This powerful story covers topics including mental health, suicidal thoughts, and pregnancy loss. If you’re affected by these and need support now, Vetlife is available 24/7 on 0303 040 2551.

Postnatal depression. It happens to other people right? You’ve probably read about someone else discussing it in a magazine. You know it’s out there. But it’s not going to happen to you! You are a sensible, competent veterinary surgeon. You know all about births and the neonatal period. Postnatal depression? Why would you be depressed welcoming a baby into the world? What a time to celebrate. It’s certainly not going to happen to you –you have watched all the webinars on resilience, you know all about mental health awareness from your work place training and you are going to have time off from a stressful job! Of course it won’t happen to you. BUT what would you do if it happened to your best mate? Or your sister? Or a colleague at work? Would you even know? How would you react? What can you do? Postnatal depression is not a rare event. Did you know that one in five women experience mental problems in their pregnancy and beyond? Did you know that a smaller number of these will experience a mental health crisis? Did you know that it could happen to anyone…even you?

Sarah* is an outgoing, confident and genuinely lovely fellow equine vet who I have been lucky enough to meet through BEVA MumsVet. We have been in regular email contact bantering about the trials and tribulations of parenting as an equine vet and talking about supporting veterinary parents and employers. In fact Sarah* provided one of our first “real life stories” giving others hope that you could actually combine an equine vet career (with an often absent partner) and parenthood. I still laugh at her emails about covering up a stained school uniform with an equally dirty jumper. She seemingly sailed through her pregnancy and return to work yet I had no idea that she had suffered serious postnatal depression. This articulate, competent and successful young veterinary professional, who is clearly both intelligent and able to communicate well with others, has an astonishing and incredibly brave story to share that will give hope and support to many.  Postnatal depression could happen to anyone. We all face similar challenges combining family life with a veterinary job.

One of the most important things you can do on this earth is to let people know they are not alone.”
Shannon L. Alder

During our e-mail chatter with Sarah* (which are usually hilarious witty conversations about the trials and tribulations of parenting as an equine vet) we came across this “Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible. – Francis of Assisi". Something to ponder when life gets a bit tangled up. 

Thanks for reading,Vicki, Lucy and the MumsVet Team.

Click here to read Sarah's powerful story "PND - it happens to other people right?"...