Postpartum psychosis: A mother’s story | BBC Tomorrow's World

Postpartum psychosis: A mother’s story | BBC Tomorrow's World

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Having a baby can have a huge and sometimes unexpected effect on a parent’s mental health. Catherine talks about her experiences as a new mother, her diagnosis of postpartum psychosis, and how she was able to work through such a challenging period of her life with the right support.

A film made in collaboration with BBC Tomorrow’s World:

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Scientific advisor: Dr Heather O’Mahen

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we walk down the stair brick walled corridor towards the mother and baby unit and Tom's holding my hand like quite firmly and then I hear this baby scream and I just drop his hand and turn and run in the opposite direction because right then I know that what they do is they find bad mums like me they collect them up and then they swap their babies for robots the nurse came out from the wars well like come on in like your baby's already in there so let's go and see her and she said that at the time she was just terrified and that her priority was to get me into the unit to protect my dignity I was completely convinced that they were still watching me in the unit they had this black box on the roof and I thought the black box was like filming me the whole time recording everything I said I refused to eat I wasn't really drinking they were then able to diagnose me with postpartum psychosis I would sit twice a week with the psychiatrist and he would say score your house suicide you feel on those scales zero to ten and I'd be sitting there going nine nine nine over and over again the symptoms for postpartum psychosis usually start in the first couple weeks post birth I didn't get diagnosed with postpartum psychosis until he was about five months old there was that it was precious moments I should have been having that instead I was running around the house worrying about like murderous ninja social workers the most helpful thing to my recovery in the MBU was the fact that they nurtured my relationship with B they have trained two nursery nurses that do things like splash play activities or weaning classes or baby massage and they help you play with your kid and I probably sent strange that I needed help to play with my kid but I did I did I needed someone to give me confidence that I was doing it right the staff at the MBU did a really good job of personalized care building up trust and sort of understanding you as a person and what your interests are I've a complete pop princess and so they brought in a little music player things so that I could plug my iPod into it and listen to Beyonce loudly or Taylor Swift loudly and balanced around the room to that that was again a way of like self-expression and of finding yourself again for a long time I felt like I was a terrible mother and it was really the mother and baby unit that to change my thinking on that you

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