'I didn't feel like I was being a mother.'
Take a look at the map below. Where the map is red, there is no maternal mental health care. That's NO specialist support for mothers experiencing postnatal depression or feeling suicidal. This is simply unacceptable.
When Vickie became pregnant for the second time, she was taking anti-depressants and receiving treatment for depression. Following a difficult birth Vickie didn’t get to hold her baby, Oliver, as he was taken to a separate ward. Vickie finally met her son 21 hours after he was born.
"I'd missed out on the fairytale I was hoping for. The day we came home I cried and cried. I remember during the first month feeling a painful sense of detachment. Oliver didn't feel like my baby - he could have been anybody's. I began sliding into a dark hole and couldn't see a way out."
Up to 20% of mothers will get postnatal depression, anxiety or another mental health problem following childbirth. They are in desperate need of specialist support, yet in the majority of the UK there is little or none.
Midwives train for three years, yet in all that time as little as 4% of their training can be devoted to mental health. Just 4%.
Luckily, Vickie received the support she needed.
"Even after my first cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) session, I felt so much more positive. I was diagnosed with postnatal depression. It made me feel validated, and that I shouldn't be ashamed."
For other mothers without any support there can be a tragic ending: suicide is one of the leading causes of death for women during pregnancy and in the year after birth. If this was heart disease taking so many young women's lives, there would be a national outcry.
We're running the Mums and Babies in Mind project, in partnership with the Maternal Mental Health Alliance, to make sure there is enough help available to vulnerable mums and their babies and that that help is reaching them. This project is made possible by the generous donations of loyal supporters like you.
The project is already saving the lives of mothers like Vickie. You can help us to save more.
"Theres no longer a fog hanging round my head. I absolutely adore my son. He is 15 months old now and is a little light in my life."
Help us give hope to mothers and their families facing postnatal depression. Make a Will through FareWill today.