following the birth of her baby

Author Emily Smith
Categories   Postpartum

The Edit

[TW: This article discusses postnatal depression and may be triggering for some readers.]

It’s crazy the number of things I typed into Google after having my baby. From ‘how many ounces of milk is normal?’, to ‘should I be feeling this down after having a baby?’

Feeling down in the first few weeks postpartum was what I was told to expect from my midwife and my never-ending Google entries. I have struggled with my mental health since I was about 18 and I expected the struggle to continue through my pregnancy and into motherhood. I feel like nothing can prepare you for the emotions you feel after giving birth, but the fact that not a lot of women talk about it makes it unknown territory. I had heard of the ‘baby blues’ and to expect them in the week after giving birth due to the hormonal and chemical changes in your body, but I hadn’t been advised on what happens if they don’t go away. 

The first six months of my son Jacob’s life seem like a blur to me now, but I remember all too well the feeling of being ‘down’. Being depressed is a hard thing to describe as it can look and feel so different for everyone. I was prescribed my first antidepressants at 18 and I’m still taking them to this day. There isn’t a lot of research into the effects of taking antidepressants whilst pregnant, so I agreed with my doctor and pharmacist to lower my dosage during pregnancy to minimise as much risk as possible.  

I felt a lot of love and pride when Jacob was born, but I didn’t have that earth-shattering unconditional love for my baby that you often see described on social media. That was one of the first signs to me that I was perhaps going to struggle with motherhood.  

Looking back, Jacob was a great baby. He struggled with his milk and wind, but we were very lucky that he didn’t suffer with colic or anything more. My partner, Jack, was an amazing support. He helped with feeding, changing, winding and everything else at all hours, making it a lot more manageable for both of us struggling with the lack of sleep. 

I felt as though I should have been in my baby bubble, but something just wasn’t there for me. Something in my brain felt missing. Why wasn’t I feeling this unreal amount of love for my baby and for life? My health visitor at that time was amazing and seemed to notice very quickly that I was down. It was a mixture of tiredness, being overwhelmed, hopelessness and feelings of not being able to cope. It’s thought that 1 in 10 women are affected by postnatal depression and I wish it was a more openly discussed topic.  

Lack of sleep, low energy, anxiety and tearfulness are all normal feelings after having a baby, but when they continue and become more than just ‘baby blues’, that’s when it’s important to seek help. I was put forward to the perinatal mental health team who then put me through CBT – cognitive behavioural therapy. At the time, having an appointment with someone every week for this, was quite literally a saviour for me. It made me feel less of a burden to my baby and family and more able to cope. 

There were times in the first few months of Jacob’s life where I felt like I couldn’t cope, I didn’t want to be here anymore, he didn’t need me, everyone would be better off without me. Writing these down now make me feel so sad, to think my brain ever let me think these statements were true. I was completely lost in my own mind; everything was blanked out and I was lost in these hopeless thoughts. I didn’t think there was a way out and these feelings were never going to end.  

Following a mixture of altered medication, CBT and support from the people around me all made where I am now possible. I’m still on medication, but I am able to filter negative emotions out of my mind and focus on actual life. I still have my good days and bad days, but I love Jacob to pieces no matter what and that’s a feeling I never thought I would ever feel. 

It’s important to talk no matter if it’s positive or negative feelings you’re having after birth. There’s always someone who can relate or just listen and acknowledge the fact you’ve just had a baby and you’re allowed to feel what you are feeling.

Author Emily Smith

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