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'I can still hear that woman's voice': The moment Davina Smith reached out for help about postpartum depression

By Amy Lyall|

Davina Smith knows first hand how important the work that Lifeline does is.

As a new mum with a baby who was constantly unsettled, she came up with every excuse under the sun as to why she couldn't leave the house.?

"I think people always seem to think that postnatal depression is sitting in the corner and crying and not being able to move, or not being able to get out of bed," she told 9Honey.?

"And it is for some people, ?but for me, I had every excuse in the book for why I couldn't leave the house."

READ MORE: Maddi heard a stranger's voice at 3am as she held her babies?

Davina Smith
Davina Smith has opened up about her experience with postnatal depression. (Instagram)

Smith had a baby that screamed in the car, in the carrier and the pram, so she didn't go out.

"Suddenly I'd look down at bub and I realised I haven't left the house for 20-plus days straight, and I'm locking myself in a bedroom with blackout curtains on a bouncy ball trying to get her to sleep and thinking, 'OK, maybe one day of this, but 20 days of this, it's not normal.'"

When she realised she needed help, she turned to Lifeline.?

"That moment in my life when I called Lifeline was one of the most desperate, lowest and most lonely moments of my life," she explained.?

"I can still hear that woman's voice in my ear. I don't know who she is, she's a stranger but she saved my life and I will always be grateful for that."?

Davina Smith with her children.
The journalist turned to Lifeline when she needed help. (Instagram)

That's why she's an ambassador for Lifeline, because she knows what they do every day.

Postpartum can be a really tough period of your life and it can have a huge impact on your mental health.

"I can still hear that woman's voice in my ear ... she's a stranger but she saved my life."?

?"It's hard because in one what you think of it's just the baby blues and you hear people talk about anxiety and depression, but it presents in so many different ways, particularly for new mums and dads," she said.

"I just think the more you talk about it and you share experience, the more empowering it has, it has at least been for me."

READ MORE: New mum Nicole just thought she had the 'baby blues'?

Opening up about her own journey with postpartum depression wasn't something that came easily for Smith.?

"I was so scared at the very beginning, speaking out about my experience because I thought people would think I was weak and not coping and a bad mother," she explained.?

"It's actually the exact opposite. You find a strength in speaking out and realising they're not alone.

"And then as you get better and move out of that phase in your life, you know that your story is helping others who are in the trenches."?

READ MORE: Doctor's number one tip for mum's struggling post-birth?

Davina Smith and her daughters
Smith admitted she was scared to speak out, but realised it actually will help others. (Instagram)

Postpartum can feel overwhelming at times and Davina's one message for mums going through it is to speak up.?

"Don't sit in silence, don't sit there and suffer. Talk to someone and keep talking until someone realises exactly how you're feeling and how serious it is whether that's a partner, a parent, a friend," she said.?

"You will find someone who will listen to you because it's more common than you realise, and sitting in silence isn't gonna make you feel any better, it's not gonna help you heal."?

Smith, who also works with The Gidget Foundation, believes we also need to do more to nurture new mums, when often the focus is on the baby.

"?One day it could be great and the next day can be terrible," she said.

"We all know what it's like because as new parent, it's it's a rollercoaster of emotions."

Smith wants to see more support and nurturing for new mums when a lot of the focus is on the baby. (Instagram)

Raising awareness and supporting Lifeline is why Davina is taking part in the Push Up Challenge.

"?I thought that this would be a really nice way to help out and support what they're doing and raise awareness and raise vital money," she explained.

The challenge starts on June 5 and participants will tackle 3,249 push-ups (that figure representing the number of Australia lives lost to suicide each year) in three weeks.

"We've seen lately the demand for Lifeline services, which had their busiest weekend on record a few weeks ago," she said.

"I just firmly believe in what they do. It's such a crucial service and they literally save lives."

If you or someone you know is in need of support contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Beyond Blue. In the event of an emergency dial Triple Zero (000).

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