The Doncaster mum taking on postnatal depression with make-up

Natasha Wainwright with her daughter Summer
Natasha Wainwright with her daughter Summer
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A Doncaster mum-of-twins is harnessing the power of make-up to help parents suffering from postnatal depression.

Natasha Wainwright, aged 26, of Moorends, battled depression after giving birth to twins Summer and James last July.

Natasha with her twins James and Summer

Natasha with her twins James and Summer

The experience inspired her to tackle the stigma she says still surrounds the condition, while helping other mums open up about their struggles and rebuild their confidence.

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She set up the Facebook group Multiple Mums & Makeup - a forum where mothers of twins, triplets or more can chat and share beauty tips - in an attempt to boost the self-esteem of parents adjusting to life with multiple new arrivals.

It proved such a success - attracting nearly 500 members within a month of launching - that she has now started her own make-up brand called Multitude Makeup.

The community interest company, created with the support of Groundwork South Yorkshire, donates a share of profits to the family support charity Home-Start and the PANDAS (Pre And PostNatal Depression Advice and Support) Foundation.

Multitude Makeup's range of products

Multitude Makeup's range of products

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Each different shade of eye shadow is named after a member of the support group, with the idea being that it reflects their personality and highlights how taking pride in your appearance can be a small but valuable step towards regaining your identity and no longer being defined solely by your children.

As the company grows, Natasha, who is making the goods from her living room, plans to send out leaflets with each order containing information about postnatal depression and the support available.

"I sought help for my postnatal depression and was prescribed tablets and given counselling but I still didn't feel like me; I felt like a mother of twins whose life consisted of changing nappies and feeding babies," said Natasha, who works part-time at a call centre.

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"I got into make-up again, after abandoning it for many years, and found it boosted my self-esteem and gave me the confidence to go out again.

"I set up the Facebook group so people could share make-up tips and information about sales, but I never expected it to take off like it has. People love sharing their new looks.

"I just wanted to remind mothers it's not selfish to spend a little time and money on themselves."

Postnatal depression affects more than one in every 10 women within a year of giving birth, according to the NHS, and can also affect their partners.

With the right support, most women make a full recovery, but Natasha believes the stigma surrounding the condition prevents many people seeking the help they need.

She is determined to raise awareness of the symptoms and bust the many myths and misconceptions clouding perceptions.

Many people, she says, wrongly expect anyone with postnatal depression to be sat in a corner crying, unable to leave the house and dressed in food-encrusted clothes.

Once when she told someone what she was going through, she was shocked to be told 'does that mean you don't love your children?'

Some mothers experiencing depression, meanwhile, assume incorrectly that seeking much-needed support will lead to their children being taken into care.

"The stigma attached to the condition can be very dangerous because if people don't seek the support they need, they can get to the point where they can't look after themselves or their little ones," she said.

"We're trying to make it a more open conversation because we don't think mental health's something that should be frowned upon."

* Multitude Makeup has launched a crowdfunding appeal to help it expand so it can support more women. You can donate at www.crowdfunder.co.uk/multitude-makeup-1.