Kim's Story

Kim was told, she couldn’t get pregnant, so had planned to go travelling with her partner. Subsequently finding out she was pregnant came as a bit of a shock and resulted in mixed feelings and guilt. Resentment then followed a difficult labour and complex birth, contributing to post- natal depression.

Kim was referred to Home Start by her Health Visitor who was concerned about Kim’s bonding with her daughter as well as Kim’s mental health. Kim felt that she had to continue to be the ‘big personality’ amongst her friends and family and found this hard to maintain due to her own mental health meaning sometimes she didn’t want to see anyone. Over the course of the first year of her daughter’s life she had alienated many friends as well as her Mum and felt that her partner didn’t understand.

Support was needed to enable Kim to meet others in her community as well as having someone to talk to who she could engage with and who would support her in bonding with her daughter.

"Our volunteer, Polly visited once a week and was mindful of Kim’s mental health by on her first few visits, asking Kim if she was happy for her to stay once she’d arrived as sometimes Kim may not be able to cope with a visit or may need a shorter one"

Polly was supportive in listening to Kim and how she felt or what she’d been doing each week and provided encouragement for Kim on her parenting, by acknowledging interactions between her and her daughter as well as positive comments about what they’d done together since her last visit, leaving Kim ‘always feeling good about herself’ once Julie had left, as Kim wasn’t used to anyone saying she was doing a good job.

By the time Polly’s support ended, the boost in self- esteem and having had the consistency of the volunteer to talk to each week had enabled Kim’s confidence to grow so that she was able to talk again to her mother and re-build relationships with her, her partner was more understanding, having seen how Julie had been able to help. Kim started part-time work, she would go out with her daughter more as well as being happy to leave her with her family so she could go out and was excited about their imminent house move.

Kim had been unsure about Home Start support initially but by the end of the support fed back to us that she:- ‘Couldn’t praise Polly more, a great listener, always made me feel better and no pressure!’