A SOUTH-WEST woman says her experience with fertility issues, pregnancy loss and post natal depression was often a very isolating time.
The woman, who did not want to be named, shared her story with a parliamentary inquiry into perinatal services during the community forum on Wednesday. “It was often a silent grief, shared alone, no voice, no soothing (and) no farewell,” she said. She said there was limited support available when doing IVF and support during a miscarriage was almost non-existent. “I learnt early on it can be far more painful when people don't even know your baby existed than to admit you lost him or her,” she said. She said after the birth of her second child in 2016 her capacity to be attune to her baby’s cues and respond were dulled.
“The overwhelming feelings of not feeling bonded or attached to my child were frightening,” she said. “I couldn’t hear the cries, I couldn’t settle the cries, my sense of smell was lost and the joy had gone.” The woman said by speaking up and getting help she considered herself one of the lucky ones because of the relationships with the health care providers, pediatricians and mental health care services who put her and her family first.
“I am lucky because of that midwife and lactation consultant who visited me in the ward five weeks postpartum who said while I was breastfeeding, ‘you need to look at your baby, start with the eyelids - you are doing a wonderful job.’
“I am lucky today because this morning when I fed my baby I looked into my daughter’s eyes.”