Action on Postpartum Psychosis
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Hi all

You may have seen my post last week.

My son is now 3wks old and I remain well :-)

Unfortunatley the crisis team & my family "dont trust my judgement".

Even though my mind is clear, I'm sleeping 6+hrs per night and my son is exclusively breastfed, latching himself and feeding solidly for 20-30 mins each feed (demand during the day and two dream feeds per night at around 12:30 & 04:30) they are suggesting I now take preventative medication!?

It really feels like a test as they're also saying I need to give my son formula!?

I've explained the above to the crisis psychiatrist (who actually remembers me from when I was ill after my daughter) and I have asked for a second opinion from the perinatal psychiatrist who has seen me throughout this pregnancy. Just waiting for the next contact.

Advice please if the perinatal psychiatrist says take medication/give formula as well?

I really want to trust them but, after what happened to me last time with bad advice (see my previous post), the fact that they don't trust me when I say I'm well and that they are now contradicting themselves, I am quite understandably confused as to who I should believe in; the mental health experts or myself.

RSVP ASAP - the later in the day it gets the more pressure I expect my partner (who has his own issues with OCD) will put on me to ignore my mother's instinct and comply with his/their suggestions.

Alison x

PS a little pic of me feedofeedingng my lb while enjoying a duvet day watching DVDs :)

18 Replies

Hi rose89,

Firstly, congratulations on the birth of your baby boy :)

I really feel for you when everything feels to be going so well, but it's so important to be cautious as you know how quickly things can escalate. PP hit for me around this time.

Have you got an appointment with the perinatal psychiatrist? Are you expecting contact with them soon? Are you in regular contact with the crisis team? It must be so frustrating to feel they don't trust your judgement, but they will honestly be on your side and want what is best, nothing else. It's also natural for your family to want to protect you and to worry, they too only want what is best for you.

If the perinatal psychiatrist advises the same, I feel you should trust them, as much as you might not want to. It's so much better to be safe than sorry and hopefully you'll be able to find a way forward that you can all agree on.

Wishing you all the best xx


Thank you - excellent advice :)

Perinatal psychiatrist saw me at 2 weeks for ten minutes and was happy to say no need to see me again until 6 weeks. No further contact from him or crisis team today, despite chasing once ;) x


Hello Alison,

A huge congratulations on your second baby. Absolutely wonderful. Your pics are so lovely too :)

I haven't ever posted on here before but I want to get in touch as your posts have moved me and I'd like to check that you are getting the right support in these first few weeks.

I will be honest that when I read your first message last week I felt uneasy as it reminded me of how I was when I got ill. I wrote long messages about how amazing I was feeling. Having read your second message today about losing trust, it read very much the same as how I felt, I was increasingly distrusting/feeling paranoid about the opinions of those closest to me and of the doctors. It may be that this is you well and I'm very hopeful that this is the case, but I just wanted to say (and I really don't want this to come across in the wrong way as this is a heartfelt message from someone who has been there with pp) that it has made me concerned that you seek the right help to make absolutely sure.

I would really like to echo J-B-55's message about making sure that you get all the support you can, trusting your family and the professionals. I may be worrying unduly, and everyone around you will be being overly cautious, which is understandably frustrating, but when it comes to pp, it really is better to be safe.

Thinking of you and wishing you all the best xxxxxx


Hi Rose89,

Congratulations from me too, such a special time for you. I want to echo what the others said above too, getting the right care if /when you need it is so important. I understand how annoying it can be when we feel people don't trust our judgment or they're monitoring us so closely, but quite often family members & professionals can pick up on things that we just can't see ourselves.

I know you want the very best for your little one so if it was me, I'd get an appt. with the crisis team or psychiatrist as soon as possible just to make sure. Even if all is OK it wouldn't be a waste of time at all as you'd know for sure. It's always best to be cautious & get anything you/your family are concerned about checked out - you'd be doing the best for all of you by getting good advice. I know medication probably isn't what you expected or wanted at all, but it could nip anything in the bud & stop it from escalating. You can talk through any worries you have about it with them & I'm sure they'd put your mind at rest.

I know it's hard to trust the judgement strangers/family members/professionals have of us but it's something we have to listen to so we can stay well - after all, they only want what's best for us & our little ones. Just keep talking to them & being honest & open about how you're feeling.

