A Weymouth mum and councillor has bravely spoken out about her battle with post-natal depression to raise awareness of a mum's support group with a difference.

Mother Hubbards' Mums Coffee Group is run 'for mums, by mums', and is a safe space where judgement is left at the door, organisers say.

The group was set up by Cllr Tia Roos, who says said she wants to give people a place to feel welcomed and included - particularly mothers who are experiencing feelings of isolation, mental health issues or have English as a second language.

Cllr Roos used her Cllr Column in the Dorset Echo to talk about the issue last month.

Cllr Roos said: "Everyone expects you to be happy after giving birth - nobody talks about not sleeping at night, or feeling tired and alone.

"After I had my son it took six months to realise something was wrong - he had colic and a lot of people thought I was just exhausted - but in fact I was experiencing very dark thoughts, I was very depressed.

"I did feel suicidal but I would never have done it because of my son - but because of this I felt very guilty and was worried about other people's judgement.

"A lot of people will experience some form of mental health issue after giving birth - there is an expectation you'll just get on with things.

"There's always that pressure to be the perfect mum - and if not, you've failed.

"For me it felt like I'd lost myself the moment I had my baby.

"I had 14 weeks of CBT and had to learn self acceptance, body acceptance - I knew I had to take responsibility for my own health and wellbeing first in order to take care of my baby.

"I want to give other mums a place where they can come and relax, where nobody will judge them on how they feed their baby or how old they are."

Second-hand toys, clothes and bedding are available for free at group meetings, which are held every other week at the Lantern Trust in Ranelagh Road, starting from Wednesday January 9 from 10am - 12 pm, then Wednesday January 23. Depending on uptake the group will also meet on February 20.

Tea and coffee will be served, and the opportunity to engage with other services, such as the food bank, will be available.

A playpen and toys are provided - mums are welcome to come alone or with their children. The group is breastfeeding and bottle feeding friendly, organisers say.

Cllr Roos added: "The group is friendly and relaxed - there will always be someone to talk to about any issues you're experiencing, and a shoulder to cry on."