Pregnancy blog, 14/08/2018
Image credit: Adele via Instagram
In February 2018 Adele’s close friend Laura gave birth to a baby boy, Adele’s godson. Despite no history of mental illness and a “dream pregnancy”, Laura quickly began to develop both postnatal depression (PND) and postpartum psychosis (PP) after a difficult birth.
She wrote about her diagnosis and recovery for Clemmie Telford’s blog ‘Mother of all Lists’, describing it as “the worst time of her life”.
Laura begins her account with, “This week my baby turns 6 months old and I feel like it’s an achievement in more ways than one.” What follows is an incredibly open and frank description of what life is like with PP, which affects 1 to 2 in every 1000 new mothers.
There are many different symptoms of PP, but Laura specifically talks about “mania, mood swings, insomnia, delusions, paranoia, anxiety, and severe depression with a lovely side order of psychosis”. One delusion even led her to believe that her husband had kidnapped their baby.
‘Something’s not right with me, I don’t know what it is but I’m not ok.’
Before going into hospital for two weeks to be treated, Laura experienced intense confusion, anxiety and escalating dark thoughts.
However, with a lot of support from her husband, friends, family, healthcare professionals and medication, Laura explains that she is “recovering more and more each day” and feeling like herself again.
She says that the more she talks about it, the better and stronger she feels, and encourages other mums to break the stigma and not to hide their illness from their loved ones.
‘It’s nothing to be embarrassed about, it’s a chemical imbalance, an avalanche of hormones and it is NOT your fault.’
Support for postpartum psychosis (PP)
Postpartum psychosis is a psychiatric emergency. If you think you, or someone you know, has it get help as soon as possible. Call the GP and ask for a same day appointment, or go to A&E.
Any woman can get PP, even those who have never had a mental illness before. However, women with bipolar disorder or schizophrenia are at higher risk.
To speak to others who have experience of PP, or for extra support, visit the Action on Postpartum Psychosis website. They are a national charity for women and families affected by postpartum psychosis (PP).
Find out more about postpartum psychosis (PP).
These five things have been shown to help with wellbeing.
It’s natural to feel a bit stressed or anxious when you’re pregnant. If you are struggling with these feelings you may need help.
Your tummy will deflate and the swelling will ease, and whilst your body may not be the way it once was, it will always be your baby's first home. There's something beautiful about that, and that is something beautiful about YOU.
Things I wish I had known when I was pregnant about...unwanted advice. People generally mean well, but at the end of the day, you and your partner (if you have one) are the only ones who get to decide how to raise your baby.
Macrolide antibiotics (including erythromycin, clarithromycin, and azithromycin) are used to treat common bacterial infections and are considered alternatives for patients with penicillin allergy.