Paloma Faith has opened up about the complicated experience of postnatal depression and motherhood.
Last month, Paloma Faith announced her pregnancy in a very empowering way.
Sharing a photo of herself on her Instagram feed, Faith said she wants to “feel free” in her body as it changes over the coming months. She detailed her anxiety over society’s fixation with pregnant women’s bodies. It was her way of claiming the narrative of her pregnancy journey, setting boundaries and protecting her mental health.
In the same post, Faith also candidly talked about the postpartum depression she experienced after her first pregnancy. Now, the musician has talked about this in more detail, and it will no doubt be of comfort for anyone who has had a similar experience.
Before Faith gave birth to her first child in 2016, a condition called premature rupture of the membrane (Prom) meant she was confined to bed for three weeks. Her daughter was then delivered, prematurely, by emergency caesarean.
“My child was actually fine, but I wasn’t,” she told BBC News. “I had a uterine infection, I had cystitis quite badly twice, to the point where I was convulsing, teeth chattering, high temperature. And I lost a lot of blood, as well.
“It was as close to death as I’d ever been.”
But Faith says she played down her health problems, explaining: “I was trying to be a hero and I didn’t get help.
“I did all the nights myself and I didn’t get to recover, because I didn’t sleep, and then I got postpartum depression – so it was all pretty intense.”
Embarking on a nationwide arena tour, Faith says she felt “devastated and miserable”.
Describing the complicated experience of postpartum depression and motherhood, she added: “Do you know what’s mad about postnatal depression, though? You spend all this time going, ‘Oh my God, I’m terrible at being a mother. I’m awful.’ Then you suddenly go, one day, ‘Oh, I’d like some more’.”
Although Faith is under no obligation to share such personal trauma, her words may be of comfort and reassurance to the one in 10 mothers who experience postpartum depression and the many women who give birth prematurely because of Prom.
She’s also recently talked about the reality of her IVF journey, which she had six rounds of before becoming pregnant again. This is another women’s fertility issue that is shrouded in taboo, despite the fact that more women are freezing their eggs than ever before.
More honest and open conversations around fertility are needed, and we applaud Faith for amplifying the conversation.
If you would like more information and advice on mental health and pregnancy, the NHS website has helpful resources and guides.