I think you're doing really well & it's great that you're seeking advise & info on here, it shows how much you love your little one. Let us know how you get on, we're thinking of you. x



I'm sorry you are facing these tough decisions.

I thought it might help if I shared what I would do in your situation.

If it were me, I would err on the side of caution and take the meds as my experience of PPP and then PND was so bad I would do almost anything to not have to go through that again.

The other thing I'd like to say is about breast vs bottle. All the evidence, as we know, suggests breast is best for baby and mother, but bottle is also totally fine as well. Especially if you have already been able to give your bub three weeks of wonderful breast milk he will have got a lot of the good antibodies etc from you. As mums we put so much pressure on ourselves to be the absolute best mother we can. I know how devastated I was when I was ill and told I had to stop breast feeding. But looking back on it now, I know it was the right thing to do. It was much better for my son to have a mother on the road to recovery than some more breast milk.

The other good thing about bottle - it meant, I, my partner and my mum were able to share in the feeding, which has meant now my son has a very close bond with his father and granny. Holding and bottle feeding a beautiful baby is a wonderful gift to share with the others in your family. I'm not saying bottle is better than breast, but it isn't this awful choice that it can appear.

I really do feel for you, as the other part of this is not feeling trusted. I can sometimes be hard to be taken seriously when you either are ill or have been ill. I know how frustrating I found this on my recovery.

I'm really hope you are able to get some good advice and more of a feeling of being listened too.

Sending you many good wishes, and virtual hugs.



Hey congratulations on bubba. I had PP following 2 births, but was only treated the second time around. I breastfed for 12months whilst being treated with Sertraline and Olanzapine- and they watched baby for side effects. I think there are medication timing/feeding techniques to minimise milk contamination. I took my Olanzapine at night and didn't feed for at least 7 hours. Hubby offered formula inbetween and my baby adapted well to the different suckling technique. I have also heard of waiting 7 hours, then expressing and binning that feed. Please speak to a specialist doctor for this advice and good luck! X


Hi Rose89,

Sorry to hear that you are feeling upset about this. Such a tricky time when people are more than likely just wanting the best for you and you are feeling not trusted. I too had no recurrence of the PP after my 2nd baby after had such an awful time after our 1st (I posted on your last thread too).

I'm not sure I can say anything revolutionary, but to echo what a couple of others have said in that meds was what I chose to try and avoid at all costs the chances of becoming ill. It might have made no difference at all, but I didn't want to risk it and put myself, wonderful husband who'd had such hell the 1st time and then 4 year old (not to mention other family and friends) in a position where I could have looked back and thought "what if I'd taken meds..." Like I say, might not have made a jot of difference, but was for me worth trying anything to avoid getting PP if I could.

Also, the bottle feeding was something that I had to switch to with my 1st when I was already massively ill. So it may be that perhaps professionals and others are suggesting it now as a precaution in case you do need to go down that route. I'm no expert, but mixed feeding can work well too. And having 2 bottle fed children, I can say that they are not at any detriment I can see because of it. And the wonderful bond between my boys and their Dad is something that I think has been helped by him helping to feed them...

I hope you're feeling less stressed about things, and have managed to get hold of on-call or your perinatal team. Keep trying, it's worth trying to tell them how you are feeling. Hang on in there and try and accept the support and help of others, I promise you they just want, as much as you do, to avoid any risk that the PP might recur.

Let us know how you get on if you get chance to pop back on, take care, xx

1 like

Hello Rose89

How have you been today? Did you manage to speak to someone in the Crisis Team or the perinatal psychiatrist? Is there a family member who can keep trying for you as it's important for you to have reassurance right now? You could always try your GP, even out of hours there is someone to talk to, or just ring in the morning.

As other mums have said, everyone wants what's best for you. So take very good care of yourself and keep in touch if you can.


Hi Alison,

Congratulations again, it’s so good to hear that you've been able to enjoy this special time with your son and thank you for sharing the lovely photos.

How are you feeling today? I hope you may have had contact already from the perinatal psychiatrist today or if not, will do very soon. It sounds like you are doing all the right things by seeking out advice from your support team and it’s definitely not a bad thing to want a second opinion about going on medication.

