Much loved mum of two dies after struggling with postpartum psychosis

Pippa Whiteward was tragically killed by a train following a long-term battle with mental health issues.

Pippa and family

Pregnancy news, 03/11/2016

Much-loved mum Pippa Whiteward, who was tragically killed by a train, was diagnosed with bipolar and had been suffering with mental health issues since she was teenager.

Mum to five year old Isaac and six month old Jacob, Pippa was diagnosed with postnatal depression following her first pregnancy and had been battling with postpartum psychosis since the birth of her second son Jacob.

Pippa was pronounced dead on Saturday after her struggle with postpartum psychosis tragically led her to be killed by a train.

Friends and family have paid tribute to a ‘compassionate and lovely woman.’ They have called for an improvement in the services available for sufferers of mental health across the country.

Pippa’s sister Lydia has spoken about why we need to raise awareness of mental health issues in our society:

‘People need to know how to talk about mental health. More people should be aware these are illnesses which should be taken seriously.’

1 in 10 women suffer mental health problems in pregnancy and parenthood.

It’s so important to talk to midwife or GP about how you are feeling in pregnancy and after your baby is born.

Our midwife Kate explains:

‘Postpartum psychosis is a rare but a very serious illness and is often unpredictable.  Whilst a diagnosis of bipolar disorder does increase the risk of postpartum psychosis, it does not mean it will happen, it can affect anyone.  Whether you are pregnant or have had your baby, it is so important to talk to your midwife or GP about how you are feeling and if you notice any changes in mood or emotions.  Most postpartum psychosis suffers do not recognise that they’re unwell and because the illness is often unpredictable it can also be difficult for partners, family and friends to recognise. If you have any worries or doubts about you or your partner’s mental health then it’s important to seek help and talk to health professionals as soon as possible.’

We are so sad to hear the devastating news of Pippa's death. Our thoughts go out to her family.

You can find out more about postpartum psychosis here.

Find out how to get help and support with mental health here.



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