Postnatal depression Archives - Happity Blog

Postnatal depression


05/09/2018 by Emily Tredget

My hope – to live in a world where maternal mental health issues (and all mental health issues for that matter) are understood and not stigmatised. Where all mums and dads are valued for the work they do looking after their kids. And where parenting isn’t judged. We are all just muddling through, doing the best we can, and some days that means a TV day and fishfingers for tea.

When I became a mum three and a half years ago my world changed. But to start with, not for the better. I was thrown into a world of sleep deprivation, crying and survival. Not my son’s lack of sleep, crying, or survival – but mine.

I had lost all hope. I was surviving on 1 hours sleep a night due to insomnia, either ate tons of rubbish or nothing at all, and never wanted to be left alone with my son, or to leave the house due to anxiety. And this made me depressed. Because I used to be able to do what I wanted, and now I couldn’t. Anxiety made even the most simple tasks impossible. I got to the point where I wanted to run away or end it all.

But with the right support – from family, friends and my local mental health service I started to see the hope again. I lost sight of the hope many times, but it would always come back, and stronger than before.

When I look back on those days now it makes me sad. Sad that I lost two years of my sons life to anxiety and depression. Some days or weeks my brain has completely forgotten. But it also makes me proud. Proud to see how far I have come. That those days don’t define me.

I now love my son to bits and we have a great bond. I took him to a local theme park a few months ago – something that I didn’t think I’d ever be able to do as crowds, queues and motion had been too much for me for so many years. Not to mention crowds, queues and motions – on my own – with him.

I posted about that day on my social media, because it came a week or so after I launched a free app called MummyLinks (now Happity) to help mums (and now stay at home dads!) beat loneliness through safe and local playdates. But I wanted to tell the world how I was infinitely more proud of taking my son to that theme park, than I was of launching an app. On the outside, launching an app might seem more impressive – but that’s something I’ve been working on for many months and years in the comfort and security of my own home, and in my own time. Taking him out confronted all the fears I had one had.

So this Pandas Awareness Week I wanted to share my story to give hope to all those mums and dads struggling at the moment. Whether it’s physically, mentally or emotionally. You have got this. Yes it is tough. And yes you do need help (go get it if you haven’t already – we weren’t meant to do this life on our own like we so often believe nowadays). But yes you will come out the other side.

What really helped me – but you have to find your own thing as we are all different – was setting up that app. It gave me a focus outside myself. A focus helping other mums struggling. This gave me a sense of purpose that I had lost (and now have that purpose as well as purpose as a mum but that took me longer to find).

If I can go from wanting to check out – truly believing that my family would be better off if I wasn’t around – to helping thousands of parents to beat loneliness through technology and marketing (which I have no background in!), just think what you could do in the next few years.

But whilst you are struggling, don’t focus on what you aren’t doing. Truly accept who you are now, get the help you need, and take one day at a time. It wasn’t until I accepted that I wasn’t going to be the supermum I wanted to be, that my anxiety lifted, my depression reduced, and I finally started to recover.

I got my hope back piece by piece by working on MummyLinks to help others. And my hope today is that I can help give hope to the many mums and dads struggling out there right now by helping them create their local support community; to know that it will be ok, but that for now it is ok not to be ok.

09/03/2018 by Emily Tredget

The great African proverb that “it takes a village to raise a child” could sum up what MummyLinks (now Happity) is all about. I have definitely found that motherhood doesn’t work alone. You need mums both physically and emotionally around you for support. If you try to do it alone, sooner or later you find that you can’t. That’s why I set up MummyLinks, so when Danielle from It Takes A Village got in touch I was keen to chat!

It Takes A Village is based in Cambridgeshire and aims to share all things family friendly in Cambridgeshire whilst talking about mental health and loneliness. Just up my street! Dani and I got chatting and we soon found that we were very similar – in terms of our life before children, and how we struggled once we had them. So it wasn’t surprising that we are now both trying to achieve a similar thing, in different ways.

So we have decided to support each other. Because that’s what we are both all about. Mums supporting each other – and why shouldn’t that mean projects run by mums to help mums supporting each other too!

For the month of March, Dani is running a campaign called #MumsMarchTogether. She is hoping to encourage mums to reach out and make the first move when it comes to connecting with other mums (tick!). It might just be a smile at the new mum in playgroup, a kind comment in passing to a mum in the GP surgery with the poorly baby, an offer of a snack or offer to push the trolley to the mum dealing with a tantruming toddler. Or is could be something bigger like plucking up the courage to ask for another mums number, signing up to something like an app/FB group like MummyLinks or striking up conversation with another mum at a baby group or at the park. If any of these things result in a conversation or even a friendship blossoming, then all the better. But even if it just makes a small difference to another mums day then we’re all for it! She is encouraging mums to consider doing some of the aforementioned and then using the # to share their acts of kindness/stepping out of their comfort zone.

