“Babies Matter has helped me to understand my baby better, it’s helped me in my relationship with my partner, and has helped me understand things in the crazy world that is becoming a new mum.”
Kobi is my first baby. I was anxious throughout my pregnancy and had extra appointments with my midwife to help me cope. After Kobi was born, I had really bad post-natal anxiety and my midwife referred me to Babies Matter.
The programme started when Kobi was a couple of months old. Although I had support from my partner and mum, it felt like the focus of care shifted from my wellbeing to Kobi. My relationship with my partner became strained – things weren’t great. I was low in confidence and my anxiety meant that I wanted to control everything. I wouldn’t even let my partner make a bottle because I thought he was going to do it wrong and it would get Kobi poorly or unwell.
I didn’t have anywhere to turn in those first few months. My midwife stayed for as long as possible, which is two weeks after birth – this was hard for me because I had had the midwife for the entirety of my pregnancy. I was just there with Kobi and didn’t have a clue what to do with him.
The Health Visitor visited but being relatively new to the area I had no mum friends (my other friends were all busy at work) and so Babies Matter was my only support network then.
It was nice to have somewhere to go to get out the house; get a coffee and a cake (the cake was good!). I never felt any pressure of you should be doing this or that. Also, I’m not very good with groups of people so the fact that Babies Matter was a small group was really helpful for me – I really do feel like I could make the friendships that I wanted instead of feeling like I might need to stand back a bit.
It really helped me to sit in the group and talk honestly. No one’s a professional and no one judged me for how I was feeling. The programme facilitators were just so welcoming, and both have children so I did lean on them for encouragement.
Babies Matter helped me with the whole parenting team aspect of things. The more we talked about it the more I realised that I really needed to work on my relationship with my partner, and that we were a team for Kobi. I realised that I needed to make the most of everybody around me – they’re not against me, they do want the best for Kobi, the same as me, and to let those people in.
Babies Matter has helped me to understand my baby better; it’s helped me in my relationship with my partner and has helped me understand things in the crazy world that is becoming a new mum.
Now, I’ve got mum friends and I’ve got babies we can go out and see and spend time with. If I did have something that I needed to talk to someone about or I did need a hand, I’ve got people who are there for me – to share those milestones with and speak to if I feel anxious.