Post Natal Depression

At least 35,000 women in the UK suffer from postnatal depression

The true figure is likely to be much higher due to the stigma and fear that can be associated with it. It follows that at some point further on they are likely to ask the question ‘Do I/ we want another baby?’

Just published, Another Twinkle in the Eye: Contemplating Another Pregnancy After Perinatal Mental Illness by Elaine Hanzak addresses this issue and supports parents and professionals in that decision making process, and in planning for another pregnancy and the postnatal period if the decision is yes. It also considers the implications of deciding not to have another child. The book is a supportive guide for parents and professionals considering a further pregnancy following perinatal mental illness, including ‘real stories’ from people who have made these decisions, with practical advice and examples of good practice from experienced healthcare professionals. In some instances women and their partners cite a poor birth experience as one reason why they may also not want to add to their family as they feel it added to their poor mental health. This is very relevant in context of the current National Maternity Review; fear of a birth should not be a contraception!

10th October is World Mental Health Day, making this a timely topic to be considered.

“This book is the best I have read about the topic of perinatal mental health … It is the book I have been wishing had been written to enable others to understand what is going on during a period of illness and how best to ask for help and support others who are suffering … I would highly recommend [it]…” Dr Stephanie deGiorgio

“It should be a standard reference book … It brings together a lot of practical text … the sort of things you might spend hours looking for on the internet … [it brings] together the facts, resources, discussion points and information to help people make an informed decision.” William Greenwood, MHSM, Dip HSM

“A very important and much needed resource which I am certain will be appreciated by so many people … [it] is a one-stop resource for any family considering a new addition following the experience of perinatal illness … Covering just about every thought, emotion and practical suggestion necessary, this is a real must both for families and health care professionals.” Luce, mother of two boys and considering another baby

Elaine is a writer and speaker at conferences, workshops etc, developed from her experience of puerperal psychosis and bereavement. ( She frequently participates in TV, radio and other media discussions, and is the author of Eyes Without Sparkle: A Journey Through Postnatal Illness (Radcliffe Publishing, 2005).

It’s the little things

It’s the little things

that really mean so much!

Since Xavier joined his amazing new school in April his confidence has grown greatly! It really blows me away. It may only be little things to most people but they are huge to me. He can do up the buttons on his polo shirt…. he can put on his own socks… he eats ham… he actually asked me if he could try a pistachio nut the other day. He is wanting to try new things. This evening I had sweet potato for the first time and he tried a bit and didn’t like it but he just ate it and didn’t run to the bin to spit it out. He is becoming more independent with going to the toilet at home. Yes, he is almost 10 years old but he has dyspraxia which affects his motor skills. He has sensory issues too and his toileting issues have been apparent for many years now. He came home from school last week with a Star of The Week certificate for “talking to an adult when he gets angry or frustrated”. I am so incredibly proud of him!


I have been (still am) really unwell lately with my mental health and other things… too many to list here and the last thing I want to do is bore you haha! Izabel has been offering to do little chores for me at home to take the strain off. I think she sees that I am struggling and is being very grown up and really helping me out. Again it may only be little things like loading or unloading the dishwasher or feeding the cats but it all helps. I cannot believe she will be 13 in a matter of weeks! How on earth am I a mother to a teenager? Where did those years go? She is a good girl, despite her usual hormonal strops and I am incredibly proud of her too! She is growing up to be a very beautiful, kind and caring young lady.


Never take the “little things” for granted. I certainly won’t!

Trolley Bags – Review and Giveaway

Trolley Bags – Review and Giveaway

How many of you are guilty of forgetting your bags when you go shopping? I am a nightmare for it. Did you know that from the 1st of October you will be charged for carrier bags in shops? I know some do it already but it will be all stores from this date!

I was approached and asked if I would like to review some Trolley Bags. After checking them out I would have been mad not to. Such a fantastic idea!


Whoever thought of this is a genius!! They hang on the back of the trolley whilst you fill it with your groceries. If you use the service they have in Tesco where you scan as you go round you can have the bags open in the trolley as you go. They come in 2 sizes. One is for the shallower trollies and then the regular deeper trollies.

I tested mine out when I went shopping the other day. I opted for the shallower trolly bags but when i got to Lidl they only had deep trollies available.


They are SO handy when packing your groceries up. Who needs carrier bags? 😉

They redeemer than you realise too. See with that little lot above I probably would have used at least 5 or 6 carrier bags. The different sections are connected together with velcro. Then when you want to put them in the boot of the car they come apart and have 2 handles to simply lift and place in the boot. The Trolley bags are incredibly well made and very sturdy.


Once you’re back home and all the shopping is unpacked they easily stick back together with the velcro and can be rolled back up and are an easily storable size. Ready to go for next time!! Just don’t forget to put them in the car!

Trolley Bags have kindly offered my readers the chance to win One of Three sets. Winners will have the choice of smaller or larger sizes.

Please follow the instructions in the widget below to enter.