So straight away I got involved! I shared of a time recently when a nursery mum friend took my son to nursery as I had an awful virus. I have to admit I did think twice about asking her – I didn’t want to put her out, or have her feel I was taking liberties. But then I listened to myself and said to myself “don’t be silly. You would want her to ask the same of you, and you wouldn’t mind one jot – in fact you’d be proud to help a fellow mum in need”. So I asked her, and of course she was totally up for helping!

I would love to encourage you to get involved in this great campaign too. Just pop onto Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram (see her details below) and post using #MumsMarchTogether. If you tag me (@MummyLinksApp) I’ll share too!

Dani is also asking people to post about the not so great bits of motherhood. Now this is something equally close to my heart! The #MeYouDontSee campaign that Lindsay from Have you seen that girl? and I started in January is along a similar vein – showing that photos in social media don’t always give the full pictures. We encourage people to post a picture of when they were struggling (in most cases with PND and other mental health issues as that’s what we struggled with, but we’ve also had others about motherhood!) and explain a little of what is going on behind the picture. So again, this campaign was something I was keen to get involved with! I don’t think mine has gone out yet, but look out for it!

It’s been great getting to know Dani and I look forward to working together! If you like the sound of what we are doing then do follow us (Dani is @Takesa_Village and I am @MummyLinksApp) and get involved in our #MumsMarchTogether#MeYouDontSee or #ShoutieSelfie (due to launch again soon – watch this space!) campaigns! So great to have so much going on and really making a difference in the social media world!

19/01/2018 by Emily Tredget

Last week I asked the lovely mamas in my Facebook group “What do you wish more people understood about PND?” I was surprised at how many responses I got, and wanted to share them. From mums who want to help bust the myths of postnatal depression and to end the stigma.

Why it’s so important for mums to speak out to bust PND myths

I want to share what mums had to say so that any other new mums struggling out there can take strength and courage from their words. So that any family or friend supporting someone with PND can understand them more fully. Because both the sufferer, and those caring around them need to understand what PND is. Without the sufferer realising what they are fighting they often won’t get help. And without those around them understanding as best they can, the sufferer may feel judged or uncared for.

Below are the responses I received. Some are quite similar, but I wanted to share different mums’ ways of putting it with the hope that it would resonate with many mums struggling currently.

“What do you wish more people understood about PND to bust the myths?”

busting the myths of postnatal depressionHere are some of the myths about postnatal depression mums want people to know and the reality they want more to understand:

What PND looks and feels like:





  • It presents itself differently in people, and you can experience it more than once.
  • I wish that I understood I had it earlier.
  • I wish I knew I was not alone and that PND is so common
  • Just because it looks like you are coping and you keep telling everyone you are fine doesn’t mean you are.
  • For some of us its more about anxiety as opposed to feeling down.
  • Mine was stress and just feeling down rather than anything more sinister, but it’s still very isolating, especially when there seem to be no support groups you can just drop in to. That was all I needed really, plus practical help. Drugs and CBT were on offer but were completely not what I needed! And I wasn’t asked what I would’ve found helpful.
  • It’s not just feelings of sadness….it can be feelings of anger/sadness too. And present in many different symptoms. Oh and it’s not just straight after your baby is born, it can come on later.
  • It doesn’t only happen immediately after baby is born and sometimes can build up over a few months.
  • There is hope and recovery from PND but anti depressants shouldn’t be the first port of call for doctors. I know for me mine was caused by chronic insomnia not just sleepless nights with a new baby. I physically couldn’t sleep at any time even for 30 mins over a period of 18 weeks.

The myths surrounding PND that we need to bust:

  • That it’s an illness that isn’t your fault. And that needing meds isn’t a negative thing.
  • I wish more people understood the difference between ‘baby blues’ and PND and weren’t so quick to dismiss feelings of PND as ‘normal’.
  • That it’s an illness not a weakness.
  • That it’s a real illness and that we aren’t making it up because we are too tired.
  • That you can still appear to be functioning normally and looking after your baby well.
  • However under the surface things are not OK- and you are not making it up.
  • That getting more sleep is a quick fix – it goes deeper than that.
  • It’s OK to have PND. It’s not a disease, it’s not catching, and it’s OK, in fact more than OK to talk about it. Don’t be embarrassed, just talk. It really, really helps.

We have lots of support, advice and places to go to seek support in the PND section of our blog.

Pandas Foundation is a wonderful first port of call.