How to self advocate with difficult thoughts and feeling in pregnancy and/ post birth

I hear many people saying they pluck up the courage to go and speak with their GP or named health care professional only to be told “this is normal”, “it will get better with time” and no help or acknowledgment is given to their difficult thoughts and feelings.

When you are in a difficult headspace mentally it is very hard to then self advocate, or be heard.

So let’s talk about how we can help you to get your voice heard and get the necessary help you so rightly need and deserve.

The Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale

Here is a copy of the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale. It is commonly used after you have had a baby to help diagnose post natal depression.

This is a really useful tool for you to use yourself to help you advocate for yourself if you are struggling with your thoughts or feelings post birth but it also has useful questions for you to answer during pregnancy also.

You can repeat your answers to your GP, midwife or health visitor to help give them an insight into how you are feeling.

Pregnancy and motherhood can be a tumultuous time for many.

It is a huge shift and transition.

Although it’s never easy to find extra time when you’re exhausted, not sleeping great and struggling with your thoughts, feelings and emotions what can really help is journaling or writing a diary of how you feel.

One or two words, sentences or paragraphs if you can about your day can be extremely therapeutic and also get your thoughts down on paper so that you can see in reality just how much you are coping with.

It’s also useful when you speak to someone that you have notes as brain fog during pregnancy and post birth are REAL.

If you don’t feel comfortable going on your own take a friend or family member with you. Likewise if you struggle to articulate sentences with an unsettled baby take someone with you, who can watch them for you, to give you the headspace you need to talk openly.

ACKNOWLEDGING you have concerns about how you are thinking, feeling, coping, etc is the crucial first step.

This can take days, weeks, months or even years sometimes as we try to plough on because everyone else seems to be coping!

This sadly is not true.

It is also not helped my images on social media. I think the tide is turning a little bit here as people are looking for more honest, real life information, however the pages that get the most hits will always be the exact opposite to the world the majority of us live in.

If you want to talk to someone anonymously please go to the resources section on the Mental Wealth page as there are some incredible charities out there waiting and wanting to help you.

Reach out. You are not alone.