Thursday, 13 November 2008

Tamworth Postnatal Support Group Study Day

Awesome! Moving! Brilliant!
In the years I have been speaking now I do not think any event has impressed me as much as this event did.

I got off to an excellent start by having a very sociable evening and stay at the Drayton Court Hotel
It was lovely as a lone traveller to feel so welcome by the proprietor Katie, her staff and fellow guests.

Then onto Drayton Manor. What a fabulous venue. The conference area and facilities were very swish.

There were around 300 delegates from as far away as Antigua! Many more had applied but had to be turned away. There were a variety of exhibitors, a massive raffle with 75 donated prizes! The Tamworth Postnatal Support Group had done a magnificent job of setting this event up; had got a variety of sponsors and the day was planned to such incredible detail by Jill Beckett, her colleagues and a team of mothers who had been involved with the group.

The staging and media were magnificent, done by and the day was filmed by

A former PND sufferer opened the day with breathtaking monologue called 'Who am I?' which vividly described how she had felt. Throughout the day we had many other dramatic presentations by former sufferers which were so powerful. Well done ladies.

Kathryn Gutteridge was the keynote speaker and she had founded the group in 1997. It has since helped over 1000 women. One statistic that she gave was that in the last three years 1,100 children have been left behind due to their mothers committing suicide due to postnatal illness. See the difference that just ONE person CAN make. I feel inspired myself.

Caroline Carr, a clinical nurse specialist from Stafford Mother and Baby Unit gave a very interesting talk on mental health disorders with case studies from her work.

I delivered my talk and again made people cry!

But for me the stars of the day were the 'dramatic' mothers. Their messages were fantastic and I am sure that there will be 300 professionals inspired today to go and make a difference.

The group is planning a DVD of the day and also a pack on how to set up a group like theirs. Jill Beckett is a midwife ... yet if she ever gets bored she would have no problem in getting a job as an event planner as it was the best I have been to.

Fantastic ladies. Very, very well done. It was an honour to be there.

Sadly as I drove home the news reported of the stabbing of two babies by their mother in Manchester. That is why postnatal depression HAS to be taken seriously and action taken NOW.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I am a midwife and attended this study day. It was the most amazing study day I have ever attended. It was truly inspirational. I have longed to hear Elaine speak after reading her book numerous time, and it was definately worth the wait! She is a glowing example of how normality can be regained after this devastating illness.
I cannot thank Elaine and the mums of Tamworth Postnatal Support Group enough for sharing their experiences and I hope we all can put them to good use in influencing our practice.
Many thanks again to all involved in the conference and I look forward to the next one!
Helen Janiszewski - Midwife