Co-host of channel Ten’s The Project Lisa Wilkinson spoke candidly about her motherhood experience on the show last night, explaining that it took her six months “to feel normal again” after the birth of her first child, Jake.
The panel had been discussing the incidence of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder amongst mothers who experience difficult births, with Amy Dawes, co-founder of the Australasian Birth Trauma Association.
As the interview came to a close, Wilkinson who is the mother of Jake, 23, Louis, 21 and Billi, 20 – shared details of how becoming a mother was a significant and overwhelming experience.
“There’s so much as a woman about giving birth that’s just a completely open book,” she said.
She described attending her first birth class with husband, Peter FitzSimons:
“I remember sitting in my very first birthing class, Pete and I, and the midwife said, ‘One in four of you will have a caesarean.’ I remember looking around and thinking, ‘Gee, I wonder who’ll have that?’” she recalled.
“And guess who had a caesarean, 26-hour labour, emergency caesar, knocked out with a general anaesthetic? It took me six months before I felt normal again.”
Co-host Waleed Aly asked Wilkinson asked her to further explain the sensation of not feeling “normal” after birth.
“In every single way. There’s so much about it you don’t anticipate, but talking about it and sharing those experiences is so important — it makes all the difference.”
Post-traumatic stress disorder is a condition usually associated with war veterans but it’s also affecting an alarming number of new mums. #TheProjectTV
— The Project (@theprojecttv) July 4, 2018
Wilkinson has previously shared details of her own experience of miscarriage. She has also suggested that women approaching 40 should not to wait to fall pregnant naturally, because it can be more difficult to do so than they anticipate.
In a heartfelt piece in The Huffington Post last year, Wilkinson said she had three unsuccessful pregnancies after she turned 40, when she and husband Peter FitzSimons were trying for a fourth child. Describing that as a haunting experience, she said it was a topic that should be spoken about more, so that other women might not feel so alone.
“At 11 weeks I started to bleed. An ultrasound confirmed the worst. That tiny little person I could see on the monitor wasn’t moving. There was no heartbeat,” Wilkinson wrote.
“So, six months later, we tried again … But it happened again, with almost exactly the same timeline. And another six months later, again.
“As my gynaecologist gently told us, it was nature’s way of saying my eggs were just too old.”