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Dublin: 5 °C Thursday 22 March, 2018

'I got a feeling looking at my new baby that he'd be better off without me'

42,000 women in Ireland are diagnosed each year with a mental health illness and emotional trauma surrounding pregnancy and childbirth.

Ruth Lyons
Ruth Lyons

OVER ONE IN 10 Irish mothers suffer from postnatal depression.

Ruth Lyons is one of those mothers, she spoke to about her story.

“I got a feeling when looking at my new baby that he would be better off without me, that if I was gone a new mother would arrive and look after him.

I gave him a kiss in his cot and said goodbye to him. I planned that to be the end but when I walked down the stairs my daughter was at the bottom.

“When I looked at her I realized I was the right mother for her”.

Ruth suffered from postnatal depression after the birth of her second baby.

She put her depression down to the death of her mother and two previous miscarriages the year before.

She explained that her mother died on the 4 of August 2010 and that the following year in February and June she had two miscarriages. “I was seven and half weeks on the first baby and ten weeks on the second”.

Her son was born in August 2012 and when he was about ten weeks old Ruth got very depressed.

I went to a counselor and a few weeks into our sessions she believed that I had postnatal depression and she recommended Nurture to me.

Nurture is an Irish charity that  supports women surrounding conception, pregnancy, childbirth or the loss of a baby.

“I thought it was the grief of losing my mam and losing the babies, I honestly didn’t believe it was postnatal depression.

Because it was my second child and not my first, it just shocked me.

“I also felt that if I owned up that my baby would be taken off me. Of course that wouldn’t happen but I did feel like that.”

It’s estimated that 13 per cent of Irish mothers suffer from postnatal depression.


Ruth explained to that she made a decision that evening that changed her life.

That evening when my husband came home I stood at my kitchen table in between the kettle and my keys and in my head I was deciding whether to turn on the kettle or pick up the keys and drive away and not come back.

“I made the choice to turn on the kettle and I’m still here today because of that decision”.

Speaking about Nurture, Ruth explained that:

I started the support group a year ago yesterday and it was the best thing I ever done for myself.

“When I walked in we did a list of the symptoms of postnatal depression and I was ticking them off in my head.

Everybody’s experience was different but it was great to talk and realize you’re not on your own, it takes away the isolation.

The charity is hosting an ‘Emotional Wellbeing Education Conference’ today to raise greater awareness of mental health issues around pregnancy, infertility, childbirth, loss and miscarriage.

The Conference takes place in The Gresham Hotel, Dublin between 9.30am and 1.40pm


Read: Depression linked to a miscarriage can last ‘for years’>

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