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I received emergency mental health care after having a baby – but new mums won’t be as fortunate

With news that thousands of mothers aren’t getting the psychological support they urgently need, Hannah Fearn explains why the help she got was a lifesaver

Wednesday 06 December 2023 18:10 GMT
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<p>Being screamed at by a helpless newborn for 16 hours a day is definitely a cocktail for unstable mental health</p>

Being screamed at by a helpless newborn for 16 hours a day is definitely a cocktail for unstable mental health

For three years after giving birth, I thought that the “newborn glow” was a fiction. As far as I was concerned, when women talked about the overwhelming joy of becoming a mother they were simply lying – to themselves, and to everyone else.

And then I had a second child. My youngest daughter came out into the world quickly and easily and brought with her the most exhilarating burst of gladness, a whole-body rapture at her presence and a deep euphoria that lasted for weeks. They hadn’t been exaggerating, I realised; this is exactly what they had meant all along.

It was only then that I understood just how unwell I had been the first time around, even though I was blind to it at the time. It was then, too, that I realised how the timely intervention of NHS doctors to get me the mental health support I needed had saved me from falling off a precipice.

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