Mary-Anne is one of many women among us who are strong, capable and loving—but whose mental health can be profoundly affected by pregnancy and birth.

I had postnatal depression after two of my three children. With my first born, four weeks or so before she was due, I’d been in the mad rush finishing up work and it was the first time going through a pregnancy and leading up to having a baby.

I knew things weren’t quite right. And it was amazing how quickly things descended from that ‘not feeling right’ to thinking, ‘I’ve got to do something about this because I’m not coping at all’.

I had become so desperate that I wanted to take my own life.

That was the hardest point where I was really at the end and wanting it to be the end. I wanted to not wake up and have another day like this. I ended up being induced two weeks early with my daughter so that we could start some medication and start intensely focussing on my health, as well as my baby’s health at the same time.

I was eventually admitted into a mother-baby unit and my three-month-old baby was admitted alongside me. Together, we received the support, care and therapy I needed to complete my journey towards mental wellness; we also continued our journey as mother and daughter, learning and growing through this journey together (as all mothers and newborns, do). Having a mother-baby unit admission changed my life.

When I first heard about Catherine’s House, I just thought that this was the most fantastic thing to ever happen for Queensland. I am so thrilled that more mothers can have access to public mother-baby beds that provide best-in-class that are warm, supportive and healing.

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