Win 1 of 3 Trolley Bags sets

Back to School Budget

Back to School Budget

Is it just me or do the Summer holidays always seem to fly by? One minute your little (or not so little!) ones are breaking up for six weeks of sunshine, summer activities and holidays, and the next minute, the nights are drawing in, and it’s time for them to pack up their pencil cases and head back to school. Dare I say it will be Christmas in no time at all…

However old or young your children are, there are always costs associated with going back to school, which can be worrying, especially if you’re on a budget. I’ve found that the best approach is to plan ahead and make sure that you start preparing for the dreaded (or anticipated) first day back, long before it arrives.

Of course, the cost of going back to school depends upon a whole range of factors including your location and the age of your child. Moving from primary to secondary school is one thing, but flying the nest and heading off to university is quite another. And believe me, it will come around sooner than you think, so don’t be caught off guard financially!

In a bid to be extra prepared, I recently started looking into the costs associated with university. I was well aware that it had become substantially more expensive than when I was 18, but I have to admit that I was pretty surprised by what I found!

According to a study by the NUS (National Union of Students), the average cost of university for the 2013/14 academic year was a whopping £23,187. Yes, you read that right, £23,187! Upon reading this, I immediately checked my savings, and then carried out a credit check, just in case I needed some extra help (you can do this by visiting

Once the shock had settled down, I decided to look into this figure further – how could student life cost an average of £23,187? That’s more than many people earn in a year!

Well, according to the survey, the greatest expenses were £8,425 and £6,340 for tuition fees and accommodation respectively. The rest of the money went on travel (£2,169), books and clothes (£2,839), food and drink (£1,956), and going out/leisure (£997).

Fortunately, there are a wide range of loans and grants available depending upon your personal circumstances and, of course, there are always ways to save and reduce the cost of things such as food, travel, etc if you budget effectively. But there’s no escaping the fact that if and when my little ones head off to university, it’s going to be an expensive time!

One thing’s for sure, I plan to start saving immediately, and will encourage my children to do the same!



Under a Black Cloud.

Under a Black Cloud.

is where I have been for many years but over the last couple of months the cloud has been that much darker. Depression really is an awful awful thing to live with. I think it will unfortunately always be with me. I just have real difficulty from time to time with managing it.

I have 2 beautiful children who I am very grateful to have and I adore more than anything else in the world and Should be springing out of bed in the mornings to have lots of fun with. Instead I have just not been wanting to get out of bed. Not even been wanting to leave the house and most days we haven’t. I feel so bad for the kids as we haven’t done much at all during these 6 weeks holidays. Guilt is what I feel.

I pop to the local shop to grab essential and feel like everyone is looking at me, my heart thumps in my chest, get pains in my chest when I breathe in and out, feel sick and sometimes dizzy and getting to the checkout and back into the car cannot some quick enough. Panic attacks are horrific to deal with too.

I burst into tears for no apparent reason…. quite regularly. I feel miserable. I curl up on the sofa with my blanket and just want to be on my own. I don’t want to do anything or see anyone.

Unless you have been through something like this yourself or have a close friend/relative who has, you just really don’t understand. It really is something I wish I could snap out of. I hate that I can’t make people close to me understand. It’s so frustrating. They just don’t get it. I don’t want my kids to remember their mum being a miserable sod. I want them to remember having fun. I am on medication and its been upped once already. Maybe it needs to be reviewed with the GP.

Everything has been neglected including the blog, in fact I was going to stop blogging altogether but decided that I love it too much to stop. I am just going to do it at my own pace and not get snowed under and overwhelmed.

So this is where I have been. Stuck under my very own black cloud. I’m trying. I am truly trying so hard to find the sunshine. Just struggling to do so right now.


A Very Special Birthday!!

A Very Special Birthday!!


My Mum in law celebrated her 69th (yes really!!!) birthday on Tuesday!! Birthdays are always special but this year, this particular birthday was extra extra Special!!

Just a few days before her birthday, Susan found out, after having a THIRD lumpectomy that it had been successful!!! She is now Cancer FREE!!! This is what made this birthday extra special. It is such fantastic news for all of us but especially for Susan. She has been through the mill recently with 3 operations in 5 weeks. We are all so very happy!!

I wanted to get her something special just from me. Something personal to her. I looked on to see what they had in the birthday gifts section. Then I fell in love with this little guy!!


How cute is he??? I love the fact you can personalise the messages on his shirt. Ive called Susan “Mumma” for years now and thought it was fitting to have this as the personalisation. It is at no extra cost too which I think is fantastic! Who doesn’t love a Me to You bear?!! It is a lovely size too as you can see from the top picture. Not too large or too small.


The bear is of such lovely quality. “Mumma” loves him very much!!

She was also spoilt with money to spend on herself and flowers…. How many bunches of flowers!!!?? It was like a florist in her house! Looked and smelled beautiful!

She is a very special lady and had a very special birthday!!

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