Hannah (Thirsk)

Posted By: MMHA

1 minute read

Staff at the Mother and Baby Unit supported me in all aspects of caring for my baby whilst at the same time allowing time for me to become well again.

I had a straight-forward pregnancy and gave birth to my first baby after an emergency c-section in 2009. When I started having irrational, racing thoughts and very strange behavior my community midwife sent me to my GP. Things worsened and few days later, I saw a different GP who referred me to a psychiatrist who diagnosed ‘depression, postnatal onset’ and gave me medication. Frighteningly my condition quickly deteriorated. My condition became so bad I was sectioned in a general psychiatric ward, separated from my son and diagnosed with Postpartum Psychosis [PP]. I had no history of mental illness and developing PP was a complete shock and extremely traumatic.

Mother & Baby Unit (MBU)

I spent two distressing weeks in the general psychiatric ward until a bed became available in a specialist mother and baby Unit. I was stabilised there on my own and my baby joined me ten days later. It was enormously helpful that even with a round trip of 60+ miles, my husband could visit us each evening. This unit has now closed.

After going home three months later, I suffered extreme anxiety and lost a lot of confidence which took time to rebuild. The medication made me very tired. Thanks to the support of a care coordinator and with a series of consultant psychiatrist appointments, I gradually improved.

What should’ve been a joyful time with my new baby was terrifying and extremely stressful, not just for me, but for my family too.

Investment is needed

I had my second child in 2013 and with a care plan in place I didn’t get PP again. With my second pregnancy I struggled to access mental health services.

My message to others is, with the right support – from family, friends and professionals – you will get better. We desperately need more investment to raise awareness and more MBUs.

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