Highlights from our VIP live chat on mental health with PND & Me founder Rosey Adams…
We’re so pleased that so many mums have been finding support, solidarity and friendship in the Mental Health chat group we recently launched on the app. That’s why we knew Rosey Adams, mum of three and founder of maternal mental health peer support network PND & Me, would be a great guest for one of our weekly live chats.
Rosey was on hand last night to answer questions from Supermushers – VIP Mush users who subscribe to the app to get expert advice, personalised content and access to exclusive live chats (you can give it a whirl here: You can give it a whirl here). Here are a few highlights.
Q: Did you feel you were well informed about maternal mental illnesses during your pregnancy?
Rosey: Definitely not! Despite my history of mental illness, I didn’t know what any maternal mental illnesses were or what to look out for. Baby blues was mentioned in the antenatal classes but that was it. I think they felt unsure how to mention mental health. No one explained the difference between postnatal depression and normal stress and anxiety that was considered normal, also no one told me that the dad can suffer too
I was only 19 and my partner only 20. He struggled after our second was born but I had no idea at the time it was the male equivalent. He struggled to bond with baby at first.
I found that the health professionals weren’t very helpful. They put my feelings down to sleep deprivation, as it was clear I had no issues with my daughter. They didn’t realise my anxiety was caused by my husband’s problems with parenthood, it put a lot of strain on me and the doctors took a while to realise.
I didn’t realise at first, as a lot of people don’t, that baby blues should only last the first couple of weeks. Well meaning but not always well informed professionals can call it baby blues within that first year but actually mean postnatal depression.
Q: What support did you receive?
Rosey: Unfortunately in my case, very little. I was living where there were no specialist services. At the age of 19 I was reluctant to seek help because I feared judgement. I lied on the postnatal depression test they do with you even though I was feeling suicidal within my daughter’s first 6 weeks. Took me until she was 8 months to reach out to my GP, I was given medication and offered counselling but really didn’t want that. I needed to talk to someone who had been there and got through it. I started my blog PND and Me when my youngest was about 15 months old. It was very cathartic.
Q: What helped you to manage your mental health as a mum?
Simple things, like walking the dogs or by myself with the pram. And medication! I still take anti depressants now and my youngest is 7. They aren’t for everyone but worth a try if you are really struggling as they can help other therapies work. Secondly, talking to others going through similar. Also things like crochet, me time, running, listening to my favourite music. Guilt free ME TIME!
I’ve experienced antenatal and postnatal depression three times. My children are now 11, 9 and 7. I recently trained as a mental health peer supporter and run a peer group where I live in Scotland as well as our online Twitter chat #PNDHour every Wednesday 8-9pm.
Q: Is there like a criteria to know if you are depressed or just feeling down?
Rosey: I would say if you are aware you are finding things difficult on more days than not, it is worth speaking to someone. Whether that is your GP, health visitor, midwife or even initially a trusted friend or family member. There is no shame in reaching out.
Every Monday night we do a live chat for Supermushers with an expert (and a few special guests you might have heard of) on the topics that are keeping you awake at night (sometimes literally…). Find out more and sign up here.