Trigger warning: Please note in this podcast, our peer supporter Jules talks about the traumatic experience she had in hospital giving birth to her son Archer. Please proceed with care if you think you may find it upsetting to listen to.
Jules tells us her birth story, which took a dramatic turn when she had a postpartum haemorrhage immediately after her son was born. The complications of her birth and the challenges of an understaffed maternity service meant she was separated from her son for over 24 hours and the experience affected her and her partner for a long time afterwards.
Having experienced mental health problems in the past, Jules has an incredibly positive and proactive approach to managing her mental health, and she is a big advocate for the power of medication and talking about your experience with others. She also did the Birth Afterthoughts service – which gives women a chance to go through their birth with a consultant midwife. You can access the service here https://www.ouh.nhs.uk/maternity/postnatal/.
Also if you would like to feedback your experience of the care you received in hospital, you can speak to Oxfordshire Maternity Voices Partnership – who work with the trust to improve care for women in maternity services.
If you found your birth traumatic, or you feel your mental health has been affected by your experience of giving birth, please speak to your midwife, health visitor or GP.
You can also access information and support through the Birth Trauma Association http://www.birthtraumaassociation.org.uk and through organisations such as Make Birth Better https://www.makebirthbetter.org
If you’d like some non-judgemental support from other women who’ve struggled with their mental health in the postnatal period join our community on Facebook, via our private group (please answer questions and agree to the rules when joining) https://www.facebook.com/groups/themotherkindcafe
To get in touch, feedback, or you’d like to know more about The Motherkind Café, drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.