From depressed to being a finalist in the Best Business Women Awards!

The day started like any other until I opened my inbox and found an email saying that I am a finalist for Best Business Women Awards 2019 for Best Blogger !! Honestly, I had to pinch myself a few times at that moment before I realised it really was true!

I cannot even start to describe what a huge honour this is for me.

I started blogging about 3 years ago after I had overcome postnatal depression, with the one and only goal to help and support mums to never have to feel the way I did.

I absolutely love to see how this blog progresses.

At first, I was writing only about my own experiences, but after a while I started to go deeper and reveal all the unspoken truths about motherhood which, I believe, could help -even save – many new mothers out there. I started to share tips and advice on how to overcome common parenting problems, and struggles and do my best to show mothers that whatever they are going through, they are not alone.

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The best advice I got when I felt down

As a new mum, you are overwhelmed by the amount and variety of emotions. But also by the amount and variety of advice that flows to you from every direction, aren’t you?

I lost count of the amount of advice I was given when I felt down… But I will never forget one in particular that made a huge difference in the way I felt and perhaps even saved me.

The boys were a few months old and I was having a depressive episode (of course, I didn’t know what it was at the time). I remember that daunting feeling of despair and the neverending tears that I could not stop from falling. I felt trapped in my own life and didn’t see any point in anything.

Yaw took me and the boys out for a walk and I was describing to him how I felt. I cried and cried… and then cried again over the fact that I was crying and feeling down instead of enjoying being a mum.

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Postnatal Depression – A man’s view

With Father’s day coming up, I want to point out to the subject of fathers and postnatal depression as I feel it is despite its significance often overlooked or even ignored.

Postpartum depression has typically been perceived as a problem limited to women with newborn babies and has not included men.

However, we cannot forget that fathers also experience significant changes with the arrival of their child. Fathers also have to adjust to an array of new and demanding roles and tasks during the early stages of parenthood.

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What is Postnatal depression? Symptoms, causes, and treatment options.

I often talk about postnatal depression, but I have realised I have never written about what postnatal depression actually is.

Personally, I am familiar with everything that relates to postnatal depression, but I am aware that this is not the case for everyone. There are plenty of people who still have no clue what it actually is, or even perceive it as some kind of a whim on the part of the sufferer.

So let me do something about it…

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What do expectant mums know about Postnatal Depression?

In connection with Mental Health Awareness week, I decided to some research and see how well mothers suffering from Postnatal Depression (PND) knew about it before they became parents.

Personally, I knew it existed, but that was pretty much it. I never ever thought it could happen to me… 

Not because I thought I was so special. Simply I thought it’s PND which is for very special and rare occasions. 

I remember our first meeting with a midwife. It’s true she did mention PND, although she gave the impression it was just one of those irrelevant things on the list she had to tick off…

She then handed us a few leaflets with contact numbers we were supposed to reach out to should we have experience signs of depression. That was all the education on PND we got.

That was all the information we were given about one of the most common mental illnesses and the reason a lot of mothers took their lives…

Quite sad, isn’t it?

That being so, I asked other PND survivors about their experiences and how well they were informed on this illness before it hit them.

Let’s see what they said!

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Emma’s story on PND and running marathon only 7 weeks after c-section

I had an entry into the 2006 London marathon but unfortunately suffered an injury so had to defer. I then realised that if I moved quickly there was a chance I could become pregnant with my second child and still be able to run in the 2007 marathon and not lose my deferred place.

I was incredibly fortunate that with both pregnancies I didn’t suffer with morning sickness or any pains. I managed to keep running through both pregnancies. With the second one, I managed a gentle 5 mile run in some light snow in the morning and then went into labour that evening.

Unfortunately, my daughter (like my son) has to be extracted immediately due to the monitors showing they were in distress so I had to have emergency sections for both.

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What are the benefits of talking?

Do you feel overwhelmed by your thoughts and/or feelings?

I believe it won’t be anything new for you when I advise you to talk about it. Especially when these thoughts/feelings can significantly impact your mental health. Especially when you are a new mum dealing with feelings of sadness, failure, overwhelm, loneliness, isolation… Talking is undoubtedly the best thing you can do.

The reason is simple. Talking can literally save you.

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Things that I would say to the old ‘Me’ while experiencing PND

Dear Ivanka

I know you feel overwhelmed with everything that is going on now. You could not wait to have your babies and now that they are here, you are not sure that it is what you wanted. I know you are astonished by your own feelings and emotions. I know you don’t feel the love you expected to be feeling. I know you doubt your decision about having children. I know you desperately want your life back. I know you feel stuck. And I know that you feel incredibly guilty for feeling this way. 

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Why do we pretend happiness when feeling depressed?

Perhaps every mother who has been through depression at least for a certain period of time has a feeling that they have had to hide it from others. I was not an exception. I often ask myself why and still come to the conclusion that it was simply a subconscious reflex of my mind. I had the impression that something was wrong with me and that people would judge me for my feelings.

Somewhere deep inside I even feared that they could take my children away from me. Which, by the way, is an interesting paradox. On the one hand, I was depressed by the existence of my children, but the idea of taking them from me made me feel even worse … Maternal instinct is (fortunately) an extremely powerful and perhaps affects us more than we can imagine.

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