Mum-of-three on postnatal anxiety 'I felt really rattled'
DESPITE a family history of depression and anxiety, Amy Clark managed to get through most of her formative years without too many mental health hurdles.
The mother-of-three, who is about to launch her new website, The Mum Collective, struggled with postnatal anxiety and experienced bouts of depression after the birth of her second child.
"I didn't have a traumatic birth as such, but I did have a birth that took a lot of brain power,” Amy said.
"I felt really rattled after... it was like someone shook my head, I was having major concentration issues.
"I probably always had underlying anxiety, but it really hit me when I had him and I didn't want to go out, even though I did want to see people, but the effort of getting out of the house was all too hard. Some days I just wanted to sit inside and cry.”
A trip to her local midwives at Roma Hospital confirmed Amy's diagnosis - postnatal anxiety.
According to beyondblue, low mood affects about 50 per cent of new mothers in the first weeks after delivery, but this is usually mild and transient.
More seriously, one in six Australian women will experience postnatal anxiety.
"There probably was a bit of depression mixed in there too,” Amy said.
"Going from a full-time job to being a mother again, because there was six years between my first and second born was a hard transition.
"I thought 'I've got this, I'm all good', but it just knocked me around, and I just found I wasn't quite ready to be home alone with my child all day, especially when he wasn't the easiest baby.
"It's a bit nerve- wracking having the word anxiety written all over my doctor's records, but it's something I have to accept and admit that I have it, I know I have it, and learning how to manage it.”
In addition to the services she has tackled in the past, Amy said building a community of mums has been instrumental to her mental health resilience.
"The mum groups are like a support service, which is part of why I put together The Mum Collective to connect with more mums, and have an excuse to connect with more people,” she said.
To follow Amy's journey, visit www. mumcollective.com.au.