Help for post-natal depression


Mother of two Louise Moxon, 40, reveals how post natal depression turned her from a successful businesswoman with a bubbly personality into someone consumed with anxiety and despair. My first pregnancy was easy.  I worked right up to my due date and my daughter was born on 28 November 2004.  The delivery was normal and for the first few weeks I was fine.  But at ten weeks when I was preparing to return to work, the nanny left suddenly.  I found someone else but I felt an unbelievable pull to stay with my baby.

My business partner had returned three months after the birth of her child so I felt I had to do the same.  There was financial pressure too.  On day one, I felt horrible butterflies in my tummy and as the weeks passed it got much worse.  I was desperately anxious about whether my baby was all right. I sat in meetings feeling not present. I couldn't concentrate. I felt full of despair.

Life was manic.  I ran home in my jogging kit every night to put her to bed.  One day I just had to leave a meeting.  I told my husband “I can’t do this any longer”.  Actually I couldn't do anything.

Depressive Illness BookMy doctor diagnosed post-natal depression, referred me to a psychiatrist – which was daunting – and gave me a book called The Curse of the Strong (by Dr Tim Cantopher, Sheldon Press, £8.99). Chapter one was about striving for success and wanting everything to be perfect and orderly.  I realised that - by my standards - having a baby meant I was completely out of control.

The moment I grasped I had an illness I started to get better. But I did feel a sense of shame, that I wasn't a proper mother, that my feelings were unnatural.  There were days I couldn't leave the house for fear of what might happen.

My family and friends were brilliant and acupuncture really helped to relax me so I slept much better.  I started cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT).  That helped me change my thought processes so I could turn round negative thoughts and make sense of them, rather than thinking this shouldn't be happening to me.  I planned each day, almost hour by hour at first, which helped me regain some order.

I also went to a support group and found lots of other mothers had the same problem.  It helped me understand I wasn't a failure.

As I recovered, I realised you have nothing without your health so I left my job in 2005.  After losing a baby at six months in 2007, I became pregnant again.  My son was born in December 2008. I started to feel depressed but this time was able to nip it in the bud. I knew I wanted to do something to help women going through similar problems so I set up Cocoon UK, a personalised service that matches experienced maternity nurses and nannies to mothers. All our staff are trained in post-natal depression.

Today, I am happy and healthy and so are my children.

Visit for more information on post-natal depression and childcare services.

Association for Post Natal Illness,, tel: 020 7386 0868.


Our hard-of-hearing tester, Bill, 88, has ongoing problems with his expensive hearing aid so he keeps the simple, medically approved Behind the Ear Hearing Amplifier as back-up. ‘It hooks over the ear so it is very visible but it works fine and is good value.  I had to read the instructions carefully to find how to adjust the volume.’  Behind the Ear Hearing Amplifier with two earplug sizes, a cleaning brush and storage case, £30.99 from, tel: 01635 588370.


healthy back packMy new Messenger bag from the Healthy Back Bag Company is a big success.  In watermarked nylon, with lots of zips and pockets, it is deceptively capacious (big enough for a tablet or small laptop) and very comfortable slung across my body so my dodgy back and shoulders don't take the weight.  Plus it is more accessible than a backpack.  The style is called Great Outdoors but is quite chic enough to run round town.  In Olive, Caviar (nearly black) or Deep Jade, £55 from