Chesterfield mum who gave birth during the pandemic calls for greater mental health support for new mums

A Chesterfield mum who gave birth to her second child during the pandemic, is calling for more mental health support for new mothers.

Monday, 29th March 2021, 1:06 pm

Emma Mason, an arcade worker from Newbold, suffered postnatal depression after she gave birth to her son Leo on August 11 last year.

The mum-of-two has urged other pregnant women and new mothers to ask for help and said midwifes and health visitors – who she praised for doing a ‘brilliant’ job during the crisis – should talk to new mums instead of asking them to fill out a questionnaire.

It comes after a report from the Centre for Mental Health for the Maternal Mental Health Alliance found that there has been a “significant increase in poor mental health” reported by pregnant women and new mothers during the coronavirus pandemic.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Emma Mason, her partner Dominik Souter and their children Ivy and Leo.
Emma Mason, her partner Dominik Souter and their children Ivy and Leo.

While Emma’s partner Dominik Souter could come with her to all her hospital appointments with her first baby Ivy, coronavirus restrictions meant he was unable to attend any of her check ups the second time – apart from her 12 week scan.

She said: "It was hard. I'm lucky enough if it was my second, I can't imagine what it would be like for a first time mum going through it all on your own.

"The staff were brilliant because they knew you were going to be on your own so put you at ease as much as possible.

"But you'd obviously just rather have your partner there.

Ivy Souter is 18 months old.

"We had a scare when I thought I was in labour and then I wasn't so I had to deal with that all on my own – my partner just had to wait outside.”

The 38-year-old previously had no mental health problems but found it difficult not being able to see her mum for support.

"You feel more alone", she added.

"You just feel like you're stuck in these four walls with no escape.

The brother and sister have been unable to see their family during the ongoing Covid-19 crisis.

"I felt like I couldn't go and talk to a professional because I thought they had enough going on with the pandemic.”

Emma advised other new mums to make sure they get out of the house for a walk, even if it is just around the block, talk to their loved ones and answer questions from hospital staff about their mental health honestly.

Leo was born on August 11, 2020.

A message from Phil Bramley, Derbyshire Times Editor

In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a subscription or buying a paper.