Chrissy Teigen, actress, model, designer and actual real life Legend (she is married to John Legend!) has spoken for the first time about her struggle with Postnatal Depression (PND).
“I also just didn’t think it could happen to me. I have a great life. I have all the help I could need: John, my mother (who lives with us), a nanny. But postpartum does not discriminate. I couldn’t control it. And that’s part of the reason it took me so long to speak up: I felt selfish, icky, and weird saying aloud that I’m struggling. Sometimes I still do.”
PND is no longer something to hide away and be ashamed of. It can be a uniting force. Women are no longer afraid to admit that they are, or have been, suffering from PND and this is so important as it paves the way for women behind them.
I wonder how many women have been empowered by Chrissy’s open essay in Glamour Magazine where she openly discusses the physical and mental effects of PND and how unhappy she has been since the birth of her daughter Luna?
Photo from Glamour Magazine
“Before, when I entered a room I had a presence: head high, shoulders back, big smile. Suddenly I had become this person whose shoulders would cower underneath her chin. I would keep my hands on my belly and try to make myself as small as possible.”
At amotherplace we are so aware of these issues, and aware of our duty to help inform women about what may be ahead of them as they become mothers. Our antenatal and postnatal survey of 925 women highlighted the need for better birth and postnatal education and that is what we are striving to provide for everyone. We are offering FREE online antenatal classes for every pregnant woman, to read in the comfort of her own home or on the train, alone or with a partner.
It is not about making women scared, but giving them the honest information so that they are best equipped to deal with whatever pregnancy, birth and motherhood throws at them.
Our partners at PANDAS are supportive of our efforts to use enhanced education in pregnancy to try and prepare women mentally for the challenges ahead.
“The ante and postnatal periods in any parents life can be full of questions, anxiousness and the unknown. There is such a mine of information it’s sometimes hard to know where to start or what to really include in your research. Whilst it’s great to look towards the birth and thing about the physical aspect of pregnancy it is beyond doubt that preparing yourself mentally for the challenge of parenthood is of utmost importance.
Where once, every parent was enrolled on a 6-week NHS course which not only taught about the birth, but also how to look after a baby from changing, to feeding to colic, we are now only provided with basic information about the birth and breastfeeding, commonly explained in just a couple of hours. This is doing a disservice to the modern parents; it has led to an assumption that you will ‘know’ what to do when the time comes. That isn’t always true and is the start of extra pressure on parent’s to get everything ‘right’.
This can have detrimental effects on your mental health. As a parent, it can often feel that everyone else knows what they are doing, so you are afraid to ask or to reach out and say you aren’t feeling right about the situation. If parents don’t feel able to put their hands up and admit that they are finding parenthood harder then surely we are failing them as a society. It is a time where many feel vulnerable and alone, but as the old adage says, ‘With knowledge comes power, and with power comes great responsibility’. Parents have a huge responsibility so we need to grant them the power of knowledge to have a better start on their journey.”
Motherhood is not only about looking after your baby and yourself but helping other new mums around you and paving the way for new mothers coming behind you. Please share this with any pregnant friends or colleagues, or new mums you know!
If you know anyone who would like to join our FREE Online Antenatal Classes then please tell them about us!