Action on Postpartum Psychosis
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Baby Zara

Baby Zara is now only 14 weeks, born in Australia. I am writing this from the grand parents point of view. The mOther is age 24. Lived in Australia for 10 years, with frequent visits to the uk to see the family. She met her partner 4 years ago and they were both very happy until 1 month prior to the baby been born. We just put it down to stresses of becoming parents. 3 months after baby Zara was born the mother became unwell with PP. she was admitted to hospital without baby and only was able to see baby Zara every other day. Her partner blamed her parents for the illness which resulted in bad feelings between her partner and the mothers parents. Her partner did not understand the illness. The mother was in hospital for nearly 3 weeks, and she returned to her partners home and lived with his parents. The partner still blamed us for her illness and he wanted the mother to have no further communication with her parents. This made matters worse for the mother due to the closeness she had. He made her choose which relationship she wanted while she was still ill. The day came where they separated but he decided he would keep the baby as there was no court order yet in place. Again this made her worse. For over a week after they separated he used the baby as bait. The mother took it upon her self to get the baby in he care. A few days followed and the father snatched the baby back. Several treaths of volience followed and resulted in her ex partner assaulting her family members. These events made the mother worse. We decided to calm the situation down and help the mother recover. We went to the uk to see her family but the mother is now pining for her baby. The situation is that the ex partner will not allow her see her daugher until a court order is made which could be months. Her illness is getting better, but doctors feel she is half way through PP.

9 Replies

So sorry to hear about what must be an awful situation to be living through. I don't know about the services available in Australia, but it does sound like the mum needs legal advice, but also help and support with her mental health. Are there mother and baby units where mum and baby could live together with care support? Maybe the mum could get some help and advice from her doctor. I guess in all countries the priority is to keep baby safe. I can only imagine how hard it must be for you, as a grandparent, seeing it all happen, but having little power to change the situation. Good luck x


Yes shes having medical support. She continues taking her medications percrisbed. The legal advice is too seek mediation first but it takes months for things to happen in Australia.

On the gold coast there was no mother and baby units/wards. The fact the ex partner has removed the baby from the mothers care only makes her worse.

The baby was safe, when they split, has the mother had support from the grandparents. The baby was never in harms way.

It's a shame that no one explained to the partner what the diagnosis meant. He Throught it was a mental illness unrelated to the baby.

She is getting better but she pines for her baby.



Such a worrying , stressful time for you all especially the baby's mother. PP has taken a lot of us by surprise and all we can do is endure the frightening journey. Baby's mother must be in turmoil as PP alone is hard enough to cope with but to have ongoing Court proceedings to deal with must be unbearable.

Perhaps mediation will benefit the parents by being able to talk in a neutral place? It must have been very hard for the ex-partner to come to terms with the mother's illness if they were not aware of PP and had been happy up to one month before baby's birth. As you say, it's a shame no one explained to the ex-partner that PP can strike after childbirth.

There may be others here who can provide you with links to helpful organisations. As with the legal system in Australia, recovery from PP takes time. You are doing your best by offering support. I wish Zara's mother improving health along the road to recovery.

Take care.


Hi there,

I'm really sorry to hear about this awful situation & the difficulties you & the mother must be having at the moment. PP comes as such a shock to most people & it's really hard for everyone involved to understand it when they probably haven't heard of it before. I really hope her ex partner takes the time to try to understand it or that the mediator (once that happens) explains that it's important for him to understand it - I think he needs to know that it's not the mother's fault, no-one is to blame, that it didn't happen because of anything she did/didn't do & that it's temporary & she will get better.

It must be really awful for her to be separated from her baby, I do hope this is resolved quickly. It must also be so hard for you seeing her pine for baby - I guess all you can do is reassure her that they will be back together soon & to hang in there. I think there's always worry about bonding when the mother & baby are separated, but I know that things do always work out in the end - the closeness might take a little longer than usual but it does always come. In the meantime I think it's important she focuses on looking after herself & getting better. I hope she's got a good support network around her to help - this is where grandparents can be invaluable, they might not understand what happened/is happening but they can be very helpful with the practical things - even just regular phone calls helped me.

I really hope everything improves quickly & that mother & baby are reunited soon. Take care & let us know how she's doing.


Thanks for the replies. I only wish everyone in our family had a better understanding of the illness when our daughter was diagnosed with PP. I am hoping that her partner will do some research on the illness. She wants her partner back and it's the last thing she wants is to break up. Her relationship breakdown is making her worse. She is pining for for the baby. We are youngish grandparents ( late 40s ) and it does not help that she has a 1 year baby brother. Lets hope our daughter will get through this. At the moment she's sufferings high and low moods swings , getting upset when things are not going her way, and is suffering with high anxiety levels, and she won't take the answer her relationship is over.

Thanks for the replies.


Hi, yes it'd be so helpful if he understood the illness, I wonder if it's possible to direct him to this page at some point:

It must be incredibly difficult for her trying to get better with the additional turmoils of a relationship breakdown & being without her baby. And it must be so difficult for you too especially while caring for a 1yr old - is she living with you or are you able to see her regularly? The mood swings must be very waring to deal with, I guess all you can do is try to create a calm environment for her & be supportive & extremely patient - she's been through/is going through so much. Also, obviously make sure she continues to take her medication properly. She probably can't see it now but I think she should focus on herself & getting herself better & strong again. Once she's well again she'll be better equipped to sort her relationship with her partner if she still wants to. I can assure you, your daughter will get through this, it's a long, bumpy road but it's temporary & it really does get better.



Our daughter is 90% back to her normal self. She's back in Australia. Off the CTO. And had a psychiatric assessment showing she is more than capable of looking after her daughter.

The court hearing is on 18/06 for custody of the child.



Oh that's great news! Thank you for the update & I hope the court hearing went well!


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