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When Reena found out she was pregnant, she was devastated. She simply did not want to be pregnant. The baby’s father didn’t want to know and she had no-one else to support her. Her mental health began to suffer and Reena began to have dark, suicidal thoughts. Thanks to the Perinatal Support Service, Reena is living in the light again.

Reena’s Story

Before I moved to Bradford, I lived in Derby. I hadn’t suffered from mental health problems previously, but they started when I found out I was pregnant. I was completely on my own, the father didn’t want to know. I knew I had to have the baby, but I didn’t want him. I moved to Bradford to start a new life, but I was even more isolated. I didn’t know anyone.

I felt like I was living in darkness

I felt like I was living in darkness: it affected my day-to-day routine. I had suicidal thoughts, but I continued for the sake of my growing baby. When Mohammed was born I loved him and even though I had post-natal depression, it did bring us closer. It wasn’t his fault as he’s an innocent little soul. I had been referred to the mental health team and a practitioner called Liz told me about the Perinatal Support Service’s ‘My Baby and Me’ course, a five-week course about fun ways to bond with your baby, and how important it is for your baby’s development that you interact with them from the very beginning. One of the Perinatal Support Service staff members, Lynne, came to visit me in my own home to talk about the ‘My Baby and Me’ course and encourage me to attend. I must admit I was in two minds, but that home visit really helped me make my decision. I knew I wanted to get out of this ‘darkness’. I didn’t want Mohammed to be affected by how I was feeling so I went along.

Everyone made me feel so welcome

I was anxious about leaving Mohammed at the crèche for the first time, but it was fine. The first session was so nerve-wracking, but everyone made me feel so welcome and by the second session, I was coming out of my shell a bit. The ‘My Baby and Me’ course involved techniques to help bonding with your baby: through play, through recognition of his signals and understanding what his cries mean. We learned about how a baby’s brain develops, about weaning and all sorts of useful things. It was so lovely to be with other mums and to be able to talk through any concerns or problems we were having.

The course really has changed my life

The course really has changed my life. I have bonded with Mohammed, who is now 10 months old. I have made new friends: we even meet up on play dates now. I am not quite out of the darkness yet, but because of Mohammed and what I have learned, I am making sure that there is plenty of light in our lives. Find out more about the Perinatal Support Service and how to access support here.