Tag Archives: GPs

Natalie’s story

I do worry for other women experiencing perinatal OCD. Awareness and understanding needs to increase among healthcare professionals.

Natalie (Barnsley)

I became a mum for the first time at the age of 17. The birth was a traumatic experience which ended with me having an emergency C-section. Afterwards, I would constantly think that I was going to lose him. So much so that throughout the night, every 30 minutes, I had to check that he was okay. Behaviour that left me exhausted and even more susceptible to intrusive thoughts.

My health visitor picked up on how I was feeling and advised me to see my GP. But the doctor misdiagnosed me with postnatal depression and only offered me antidepressants. I didn’t take these because I didn’t feel depressed. I wasn’t offered any other support.

Constant intrusive thoughts

Thankfully, with the support of my husband and family, after several months my intrusive thoughts began to subside. But six years later, following three miscarriages, similar thoughts began to overwhelm me when I became pregnant again. Every day I couldn’t stop thinking that I was going to miscarry again, and I constantly feared for the safety of my unborn baby and my son.

One day, my husband returned home early from a work trip to find that I’d barricaded all the doors and windows so no one could get in. I thought I was just being safe, but he saw that I needed help and contacted my local perinatal mental health team. They diagnosed me with perinatal OCD [obsessive compulsive disorder].

Early intervention is vital

Following my diagnosis, things got worse before they got better. I became suicidal and my husband had to take time off work to look after me and my son. I couldn’t function. It was a very scary time. But after I started CBT [cognitive behavioural therapy] and gave birth to my daughter, my symptoms started to ease. I was able to bond with my daughter and started attending peer support groups, which I found so helpful.

Today, things are so much better. But I do worry for other women experiencing perinatal OCD. Awareness and understanding need to increase among healthcare professionals, because early intervention is vital to good outcomes. I’d also like to see better support for family and friends, so they can spot warning signs early and know how to support someone going through this.

Perinatal OCD is an incredibly difficult condition to deal with, especially if you don’t get the right support at the right time. But I do want others to know that with the support of family and friends and maternal and mental health professionals, things can and do get better.

For more information about perinatal OCD, visit MMHA member Maternal OCD’s website.


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New mothers in England to receive dedicated six-week check

Last week, MMHA member NCT were able to celebrate after hearing the news that NHS England and the British Medical Association have agreed to fund a six-week assessment for mums under the new GP contract. They won’t have to wait long for the change either, as plans come into effect from April 2020. Continue reading New mothers in England to receive dedicated six-week check

What a difference an hour can make – Training GPs in Perinatal Mental Health

By Dr Carrie Ladd, GP, Royal College of GPs (RCGP) Clinical Fellow in Perinatal Mental Health (@LaddCar)

Following our Mums and Babies in Mind (MABIM) seminar for GPs on perinatal mental health in February, we asked Dr Carrie Ladd (far right) to reflect on the event and what was achieved.

Guinea Pigs playing Ping Pong. Not an image I have used in my power point presentations before but it certainly caught people’s attention. Let me explain…

Discussions have been happening for a while between the team at MABIM and Dr Judy Shakespeare (RCGP Perinatal Mental Health Clinical Champion) and towards the end of last year, things started to take shape. The idea was to develop a training package for GPs and other practice staff in perinatal mental health with a view to rolling out the package over the four locations in which MABIM works – Blackpool, Gloucestershire, Haringey and Southend.

Continue reading What a difference an hour can make – Training GPs in Perinatal Mental Health