Danielle, a twenty nine year old expectant Mum, spoke to us about her struggles when she fell pregnant and the support that TALKWORKS gave her to help her feel better again:
"My name is Danielle and I’m an expectant first-time mum, living in beautiful Devon. I wanted to share my experience of using TALKWORKS to encourage others who might be experiencing or feeling the way I did to reach out for support.
I was very fortunate to fall pregnant in December, and although a little sooner than my husband and me had planned for – the sense of shock when we found out was also mixed with happiness and excitement. But it didn’t take long for my feelings to quickly turn into anxieties. I am an anxious person by nature and a self-confessed catastrophiser – if something can go wrong, I always think it will! Around week five, I started to suffer with morning sickness and extreme nausea. I spent the first week scared to venture any further than five steps away from the bathroom in case I needed to be sick. I had to take a number of days off work and I was scared to leave the house in case I needed to be sick. I stopped my morning walks with my dog and I started to avoid seeing my family and friends because I was embarrassed and anxious at what might happen.
I felt constantly exhausted, upset and scared. You read about how normal it is to feel sick in your first trimester, but nothing can prepare you for what it actually feels like to feel sick 24/7 and the impact that this has on your mood, sleep and wellbeing.
I felt incredibly isolated, and at some points, angry at my husband and my baby because of what was happening to me. I felt like I had lost control of myself and couldn’t see how I could get back to that point of feeling ecstatic about my pregnancy. Instead, I just worried about what was happening and what might happen to me and the baby when it came to giving birth.
I knew that TALKWORKS offered support for expectant mums who might be struggling and I decided it was time to seek help. I referred myself using the online form which was easy, and I had an appointment shortly after. I always think taking that first step is the hardest because there is that perception that pregnancy is meant to be the happiest time of your life and maybe there’s something wrong with you because you don’t feel that way. But, I had used TALKWORKS before, and knew that I wasn’t going to be judged; just supported.
Being able to speak to someone who wasn’t trying to offer unsolicited advice and wasn’t judging me felt like a huge relief. Louise, my therapist, really listened to what I had to say, and together we came up with a plan as to what support I might benefit from. I have been completing the online Silvercloud modules which I’ve found really helpful as they offer practical techniques to help control your anxieties. I really like that you can read case studies from other people as it reminds you that you’re not alone. I can leave notes or questions for Louise, including asking her for a call if I feel like I need more targeted support but I really like that you have the power to work through the modules at your own pace.
I am now well into my second trimester and my days of nausea are thankfully long behind me! Using SilverCloud has really helped me to turn some of my anxieties and fears on their head by thinking about the positive aspects of this experience, and just enjoying the rest of my pregnancy as much as I can.
I really would recommend TALKWORKS to any other expectant or new mums who might be unsure about how they’re feeling. It’s free, easy to access and there’s lots of different support available. Please know you’re not alone."
If you are finding things hard and are in need of some support, TALKWORKS is here to help. We are Devon's NHS Talking Therapies Service. A free, confidential, service, part of NHS Talking Therapies, for people (aged 18+) in Devon (excluding Plymouth)
We are a team of qualified psychological wellbeing practitioners and psychological therapists, offering both face to face and remote appointments.
We are an inclusive service and welcome referrals from those over 18, no matter their race, gender, sexuality or religion. You can get referred to our service by your GP, or you can self-refer online or by calling us on 0300 555 3344.