Thinking Differently Together - First 1,000 Days Of Life

How would you say pregnancy affected your mental health? Caspar: Mentally challenging of course … but the care that I received I don’t think affected it in a negative way… Kyle: Because they made it so much more comfortable, because everything we discussed with Annie, and we had planned on the birth plan, and our continuous visits to the maternity unit, and everybody becoming a lot more familiar with the situation... the nerves, and the potential for mental stress that play in your head diminished. And it became almost an enjoyable experience, because that is most important. How would you summarise your experience? Kyle: I suppose originally, you wouldn’t expect a transgender man to want to go through it, because it’s experiencing something that realistically you didn’t want your body to experience in the first place. But having said that, that being a risk, with everything that happened and everything that was put in place, it was quite exciting. We even plan to have another child before you do your transition, don’t we? Finally – is there anything maternity services could do differently? Kyle: The one thing … being Caspar’s partner, I’m very protective… He’s very laid back and most of the time me being protective wouldn’t even have affected him, he’d be ‘don’t worry about it’, and most of the time that was the case. But going into triage, going into the maternity ward, you see a lot of posters, documentation, even the pregnancy folder you get given and the ‘mum bags’, the ‘mum and baby’ app, are very female orientated. And it’s a very standard thing, it always has been, but it would be interesting to see how that could possibly be altered in a way that’s not so ‘mum and baby’. So it could be, as we are, ‘father and baby’ or ‘parent and baby’, and be more inclusive. It’s just the small things that, ok we’re not quite there yet, but we are getting there. With thanks to Caspar Cotterill and Kyle Taylor for their feedback, thoughts and involvement with Maternity services in Suffolk and North East Essex Georgetta’s story Georgetta moved to the UK from Romania with her ex-husband, who abused her. She moved away from him and has been living in Suffolk for the last 6 years. Home Start Suffolk has been helping Georgetta manage the changes that come with a new baby. Georgetta recorded her thoughts and feelings just three days before the birth of her baby. Please note: Some of the content of Georgetta’s story may be upsetting. “I think the problem was between me and my partner. He was like violent and aggressive, and the police was involved in this. And I think the police started to know about my case. But… um… it was a blessing for me to meet with you, Natalie and Home Start because, you know when you are like in dark and you are not seeing the light. And somebody coming to and give you like a hand and they say ‘we are here for you, you are not alone and you will be helped.’ And this for me was, was like everything. Even I was working still two weeks before giving birth to the baby, you know, like it’s Friday so it’s not long. So… it’s just last week I stopped work but the money’s not enough and I was paid, like minimum wage. What to pay first? Rent? Bills? Food? So, what is left to buy something for the baby? There’s nothing left there. And I was so 3 | Suffolk and North East Essex Integrated Care System

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