Talking helped cope with depression

Pressures of being the 'perfect' mum crept in

LOUISE BERWICK
Last updated 05:00 06/09/2013
Shelly Milne
JOHN HAWKINS/ Fairfax NZ
HAPPY AGAIN: Shelly Milne, with her son Harrison, 2, suffered from post natal depression.

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It was thanks to Shelly Milne's support person that she got the help she needed.

Her problems with post natal depression started six years ago with the birth of her first child.

Excited at the prospect of having a family, she envisaged a contented life as a stay at home mum.

But soon the pressures of being the "perfect" mum crept in.

She tried to be strong in front of her husband.

"When he was home I pretended to be happy, but when he was away I would cry most of the time.

"I didn't really know what it was at first."

But her midwife picked up that she was not feeling "quite right" and organised a support person to visit her.

That person became instrumental in getting her the help she needed, Milne said.

"I had to trust her and felt safe with what I was telling her. I thought if people knew what I was thinking they would want to take Sophie away from me.

"At one point I was thinking that I felt like my daughter was better off without me. It was quite difficult to deal with."

After talking it over with her support person, they accompanied her to the hospital.

"She offered to take me down and talk to somebody."

The care she received at the hospital was good and she was given anti-depressants to take home, she said.

"With the help that I got, I felt like I was empowered. It was six months until I started feeling better again because it was a long process because I wasn't coping."

Four years later Milne had her second child.

Given her history the hospital kept her in to make sure she was OK, she said.

That decision by the hospital was a good one and she enjoyed the motherhood experience with her second child a lot more because of it, she said.

Now, a happy mother-of-two, Ms Milne said she enjoyed spending time with her children.

Her thoughts were with other mothers who were going through what she went through, she said.

"I would say try and talk to someone you trust. I know it's hard. If you trust someone enough you can open up to them."

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