I've been holding back on sharing about my own birth story…

but I think that this is the week to talk about it, because it's maternal mental health awareness week (UK).

I got hit with the “baby blues” so bad. We steer away from talking about birth related trauma and pass off sleep deprivation as a normal part of “mum life” without acknowledging the devastating impacts it can have. It's not spoken about enough.

Anyone who’s done a photo shoot with me knows that I don’t shut up, I ask lots of questions, I want to get to know you and I share a lot about myself, but I have to be honest in saying that I’ve been guilty of holding back sharing during maternity shoots. I get to take sensational photos of amazing women in their prime and their glory when they’re pregnant. They’re carrying this amazing life and I feel like I want to protect them.

I don’t tell them that I had a really long labour and that in the early days I was so exhausted I just sobbed, and I thought this is it. This is me for the rest of my life. But it’s not, and we have to talk about it because we need to know help is available and that everything will be ok, even if you can’t see it at the time.

I wasn’t being real and honest with new mums about my experience because I didn’t want to scare them, but holding back and not sharing my story, might actually make them feel more alone if it happens to them. But they’re not. So many mums feel like they’re not coping and they’re in the pits of despair. I still get emotional talking about it now because it was such a challenging time. But I wanted to share a little snippet of my own story because I want people to know that if people are going through something similar, I understand and I am here for a chat. I want you to know you’re not alone.