BRINGING a little one into the world is both an exciting and nerve-wracking experience.

The prospect of parenthood can lead to a range of emotions as couples prepare to meet the precious new life they have created.

Like many mums, Jo-Elle Byrne went through those emotions and, like so many others, didn’t recognise the symptoms she was suffering, yes suffering, could be something more deep-rooted than just getting her head around being a new mum and the challenges adapting to becoming entirely responsible for another little human being brought.

Her three-year-old daughter was nine months old when she was diagnosed with Post-Natal Depression - a condition often referred to as the ‘baby blues’ which affects one in every 10 women within a year of giving birth. Although less common, it can affect fathers and partners.

Coping with a newborn can be stressful. Many parents suffer with sleep deprivation in those early months so it can be difficult to identify whether the emotions are part of adapting to parenthood.

When her friend sent her a link to the mental health charity website, MIND, Jo-Elle suddenly began to identify with the behaviour changes and booked an appointment to see her GP.

Writing in her blog ‘WTF - The Real Story’ recording her own experience of Post Natal Depression - Jo-Elle hopes it will help other parents recognise the symptoms and do something about it.

“If I hadn’t, well, I wasn’t really admitting there was a problem was I? And deep down; I knew something was wrong. I thought I hated my husband; that s**t doesn’t just come out of nowhere? Does it? He had done nothing! Leaving the odd towel on the floor or forgetting babies nappies surely aren’t sack-able offences? There had been a fundamental shift in the way I was feeling. I should look into that.....” writes Jo-Elle, from Halifax.

She recalls her appointment with the GP- walking into the office, sitting there and not knowing what to say.

“I felt really stupid because, let’s be honest, you do not go visiting your GP because you had a row with your spouse! And PND, not something that you hear of being self diagnosed,” she writes.

Recognising the increasing awareness around mental health prompted Jo-Elle to talk about her own experience. “My experience wasn’t the world’s best, nor was it the worst I’m sure, but what it did do was get me off the starter blocks.”

She recalls how her GP gave her a range of options including medication and counselling. She embraced both.

Since then she has introduced other tools into her life such as meditation and writing.

Jo-Elle initially began her blog ‘The Yorkshire Pudding’ in December 2016. Jo-Elle describes it as a ‘comedic twist to family safety and personal wellness.’ It focuses on mental health, parenting and home safety.

It led to her self-publishing her debut book ‘WTF - The Real Story’ in May. She is currently working on her second book.

“I’ve always loved to write,” says Jo-Elle, who christened her blog ‘The Yorkshire Pudding’ as she felt it reflected her character and personality.

She spent much of the last decade working in Bradford. Her roles included working as a policy writer and for a debt charity.

Determined to help others, Jo-Elle began to write her blog to raise awareness about Post Natal Depression. “It started with a blog post and ended up being an 80 page book,” she says.

The title ‘WTF’ came from a conversation with her supportive husband, Paul: “Those were the three words that summed up how I felt throughout the entire process and my husband said ‘call it that, it’s honest, frank and representative of what is in the book.’”

Growing up, the couple lived across the road from each other. They got together after meeting in a nightclub and have been together for 10 years and married for eight years. “He is an absolute diamond,” says Jo-Elle.

Her advice to those experiencing similar symptoms is to talk to someone: “I have never felt more well and I am doing what I love every single day,” she says.

Jo-Elle is donating a percentage of the profits of her book to PNI.Org - an organisation run by women who are current and past sufferers of Post Natal Illness. To find out more about Jo-Elle’s book ‘WTF’ visit For more information about Post Natal Depression visit