By Eimear O’Hagan & Jill Foster
She'd read all the baby magazines, been to her antenatal classes and written out her birth plan - now expectant mum Clare Sallery couldn't wait to have her first child. But when her son Rhys arrived, she struggled to be the perfect mum she'd read about and seen on TV.
And after failing to breastfeed and bond with her baby, Clare, 31, from Devon, felt so inadequate as a mother that she not only gave her son away, but also tried to kill herself.
"When I got home from hospital, I wasn't like the mums you see on television, who seem to cope really well and are so happy to have babies," she says. "I was crying all the time and convinced myself Rhys would be better off without me."
Worryingly, Clare's case is far from unusual. In a society where parenting is big business, there is also increasing pressure on new mums to do everything by the latest best-selling book. But what if your experience of motherhood is less than perfect?
With post-natal depression affecting one in 10 mothers, research suggests that at least 50 new mums commit suicide every year, because they feel they can't cope with their new babies…