August 11, 2021
Elizabeth’s experience of being a parent with disabilities
Mental health support for new and expectant parents
Our Parent and Baby Wellness service in Liverpool supports parents and carers who are experiencing challenges surrounding pregnancy, birth and parenthood, during pregnancy and the first two years of your baby’s life.
Elizabeth is supported by Mandy from our Parent and Baby Wellness team. She has cerebral palsy and is partially sighted and at various stages in her life has felt overlooked or – worse still – judged because of this. This was especially the case when Elizabeth became pregnant with her first child in 2012. She felt she was discouraged from becoming a mother and that the only options for her were to give her child up or move back home with her parents – after thriving in her own independent home for years.
Mental health support during pregnancy
Elizabeth gave birth to another child in 2020 in the midst of the pandemic. Because of Covid restrictions her partner and carer, Dave, wasn’t allowed to stay in the hospital with her. In her own words, she ‘fell apart’. Because of the trauma she experienced in 2020, when she became pregnant again later that year, she was ‘petrified’ to give birth again. She describes how she emotionally detached herself from the baby as a ‘coping mechanism’. Mandy supported her remotely throughout her pregnancy and worked with professionals to support her to have a home birth like she had wanted alongside her partner.
Whilst building a relationship with Elizabeth, Mandy has been so saddened to hear about the prejudice she feels she has faced throughout her life. Elizabeth is passionate about supporting other people with shared experiences to have a voice and to have the same rights as everyone. It was her idea to start a podcast to do this called ‘Fitting in’, in reference to the challenges she has faced to fit into society’s norms. She wants everyone to live their life the way they choose to, regardless of societal stereotypes or expectations.
More information on our Parent and Baby Wellness service
Click here to find out how our Parent and Baby Wellness service could support you.