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Louise Roe
Conception Mar 14, 2021
6 Minutes

Louise Roe talks fertility, prenatal depression and being a mum in a covid world…

TTC, pregnancy and parenthood is a rollercoaster at the best of times. Unfortunately our new Covid reality adds another set of challenges. Challenges that can add to anxiety and feelings of loneliness. Even for those who seemingly look like they have it all put together beautifully! One example of this is the absolutely gorgeous (inside and out) Louise Roe. Louise is a fashion journalist, author and TV host. She is mother to 3 year old Honour and has been going through TTC and pregnancy in our strange new reality. Here for Season 2 of our podcast she shares her very honest and real experience. We talk prenatal anxiety/depression, managing severe sickness, stress and how to manage screen time in a positive way. Click here to listen. Or read on below for a few key snippets!

The power of hormones: 

Morning sickness isn’t fun at any time. Add in multiple lock downs and winter months and it is a whole new dynamic….

Louise: The trouble is, there can be a tendency to downplay the impact of the first trimester and the hormonal surge that comes with it. Many of us have heard that it is ‘just hormones’ and will pass. However, hormones are extremely powerful and when you’re in the midst of something like this it can impact not only your physical wellbeing but also your mental health. Something that we shouldn’t underestimate. 

Prenatal depression: it’s a very real thing: 

‘In first trimester there were times I felt very lonely and low. I certainly experienced feelings that were verging on scary/dark. I had never realised that prenatal depression was a ‘thing’.

It is very real: Prenatal depression is said to impact as many as 1/7 women: 

Most people have heard of postnatal depression as thankfully awareness is increasing. However, prenatal depression is much less talked about. It is however no less real as hormones and physical changes surge and anxiety escalates. 

One of the reasons why it is less talked about is the shame/guilt many mothers-to-be experience for their feelings. Not wanting to seem ungrateful for being pregnant and worrying that they don’t feel as happy as they ‘should’, or thought they would. 

However, it is a very real condition. Recognised by the Academy of American Paediatrics. 

We also know that it is even more common when a person is faced with adverse experiences like severe sickness/Hyperemesis Gravidarum and of course the challenges we see these days with Covid restrictions and anxieties. 

Symptoms of prenatal depression/anxiety (you may not have all of these): 

What helped Louise climb out of the hole:  

Some things that helped me:

Ultimately it was about taking it day by day. Being realistic and accepting my limitations. Trying to take the pressure off as much as possible. Not being afraid to ask for help. 

Louise on fertility and preparing her  body for pregnancy the second time around: 

The journey to a second pregnancy was for Louise ‘a longer journey and a bit more complicated’ than the first time around. 

Here are a few things I would say to anyone in a similar position: 

The power of stress when it comes to ttc… 

We know stress is bad for conception. However, trying to not be stressed can make us more stressed. The irony! Louise herself struggled with anxiety around this time. Here are some of the things she found helpful: 

Ultimately one person’s stress can be someone else’s enjoyment so take the time to investigate what works for you. Take it without apology. 

Managing time/sanity: life with a pregnancy, a job and a little person at home… 

One thing that was and has been helpful is being strict with time blocks.

At the beginning I was dipping in and out of work and trying to juggle everything. That was very hard as I found myself frustrated and distracted. It was very fragmented. 

Now we take time proper focused time blocks. My husband will take our daughter for the morning and then we switch. This has been really helpful reducing stress and allowing us both to be more efficient and less distracted. It is better for my daughter too and helps keep everyone’s sanity!

Screen time: the new reality of COVID – how we manage it in a positive way: 

The restrictions on our lives inevitably mean more time at home and more screen time. Something that many parents grapple with. However, it doesn’t necessarily need to be a negative. The good news is that people are now producing amazing interactive content on platforms like YouTube. It can be online kids ballet/yoga or even crafts. It’s amazing what is now on offer. It’s not like putting on a cartoon and being sedentary, it is an activity. 

It is also something you can do together with your child and talk about. A positive, fun activity. 

This is exactly what was recommended by paediatrician Dr Mona Amin and psychotherapist Christophe Sauerwein when it comes to managing screen time in a healthy way. Click here for more. 

More from Louise: 

To follow Louise’s journey check her out on Instagram @louiseroe or for her very real and honest video diary documenting her first trimester click here. 

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This article is for informational purposes only. This article is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice. The information on this website has been developed following years of personal research and from referenced and sourced medical research. Before making any changes we strongly recommend you consult a healthcare professional before you begin.

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