Life Video

By James Somper

A first-time dad who was struck by crippling post-natal depression after the birth of his first daughter has spoken of his fears of the condition returning.

Ross Hunt, 27, said he entered a “dark place” after his wife Rachel, 26, gave birth to daughter Isabelle WHEN.

Pic by Caters News

The postman from Newport, South Wales, has chosen to speak out in support of other dads who may suffer the same thing ahead of the birth of his second child due in October.

He said: “I’m up and down with it a lot so I’m worried about it coming back and ending up back where I was with Isabelle.

“Part of me thinks about it too much so I’m trying to push it to the back of my mind.

“I’ve got a lot more in place this time round.

“Dads suffer a lot too but just don’t want to talk about it, it’s the last taboo among men.

Pic by Caters News

“A lot of men go through this but don’t want to talk about it.

“If it wasn’t for Rachel I don’t know what I would have done.”

Rachel said that dealing with Ross’s condition posed a serious challenge.

She said: “If I’m honest, it was hard work. I had just become a new mother and had a baby to look after which I was completely clueless with, and then I had a husband who needed my help too.

“As much as it was hard for Ross feeling that way, it was extremely hard for me too.

Pic by Caters News

“The worst part is just the feeling of helplessness you get whenever you have someone with a mental health condition. Sometimes there’s nothing you can really do other than be there.

Rachel added : “I just know that this time around he has a lot more in place to help him.

“He’s currently on new medication which will hopefully be working well come October, and of course he has his outlets via the blog and Instagram, and we’ve always had a good relationship which helps.

“He also has Isabelle to show him what happens when you get through PND if it does return.”

Research published by Little Freddie Baby food as part of the ‘Little Known Facts’ campaign, supported by PANDAS Foundation, aims to share facts around weaning and the challenges parents face around mental health. The study revealed 73% of British parents admit they struggled with anxiety and mental health issues after becoming a parent for the first time, and more than three quarters (77%) experienced feelings of isolation after having children.

Pic by Caters News

78% of UK parents agreed that social media projects parenting in an unrealistic light, with 59% admitting they feel pressure to be the ‘perfect’ parent. A third of parents said they use social media detoxes to ease anxiety.

Ross said that he had experienced depression following trauma in his teens which resurfaced following Isabelle’s birth.

He said: “When I was 17 a friend of mine died on night out. The stress of the birth brought it all back including that sense of guilt that I’ve had since.

“It was a traumatic birth, right from the get go I didn’t know what was going to happen, I really didn’t want to be in there, I was so scared.

“When Rachel went back to work those feelings came back. I felt like an impostor and that Isabelle didn’t really want me there, she wanted to be with Rachel.

“The worst moment was one day when Rachel went to the doctors she left me with Isabelle for 30 minutes.

Pic by Caters News

“I felt like she didn’t like me and I didn’t like her, I felt like I didn’t know what I was doing and she wanted Rachel there.”

Ross now documents the battle with his inner demons on social media and has over 8,000 followers.

He said: “I felt not many people were talking about the male side of postnatal depression so decided to start talking about it myself. These days I still struggle on and off with depression, and am worried about the PND returning with our second baby this October.

“But only time will tell on that one. I find talking about it and do the odd bit of weird dancing on Instagram to help me through it!

“I’ve got a blog and social media so i can share my experience with other people about how I feel.

Pic by Caters News

“I know a lot of people say Instagram projects a bad image of parenting but I’ve found it lets me be open and honest.

“The Little Freddie stats show a lot of men go through this but don’t want to talk about it.

“I felt I was quite prepared to be a parent but I wasn’t.

“Dad’s suffer a lot too but just don’t want to talk about it, it’s the last taboo among men.

“You’ve got to find someone to talk to, finding an outlet is really important. “There have been times when my daughter Isabelle has had a meltdown in the supermarket, kicking and screaming, you honestly feel like everyone is looking and judging you as a parent, it’s really low. Just having someone, as stranger giving you a smile or nod of encouragement goes such as long way.

“If it wasn’t for Rachel I don’t know what I would have done.”

Little Freddie is available nationwide in Sainsbury’s, Ocado, Amazon, Boots, Daylesford and