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The whole experience left me traumatised. While it was a blessing to have my baby girl especially after 3 boys I dipped emotionally for weeks after. When I had my check-up with the Community Midwife check – I was really tearful due to what had happened during my c section. it was a feeling of being both blessed and sad. I requested to see my notes so that I could understand why certain decisions were made. My community midwife got these for me and explained what happened. I was happy with what was shared and why but felt that my rights had been taken away with little information being shared with myself or husband in that moment. You don’t take a woman’s rights away from her. POSTNATAL The 40 days rest were needed. My milk didn’t come through. My body was traumatised. Breastfeeding in the first 6 weeks was a challenge. I had to give my daughter formula although this was not my intention and was forced to give her formula while on the labour ward. I had no choice in the formula either which was upsetting as couldn’t say anything in the moment as I just wanted my baby to feed. I did not have a BF peer supporter. But was supported by staff on the ward. After the 40 days I felt an energy shift. Breastfeeding established, baby in a good routine I felt that I was coming back to my normal self. I have been reflecting on the C-section and its scar and what it means. It is a strange sensation to touch. The whole experience of the c section felt like a traumatic ancestral memory. PERINTAL MENTAL HEALTH During the pregnancy I was sick and lacked energy, this caused a lot of wellbeing issues. I felt in very low mood. I spoke to my community midwife about this who recommended that I speak to MIND. As I started to feel better, I did not pursue this. What do you think stops Black women from seeking help for PMH issues? Fear of children services involvement and being seen as having deeper mental health issues. There appears to be a stigma that black woman cannot be vulnerable. I felt this the most while in hospital. I would say “Would you rather suffer through the issues or risk Social Services getting involved? “White women are allowed to be vulnerable and Black women are not – it’s not fair.” Reflecting on your question. I think black women need space where they are allowed to be vulnerable without fear of judgement. Not just the fear of judgement by others but also the fear of judgement of ourselves and our community. I think its starts and end with us. I think we need to unpick the narrative of this myth we call the strong black woman. Once we understand it for ourselves, I feel it will create the space for others to understand this too.