Traumatic Birth Archives - PANDAS Foundation UK



Mental Illness is invisible.

When someone is ill, or hurting, or injured, they go to the doctor. They’re not too ill to get up, they don’t need the hospital or an ambulance. They can still carry on the basic daily functions – but they just don’t feel very well.

Maybe they have a temperature – a runny nose, a cough. Maybe they’re feverish. Or perhaps they were injured somehow – a cut, a graze, a sprain. At worst, broken bone. They might need a bandage, a cast. They might even just need a plaster.

Perhaps they need medication to fix it. It might be antibiotics, or pain relief while their body heals itself. They’re given a clear timeline – two weeks, a month, a couple of months, and you’ll be better. If you’re not, please come back.

So they come home from the doctor to their loved ones and they say “This is what happened, this is what’s the matter. I’ll be better soon.” They might have a day or more off work, or just need to sleep for a bit. Maybe (if they’re very lucky!) they get a card, or flowers, or chocolate. Read More

My Story – by Sarah the Doula

I feel very privileged to be a doula. The things I have learnt and seen have helped me understand my postnatal depression. Emotionally I have grown, and slowly I have put puzzle pieces together to gain a bigger picture of what happened to me and why I haven’t bonded with my son.

When I gave birth I was induced because I was overdue. The labour was traumatic and very intense, I was left alone for hours and I remember thinking that if someone gave me a gun I would have shot myself. After guided pushing I birthed the 10lb 8oz baby and I was left incontinent. My husband at the time couldn’t find it in himself to support me and refused to take paternity leave and so I spiralled down, sinking deeply into a hole with a baby I couldn’t bear to look at or touch. I became reclusive, I lost the ability to speak properly and my confidence (of which there was a lot of) had disappeared. Thank god for my mother. She visited me daily for weeks and weeks which gave me less time to think about suicide. She helped me manage life with a young nursling, chaperoning me through Tescos, teaching me how to prepare dinner whilst entertaining a baby, and making me tea whilst I fed her grandson, often with tears streaming down my face. She was besotted with her first grandchild and luckily she had enough love for the both of us. Read More


Before I begin, I want to make it clear, this blog is not another ‘Mum blog’, there’s plenty of decent ones out there and it’s not my style.  We all know the trials and tribulations of parenting, the funny stories (my son threw his dirty nappy across the room last week) and the tough days that almost leave us mentally scarred and grabbing for the wine.

This post, is for me to discuss my experience in the first days and weeks after giving birth and how in my opinion, more needs to be done to prepare women for the emotional and mental difficulties many new mums experience when they’ve had a baby.  I really feel we could do more.

Looking back to my pregnancy, I can’t recall ever discussing the emotional and mental turmoil you can experience after giving birth.  My pregnancy was a consultant led pregnancy as I’m a haemophilia carrier, so all attention was focussed around the implications for my baby, should he be a sufferer and the birth plan, as I had elected for a caesarean section for medical reasons.

I can recall being around 6 months pregnant and having a conversation with a friend of mine who has 2 children, she asked if I was nervous about the mental health side of things once I became a mum.  In my naivety, I told her I’d given it no thought and knew I would be OK because I’ve had anxiety etc. before so would know how to deal with it.  I was so wrong, so ignorant and so naïve.

My pregnancy had been relatively easy, aside from some SPD pain and worrying about the potential haemophilia status, it was in no way as bad as it could have been.  I was even looking forward to the caesarean section, I knew the day my baby would be born and had heard some very positive stories regarding C-sections.

Things didn’t quite go to plan however. Read More

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