Guest Blogger: Naomi Blackwell, Founder of One Strong Mumma
I am not afraid to admit that during the first year of Reuben's life, I struggled with PTSD and PND. Just to summarise, I was induced because I had started to bleed at 41 weeks pregnant. I spent 24 hours on a ward full of other Mums, I was basically forgotten about because it was so busy. I was beginning to bleed heavily and I was finally examined, to everyone's shock I was 10cm dilated and not even on the correct ward. Then here comes the mad rush, I gave birth after an hour of pushing to a MASSIVE 9lb 15oz baby, suffered a third degree tear and had to go straight to surgery. I was not in control at all, I didn't get the calm, relaxed and positive birth. I didn't get tea and toast after giving birth and snuggles with my newborn. I really, really struggled with it. I know this is not really a traumatic birth but to me it was.
I think people really need to understand that Mental Health is not the same for everybody. Events can affect people differently, please do not assume that a healthy baby = a happy Mum. Mental Health is most certainly a taboo subject and I remember being called 'Insensitive' because I had a healthy baby. Instead of letting that negative comment take over my life, I decided to try and do something about it. I needed to become 'Naomi' again and not just 'Reuben's Mummy'. At around 10 months postpartum, I rarely left the house by myself, I certainly did not have any 'Me time', I felt so alone, my anxiety was at an all time high and just generally down (but then I felt stupid because I had a good life going on around me). That was when One Strong Mumma was born, I used my very last wage from quitting my full time job at the end of maternity leave and set up my own clothing and accessories business. This was the best decision I had ever made. I had something just for me, something positive to focus on and it even got me out of the house!
There are so many amazing products on the website (all of which I wear daily), such as Slogan T-shirts, Jumpers, Hoodies, Water Bottles and Backpacks. All with the One Strong Mumma slogan on them. I also have a growing Children's clothing range called Strong Kids Club, this is very much centered around Children's Mental Health.
According to statistics 50% of Mental health problems are established by the age of 14. We should raise a Strong generation, who understand that Mental Health is NOT a taboo subject,
teach them to talk if they are feeling down and letting them know that they can achieve their dreams.
One Strong Mumma is not just about helping myself though. I want to spread the word that Maternal Mental Health is real. I want Mums to know that even when they are suffering with Postnatal Depression, PTSD, Anxiety etc that they are still so Strong. Lets educate the world into understanding Maternal Mental Health, with a little less judgement and A LOT more support. I have had so many Mummas tell me that when they put their OSM T-shirt or Jumper on, they can handle the day!
There is even a range for Dads too!! Dads can suffer with Postnatal Depression, lets encourage them to talk about how they are feeling. It is okay to feel down but it is healthy to talk about it and get some help.
I have also created the #StrongMummaClub subscription box.
This is a monthly box delivered straight to your door full of surprises just for YOU. This box is all about giving the Mums something for themselves. I really struggled with finding 'Me time' but we absolutely need it for our own sanity and happiness. I am so proud of the subscription service (and I never say anything good about myself) I have created and cannot wait to see Mums enjoy it every month.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read my blog post and
thank you to Not Another Mum Group for allowing me to share my small business.