A MUM from Anglesey who developed panic attacks following the birth of her first child has spoken out about her experience to raise awareness of the mental health problems it can bring.

To mark Maternal Mental Health Awareness Week, Michelle Wyn Jones has joined North Wales healthcare professionals in calling for new and expectant mums to open up about their difficulties.

The mum-of-two is one of more than 450 women to have benefitted from the specialist support provided by Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board’s Perinatal Mental Health Service in the last 12 months.

Michelle, from Amlwch, first developed panic attacks after the traumatic birth of her first child Caleb in February 2017, which left her “physically and mentally battered”.

“Straight away I started to have flashbacks, especially at night where I would play out the birth on repeat and in detail like a film,” she explained.

“Everything was super vivid – faces, voices, equipment, lighting, surroundings, and it would trigger feelings of panic in me.

“I struggled to talk about my birth, I avoided other people’s birth conversations, I hid my birthing books away and even hearing music from my labour would take me back there.”

Twelve months later, Michelle confronted her fears after receiving the bittersweet news that she was pregnant with her second child, Caron.

She was then referred to the Perinatal Mental Health Service and offered a form of therapy called ‘Rewind’, which helps women overcome birth trauma.

“Talking my birth through with Emma from the team during the first session really helped," Michelle said.

“I started to understand that it wasn’t my fault. I was able to bring my birthing books out of hiding and read them."

Caron Wyn Jones arrived safely via caesarean-section in November 2018, weighing at 9lbs 9oz.