There are so many challenges in returning to work after maternity leave: juggling work, home and nursery drop-offs; sleep deprivation; less time to ourselves; and settling back into our role at work. A lot of women also face challenges around confidence.
During your pregnancy, if you spent more time thinking about how your baby would arrive compared to how you were going to look after yourself in the postnatal phase, you would not be alone. The fourth trimester is a phase like no other.
I have spoken extensively about the physical breakdown of my body when I was pregnant with my son and suffering from hyperemesis gravidarum. But I found it very hard to talk about what I went through mentally.
After a long wait, you’re about to welcome your new son or daughter into your family. This will likely be an exciting time for you and other family members, one that you’ve dreamed of for some time. In this piece I give you some tips on this process, and how to look after your own mental wellbeing too.
Out of the window flew my visions and preparations for a water birth. But I had a deep respect for the reality of the situation, and I agreed that a planned C-section would be the best bet. So, with my heart beating out of my chest, and with the help of an incredible team of medics, I gave birth to my first child.
A mum struggling with depression or anxiety could be easily forgiven for not paying attention to the state of her gut. And yet the gut-brain connection can be a powerful focus for anyone in the grip of mental health challenges.