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Small Steps Together - Jen's story

Small Steps Together

Small Steps Together supports those at risk of developing, or who have low to moderate perinatal mental health and well being needs during pregnancy and up to a year after birth. The team are based in Cambridgeshire. 

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Jen's story

I had a traumatic birthing experience and ever since I have struggled to bond with my new baby, Chloe. As a first-time mother I felt useless and had no idea that I was experiencing perinatal mental health difficulties. I often passed the baby over to my partner to take care of her daily needs such as feeding and bathing as I couldn’t cope.  

I felt isolated and lost all confidence in myself to the point of suffering from severe anxiety at the thought of leaving the house with or without Chloe. I didn’t know who I was anymore and felt that I didn't have anything to look forward to on a daily basis. 

Without any close family or  friends living nearby to get advice and practical support from, I felt that I was putting too much pressure on my partner. I wished I’d had a better relationship with my mother, but I didn’t have a very good childhood and felt neglected. I wasn’t ever mothered and so I believed that I didn’t know how to be a mum myself.

Ormiston Families’ Small Steps Together service saved me. I received some listening visits in my home to begin with, which was comforting as I felt understood for the first time in a long time. Soon after, these turned into confidence building sessions and with support I was able to make a short trip out to the local café. I felt like I had achieved a lot in just one brief outing.

My next challenge was learning to adapt to my new baby and lowering my expectations of what a ‘good mum’ was as I already was one. Therapy provided by Small Steps Together worked to develop bonding attachment between myself and baby Chloe. I also underwent talking therapies with my partner so that I could begin to understand how he felt better and vice versa. We  also learnt about positive parenting techniques.

Thanks to Small Steps Together, I have found confidence in myself and I’m aware that I am not alone with my feelings anymore. I have accepted my traumatic birthing experience and all the triggers that made me feel so unwell. I am now able to take Chloe out to regular toddler play and stay sessions in the local community, go on mini family days out and have even returned to work.

If it wasn’t for Small Steps Together, I would be in a worse place than I was to begin with.  Now I feel more resilient and healthy. Thank you so much for your support, you have changed my life.

To find out more, visit: Small Steps Together