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Young mum starts Camden charity to support parents hit by postnatal depression

PUBLISHED: 13:00 15 February 2015

Jessica Warne at her West Hampstead home. Picture: Nigel Sutton.

Jessica Warne at her West Hampstead home. Picture: Nigel Sutton.

© Nigel Sutton email pictures@nigelsuttonphotography.com

A young mum who suffered severe postnatal depression after the birth of her second child has started a charity to support other parents affected by the illness.

Jessica Warne, 29, of Broadhurst Gardens, West Hampstead, briefly contemplated taking her own life following the birth of her daughter Lily in 2011.

After being diagnosed with postnatal depression, she discovered there was no local support network for mothers suffering with the condition and decided to set up her own coffee mornings for local mums to meet up and chat about their experience.

In October, she founded charity Cocoon Family Support, which now runs weekly support sessions at Mind In Camden, Camden Road, Camden Town.

She said: “I had my eldest daughter when I was 19. We were completely penniless and we had nowhere to live. She was unplanned but we were really happy.

“When she was born it was incredible, an overwhelming feeling. I thought I was going to have all the feelings I had first time around with my second daughter, but all that was shattered.”

Mrs Warne was overcome by the feeling her newborn baby hated her and suffered intrusive thoughts about Lily’s welfare, such as worrying she would drop her or spill a kettle of hot water over her.

Her condition became so bad that she was afraid to even touch Lily.

She went to see her GP and was diagnosed with postnatal depression after an incident in which a member of the public had to stop her as she contemplated leaping from a train station platform.

“I thought about how easy it would be if I didn’t go home,” she said. “I thought all the problems would go away and my children would have a mum who could properly look after them.”

After being prescribed anti-depressant medication, Mrs Warne recovered with the support of mothers in similar situations who she contacted on the Mumsnet website to arrange the coffee mornings.

The charity’s sessions, held each Saturday between 9am and 11am, have so far supported more than 80 families.

“We offer support for the whole family,” said Mrs Warne. “I have so many people contact me saying they don’t know what they would have done without us there.”

To find out more about Cocoon Family Support, call 07946165515 or visit facebook.com/pndsupportnw6

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