I had post-natal depression when my first daughter was born in 2009. She never liked sleep. I had it when my second daughter was born in 2010 too. I never had any 1:1 time with her so I suffered with guilt. When I fell pregnant with my third child last year I knew that things were going to be different…
I had researched and read numerous forums over the duration of my third pregnancy and many mums who had suffered PND wrote that doing an activity 1:1 helped towards bonding with baby and regaining self confidence.
Something that I had always wanted to do was sign up from an early stage to swimming lessons that were more specialist and progressive, a must really when living on the coast!
My 17 month old daughter and I have been attending Turtle Tots swimming classes since she was just 8 weeks old. I remember crying with happiness driving home on week two. It was an amazing experience. I was lost in her eyes, watching her delight to be splashing around in water, singing songs, being stimulated, having special time with mummy and also making new friends.
I have done swimming lessons with my other children but this time it’s different. The smaller venue, the smaller group of mums, the fast progression in my babies swimming skills is very different from what I have done in the past. The teacher; Caroline is a mum to two young children herself and is a really lovely, empathetic and understanding swimming teacher. The lessons have also been a fantastic bonding experience for me and a great activity for both my body and brain. I actually relax and enjoy making a splash! Apparently you burn up to 250 calories in one lesson too. Not bad right?
If you think that you could be suffering with post-natal depression than you are not alone and there’s ways you can get through it. For me, there have been several steps that have helped over the years which started by being honest with my health visitor and seeing my doctor, but I can honestly say that doing a 1:1 activity with my baby just once a week has been a massive contribution to my mental wellness.
From attending a swimming course, I have found the confidence and courage to go to other groups. If I can go to a baby group where I wear a swimming costume, no make up and sing nursery rhymes loudly (I’m no match for X Factor!) then I’m pretty sure I can face other baby & toddler groups where I’m covered up and I can simply chat!
Written by our regular contributor Emma.
All views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of Room To Grow.