Frankie discusses how she developed postnatal anxiety. Frankie didn’t realise when that when her midwife recommended she go for a walk around the block it would lead to her walking and exploring many beautiful hills in Scotland, with her daughter on her back.
After I had my daughter Luna, my anxiety skyrocketed. I couldn’t leave her side over a fear of her dying, I barely left the house and spent the first few months in a complete blur. I was sent to the doctor by my midwife twice because she thought I had PND. Both times my anxiety score was sky high but my score for depression wasn’t high enough to take it further.
My midwife encouraged that I walk around the block once a day, just to get me out the house. I couldn’t see the benefit, but reluctantly I did it. Turns out to be one of the greatest acts I could have done. Fresh air, change of scenery and exercise. A walk really ticked all the boxes. My love for walking grew and grew, we have explored and even hill climbed in Scotland with Luna in the carrier!
Eventually when Luna was 10 months old, my anxiety finally got diagnosed. I spoke to the doctor and decided for the moment to keep trying other remedies before medication. I was also so aware that I was anxious, but so scared to fully admit the extent as I didn’t want anyone to think I couldn’t cope with Luna.
Talking openly with my closest friends was a huge help. I never once felt judged for what I was sharing and it bought us even closer.
When Luna was 16 months old, her dad and I separated and I really struggled.
That is when I discovered yoga. I wasn’t able to get out to classes, but I downloaded an app and used to practice a short session before bed every night.
It calmed me enough to sleep, it eased my racing mind and made my body feel good, despite how poorly I was looking after it the rest of the time.
When my depression was diagnosed shortly after I started on medication. I was resistant at first, but after finding one that worked for me, it has been a real positive step in my recovery.
I also can’t go any further forward without saying,
my counsellor Leah, who quite literally changed my thinking pattern, helped me more than I can ever express.
Luna is now three and a half, we spend hours outdoors at the beach and woods, I practice yoga when I can, we even do baby yoga at home together and I talk openly about how I am feeling. The combination of all these, along with my counselling and mediation have helped so much. I believe a multi-pronged approach is what helped me!
The physical side helps your mind and body, talking makes you feel less alone, the medication helps balance out the chemicals in your brain and counselling allows you to make connections and learn how to manage situations. Together this has helped me to be in the place I am today; feeling happy and a lot more confident. I am not free from anxiety, but I now manage it, it doesn’t have full control over me anymore.