Today, we have a guest post from Clara, who blogs over at Boo and Me. She has been inspired by her experience of postnatal depression to try and raise funds for the Joanne Bingley Memorial Foundation, a charity that is close to Clara’s heart.
Could you spare a few minutes to offer your support?
I am a 26 year old first time mum. My daughter was born in January 2011 and following her birth I have suffered with postnatal depression.
I’ve recently started a new project and would love to have the support of fellow bloggers. The aim is to raise awareness of the Joanne Bingley Memorial Foundation and their work. You can read more information about them here, but I want to tell you why I am doing this.
After a healthy pregnancy and a fantastic home birth I do not remember my first moments of being a mother. The weeks following my daughter’s birth began a dark time for me. I struggled to bond, I felt that didn’t know how to look after my baby, that I couldn’t comfort her or understand what she needed.
I felt a failure for not managing to breastfeed. My negative feelings built up, unchecked by midwives, health visitors and GPs. It didn’t take me long to distance myself from my husband and my daughter. I hid away for three months when finally something clicked and I found the strength to ask my doctor for help. It took me a further three weeks before I was given any support; even then it was only in the form of medication. I have had to battle for help every single step of the way. Sometimes depression makes that impossible
Now, nearly ten months after the birth of my daughter, things are finally starting to look up for me. I still have a long journey ahead of me but I am fighting and I am winning.
Having followed the Joanne Bingley Memorial Foundation’s work for a while I recently read an article that made me simply have to get up and do something. In that article I saw so many parallels, so many ways in which Joe suffered that I did too.
The very fact that people are losing their battles and losing their lives to this illness makes me angry. The lack of provision of care, of support and of understanding makes me angry. No one should be left to suffer. I have turned my anger into determination. I am passionate about helping the foundation in their work. There is an e-petition here, it needs 100,000 signatures to be discussed in parliament, it takes less than a minute to sign. Please sign.
I have set up a raffle to help raise funds for the charity, and with the support of bloggers and brands, I know we can make a difference. I feel so strongly about all that the Joanne Bingley Memorial Foundation is campaigning for. For a lot of mothers (and families) the services and the help that are so desperately needed are simply not offered or, in some cases, do not exist at all.
We have already received almost 50 prizes from some brilliant companies – with a prize value of over £1,000! I’m so grateful to everyone who has supported me in putting together the auction – and I’d love to hear from any other companies that would be interested in supporting the fight against postnatal depression by donating a prize.
To enter the raffle costs just £1 per ticket and you will have the chance to win anything from a Pink Lining bag to Rob Ryan tiles to clothes, toys and jewellery. There is something for everyone and every penny goes directly to the charity.
Postnatal depression is a horrible, debilitating, heart-breaking illness. I have lost countless precious moments to it, some people lose their lives. Please help by signing the petition, making a donation (however big or small) or simply spreading the word. We can make a difference.
Thank you to everyone that has been involved so far and to anyone that wants to offer their help you can get in touch with me here.