A Tory minister has called for more help for new mums to prevent post-natal depression, after finding the period after her first son’s birth ‘quite traumatic and unlike anything ever before’.
Andrea Leadsom, 51, the Economic Secretary to the Treasury, said, ‘The day you give birth, you feel like you can do anything. The day after, you feel like you’ve been run over by a bus.’
The MP for South Northamptonshire suffered from post-natal depression and endured two miscarriages following the birth of her first son.
Working as a senior executive at Barclays at the time, she revealed that she went back to work full-time after her son was born, as the bank refused to let her go part-time.
After entering Parliament in 2010, she was appointed to the Treasury in April after the resignation of Maria Miller as Culture Secretary.
She is also a trustee of a local ‘Parent Infant Project’ which aims to help parents bond with their children before the age of two.
‘The day you give birth, you feel like you can do anything. The day after, you feel like you’ve been run over by a bus.’
‘So if you’re completely traumatised by a terrible birth, it can actually be PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) wrongly diagnosed as post-natal depression,’ she said.
‘When my first son was born I was at Barclays, I was a senior executive, they wouldn’t let me go part-time. I had two miscarriages, I had a bout of post-natal depression.
‘I don’t want to over-egg it because it didn’t last very long and actually going back to work sorted me out. But I certainly remember the period after my first child being quite traumatic and unlike anything ever before.’
Mrs Leadsom says she understood the problem and that more should be done to intervene in the ‘peri-natal’ period immediately after the birth to prevent severe depression or domestic violence as these can have ‘utterly life-changing consequences’ for the baby.
She added: ‘Many of the ills of our society, violent crime, homelessness, psychosis, self-harming can be laid at the door of a very bad early start. But so too can a lot of poor mental health, backache, depression, relationship breakdown.’
Did you suffer from PND? And would more help in the early days have helped you? Let us know below.