Content Warning: Birth trauma, postnatal depression and anxiety, mention of childhood abuse, and breastfeeding trauma.
Today is part 2 of my interview with Vikki Stephenson, host of Blum Mumdays Podcast and mum to Stanley! If you haven’t listened to part 1, go back and check it out and then listen to today’s episode. Today Vikki talks about her experience with postnatal depression and anxiety, following a traumatic birth. We talked about the grief and trauma that resulted from her experience with postnatal depression and anxiety, the fears of being a new parent and how they are heightened with anxiety and Vikki’s road to recovery. Vikki authentically shares her story to show how very hard it was for her as well as how she got support and came through the fog. Take care of yourself while listening to this episode and please reach out to myself or Vikki for support or with questions. You can find Vikki on Instagram @bluemumdays and you can find her podcast Blue Mumdays wherever you listen to your podcasts. I will put all of her information in the show notes.
Vikki is now a passionate advocate of perinatal mental health and is on a mission to help parents feel less alone through her podcast series Blue MumDays. Its purpose is to help other mums and dads better understand their illness and give them the hope that they will make a full recovery. It gives a voice to the lived experience of real sufferers who have reached the other side, and – through interviews with experts - will signpost mums, dads, their partners and friends to help and support that may be hard to find. Blue Mumdays dispels myths, normalises the conversation and smashes stigma of perinatal illness. It offers a safe space, encourages self-compassion and uplifts with frank – and sometimes funny – conversations around all things perinatal.
4:05 - Going home from hospital, the overwhelming responsibility and anxiety
10:51 - Insomnia, phobia of sleeping during the day
15:55 - Reaching out for support and attending Cedar House
21:00 – Peer support is so important, symptoms of PMAD’s are not you, it’s an illness
23:00 - Grief and trauma from experiencing a PMAD
25:35 - Guilt and shame about the birth-day and first year being the worst, feeling triggered around birthdays
33:33 - Comparing ourselves to other parents, not measuring up and feeling like a bad parent
41:31 - Fear of baby not breathing in their sleep
45:22 - When did the fog start to lift? Recognizing how well you are doing
51:49 - What would you say to yourself during labour and in the postpartum period, what do you say to others going through it
Check out the Blue Mumdays podcast wherever you get your podcast or here https://bluemumdays.captivate.fm/
LINKED IN: https://www.linkedin.com/in/vikki-stephenson-creative
If you are experiencing any of the symptoms discussed in this or any episode please reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I can help you find support in your area or online.
Check out Postpartum Support International at www.postpartum.net for more information about Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders as well as free online support groups and a provider directory.
You can look for an individual therapist on www.psychologytoday.com .