Our Perinatal Support Service provides emotional support to families where a parent is struggling with their emotional health during pregnancy and after the first year of birth. When Jodie Pedley’s baby, Ethan was born with medical issues, Jodie could feel that she was struggling but once she found the support of the service, she soon got back to feeling her normal self.
My name is Jodie and I’m 25 years old. My little boy is Ethan Joe and he is nine months old.
After having a difficult pregnancy, I presumed that when Ethan was born that I would start feeling better but I didn’t. Ethan had been born with an infection and jaundice and was up and down to the neonatal ward over the course of that first week. I just felt like a failure every time he went down to the ward and panicked like mad every time he came back up, thinking something bad was going to happen – it was so stressful and mentally draining when I look back now!
I thought that once we got home everything would get better, but it didn’t
I thought that once we got home everything would get better, but it didn’t. I constantly looked for dangers where there weren’t any and thought that everyone was judging me. I began to recognise that I wasn’t myself and just wanted to get better.
Because I work at a Health Centre, I did know about the Perinatal Support Service but I was reintroduced to it after visiting the health visitor at Mortimer House and telling her I was struggling.
My support worker, Bal has just been fantastic – she has done home visits and asked me questions to see how I am feeling. As she was so friendly, I found it really easy to open up to her. She gently encouraged me to go the doctors and chased up appointments and referrals for me to ensure I got the help I needed and quickly. I can’t thank her enough for that support and the listening ear she gave me – it is something I’ll never forget.
It’s a safe place for us to talk freely and get things off our chest
I also attend a support group called ‘Laughter, Temper and Tears’. Lynn and Jeevey who run this Perinatal Support Group have been amazing, not just with me but all of the mums on the course. They have delivered the course so we have all the relevant information, guidance and support that we need, but they’ve also made it a real safe space for us to talk freely and get things off our chests.
Their support through these first few months has made me feel like me again – something I never thought I’d get back to and because I’m me again my little boy gets the best mum I can be to him.
They are there to help – pure and simple!
To anyone who is unsure about the Perinatal Support Service, one simple answer is don’t be! Use them – they are there to help pure and simple. The women who I’ve experienced are all fantastic, helpful, friendly and kind. I think this service should be known to every pregnant woman because I think everyone could benefit from it.
Find out more about the Perinatal Support Service and how to access support here.