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WOW Live
Teresa Sweeney who lives in Mitchelstown, of Super Mom Slimming
Teresa Sweeney who lives in Mitchelstown, of Super Mom Slimming

Suffering from postnatal depression, I struggled to seek out help

A MUM of eight who recovered from postnatal depression after the birth of her sixth child that saw her hospitalised for three months is now committed to helping others.

Teresa Sweeney, who recently lost six stone in 11 months, has just won Best Newcomer Social Media Influencer 2018 at the Beauty Blog awards, having built up a huge following on social media where she posts under the name ‘Super Mom Slimming.’.

Working as a Slimming World consultant, she said: “I know what it feels like to think you can’t open your mouth, when all you want to say is ‘help’.”

Born and bred in Mitchelstown, where she lives with husband Marcus, they are parents to: Marcus, aged 15; Serena aged 13; Cameron, aged 12; Zoe, aged nine; Max, aged six; Cody, aged four; Jenna, aged two and baby Hunter, aged just five and a half months old.

Teresa, 38, has been married for 13 years and has been with painter/decorator Marcus for 21 years altogether.

She’s from a family of eight herself, and when she moved in with Marcus aged 18, they knew they wanted a family — but thought perhaps four or five children.

“I was 22 when I had Marcus and I suppose we just kept on going,” she said, admitting she realises how lucky she is that all her pregnancies have resulted in healthy babies.

It wasn’t all plain sailing though, and at 32 weeks pregnant with Cody she started to struggle with her feelings, which escalated drastically after his birth in May, 2014.

“I felt no connection with him from when he was born. It wasn’t a case of not being able to get up in the morning but I just had no interest in anything, in showering, in how I looked. I had five children already and I knew I was very lucky so felt I couldn’t tell anyone.

“Then, one day, when he was around three months old, I broke down at home and rang my local GP clinic and the receptionist told me to come straight in. I did speak to a doctor and all the help was there for me in terms of medication and counselling, but I felt guilty that I needed that help and didn’t take it,” she said.

Things worsened that Christmas when she attempted to take her life and was admitted to St Stephen’s psychiatric hospital on Christmas day, 2014, where she was later diagnosed with severe depression, psychosis and a borderline personality disorder.

Looking back, Teresa said a lot of her problems came back to the fact that she never grieved the sudden death of her mother, who lost her life in a road accident.

Maura died on her 30th birthday, when she was aged 58. She was cycling with the local club and less than a kilometre from her house when her back tyre blew out and she fell and tragically died.

“I had four kids at the time and just never spoke about it. It sounds silly but I used to just pretend she was in town or something, but not dead, so what happened to me was a build-up of all of that.

Teresa Sweeney with her family.
Teresa Sweeney with her family.

“For the first two weeks in hospital I really didn’t even know who or where I was. It was very tough on everyone, especially my husband. He was at home with the kids and brought Cody to see me every night which was recommended by my counsellors. At the time the eldest was 11, we told them that Mammy’s head wasn’t feeling well. It was strange to come out after three months and I still had a lot of work to do but we got there.”

Discharged in 2015, she had put on a lot of weight due to her circumstances but, becoming pregnant four months later, she had no time to lose it.

“People were worried when I became pregnant that things could slip for me again, but my husband was the one who said I could do it and we all knew what to watch out for so any problems could be caught in advance. But everything went well and when Jenna was two weeks old, in August, 2016, I joined Slimming World.”

Her starting weight was 17 stone 1lb, and by July, 2017, she had reached her goal of 11 stone and now holds her own classes in Mitchelstown. It was then she began sharing her meals on Snapchat and later joined Instagram while also deciding to share her experience of PND online, which got a phenomenal response. That resulted in her being asked to speak at a number of events and she now has over 23,000 Instagram followers.

She said winning the award was a huge surprise — one that’s still sinking in. She had baby Hunter in April and says she’s 15lbs off her target but followed the diet plan during the pregnancy as it’s medically safe.

What is her weight loss secret?

“Hand on heart, this plan or any plan, will work if you follow it. If weight loss is important to you, you’ll find a way to do it.

“If you are waking up and not liking what you see in the mirror, crying over it and avoiding socialising, then it’s time to do something about it. I’m not saying come to my class, but join a group and get support: “I find it’s an honour to help people and being paid is a bonus.”


“EVERYONE wonders how I do it with eight children — but I always say, they come in stages,!” said Treasa.

Nonetheless, it’s a busy household of never-ending laundry and grocery shopping that sees her rise at around 6am and not usually turn in until around 1am.

“I’d usually put on around four loads of washing a day; we have four lots of 2-litre milk delivered four mornings a week and I’d always have to top that up in between.

“The grocery shop last week for example was €268 and I’d have to top that up in between as well,” she said.

“But there’s always just one dinner that everyone sits down to eat — no messing!

“They’re a great bunch and the older two are a great help,” she added.

Their house is four bedroomed with the three girls in one room; the six and 15 year old sharing; the four and 12 year old doubling up and Hunter with mum and dad.

He had colic and silent reflux but is doing much better in recent weeks, she said.

They are working towards upgrading their seven seater car to a 10 seater as currently they can’t all travel together. But Teresa said, regardless of how much space they had, they’d always want to bunk up together.

The couple don’t have any additional childcare, with husband Marcus helping out on the days when Teresa is working as a Slimming World Consultant.

She describes her work as her ‘time out’ and doesn’t see it as a job.

“I love helping people,” the mum of eight said.

She says she feels it’s now time to sit back and relax a little and enjoy her family.

But she qualifies that by adding: “My family is complete — for now, at this moment in time!”