Elaine Hanzak (@elainehanzak) is an author and speaker who uses her experience with postnatal depression and bereavement to deliver keynote presentations on overcoming loss and perinatal mental health.
She is the author of two books, “Eyes Without Sparkle: A Journey Through Postnatal Illness“, which today’s discussion is based on, and the follow-up “Another Twinkle in the Eye: Contemplating Another Pregnancy After Perinatal Mental Illness“.
In 2016 Elaine was nominated for the “Cheshire Woman of the Year” Award for her contribution to community services, and in 2017 she was a finalist at the British Journal of Midwifery Awards in the category of contribution of a non-midwife to mid-wifery practices.
In today’s episode Elaine shares her experience of postnatal depression. How despite dreaming of motherhood her entire life, a traumatic labour, months of sleep deprivation, and the pressures of aspiring to be the perfect mum, eventually caused her to spiral into a period of depression, self-harm, psychosis, and eventually being admitted to a psychiatric hospital.
Having since made a full recovery, Elaine tells us what the experience has taught her about motherhood and life, and she also offers some simple self-care practices to help future mums avoid a similar fate.
Hanzak.com – Elaine’s website
Maternal Mental Health Alliance – a UK coalition improving the mental health of women and their children during the perinatal period
Image courtesy: Jake Guild