Here are just some of the ways that Maternity:MK has made a difference to maternity care in Milton Keynes. With the input from more mothers, fathers, birth partners, service providers and professionals we can continue to improve.
Having recently suffered with severe PND and severe anxiety following the birth of my son in September 2014 I wanted to help others in their fight against this misunderstood illness. My post labour care is not a story I like to tell too often as still to this day it brings back memories I would rather forget - sad when it was due to the most precious and life changing arrival of my wonderful son. During my worst time last December & January I was crippled by this illness, waking every day crying and not wanting to get out of bed. Most nights I didn't sleep and the sleep deprivation was horrendous. I experienced hallucinations and severe panic attacks that prevented me from leaving the house. I was a new mum that was guilt ridden and not enjoying what should have been the most amazing time of my life! (I just couldn't understand why I felt so bad when all the pictures I had been painted of motherhood were so perfect and inspiring). My medication was often managed myself as the health service didn't give me consistency of care. I did eventually receive help in April 2015 from a great perinatal nurse, (unfortunately the only one in MK). I don't wish you to become disheartened by my experience as I was an unlucky one that slipped through the system. I want to encourage people to speak up and come forwards as nothing will ever get better unless we do. I was terrified my son would be taken off me - this isn't what the health professionals are here to do.... they want to work with you to help you be happy again and enjoy life.
During this difficult period in my life I was introduced to Maternity:MK by a friend I met through attending baby sensory classes. Maternity:MK is a friendly and approachable group of health professionals and parent reps that are working together to improve maternity services within Milton Keynes. Attending meetings in the early days was not easy for me as I was still suffering the effects of my illness. At one of these meetings we were asked to join 1 of 3 groups that the committee had decided needed additional help. It was a clear decision for me - perinatal mental health. This was a service that I had discovered needed help and having dealt with them first hand I felt like I knew quite a bit about what was going to be needed for improvement. I am now part of a collaboration group for perinatal health and join meetings every month with commissioners and employees involved with this department. I am able to give my input and share my experience to potentially push through help required for this department.
I'm still going through recovery but for me the worst is over and I feel strong enough to help others. My involvement with Maternity:MK and the Perinatal Collaboration has helped my recovery and boosted my confidence. I love that I can take my bad experience and turn it into an action of positivity that will help anyone unfortunate enough to go through a difficult time like myself. I truly believe that talking is good but taking action is amazing and together we can make a difference.
Hello my name is Vicky Lawson and I am a busy Mum of seven children.
With my last birth I was diagnosed with serve PND and in time I was having psychotic episodes which lead to me being admitted into a Mother and baby unit for a period of three months. I am still in recovery and continue to this day with therapy but helping others with my living experience is something I am passionate about and helps with my self esteem.
I joined Jo Manning on her Facebook page for PND and anxiety in Milton Keynes and help her run it. I am also part of the perinatal collaborative group within the NHS. I was invited to join Maternity MK and I am very grateful to have the opportunity to listen, speak and share my story so going forward mental health within pregnancy and after can be picked up and support given.