Laura Milby is passionate to break down the stigma around talking about mental health challenges after Home-Start support helped her live again and find the positives in challenging times.

Laura was the first woman in Scotland to have a liver transplant while pregnant with her second daughter Kate.

Sadly, baby Kate died at 37 days old in 2014. Two years later, Laura had her second daughter Emma, now 5, a little sister for Sarah (now 12).

Throughout the emotional rollercoaster of the toughest times of her life, sprinkled with joy and new hope, Home-Start Glasgow South stood alongside Laura, her husband David and their girls with compassionate, non-judgemental support.

Laura said: “My eldest daughter Sarah was two years old when my health visitor first referred me to Home-Start as she could see I didn’t have support from a friendship group and I was suffering postnatal depression.

“At first it was the Mother’s Group. We’d all meet on a Friday for a cup of tea and a chat. The kids would be in the crèche which meant we could do activities like yoga, crafts, cooking, talks, courses, sewing. All sorts of things. It became an important part of my week and I looked forward to it.

“Having a volunteer was just what I needed to help motivate me to get out. She also helped me with housework. It was all done in a really nice friendly style that supported in a way that was encouraging. I looked forward to her coming.

“My volunteer is like a mum. We laugh, if I need a cuddle she is there, the kids love her. She is important to the whole family not just me. Home Start made a really big difference to all of our lives, not just me, but the children too. Throughout everything I’ve been through having Home-Start and my volunteer has helped me take each day at a time and see the positives rather than focus on the negatives.

Home-Start helped me live again

“Home-Start helped me live again it’s been hugely difficult going through everything I did but thank God I had Home-Start by my side.

“The things we went through as a family were terrible but Home-Start helped me cope.”

Laura is an ambassador for Home-Start Glasgow South and for mums struggling she says: “Please ask for help and take it one day at a time. Stick with it. Change won’t happen overnight but having Home-Start support will make a difference.

Break the stigma

“I want to break the stigma round talking about our mental health. I want to encourage other mums to open up and speak about it and get support.

“I felt totally isolated before Home-Start – yet thanks to them, just before my liver transplant, I met what is now my best friend in the Ladies Wellbeing Group. I am godmother to her daughter, and we are now so close we are just like sisters.“

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