General advice

Hi, I have a family member who 2 weeks ago was taken into a mother and baby unit along with her newborn,since being there she has been diagnosed bipolar and things seemed to be going fairly well with her recovery until yesterday due to the baby being poorly they have been placed in isolation and things have gone down hill with her mood,she is saying she is confused,worried,unhappy with there care of her and the baby,she keeps saying she is going to come home because it's making things worse being in there and just to much for her to handle. I am so frightened of saying the wrong thing to her at the moment please give me some advice on the right things to say to her to reassure her that things will get better and that she is in the right place ,what things would have helped you when you were in this dark place.

9 Replies

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  • Hello Layzee71

    Thank you for your post. I'm sorry your family member is in the MBU and it must be such a worry that the baby is poorly. This forum is mainly for women recovering from Postpartum Psychosis and their families but some mums here also have a bipolar diagnosis.

    It must be very frightening for your family member to be in isolation so it's good that you are able to be with her for company. It must be very difficult watching her in such distress. I think all you can do is be there for her, reassure her that she is in the best place for the specialist care she and her baby need right now. Sometimes when you're in that dark place, you can feel so low that words don't sink in ..... just a gesture, a hug or a touch, I found to be more reassuring, although I do not have any experience of bipolar.

    Bipolar UK do have an ecommunity forum, bipolaruk.org so I don't know if their input would be helpful? We usually recommend the APP Insider Guides to mums with Postpartum Psychosis, "Recovery from Postpartum Psychosis" and "Postpartum Psychosis : A Guide for Partners" at app-network.org/what-is-pp/...

    There will be other mums here to offer advice and support. Please take care of yourself too as this is a very stressful time for family and friends.

    We are all here to help if we can.

  • Just reassure them you will tell the nurses are the complaints. And just be there for them, talk about things other than baby and hospital if you can as well. Good things like weather, good news stories, what's happening in your life etc. Not just about the situation. Show photos on your phone about stuff too if you can, sometimes it's easier to process visual

  • Hi Layzee71. I'm so sorry your family member is going through this. In my case I truly didn't think I had to be there till a while after discharge.

    I know that with mania you often can not realize that anything is the matter with you. I also know I had lots of irrational fears which she may be having with the care of her child on the unit.

    I think the biggest help for me was just the visits and support I got from my family. I think this helps even when it does not seem like it.

  • Hello Layzee71

    There is also a brilliant blog which might be helpful, i.e. ppsoup, which contains a section on what to say to someone who has PP, as well as lots of other good info, the link being ppsoup.com. If for some reason the link doesn't work, you will find it by searching on google.

    Take care.

  • Hi Layzee71

    I'm really sorry your family member is going through this. And it is so hard to know how to support them, particularly when they are really unwell.

    The blog Lilybeth mentions, the particularly entry is called 'what to say to someone with postpartum psychosis' ppsoup.com/2016/01/26/what-...

    I imagine this would really helpful. I had PP in 2011 and everything in that blog really rang true for me.

    Your family member will get better and recover.

    Take care X

  • Thank you for your help,they are out of isolation today and things are currently fairly steady.

  • Hello Layzee71, thanks for your update.

    I'm not sure I have too much to add to the advice already given, only to say that simply being there and as a point of reassurance is so vital to Mums going through PP. When I was ill in 2009, I too had no realisation of the extent of my illness and was adamant that there was nothing wrong with me. I think coming to terms with the illness can sometimes be really hard, and the support and encouragement I got from close family and friends was amazing, together with the right professional input. Anxiety around something being wrong with my baby was a large feature of my illness and I can only imagine that the baby being poorly must have been another strain on you all

    I hope that things continue to go well for you and your family. Take care, and I hope the info and links shared have been helpful to you. xx

  • Hello Layzee71

    Good to hear your update. I'm glad your family member and her newborn are out of isolation. Perhaps she might feel a bit more settled and reassured that the MBU is the best place for the time being. Please drop in here anytime if we can help .... take care.

  • Hello Layzee71

    I hope your family member is feeling more secure in the MBU now she is out of isolation and the links here have helped you.

    Take care of yourself too as this is a stressful time for everyone.

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