New Nottingham mum Eva Cavan told midwives that she “wanted to die” following the birth of her baby.
According to the Maternal Mental Health Alliance, 30,000 women suffer with PTSD after birth in the UK every year, this is one in 25 women.
PTSD is often misdiagnosed as postnatal depression, which prevents many mothers receiving the appropriate help and support.
Nottingham mum Eva Cavan fell victim to this misdiagnosis after giving birth to her first child six years ago.
After several trips to the GP new mum, Eva, was told she “needed some sleep” and “should try baking a cake to relax,” and that she had post-natal depression.
Eva’s mental health deteriorated, and her undiagnosed PTSD, and psychosis was driving her to severe mental distress.
She sought help from Margaret Oats mother and baby unit in Nottingham, via The National Childbirth Trust after she expressed feelings of wanting to die.
She received therapy and one to one support from the nurses, whilst still being able to stay with her baby.
After several weeks in the six-bed unit, Eva slowly eased herself back into her ‘normal’ life, and now describes life as “lovely” and enjoys spending her days with her husband and six-year-old son.
Women suffering with PTSD after birth may experience flashbacks, nightmares, and extreme debilitating anxiety which can affect the bond they have with their new-born.
Doctor, Georgia Miller, urges women to seek help from any NHS provider if they are struggling to adjust to motherhood, and says the NHS staff are committed to making mental health support for new parents more readily available across the country.
Dr Miller said: “Every parent is given a leaflet about signs and symptoms for what we call the baby blues.
“Familiarise yourself with these symptoms and let your midwife or health visitor know if you identify with any of those feelings.”
Made in Chelsea star, Louise Thompson, shared via Instagram that “she couldn’t think of anything worse than being pregnant again,” after suffering with PTSD from her first childbirth.
Louise suffered life threatening complications during childbirth, which left her in the ICU for over a month, and her new-born son in the NICU.
A spokesperson for Nottingham based charity, Nottingham Women’s Centre, praised Louise Thompson for sharing her story, calling the 32-year-old “brave and courageous” and “helping normalise post birth struggles and opening an important conversation.”
READY TO GET BACK AT IT!!!
What are your goals for the upcoming months! Pop them below, because you might inspire/motivate someone else!!!
— Louise Thompson (@LouiseAThompson) September 25, 2020
The traumatic experience resulted in Louise being diagnosed with PTSD and post-natal anxiety, and the reality star has been very open about her turbulent start to motherhood across her social media.
In a post marking her son’s first birthday back in November, the British TV personality shared, “I had no connection” with Leo, her one-year-old son, and “I can’t even remember anything from the first 5 months of his life.”
If you or your partner are struggling with your mental health after the birth of a child, contact your midwife, or a care professional.