New mum from Little Gaddesden fights postnatal depression
Moving to a new town with a 7-week old baby was a difficult venture for mother Carla who came to Little Gaddesden with her husband in November 2016.
She struggled to find an easy way to meet women in the same position as her and to share the new worries that motherhood presents - big and small.
Carla said: “My husband got a new job so we moved into the local village pub. I didn’t know anyone here in Little Gaddesden.
“Obviously being a new mum I didn’t know what I was doing. You can’t really appreciate how hard it is until you experience it yourself.
“Moving here, I just felt really isolated. I tried getting to know people in the village but they weren’t mothers.”
Many other women like Carla face different mental health issues in the weeks before and after birth.
Some are affected by the new challenges and responsibilities that come with being a new mum, while others can be affected by the loneliness.
Carla said: “I wanted to meet people who shared the same experiences and to talk about the little worries I have as a mother and how they are just little worries.”
Carla admits that she was close to having feelings of depression.
She said: “I didn’t think it was as serious as depression, my feelings were closer to boredom and loneliness.
“If it had gone on much longer, it would have been depression but I was desperately trying to do anything not to let it get that far.”
Many mothers struggle through trialling different social activities and searching online for other mothers in the same position to find company and create their own network of friends.
Carla said: “When I moved here I asked my health visitor about post-natal groups and she said there was no such thing.
“She suggested I could go along to local children’s centres as a substitute. They were good for the baby but I left the classes after an hour and then I was alone again.”
Using an app called MUSH that puts local mothers in contact with each other, Carla found a way to rebuild her social circle.
She said: “I started meeting loads of people for coffee and now I have a couple of friends who I see regularly.
“We organise birthday parties and adult nights out, it’s so nice to get out of the house. There’s only so long you can stare at the same four walls before you need adult conversation.”
Most recently Carla organised a coffee afternoon with a group of 12 other mothers in a child-friendly environment.