Perinatal Stories Project: Sophie's experience with antenatal depression

"I wanted to talk about pre-natal mental health as it’s very close it my heart. Post-natal mental health conditions are starting to be talked about more openly (there is still a long way to go though) but it feels like people are less open and aware about pre-natal mental health. I’d like to shine a light on it in the hope that someone out there feels less alone and gets the help they deserve"

"I’ve never actively wanted to be a mother. I wasn’t very happy as a child, and this tainted my expectations of motherhood and what family life is like. 


When I feel pregnant, I questioned everything about what we were doing, who I was and my life. I put a mask on in public but behind the scenes I was crying all day, felt numb at the scans and didn’t want to prepare or go to anti-natal classes. This left my husband to pick up the mental and physical burden of preparing for our baby. 


All of these questions and feeling of guilt quickly spiralled into very low moods which consumed me entirely. There was a point where I didn’t want to be here any more"

"Luckily, my low moods were picked up quickly by the incredible midwives and I had therapy through the NHS perinatal mental health service. This was the lifeline I needed and really did save me. 

The aim through therapy wasn’t to “fix” the problem, but to make sense of what I was going through and be a safe space to explore those feelings. 

Carving out time to continue doing the thing I love also helped - it sounds like a cliche but getting outside in nature, running and listening to my favourite podcasts was a form of therapy for me"

"Fast forward to Tabitha being born. The dark cloud lifted overnight and I could see life again in all its colour. I love motherhood more than anything I’ve experienced in my life, and I think the contrast of dark and light  changed how I approached motherhood entirely (for the better). 

Once I felt myself again, I opened up to more and more people and couldn’t believe the number of people who had also suffered alone in silence. This has given me the drive to keep talking about it to anyone who will listen so we can remove the stigma and get people the help they need"

"You’re not alone and there is no shame in what you’re feeling ❤️ these dark days will pass and you will feel like you again, even if it’s a different version. 

As hard as it is in the depths of depression, reach out to someone you trust - it doesn’t have to be your partner/family/friends. There is so much support out there from your midwife team, to therapy and amazing charities like “Shine PND” support. Whatever help looks like to you, it’s out there"

"Motherhood is the piece of puzzle I didn’t realise I was missing. Everyday I laugh, cry, dance and sing like never before, which is all down to my little girl. I can’t image life without her. It’s the most unexpectedly wonderful journey I’ve ever been on. I wish I could give pregnant Sophie a hug and tell her what was truly ahead. 


In 2021, I ran an ultra marathon while 9 weeks pregnant (and no one knew). I’m all smiles in the pictures but underneath I’m dying inside, crying every moment I’m alone"

"Fast forward to 2023 and I ran the same ultra raising money for Shine PND. I was determined to run over the finish line with Tabitha as closure for the last 2 years, and to prove to myself that things really do get better, all while raising awareness and funds for an incredible mental health charity. I hope this gives someone hope that things will get better and those dark days will pass"

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If you're affected by Sophie's story, you can find support via 


If you have your own story to tell, and you'd like to take part in the perinatal stories project, please get in touch