Befrienders helped mum pull through

Befirenders can help mums with depression.
Befirenders can help mums with depression.

An Eastwood mum who suffered depression after the birth of her son told how a befriending service has helped her turn her life around.

Alexandra White is urging other mums to try the Perinatal Befriending Programme which helped her through her ordeal.

Alexandra’s six-months-old son, Cal, was admitted to hospital as the result of a severe milk allergy and also developed a hernia which, after a long wait, eventually led to surgery.

All this took its toll on the new mum who was eventually prescribed anti-depressants by her GP.

He also suggested she try the Perinatal Befriending Programme, run by Nottinghamshire Children and Families Partnership, part of Nottinghamshire Healthcare.

Alexandra, 31 said: “Feeding Cal was like force-feeding. I feared he’d go back into hospital and I was anxious that he wasn’t getting enough milk. Doctors told me ‘try not to let him cry too much, because his hernia may pop out.’ It was exhausting. Mentally, I couldn’t cope.”

“I lost the confidence to go out, it was just too stressful. I felt I had no one to talk to. I was really isolated.”

Her life got back on track after she was paired with befriender Emily.

She said; “She had experienced many of the same issues I had; it was so reassuring to talk to someone who knew how I felt.

“It was baby steps at first - a walk round the block, then to the local park and, eventually, into town. She went with me to groups so that I wasn’t sitting on my own and introduced me to other parents.

“Slowly, my confidence built up. The anxiety and nerves calmed down and so did Cal. I’m slowly coming off anti-depressants and soon I want to be off completely.”