Antenatal Depression - Donna's Story

Donna Davies antenatal depression parent returner coach

Donna is mum to two boys, Connor and Joseph. Donna suffered with postnatal depression after the birth of her first son. Despite several appointments medical professionals didn’t pick it up. Bouts of depression followed for several years.
During Donna’s second pregnancy her mental health seriously declined. During a regular appointment her midwife diagnosed antenatal depression. With no knowledge about antenatal conditions, she wasn’t sure what had caused it. Having suffered two late miscarriages and a stressful time at work, her midwife said these could be contributing factors. A treatment plan including regular appointments with the psychiatric team started almost immediately. Once Joseph was born, most of Donna’s symptoms did subside and she went on to enjoy her maternity leave. Yet, upon returning to work her mental health deteriorated again. She left her employer a few months later due to the stress and impact on her family. Almost 5 years later she admits there are still dark days when she struggles with low moods and anxiety. 
Donna is a qualified Learning & Development specialist, now focused on her passion as a Parent Returner Coach. She supports mum’s back into work after maternity, in a way that reduces stress, anxiety and overwhelm. Her work is two-fold, as she works with employers to help them provide better support for women. She is keen to raise awareness of antenatal depression and for information to be available to expectant mothers. Donna published her No 1 best seller Don’t Judge Me in July 2018. She has featured in the media many times, including BBC Radio 4 Woman’s Hour, The Sun and Yorkshire Post. Find out more about the Parent Returner Coaching.

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Lisa's Story of Postnatal Depression and Postpartum Psychosis

Lisa Hammond More Than A Tick Box Maternal Mental HealthLisa is mum to Finlay and Rowan. Lisa became ill after having Finlay in 2011 but wasn’t aware of the seriousness due to her lack of knowledge on perinatal mental health. After several trips to the doctors with no answers, it was putdown to being a new mum. Her diagnosis with postnatal depression and postpartum psychosis finally came two years later. Postpartum or puerperal psychosis is a rare condition. It affects 1 in 1000 new mums and is a mental disorder in which contact with reality is lost or distorted. 
Had she heard of it back then? No. Was she informed that this was something to look out after childbirth? No. Did she know the signs & symptoms to look out for? No.Lisa believes that it shouldn’t have taken 2 years to receive a diagnosis.  Lisa was never informed of how her mental health could be harmed during or after pregnancy. Her wish is that every pregnant woman and new mum has access to this information. She recently completed the Edinburgh Post Natal Depression Scale, something she wasn’t offered at the time. She scored 24. A score of 14+ means you should seek professional help as a matter of urgency. She also answered the Post Natal Depression scale and scored 23 out of 25. If you score 20 or more in this test you likely have a severe case of PND. You and your baby are already at risk and immediate steps need to be taken to get help. For some reason these tests were both missed on Lisa. She knows that she would have received help sooner had she been assessed and she may not have reached critical point.
Lisa has a degree in Biological Health Sciences and a master’s diploma in Public Health. She worked in Public Health for 15 years before recently taking up a post as a perinatal mental health ambassador for the NHS. Lisa talks openly about her experiences and has featured in National tabloids, Woman’s magazine, BBC Radio and local television. She is passionate about raising awareness of the signs and symptoms, in order to help other women recognise the condition and get help. She has a regular slot on BBC Radio Leeds and has written an e-book titled ‘Make up & Break downs’ sharing her story of early motherhood.
More Than A Tick Box

Both Donna and Lisa share similar stories and have received an incredible response to telling these. From feedback they received they realised there is still a huge need to get more awareness and support out there which is why they started the #morethanatickbox campaign and why they will continue to research, communicate and strive to make positive change around perinatal health issues.

For medical help please visit: NHS Perinatal Mental Health