We were really delighted when mum of two, Katherine Hudson, agreed to give us a very honest and brave account of her experience with postnatal depression. Katherine also shares her advice on how to overcome the symptoms, including eating placenta to replace lost minerals and using exercise to boost mental health.
When did you realise you had postnatal depression?
I think the difficult thing with depression is that it’s hard to accurately define how you feel. You usually end up using descriptions such as ‘feeling low’ and ‘not yourself’.
It was six months after the birth of my first child that I realised something wasn’t right. Looking back at how I felt after the birth, I just didn’t feel myself. My instincts weren’t strong, I didn’t feel connected to my partner, the only way I can describe it is it was like I had an internal ‘wobble’.
What symptoms did you have?
I didn’t look at things in my normal optimistic way. I was being more cautious than usual with decisions and even questioned my relationship. I ended up instigating a 6-month split from my partner a year after I had my baby. I just generally felt like I didn’t have full power over my feelings or happiness.
What help did you get?
None at all, unfortunately, I didn’t realise what it was.
How do you manage it now?
I'd like to think I managed it with my second baby by eating my placenta for two weeks after I had him; as well as exercising a lot during my second pregnancy. My body was much stronger when I had him.
What are your top tips for other women?
I would certainly recommend exercising during pregnancy and not just yoga either, do as much as you feel you can. Listen to your body and make the lifestyle changes that you feel comfortable with. I would recommend eating your placenta, it will give you back the minerals that otherwise would be lost.
Overcoming postnatal depression is a lonely and long battle and sufferers should be getting all the support they can.
Katherine Hudson, company director at The Arabian Tent Company.
Have you experienced postnatal depression? Share your story with us by using the hashtag #IhadPND to raise awareness and to help other mums who are suffering in silence.