I do understand how frustrating and confusing it must be to not feel trusted about your mood, especially after your trust was broken because of last time. As others have said, I believe 100% that your family and doctors do just want the best for you and I think because PP is such an awful illness that can escalate into an emergency extremely quickly, most people will err on the side of caution at even the slightest doubt when a mother has already had a first episode. After all, it’s far better for the whole family to be extra careful than risk a full blown episode.

Have you been able to ask your family and crisis team what observations they are concerned about? Maybe chatting through specifics could help you and them see things from each other’s point of view, and that might help with the trust issue too.

With regard to feeding your son, there are definitely options that would allow you to still breastfeed whilst taking medication. I’m sure we could find a link about medication and breastfeeding so that between you, your husband and your doctors an informed decision can be made.

On the other hand, let’s say you do need to take medication at this stage and for whatever reason breastfeeding isn’t able to continue, tell yourself what a wonderful job you have already done! Ultimately what is best for your son is to have a well mummy, whether he is fed by formula or breast. Honestly, I do get how sad you would feel to have to give up something so precious (I was only able to feed colostrum to both of mine and those moments were very special), but you’d be giving it up for the greater good of your family so to speak. Still, like I said before, it’s not even a given that you would have to give up breastfeeding, but I just wanted to give you another way of looking at the decision.

I remained well after my second birth, but I made the difficult decision upon the advice of my perinatal psych team to take preventative meds whilst pregnant from week 33. In the end I was glad of that safety buffer meds provided because whilst I felt amazing and the experience couldn't have been more different than when I became ill immediately after the birth of my 1st, I did spot familiar signs that without those meds I most probably would have become ill again. My family, my husband and even myself did often try and second guess my moods and I know we all felt a sense of trepidation at times in case I was ‘too happy’ or ‘too’ anything really! PP is so horrific it is understandable for everyone to feel a little uneasy until the first 3 months have passed, and that's not a reflection on the mum at all. For me it wasn't really about not trusting each other, it’s more about not trusting this wretched illness.

I hope you get to speak to your perinatal psych very soon and if no contact, do chase them up. Things can change so quickly at this vulnerable time.

Let us know how you are getting on. In the meantime, enjoy your snuggles with your little ones.

Thinking of you, Natasha x


Here are those links regarding breastfeeding and medication.

Page 8 of the APP planning pregnancy leaflet has great advice with a further link to

Also this APP post has further links to find out more:-

Perhaps you and your family could read through some pages together, that way it may help them understand how important breastfeeding is to you and the decision whether to take meds might feel a little lighter for you knowing they understand where you are coming from x x


It is extremely risky to avoid medication after birth. This is the most dangerous time. I felt fine 5yrs back after birth and two weeks had a very severe episode. It started quickly and got a lot worse. I was in hospital and a mother and baby unit for 2 mths and was relatively lucky. Cud have been lot worse. I would not advise taking a risk. The consequences are simply not worth it. Being separated from family being in hospital. I am now 6 mths pregnant on no medication already tsking a risk here but would never consider not taking meds again after birth. It was very traumatic and if it starts which is very likely there is very little that can be done to stop it.


Hello Rose89

Just wondering how you are after your last post? Have things improved for you?

Take good care of yourself.


Hi all

Thank you for your replies.

I haven't read them in detail yet but I just wanted to update this post to reassure people that I am ok.

I have been back at home a while now after a period in an MBU. I am taking the medication required to aid my recovery and my little boy remains adorable :)


Hi rose89,

It's really good to hear from you, I'm glad you're ok, and your adorable little boy :)

Thank you for letting us know.

Look after yourself xx


Hello rose89

Thanks for taking the time to let us know how you are. I'm glad you're home with your adorable son and hope you continue to improve day by day.

Take good care of yourself.


Hi Rose

I too was really happy to read your post, and to hear that you got the support you needed in the MBU, and are back home with your beautiful son :) I hope you are doing OK and improving slowly. Please don't hesitate to write if you need to, we are all here for you


Hi Rose,

I'm glad that you got the help you needed. I'd just like to say that the second time around sux doesn't it. I remember walking into my psychiatrist's office and bursting into tears. There was a pregnant lady there who gave me a knowing look and just said 'It sux' and gave me a hug.

So I'm passing on a virtual hug to you.

I hope you are feeling better and have been able to get back some of those initial feelings of joy that you posted about.

Good Luck.


Hi Rose. How are you now? X


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