As Safe Motherhood Week draws to a close, we want to thank all the mothers who have shared their stories with us this week, and throughout the year.
Many women have openly and honestly told us of their experiences with mental health difficulties during and after pregnancy. With an estimated one in four mothers expected to suffer from postpartum depression, highlighting and raising awareness of this issue is critical.
Gabriela from Romania had a very positive experience of pregnancy and childbirth, but confesses to feeling vulnerable and scared as she began her motherhood journey.
“I remember perfectly the day I found out I was pregnant for the first time. It was a beautiful winters day. I been at a party the previous night with my husband’s colleagues and I had to get to work. I bought a pregnancy test and did it in the bathroom at my workplace. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw the two lines – we had been trying for almost a year to get pregnant.”
Her birthing experience was very positive, and she says she bonded closely with her obstetrician. “It was great. I became friends with my doctor. She is a great person, human being and a fantastic doctor. I love her!
She was ecstatic to meet her daughter, but admits that this soon turned to anxiety and worry as she came to terms with motherhood. Thankfully, with the support of her spouse, she managed to pull through.
“After giving birth to my daughter, they immediately put her on my belly and she turned her head towards me hearing my voice. I couldn’t believe my eyes – this baby is mine! But I felt very scared the first time I was home alone with my daughter. She was so tiny and helpless, and I started to realise that my life completely changed. I did not have the same priorities. Everything was about my baby. I think I was looking at the beginning of postpartum depression. But my husband helped me and I managed to beat these feelings.”
Gabriela is now pregnant again and cannot wait to be a mother for the second time. “I really wanted a second child, but I was not expecting it so soon. I was very happy when I got the news and I can’t wait to see her. This Christmas will be very special.”
Did you feel empowered during birth but vulnerable in the early days of motherhood? During this Safe Motherhood Week, share your personal story of motherhood with us using the hashtag #makemotherhoodcount.