THE DECISION to have a baby is one of the most important in a woman’s life, yet it is an experience that is different for every female.
For women who are having problems during or after pregnancy, there are free services in Scarborough that provide a listening ear and support.
MOTHER of three Amanda Hizzett twice suffered post-natal depression and has now set up a Facebook page to offer advice and a space to communicate for suffering mums.
The 33 year-old who lives in Crossgates now manages the page Post Natal Depression UK - Scarborough and Surrounding Area around a part-time job and looking after her children.
She said: “I put information up about anything that’s in the news about post natal depression or coping strategies. I try to post something every night even if it’s just a positive quote to pick people up.
“I suffered post natal depression myself. My first experience was in 2005 when I had my eldest child and I found there was very little support in the area.
“I’ve currently got 90 users which to me is good although it’s quite sad, it means there’s obviously a need for it.”
After the birth of daughter Chloe, Amanda’s erratic behaviour raised concerns at home and it was husband Carl and her mother who made her see a doctor.
“I didn’t know anything about post natal depression so I had no idea what was going to happen, I just knew deep down something wasn’t right,” said Amanda. “I’d spend my day in tears, I’d panic that I couldn’t cope on my own so I’d get upset when my husband left for work. Eventually it got to the point where it just couldn’t keep going on and I had a breakdown.”
The new mother was diagnosed and later went to stay with her parents in Hull who could care for Chloe whilst she was on sleeping tablets.
Amanda added: “At the stage where my mum came in I just felt as though I was just meandering along, I wasn’t actually living, whereas after a few months of mum looking after me I felt as though I was a human being again.”
Amanda went on to have twins and suffered post natal depression again, but this time it was picked up earlier and took her a month to get over.
“When the twins got older I started using Facebook as a personal thing and then I realised a page on there would be a great medium to open up to everyone else,” said Amanda. “I’m hoping this page shows people that they’re not alone and they can speak to someone else about it.”
Amanda is now campaigning to get local organisations to raise the awareness of post natal depression by including it in ante-natal and mother and toddler classes.
She is also writing an account of her first experience of post natal depression which she hopes to get published.