Did you know that women are twice as likely to have an anxiety disorder than a man?


This week is mental health awareness week and I thought I should share my story with you all.


I get anxious... well who doesn’t. My anxiety flared up after the birth of Sophie, I was struggling with the feelings I had about feeding her and I required medication.


I thought for a moment that I was back in the same situation I had been in two years earlier. Struggling and wanting so badly to breastfeed but not being able to and as a result feeling like a failure and like I couldn’t provide.


I’m a worrier, my mum is a worrier. Case in point I remember her ironing at 3 am in the morning on a Saturday waiting for my brother to get home.


My dad, the most amazing man who left the world too soon, was the one person that could read me like a book and the one that could calm me down and make me see reason.


Since losing him my anxiety has been worse and I have struggled to reason with my fears; some of these fears are also most likely linked to losing a loved one.


My dad always said; be open, let people know how you are feeling, don’t hold it in it's not good for you. While I always do try to this, it's not always easy.


During my pregnancy with Sophie, I didn’t feel too anxious at all even though the chance of her growth slowing was high. In fact, I was pretty calm, cool and collected. Which isn’t how I would normally describe myself, but I was.


I read somewhere that how you are during pregnancy, can help dictate your child’s personally so maybe this is why Sophie is so chilled.


Then she arrived, tiny and five weeks early but again I was calm, she was gaining weight textbook style and things were chugging along well.


In fact, I even managed to potty train my two & a half year old with a two-month-old.


Then, her weight gains slowed, she was not her normal calm self, I tried to give her a bottle, she refused and I was getting anxious. IT WAS LIKE HAVING FLASHBACKS OF MY FEEDING EXPERIENCE WITH LEVI


I so desperately wanted to know how much milk she was getting, was I starving her? WHY HASNT SOMEONE INVENTED A BOOB GAUGE. Was she hungry? Or was she just not sleeping because sometimes babies just don’t sleep.


I became anxious, obsessed. It was summer and I began worrying about hydration. I would obsess over how wet her nappies were worrying if the indicator line wasn’t completely green and forever checking her fundal, making sure it wasn’t sunken.


During this time she was diagnosed with a severe tongue and lip tie, which is why her weight gains had dropped off.


Did you know? At three months, your supply is no longer driven by hormones but by supply and demand.


We resolved this after two tongue and lip tie releases, lots of stress and weeks of learning to feed again, but I was still not myself.


I was still obsessed at how wet her nappies were and I started forgetting leaving the front door open. I felt like I wasn’t coping, I felt like I was struggling to keep my head above water and I was snapping at Levi (which I hate doing) as I had very little patience.


I knew something was wrong when I was driving along with the kids and heard a cop and for some reason, I thought he was chasing me, I got help and I’m now back to my normal self.


This week is mental health awareness week and the theme is- Nature is key.


Getting out, getting fresh air has been essential for my mental health and it helped immensely on my road to recovery. I aimed to walk at least once around the block every day (which does sometimes take an hour with a toddler) and felt so much better for it. Plus Levi learned so much.


Remember, if you’re feeling down; ask for help, talk to someone, and share your story. So many people are affected by mental health and the more we talk about it the less of a taboo it becomes. My love to everyone who is struggling has struggled or has supported someone through it, there’s a rainbow behind the rain.




Melanie Rule