Action on Postpartum Psychosis
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Can't move on

I can't seem to move on, my son was born in November 2013 and it was 36 hours long with very little sleep. My planeta didn't reattach so I was rushed to theatre after only 1 hour with my son. We had tried for 4 years for him and had to have iui (step before ivf) with lots of injections, I thought that labour would be hard but I'd finally have my son at the end of it and everything would be perfect. After theatre I got to feed my son but then he was cold and had low blood sugars so got taken to scbu. After 48hours tests showed that he was fine but then hehad jaundice. After 6 days of being in hospital with very little sleep I developed pp. I just keep on thinking if I would have done things differently then my labour would have been better and wouldn't have fallen ill.

6 Replies

Hi betty2014,

I'm sorry you're struggling with this. I completely understand how you're feeling but getting ill wasn't your fault.

PP seems to be caused by a number of factors, I don't think anyone really knows, and I don't think there's any way of knowing whether if one of those factors were removed, it wouldn't have happened. It's natural to think of all the 'what ifs' and it's just such a cruel illness, but it's nothing you did or didn't do.

My birth wasn't in any way traumatic, I had no history of any mental illness and was well throughout pregnancy. It still happened to me. It can happen to anyone. I think it's just awful luck.

It takes time to come to terms with but please believe that you didn't cause it to happen.

How are you now? It seems to take most women a good year or more to feel back to themselves and 'recovered'. I think feeling like this, the sadness and the wishing it could have been different, are some of the hardest things to go through and take a long time. It will get easier. We all understand completely.


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Hi, please try to move on and enjoy your baby. I have suffered PP following 2 very different births and babies. My first was traumatic, bottle fed, colic and I had difficulty bonding. My second was the most perfect birth, breast fed, beautiful bonding, but very bad sleep deprivation. My maternal family have a genetic link to mental health problems - and unfortunately put me at higher risk.

Try very hard to shake off the thoughts, concentrate on the now and enjoy your bubba! Look forward.


It's very hard not to think to think like this I know. But PP is pretty random. I spent a lot of time trying to work out why it happened to me, or even to understand what it was. But, like many other things in life, ultimately you can never really know. The time will come when it won't matter to you so much, and gradually think about it less often.

Your baby will love you regardless of how things started out. That's what counts.



Hi Betty,

I had a very similar experience to you: traumatic labour, long stay in hospital, followed by PP. This was in January 2012.

After I recovered I went through a stage of feeling pretty angry, and feeling that perhaps if the maternity had spotted the signs earlier I would have been OK. But although it's natural to wonder 'what if?', I think many professionals believe that PP is not something we have control over: it's to do with brain chemicals, hormones and other physical processes we can't control. Also, nobody can really predict whether labour will be straightforward or complicated. So it's not your fault or anybody else's: it just happens, and we've been really unlucky.

My daughter has just turned three, so I'm just approaching 3 years since PP. Hang in there, it does get better, and these feelings will fade.



Hi Betty2014

I'm sorry to hear you had such a traumatic and stressful birth experience. I wondered whether you have had the chance to talk through this experience with a counsellor at all, as this might be really helpful for you to process both the birth and the episode of PP afterwards, which can be so frightening to go through?

As other forum members have said, we still understand relatively little about the causes of PP - however it's certainly not your fault because of anything you did or didn't do. The main factors which seem to influence women's risk to PP are genetics and previous history of mental health problems. PP is thought to be caused by the brain's response the big hormonal changes during and after birth but we still need more research to help us understand the causes fully.

I thought sharing a bit of my experience might help also - I had PP after both of my children (a much milder episode after baby #2 which we managed quickly with antipsychotic medication) and their births couldn't have been more different. Our first daughter was born in a midwife led unit with the water pool and gas and air, I felt on top of the world after she was born and quickly began to have sleeplessness and manic symptoms even though the birth had been 'perfect' in many ways. With our second daughter, I had an emergency c-section as she was distressed, she was tiny (4.5 lb) and within 7 days she was in neonatal intensive care with hypothermia due to her low weight. It was around this time that the all-too-familiar symptoms started to creep back for me. I feel that this helped me to understand that PP really is an illness that just strikes due to our genetic/hormonal sensitivity and it's not necessarily preventable through a good/bad birth experience.

I'm really glad you have found the forum, as it's a great place to share your feelings about PP and to connect with others who have felt the same way. Even though it may seem quite a long time now since your episode of PP, it can be relatively early days in terms of recovery. Over time, the sense of 'why me'? will fade as you feel more proud of yourself for surviving such a traumatic experience.

Naomi x


Hi Betty

There seems to be some good advice and comments already but I just wanted to add that it is perfectly understandable how you are feeling and many other women feel the same after suffering the traumas that come with pp and childbirth. It is widely accepted that psychological intervention should be offered to people who have experienced psychosis, and that it can help people to make sense of their experience and ultimately how to come to terms with it and move on. Although there can be a wait for psychology in some areas unfortunately it is something I would highly recommend you talking to your mental health team about if it is not in place already


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