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Hannah's Story

From Darkness to Confidence: My Transformative Journey with Nurture the Borders

Background

After the birth of my son, I felt overwhelmed by anxiety and OCD. I was constantly second-guessing myself, terrified about my baby's health, and unable to leave the house. My confidence as a mother was non-existent, and I felt utterly isolated. I wasn't sleeping, and my mood was at an all-time low. When I was referred to Nurture the Borders, my Warwick Edinburgh Mental and Emotional Wellbeing score was a mere 36, reflecting just how much I was struggling.

Finding Support and Building Trust

Being paired with a Perinatal Support Officer (PSO) at Nurture the Borders was the first step in my healing journey. My PSO took the time to understand what I was going through, making me feel heard and less alone. Together, we crafted a plan to manage my anxiety, improve my sleep, and build my confidence as a mum.

Steps Towards Recovery

Our plan included several key elements:

  1. Managing Anxiety: My PSO introduced me to mindfulness and cognitive-behavioral techniques that helped me manage my anxiety more effectively.

  2. Sleep Hygiene: We worked on creating a bedtime routine and a restful sleep environment, which helped me start sleeping better.

  3. Building Confidence: We did one-on-one baby massage sessions, which were incredibly helpful. They allowed me to feel more relaxed and connected to my baby, boosting my confidence as a mum.

As my sleep improved and anxiety decreased, we regularly reviewed and adjusted my goals. A major breakthrough was being matched with a mum befriender who had overcome similar challenges. She shared experiences normalised my feelings and gave me hope that I could overcome my difficulties too.

Embracing Social Integration

My befriender and I started with walks, then moved to cafe meetings, and eventually visited the Nurture the Borders Centre together. By the fourth week, I felt ready to attend the Peer Support group with her support. This transition went smoothly, and soon I was attending the group independently.

My confidence grew as I made new friends and even joined other mums for lunch after the group sessions—a spontaneous and significant step for me. Additionally, I participated in a baby massage class and attended CALM creative journaling workshops. These workshops gave me precious time for self-care while my baby was looked after in the crèche, a major milestone since I had previously been unable to leave him with anyone else.

Outcomes

By the end of the support period, I was regularly participating in various groups and classes, meeting up with new mum friends, and feeling much more confident as a mother. My intrusive thoughts had ceased, and I felt like I had normal mum worries instead of overwhelming anxiety. My final Warwick Edinburgh Mental and Emotional Wellbeing score increased to 54, reflecting my significant improvement.

I felt a stronger bond with my baby and a deep connection to a supportive community of mums. Inspired by my journey, I now hope to become a volunteer mum befriender for Nurture the Borders, aiming to support other mums experiencing similar struggles.

"The support from Nurture the Borders was life-changing and truly saved my life. I was in the darkest, most difficult place I had ever been and couldn't see a way out. From the moment my Perinatal Support Officer sat with me and made me feel safe enough to share my struggles, everything began to change. The one-on-one baby massage sessions, anxiety management strategies, and the incredible support from my befriender, all contributed to my recovery. Today, I feel confident, connected, and capable as a mum. I am forever grateful to Nurture the Borders for guiding me through this journey and helping me find joy in motherhood." 

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