February 24th 2016
After a long labour and an emergency caesarean, Michelle held her son for the first time.
“Before Ethan was born I imagined I would look at my child and feel love. But there was nothing like that. I think I felt so weak and just exhausted.”
Michelle, 39, felt incapable of being a mother and refused to see friends, fearing that they would judge her. She struggled to sleep and panicked about looking after her son. Then her thoughts turned suicidal.
“I remember driving along the motorway and thinking to myself that I wouldn’t care if we crashed. I would justify that Ethan would be looked after by other people and ultimately he would be better off.”
It took 18 months for Michelle to recover, but she became depressed again four years ago, in 2012.
She is speaking out about her experiences in support of the Maternal Mental Health Alliance’s Everyone’s Business campaign. It uses cash raised through Sport Relief to raise awareness and encourage conversation around maternal mental health.
If you have been affected by maternal mental health issues and would like more information on support and services please visit the Maternal Mental Health Alliance.