The beautiful Leah Bennett with her daughters Audrey Rose (6) and Eliana Faith (4). Leah has struggled with mental illness for much of her life but wasn't officially diagnosed until after her first daughter was born. She had a challenging pregnancy emotionally but a wonderful vaginal birth and found her self in a really dark place after her daughter was born. She wasn't able to breastfeed which she still has some guilt about and when she finally sought treatment for what she thought was postpartum depression, realized that she has been dealing with depression and anxiety for quite some time. Leah also has trichotillomania which has led her to pull out most of her eyelashes and eyebrows and then the hair on her head which is why she now keeps it proudly shaved. She began medication and after trying a few different options and combinations began to feel some reprieve. In 2010, Leah's father died and a month later she miscarried their second pregnancy. After weathering both of those traumatic events in such a short span she began to spiral again which led to a difficult time with her husband. He wasn't sure he could be married to someone with mental illness and she hadn't yet stepped into a place of full ownership and advocacy for what she was dealing with. Things improved and they made the decision to have another baby. Once again the pregnancy was a bit challenging and her birth was lovely. She was able to breastfeed this time and very much enjoyed her nursing relationship with Eliana and the pair have slowly weaned over the past year.
Leah wants nothing more than to help shatter the stigma against mental illness. Through owning her struggles, advocating and being open about them she hopes that she can help other mothers know that it is okay. There is nothing to be ashamed of and help is there waiting for you. Support, she says is so necessary, for any mother, and even more so when you're feeling depressed and anxious and alone.